POLITICAL ASTROLOGY MUNDANE MUSINGS

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June 19

THE GREAT DIVIDE

The current global theme is one of a great divide. The 2016 Olympics will proceed without Russia, in a country battling bankruptcies that has just deposed its President. The UK is voting on an exit from the European Union at their Uranus opposition of joining the same. And the once United States, world leader of the 20th century, has in the 21st, splintered into bitterly opposing ideologies.

Economic inequality undermines opportunity. The corporate influence on political processes, along with the misinformation of mainstream media, is a desperate attempt to hold of the tides of change. Western democracies are experiencing a shift to the extreme right, reminiscent of the 1930 prewar days. The politics of polarity has even created schisms within the traditional parties.

Today the USA, once the land of opportunity, stands out as one of the most unequal countries on the planet. ‘Capitalism In the 21st Century’ quotes its inequality of labor income as “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world, including societies in which skill disparities were extremely large.” It’s even worse than Tsarist Russia and we all know how that unfolded.

To analyze the future trends, from the US perspective, it’s useful to look at the original horoscope of the First Congress, representing the principle of a national identity and federal command. The moment of self-determination, through unifying the colonies, occurred at approximately 10 am on September 5 1774 in Philadelphia. Click here for the chart.

ROYALTY ECLIPSED

September 5 1774 was the day of a Solar Eclipse, which took place around nine that evening. Eclipses were timers of leadership change and traditionally feared by the ruling elite. Kings and emperors insisted that their astrologers kept them well forewarned of such auspicious signals. A mistake could easily result in death – often of the astrologer.

King George III of England could hardly have guessed that the richest part of his empire was about to be eclipsed from 1774. Secrecy was essential, when those brave original delegates met that history-making day at Carpenter’s Hall. They were walking into a revolutionary war.

The horoscope of the first Congress was not only descriptive of the eclipse British governance. It also took place at the beginning of a Saturn and Neptune cycle. This cycle is prevalent when social injustices are being addressed, especially where related to economic disparity. The cycle was common not only to the American Revolution, but timed the Russian one of the 20th century and the later dissolution of the repressive Soviet empire.

TIMING THE CHANGE

The original Congress horoscope became a potent timer of significant turning points of US history. Important hard transits by Pluto and Neptune to the Sun and/or Moon of the First Congress consistently pick the years. The Pluto opposition of the Moon in 1803-04 timed the Louisiana Purchase, America’s biggest territorial gain. This land acquisition from France now comprises fifteen US states.

Pluto’s opposition to the Sun in 1807-08 would see Congress initiate laws banning the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the USA. It also introduced the Embargo Act, which forbade all exports to Britain or France, enforcing neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars.

Pluto’s square to the Congress Sun in 1898 coincided with the Spanish American War from which the USA gained control over the Philippines, Guam and Cuba and became an imperial power. Pluto’s conjunction to the Sun, by November 1963, brought the assassination of JFK, an event, which changed public perception about transparency in government and remains widely debated today. It also brought the divisive Vietnam War.

Pluto’s last square to the Sun was in prominent on September 11 2001. It not only coincided with the 911 terrorist attacks but would also trigger Middle East conflicts and bring further scrutiny to the hidden motives of the US hierarchy. The critical event due in 2019/20 is the Pluto return of the First Congress horoscope. It is hardly going to occur without equally significant consequences.

NEPTUNE AND THE SOCIAL EVOLUTION

The other potent timer is Neptune, which holds great relevance for the current mood as well as tomorrow’s direction. Dissipating Neptune has a tendency to dissolve conservative structures. The king of the seas is associated with an increase in socialistic political and labor movements.

Neptune was last moving across the Moon and Sun of the First Congress horoscope back between 1932 and 1936, timing the depths of the Great Depression, Keynesian economics and Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. But to get a better handle on how it will play out in the next couple of years, it’s necessary to travel to the first half of the 1850’s when it occupied the same positions as it does today.

In 1854 Neptune was opposing the Sun of the First US Congress. This will tend to create greater division within the government. That’s certainly what transpired on January 4, when Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill that became the Kansas–Nebraska Act. It ignited the slavery debate that led to Civil War of the 1860’s. Modern slavery is born of economic and social inequality.

THE REPUBLICANS

On February the 28th 1854, from 6.30 pm at a school hall in Ripon, Wisconsin a political protest meeting would birth a new Republican party as a result of this Kansas Nebraska Act. Which means that Neptune is now moving across the Sun of the Republican’s first ever gathering and in 2017 they will experience their Neptune return. It’s one reason that it was so easy to forecast the current Republican disarray well ahead of time.

The same Neptune return applies for those who use the March 20 date of the second meeting at Ripon, when they were officially named. The message seems to be to get back to the social justice roots or dissolve in a typical Neptunian manner. The irony being that an oligarchic ‘one percenter’, is now running the Republican show, with claims of making America great.

Back when Neptune last transited these Pisces degrees Abraham Lincoln warned, “Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a 'sacred right of self-government.' These principles cannot stand together. They are as opposite as God and Mammon; and whoever holds to the one must despise the other.”

Lincoln’s words about equality eerily echo down through history. But this time it is left to the unfashionable Bernie Sanders to voice the discontent of the dispossessed. Such messages will not go in vain. The coming Pluto return of the First Congress horoscope will reform the plutocracy, just as it did in the days of King George III.

It will coincide in 2020 with the Neptune opposition of the First Congress horoscope, reinforcing the message of social change for American politics. All of this transpires in the next presidential term. What we are witnessing is the gathering storm, which may be triggered by a controversial act of Congress – like the Kansas Nebraska one – that brings the crucial national issues to a decisive turning point.

BREXIT

Britain's vote on whether to remain in the European Union is the political topic of the moment. Britain agreed to join on January 22 1972 and membership became official on New Years Day 1973. Both charts are at their Uranus opposition phase, with the latter very close in orb. Click here for the charts.

Uranus is the planet of independence. At the opposition point if there are too many restrictions it will tend to act more autonomously. Saturn is the planet of stability. It has also reached the opposition point and is now involved in a testing T-Square with Jupiter and Neptune.

If nothing else this neatly times the public divide on whether to remain attached to the EU. This week's Full Moon, at 29 degrees of Sagittarius, is right at the base of the horosope of England joining at midnight when the British flag was raised at Brussels.

One of the other countries joining at the same moment in 1973 was Denmark. Their last referendum of December 3 2015 ended up in a 53% to 47% rejection of Europol, the law enforcement agency of the EU.

I wrote extensively on the difficulty of the Euopean Union maintaining its status quo back in 2014 with the Saturn in Sagittarius article. It examines this whole issue from the wider historical perspective.

June 12

A TALE OF TWO MOONS

The last time a Gemini New Moon aligned with Venus was eight years ago - on June 3 (EST) 2008. It was the month that a referendum in Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty, underpinning their membership of the European Union. Recently, on June 4 2016, another New Moon with Venus appearred in the same section of the skies. One curious correspondence is that Britain is holding a referendum on a potential exit of the EU during June. Do tomorrow’s answers lie in the past?

Sometimes repetitive patterns provide the chance to not only reflect the past, but also to correct the past. Hillary Clinton might have been thinking so as she claimed a Democrat victory, at 10.25 pm, Tuesday June 7 in Brooklyn. Exactly eight years to the day, on an identical Venus cycle, at precisely 12.54 pm on June 7 in Washington, she had suspended her presidential bid and endorsed Barack Obama. Now he is endorsing her. Click here for the two charts.

In the following article I am analyzing Hillary’s horoscope in terms of establishing a justifiable birth time, via the all-important Moon and Angles placements. The analysis includes some necessary astrological terminology. But, in the tradition of Leonardo da Vinci’s, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"; I have endeavored to keep this explanation as basic as possible.

Clinton’s life has been dissected using Secondary Progressions and Solar Arcs, two of the most fundamental and effective forecasting techniques available. They are abbreviated as SP and SA. The planets are given descriptive adjectives, such as the status bearing Midheaven, abbreviated as MC for Medium Coeli, literally the middle of the heavens.

The reason? There are conflicting times for Hillary’s birth. Some sources claim a morning time of 8 am, with unconfirmed reports of 8.02 am from hospital records. Other astrologers claim an 8 pm time, adding to the confusion. I examined 30 life events, many of them timed, finally coming to a conclusion of 8.06 am. This was done ‘manually’ – I stress the word manually – using Jigsaw software.

Using secondary progressions there was an unmistakable peak around 5 to 6 degrees of Virgo, which was also backed up by transiting planets in various harmonics. Dispensing with the techno stuff…here’s how it plays out. Only a limited number of principal events have been quoted here for brevity.

COLLEGE DAYS

On June 20 1969 Hillary Clinton appeared in Life magazine. That’s when SP media Mercury successfully sextiled her worldly Midheaven. She featured after majoring in political science at Wellesley College. At this time Solar Arc Mars and Pluto had reached her Midheaven. Reformative Pluto was transplanting her political persuasion from the family’s Republican roots to Democrat.

STATE OF THE UNION

Hillary married Bill Clinton in the living room of their Arkansas home on October 11 1975. The union became one of power and success. Her secondary progressed Sun was meeting fortuitous Jupiter (with the Moon in trine) and secondary progressed Ascendant trine to powerbroker Pluto. The longevity of their union is indicated by secondary progressed Venus trine to ‘Father Time’ Saturn. But that's not all.

The Solar Arcing Ascendant was also trine to Saturn and solar arcing Venus in trine to Mars. Through trial and tribulation this bond has weathered the political tempests. The initial storm clouds thundered in when ex-mistress, Jennifer Flowers, tried to derail Bill Clinton’s presidential bid. On January 26 1992 the Clinton’s went public on ’60 Minutes’ to hose down the controversy – and it paid off.

ONE FOR THE ROAD

Early in that election year, Hillary’s SP Midheaven was in an uncomfortable inconjunct to her sacrificial Pisces Moon. Her SP Venus, the planet of affection, was in a testing square to clandestine and sometimes-scandalous Neptune. And for the January '60 Minutes' appearance, her SP Moon had come to meet her Venus.

In 1992/93 Hillary's SP Midheaven would trine SP and natal Uranus coinciding with a rapid status elevation. 1992 was also the year that her SA chart semisquared her birth horoscope. So it was bound to bring challenges as well as considerable change.

The power planet Pluto moved across her Ascendant in November as husband Bill was elected President, and Pluto also met her Midheaven ruler Mercury. She was First Lady. Then, come January 17 1998, and the ‘Lewinsky’ bombshell landed during Bill’s second presidential term.

This time Hillary’s SP Sun was squaring her Moon, showing just how great a challenge this would be to her family and feelings. Solar Arcing Moon was squaring simmering Mars and defiant Uranus squared her Venus. The astro-evidence reveals how close the relationship must have come to fracturing. Perhaps then, in her mind, it had. Pluto had been squaring her Midheaven by transit, but the union survived the storm.

POLITICAL FOCUS

As her SP Sun came into opposition with autonomous Uranus, Hillary pursued an independent political path. On February 6 2000 she announced her Senate bid. By November 7 2000, with her SP Midheaven joining her Sun, and the SP Moon in trine, she was elected to the US Senate. But not before surviving the Whitewater trial that September, with her SP Moon squaring judicial Jupiter.

Clinton’s initial bid to become the first female POTUS arrived as her SP Moon moved into her public and extrovert seventh house. Saturn transited her career tenth and SP Mars reached her Midheaven. It was a battle that she would eventually concede by June 2008. The seventh house describes both alliance and enmity. But the Phoenix would rise again, one Venus cycle later. Venus is the planetary ruler of her seventh.

"I'LL BE BACK"

On February 1 2013 she resigned as Secretary of State. Her SP Midheaven had reached the square to rebuilding Pluto. It was seen as the prelude for her second presidential bid. Clinton played down the obvious. But the strong Chiron connection suggested that health issues could have also played a critical role. Her SA Midheaven then crossed the path of this health related asteroid, as transiting Chiron opposed her birth Midheaven.

Clinton’s expected comeback segues with another repetitive cycle in her life apart from the obvious Venus connection. Ambitious Jupiter was transiting through her career oreintated tenth house of Virgo when she originally appeared in Life magazine. It was back there when she fronted Bill’s first successful presidential bid.

In 2004, when Jupiter was last in Virgo, senior Democrats saw Hillary as the best hope of defeating George W. Bush. She declined to run, handing the role to John Kerry. Clinton made her play for the Democrats nomination four years later, when restrictive Saturn was in Virgo and was defeated. But now Jupiter has returned to Virgo.

ELECTION DAY

If the time of 8.06 am is correct, on Election Day 2016 her solar arcing Midheaven will meet Venus – it will become exact to the minute on swearing in day 2017. This is the same for Primary Directions. Importantly her Venus is at the direct midpoint of Sun/Jupiter a highly promising combination. She gave birth to Chelsea when Secondary progressed Mercury was within one minute of arc to this Venus.

Uranus will be solar arcing to her birth Midheaven, within orb and becoming exact early in 2017. Her SP Sun will be united with her Midheaven ruler Mercury. During January 2017 Jupiter and Venus will both be repeating cycles of 1993, when Bill was first sworn in as POTUS. Click here for her solar arcing chart on swearing in day.

The signs are all there. In between there is a SP Moon square to murky Neptune still to play out, more toward the August and September period. This wouldn’t be so important if Hillary’s own Sun and Mercury were not departing in their square from the same confusing Neptune.

Neptune is a tricky proposition, as it may cast shadows of doubt around her candidacy. The other possibility is some kind of illness or interruption to campaigning. Neptune is the planet of social idealism and Bernie Sanders and his supporters may hold the key. The square brings her association with the big end of town increasingly under the microscope.

Navigating Neptune is a matter of waiting for the fog to clear. It does dissipate by October, a month before the polls. As for now the presidential battle is about to heat up as combative Mars transits stationary on Clinton’s forceful Scorpio Ascendant from mid June through to mid-July.

Simultaneously it opposes Donald Trump’s Midheaven and squares his birth Mars. Perhaps the only character missing here is Vince McMahon. Yet he would hardly be out of place.

THE ORLANDO MASSACRE


On June 12 2016 the Sun came to the USA Mars and the Moon moved to square the US Mars and come to sacrficial Neptune in the early hours. At 2.02 am in Orlando the worst mass shooting in the US began. By dawn over 50 had been killed including the gunman, in the attack at a gay nightclub. Click here for biwheel.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, was born November 16 1986 with his Sun in a close square to Mars, the planet of guns and violence. Even lacking a birth time his Moon would also have to have been in square to Mars. His Sun was also at the Saturn Pluto midpoint and in fixed Scorpio.

On the morning of the murders Mars was transiting across his Sun, squaring his own Mars and also activating the Saturn Pluto midpoint. The negative meaning to this Mars/Saturn/Pluto is written about in Ebertin's 'Combination of Stellar Influences' as acts of violence and the death of a great many people. The transiting Mars was also in a focussed yod as it came to Mateen's birth Sun. He was also experiencing his Saturn return. Click here for the two charts.

June 5

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

During the 60’s and 70’s no one could compete with Muhammad Ali, when it came to universal appeal. Royalty, rock stars and movie idols walked in his shadow. Ali was unchallenged as the most famous face on the planet. People in every nation knew of the brash black man who, since a teenager, had called himself the greatest. And then went about proving it.

John Lennon may have been excoriated for suggesting that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. But Ali’s superior, “I’m the most recognised and loved man that ever lived”, didn’t raise a ripple. Such fame could hardly have been imagined when he was born on January 17 1942 @ 18.35 hours (CST) at Louisville, Kentucky. Click here for his chart.

Muhammad Ali’s chart was blessed with a Grand Earth Trine. It comprised an ambitious Capricorn Sun aligned with rebellious Uranus and Neptune the dreamer. He became his dream. Ali also had realistic Saturn and regal Jupiter in his tenth house of worldly achievement. Jupiter in loquacious Gemini ran trine to newsworthy Mercury and he was forever armed with a humorous quote.

He was named after a famous abolitionist. The original Cassius Marcellus Clay was a US Ambassador to Russia and integral to gaining Russian support for the Union during the Civil War. Along with his famous cousin, Senator Henry Clay, Cassius had been a zealous anti-slavery campaigner, whose own son was killed by an angry mob.

THE KING OF THE RING

Muhammad Ali, the boxer, was a once in a lifetime athlete, with lightning reflexes and unrivaled balance. He modeled his style on Sugar Ray Robinson, often referred to as the greatest fighter of any division. When Ali’s reflexes were later tested, they were reputedly 25% faster than his boyhood idol. And he was 40 pounds heavier.

It was that phenomenal speed that won him the title, as a 7/1 outsider, against the knockout specialist Sonny Liston, on February 25 1964. Nobody really expected him to defeat a man whose hands were bigger than any other recorded heavyweight. But on that evening, the lord of the battle, Mars, was opposed to Uranus – the planet of the shock upset. The longshot prevailed.

The universe was clearly in then Cassius Clay’s corner. Powerful Pluto was in a supportive trine to his worldly Midheaven. His progressing Sun and Mercury was joining popular Venus and moving into the upper, and extrovert, hemisphere of his birth chart. The world would hardly know an extrovert like him.

His newsworthy Sun/Mercury progression was playing out in poetic self-aggrandizement, which had Clay dubbed the Louisville Lip. But as they both joined his birth Venus, a planet of charisma and affection, he was widely accepted as the underdog come good. He’d beaten an unpopular champion and a rematch was hastily arranged.

In the interim, Clay was making an important statement. Eighteen days before the fight he had joined the Nation of Islam. On March 7 1964 he adopted the name Muhammad Ali, removing any connections to slavery. He would now become a spokesperson for the Muslim faith and the black civil rights movement.

The Liston rematch was over before it began. One minute into the fight Liston fell to a so called ‘phantom’ punch. Critics cried setup. Deceptive Neptune was squaring Ali’s Ascendant. But expansive Jupiter was now in his career house and the Sun/Mercury combination had him on the front page of sports magazines across the world. As the victories multiplied so did his fortune and fame.

FIGHTING THE SYSTEM

Muhammad Ali's wit was as sharp as his fists, but his writing and spelling were sub-standard. He graduated college on June 11 1960, ranked 376 from 391 students. The same year he won gold at the Rome Olympics. But in 1964 he failed his army literacy tests. By 1966, with President Johnson anxious to get more conscripts for an unpopular Vietnam War, the standards were lowered.

It might have been the inspiration for a Forrest Gump movie, but Ali was furious. He would now be eligible for the draft. His progressed Sun was now squaring a tenth house conservative Saturn and dissipating Neptune was squaring his Venus. Ali famously refused to sign up for war. It was April 28 1967 and he was immediately stripped of his world title and barred from fighting.

On June 20th he was convicted to serve five years in prison and appealed the decision. For the next three and half years Ali would tour campuses speaking on his beliefs and even star in a short lived musical based on the life of a militant black lecturer. The conviction would be unanimously overturned on June 28 1971 when powerbroker Pluto trined his Sun with judicial Jupiter sextile.

During this time Muhammad became an important spokesperson for the disenfranchised. He pricked the social consciousness of his generation and began to transcend the image of the boxer. His anti-war sentiments had a ready audience, where Vietnam was dividing the nation. Yet he also knew that it was through boxing that he could take his message further around the world.

THE COMEBACK

Muhammad Ali’s return to the ring marked the last golden period for heavyweight boxing. Fighters usually don’t come back successfully. His new nemesis – Joe Frazier – was also a Capricorn and their Suns were precisely conjunct. They fought three times with all but one bout going the distance. Frazier was the first man to defeat Ali, but Ali would return that favor twice over.

Ali’s progressed Midheaven, a barometer of his profession, was moving through successful Jupiter. But the brutality of boxing was taking its toll. Since winning Olympic gold in 1960, aggressive Mars had been progressing through his tenth house of profession and fame. It was now coming to meet restrictive Saturn, and beginning to slow his reflexes.

This period delivered arguably his greatest victory via the famous ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ with titleholder George Foreman. It was 4 am October 30 1974 in steamy Kinshara, Zaire. The ungodly hour was to accommodate the evening television audience in the USA, but the fight was broadcast worldwide. Ali had Venus on the IC at this location. He was the longshot outsider but the overwhelming crowd favorite.

Again the warrior planet of Mars was positioned with surprise factor Uranus on the day of the battle. In what has been called the greatest sporting event of the 20th century, Ali disposed his more powerful opponent in the eighth round. When Ali eventually retired, six years on, having won the title a record three times – heavyweight boxing lost the jewel in the crown.

SPIRIT OVER THE MATERIAL WORLD

By 1984 Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive degeneration of his nervous system, coupled to his long fighting career. This came as Pluto squared itself and opposed his Mars. He was born with Mars square Pluto – a brutal combination. It was one of the key astrological clues to his fighting power. Ali battled the disease while continuing his social work.

By July 19 1996, dissipating Neptune was moving across Muhammad Ali’s Capricorn birth Sun in his sixth house of health. A worldwide audience saw him again, many for the last time. Ali was lighting the Olympic torch – his body uncontrollably trembling but undaunted in spirit. Neptune is the planet that legends are made of. His iconic image remains in the memories of all who watched.

Nelson Mandela kept a photo of him in his office and called him his hero. In death, his opponents will have the last word. George Foreman claims, “Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met…he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age. To put him as a boxer is an injustice.”

Royalty, rock stars, movie idols and the public would agree. The triumph of will over matter encapsulated the story of his entire life. He lived his dream.

May 29

SUNSET ON SOVEREIGNTY

It was July 27 1945 and the Sun was moving toward Pluto, the planet of death and destruction, in imperial Leo. The Japanese Emperor Hirohito was meeting with his military advisors. A succession of losses, including the Battle of Okinawa, meant Japan was facing national military defeat for the first time in their long history.

An ultimatum had been issued following a meeting of the USA, UK and USSR at the Potsdam Conference. It would disarm the Japanese military and limit Japanese sovereignty to Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and minor islands surrounding. Korea and Taiwan would be taken from her grasp and territories restored to the levels of 1894.

The expansive Japanese Empire was nearing her end. Rearmament would be prohibited. Democracy would be promoted throughout Japan and industry and international trade encouraged. The concluding words of the Potsdam Declaration conveyed a macabre message of what was to come.

"We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."

HIROSHIMA

On August 6 at 8.16 am nuclear weapons were used for the first time in war on the city of Hiroshima. Russia declared war on Japan officially at 11 pm on August 8 and troops invaded Manchuria from midnight. On August 9 at 11.01 am, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. All led to the Emperor’s national broadcast of surrender at noon on August 15.

The moment of the Hiroshima bomb shows the sky-god Uranus at the zenith of the heavens. Next to it is the battle god Mars in airy Gemini. The picture is one of war from above. Uranus the planet of sudden shock, aeronautics and technology combines with military Mars over Hiroshima. The public Moon is joined to depressive Saturn. Click here for the chart.

The events of WWII are consigned to the history books but stored strong in the memory of the survivors. For some those memories came flooding back last Friday. On May 27 2016 President Barack Obama became the first serving US leader to visit to Hiroshima since that clear August morning seventy-one years ago. Still the national narratives differ.

US schools teach the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as necessary to avert a more deadly mainland invasion. Japanese are taught their nation was negotiating surrender and that the bombing was a geopolitical maneuver to keep the Soviet Union out of the picture. Either way, the appearance of US President Obama at the Hiroshima memorial had more to it than reviving history.

JAPAN – KEY TO THE ASIAN PIVOT

In 2016 the union between Japan and the USA is the essential cog in the USA’s Asian pivot. The country has moved warships from the Mediterranean and relocated them into the South China seas. But not all is going to plan in Japan. The governor of Okinawa, Takeshi Onaga, has challenged US military occupation of his island at the UN Human Rights council in Geneva.

Onaga asserts, “Our right to self-determination and human rights have been neglected. Can a country serve values such as freedom, equality, human rights and democracy with other nations when that country cannot guarantee those values for its own people?” He has taken the Japanese government to court to prevent further construction of US airbases.

Okinawa was the scene of the largest amphibious landing of troops in the entire Pacific War. It has been a US base ever since. In 1953 50,000 landowners were relocated to allow for further expansion. On May 15 1972 the island was returned to Japan, with an understanding that the bases remained. But things began to change in 2009. After fifty years of one party rule, Japan elected the new Democratic Party of Japan in a landslide.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama favoured a more Asia centered foreign policy and greater transparency in international dealings. He had also promised to move the Okinawa bases and lessen subservience to Washington. Time magazine rated him the 6th most influential person in the world declaring Hatoyama, "helped change his country from a de facto one-party state into a functional democracy".

His time was short. With the Japanese economy struggling in the wake of the global recession, Hatoyama’s plans for Okinawa hit the wall. Washington wasn’t buying in and he was forced to backpedal on his promise. On April 25 2010 90,000 people protested in Okinawa. On July 2 Hatoyama resigned in tears, after less than a year in office.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Japan’s current PM, Shinzo Abe, is regarded as the most militant since WWII. Relations with neighboring superpower China, once improving under Hatoyama, have now drastically deteriorated. Abe is hoping to formally change Japan’s Constitution to allow for increasing militarization. Fittingly, the national horoscope of modern Japan (February 11 1889) now has its progressed Sun joined to Mercury and Mars.

President Obama’s Hiroshima sentiments are unmatched by his actions. His call for an end to nuclear wars and armaments belies the fact that his administration has made fewer reductions to the nuclear stockpile than any since the Cold War. His visit makes much more sense seen in the light of cementing ties with a regional ally in a Pacific power play.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

The upcoming New Moon of June 5 will form a planetary Grand Cross involving Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. It will occur a day after the anniversary of the Battle of Midway – considered the turning point of the last Pacific War. But even more importantly the Grand Cross will reactivate the first official meeting between representatives of the USA and Japan on the shores of Yokosuka on July 14 1853.

The US President Millard Fillmore had sent Admiral Matthew Perry on a mission to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade. Perry had called through Okinawa on his way – then a separate kingdom more attached to China – and opened trade negotiations. He then sailed toward the mainland where he refused Japanese demands to leave and fired blank shots from his warship to intimidate.

The US had heard of Japan's coal deposits and whaling trade. Perry was eventually given permission to land on July 14 1853, where he presented a letter promising destruction to the Japanese should they choose to fight. Barely six months later Perry returned with a squadron of ten ships and 1600 men. From that second visit came the Treaty of Kanagawa signed on March 31 1854.

It’s appropriate timing that the coming New Moon/Grand Cross will activate the war planet Mars of Perry’s initial July 14 landing. It is also now close to the Neptune return of that first US Asian pivot one hundred and sixty three years ago. Funny how times change – but some things stay the same. Click here for the biwheel.

May 22

THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL

September 11 - what comes to your mind when you read those two words? It’s not just a date! It was the day the earth stood still – and watched. It was the day when nineteen people changed the world; at least from the one we used to know. Your perception of the events may be very different, depending on where you live.

New Yorkers wish September 11 never happened. It was the blackest day in the city’s history. Iraqis wish it never happened too, even though they had no involvement. The protagonists mostly involved were Saudi Arabian nationals. Yet most nations – east and west - experienced serious ramifications via the actions of those nineteen hijackers.

Big brother instantly got a whole lot bigger. Religious intolerance multiplied. Although it was almost fifteen years ago, the problems that gave rise to September 11 are still being addressed. If we are to believe what governments advise, the threat of international terrorism has grown rather than diminished.

Far more lethal events – like WWI and WWII – ended with the hopes of building a better world. Yet burning questions from September 11 remain unanswered. But some things are moving. Last Tuesday the US Senate has unanimously cleared the way for the relatives of victims of September 11 to sue those responsible. The decision is creating some angst in Washington.

WASHINGTON'S WEDGE

It’s driving a diplomatic wedge between the United States and the country whose oil reserves helped the US move from the gold standard and allow the petrodollar to dominate global finance - Saudi Arabia. All of this comes at the time of a simultaneous Solar and Jupiter return upon the birth horoscope of Saudi Aramco, the company that binds the US economically and politically with Saudi royalty.

Money and morals shouldn’t be strange bedfellows – yet they so often are. When logic doesn’t add up, it’s usually because dollars do. The common phrase is every one has their price. Sometimes that price doesn’t only apply to individuals, but darkens the halls of government transparency. For years the public have been kept in the dark about some of those involved in the 911 attacks.

But that may change as Pluto, the planet of the dead, transits the base of the 08.42 am September 11 2001 New York horoscope. Probing Pluto is the irresistible force, the relentless investigator digging deep. Pluto, the source of the word plutocrat, also describes hidden power and influence through wealth.

Saturn is the planet of karmic justice. The horoscope of September 11 is now at its Saturn opposition point; a time of balancing the scales. The New Moon of June 4 2016 will fall right upon the Saturn position of the September 11 horoscope. Jupiter, the planet of judicial process will simultaneously square it. Coincidentally events are reaching a climax. Click here for the charts.

The United States Senate decision puts increasing pressure on the White House to reveal 28 censored pages of findings from the 911 Commission Report. Saudi Arabia, fearing legal backlash and frozen funds, has threatened to sell off $750 billion dollars of US Treasury Securities. That’s virtually the same amount as the GFC bailout package. That’s hardly likely.

Yet September 11 was always going to have financial fallout. It’s why the Trade Towers were made the primary target. It closed Wall St for five days. And seven years later, almost to the day, Lehman Bros also collapsed bringing the western financial system to its knees. Curiously that collapse happened right on the Saturn square of the September 11 chart. It’s not the only time that September has brought financial and political chaos.

SEPTEMBER 11 – THRU THE TIME TUNNEL

Way back on September 11 in 1720 (NS) an exceedingly rare event took place in the zodiac. So exceptional that you won’t find any record of it occurring, before or since. The Sun joined Mercury, Venus and Mars and Pluto, all forming a quintuple conjunction. The Sun, Mercury, Mars and Pluto were so close that they were gathered within a half-degree of each other.

The key to this is Pluto – the ancient Roman wealth ruler and also the planet of catastrophic meltdowns. Its companion planets of mercenary Mercury, valuable Venus and impulsive Mars all played their part. A similar union of the last three was one reason that I wrote and lectured that the last global recession would almost certainly begin from the first fortnight of September 2008. Something also happened in 1720 that left an indelible clue.

ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE

The 1700’s were the early days of multinationals, stock market investment and international trade. Capital was needed to finance ambitious business ventures west of the Atlantic. This was the era of the New World, when the meanings of exploration and exploitation were blurred by an over reaching lust for profit. Countries were building empires and individuals amassing fortunes.

At the head of the money tree, in France, was former Scottish gambler turned banker and financial adviser to the Crown – John Law. Exiled after killing a man in a duel, Law found his fame and fortune in the heart of Paris. In the fiscal form at least - he became the heart of Paris. He dealt in paper money and Law’s bank – Banque Royal – was the national bank of France.

By 1718 Law had acquired the Mississippi Company, with a monopoly on trade with Northern America and the West Indies. He had set up a fledgling colony in Louisiana. Parisian prisoners were among those set free to populate the new land. Law’s marketing exaggerations fueled enthusiastic investment. By 1720 the company’s stock price went through the roof. Little known - his new world was a crocodile infested swamp.

SNAIL MAIL

Information didn’t travel quite so fast in 1720. Unless it was the hop, step and jump across the English Channel, where stories of Law’s new world success had spread like the plague. English investors were hungry for a slice of the treasures of South America. The English South Sea Company agreed to service much of Britain’s rising debt in exchange for the trade monopoly there. And everyone it seems got in for the cut.

Shares in the South Sea Company rose, not by 100% but closer to 1000%, within the year of 1720. The sky seemed the limit. That is until dark clouds loomed and the rain of reality began to rapidly fall, washing entire fortunes down the drain. It was rumored that even the brilliant physicist Isaac Newton discovered the hard truth of his principle, ‘what goes up must come down’.

The crucial days of reckoning came on both sides of the channel and the South Sea Bubble burst by September 1720. John Laws Mississippi Bubble did the same. Across Europe faith in investment companies hit rock bottom. Law, disguised as a woman escaped France with his life, and little else.

The collapse occurred around the quintuple conjunction but also coincident with Saturn, the planet of earthy assurance, opposing shadowy Neptune. The same opposition also accompanied the sub-prime mortgage crisis from 2007. The Bush administration threw everything at it before the 2008 election. But along came September and a planetary union of Mercury, Venus and Mars. It wasn’t really a surprise – it hardly ever is. That’s one law that you can trust!

MAY 15

BRAZIL IN CRISIS

Brazil – it's the largest country in Latin America and the 5th largest on the planet by both size and population. It’s the home of the mighty Amazon basin and occupies just under half the entire continent of South America. The indigenous diversity of this giant forest canopy comprised 2000 tribes before European colonization. Now it's down to a tenth of that.

On March 9 1500 (OS) at noon Captain Pedro Alvarez Cabral set sail from Lisbon on the long trade haul to India. He first sailed due west and on the afternoon of April 22, around 16.30 hours, came to a new coastline near a mountain they christened Monte Pascoal. Four days later the crew held their first Christian mass on the mainland, having exchanged gifts with the numerous coastal tribes.

After a few days of exploring the vast shoreline, Cabral realized that he had discovered a massive continent rich in resources. On the 1st of May the crew built a giant wooden cross of 7 meters, claiming this territory for the Portuguese Empire. Cabral christened the new land, Island of the True Cross. Colonization began in 1534.

Today, Brazil has the world’s largest population of Roman Catholics. A thirty-meter statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks the capital of Rio with a mountain top view. And Brazil could use a savior. On the eve of the Rio Olympics, their President has been impeached and the country is mired in political scandal involving their biggest company Petrobras .

WHAT WENT WRONG

It wasn’t always this way. Brazil was one of the best performing countries economically from 2000 onward. Most of this growth was achieved from 2003 under the governments of Lula da Silva and his successor and trained economist Dilma Rousseff . Brazil, an important member of the BRICS financial union boasted the western hemisphere’s second largest economy.

President Rousseff was a hero in her homeland. She had endured years behind bars for fighting a guerilla warfare against a US backed coup d'état that deposed Brazilian President João Goulart on April 1 1964.The coup came after covert CIA support for street demonstrations and army back up. Declassified NSA documents reveal that US President Lyndon Johnson had concerns that Brazil was then becoming the ‘China of the 60’s’.

Brazilian President João Goulart was a union sympathizer, encouraging trade with communist countries whilst curtailing the profits of multi-nationals. The crunch came when he announced in a March 13 speech a plan to nationalize the oil refineries. In the early hours of April 2 1964 the Speaker of the House was sworn in (albeit illegally) as the new President and later replaced by General Humberto Branco.

Within two years foreign companies controlled half of Brazil’s industry and trade unions were banned. Worse was to come. The minimum wage plummeted accompanying the jailing of journalists and those who opposed the regime. But the coup also stirred a staunch nationalism among resistance fighters of which Dilma Rousseff was one. The Brazilian Workers Party became the largest left wing movement in South America and gained government on January 1 2003, led by charismatic President Lula da Silva.

THE GOLDEN YEARS

Lula transformed Brazil’s economy, paying down debt to the IMF and making his country one of the economic powerhouses of the 21st century. He was able to raise the living standards for most Brazilians and survived the 2008 GFC with minimal damage. On January 1 2011 having served two full terms, Lula was succeeded by Dilma Rousseff , his former chief of staff.

Rousseff was the first female president in Brazilian history. Her inauguration took place at 5 pm on New Years Day. Inauguration charts tell a lot about the future of the administration. Venus, the planet of values was squaring Neptune the planet of subterfuge and also oil. The Sun positioned at 11 degrees of Capricorn would by 2013 experience the disruptive and breakdown combination of Uranus and Pluto.

Just as they arrived, in March 2013, her personal approval rating was riding high at 79% and government at 63%. But by the 2014 elections Rousseff was struggling. She managed to score another term in the closest run election since the 1980’s. Her future impeachment was promised by her second inauguration horoscope as President.

She was sworn in with the Sun square Uranus and conjunct Pluto on January 1 2015. The first aspect completed would be the testing square of the leadership Sun, to the planet of sudden reversals, Uranus.

There was only a degree and a half in this meaning the square would play out in shortly under a year and a half based upon the time formula of a degree equaling a year. The Sun would then arrive at Pluto in a further six months. This would come to describe both the timing and length of her impeachment.

By mid 2015 Rousseff ’s approval rating had plummeted to single digit figures. The deceleration of the Chinese economy put a handbrake on Brazil. Further, an investigation into Brazil’s largest oil company, Petrobras , revealed systematic corruption involving government officials, whilst Rousseff served on the company’s board.

In a country with a contracting economy, millions took to the streets to protest. Although no wrongdoings were proved against Rousseff, as national leader she became the focus of the public’s wrath.

BRINGING DOWN THE PRESIDENT

Dilma Rousseff once ranked the third most powerful woman in the world, behind Hillary Clinton and Angela Merkel.
On a Sunday evening at 23.10 hours on April 17 2016, Brazil’s parliamentary lower house secured the critical number of votes needed to impeach the President.

The Senate gave its approval on May 11 and the new leader, Michel Temer, was sworn in the next day at 11.30 am in Brasilia. The Sun position in this chart has a connection back to the original Portugese landing. One wonders whether there is not covert outside intervention.

The drastic measure to remove an elected head of state came as Brazil battles its worst recession in two decades. The national economy shrank almost 4% last year and currency devalued by 33%. This follows three consecutive years of the Brazilian stock market in the red by 18% in 2013, 6% in 2014 and 11% in 2015. Petrobras lost more than half its market capitalization in the last year.

While the Olympics are heading to Rio, Standard & Poor’s has slashed Brazil’s debt rating to one notch above junk status. Rousseff sees all of this as a coup by an opposition that failed to legitimately win the 2014 election. Is Brazil heading for another military government? One would hope not. But a clue lies in the national horoscope.

Brazil achieved its official independence from European rule at 4.30 pm on September 7 1822 at Iparanga. It’s a date celebrated each year across the country. But the current progressed Sun in this horoscope is heading for a conjunction with cathartic Pluto in their house of finance. The war planet of Mars has also come to Pluto. Click for the charts overlaid here.

The Mars Pluto conjunction is a fiery one, reflecting the wave of anger sweeping the country. It also suggests more military or police control. Or, as Rousseff protests – this is genuinely another coup. The one positive thing that competitive Mars represents is combative rivalry. Perhaps that is strangely appropriate in 2016 – the year that the Olympics arrive in Rio.

May 8

The headlines are screaming - it's coming soon. Another Australian federal election. This one's a biggie and this week's column looks at Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull and his future prospects.

Malcolm Turnbull was born October 24 1954 in Sydney. In email correspondence, shortly after he was initially deposed as opposition leader, he confessed he didn’t know the birth time. And with both parents deceased he held little hope of finding it.

Turnbull’s birth Sun lies right at the Libra/Scorpio cusp and it would be fair to say he exhibits both characteristics. He mixes persuasive Libran charm, with steely Scorpio schemes. The Sun’s close proximity to chameleon Neptune, imparts an idealistic mystique, which has helped propel his political agenda.

Turnbull’s Sun is simultaneously square to militant Mars, ambitious Jupiter and independent Uranus. Although he leads the conservative Liberal Party, he is widely viewed as his own man. Judicial Jupiter, the kingmaker, has played a defining role in his triumphs, initially as a successful lawyer.

The get lucky combination of Jupiter and Uranus also represent cutting edge technology, and in square to his Sun would account for his love of the same. Investing init brought him a fortune. The Mars Uranus also shows his capacity for instantaneous action. In battle he strikes quickly and decisively – but not without plenty of forethought.

Retrograde Mercury moving toward conservative Saturn moderates Turnbull’s impulse. Underneath he is a thorough planner. He is also accustomed to sudden shifts in fortune. The first came when he was only nine years of age. It happened as his progressed Sun moved toward austere Saturn.

EARLY LOSS

Turnbull’s mother deserted the marriage, despite her son begging her to stay. She sold the family home, leaving a young Malcolm and his father in rented accommodation. His childhood is a far cry from his waterfront mansion on the foreshores of Sydney harbour. But Turnbull’s wealth was self-made.

Reminiscing, he comments, “My father and I went through times of great financial insecurity. We had a two-room flat. He was frugal.” Malcolm saw this necessary sacrifice as an essential for building financial independence. To do things he asserts, you need the brass.

He studied law at Sydney University before earning a Rhodes scholarship, completing a further law degree at Oxford. He had an initial fling at politics in 1981, standing for the blue ribbon seat of Wentworth, as his progressed Sun squared powerbroker Pluto. He was unsuccessful first time around.

THE DOTCOM FORTUNE

Although triumphant as a lawyer – he defeated the British government in the well-documented Spycatcher trial – he soon moved into investment banking, eventually becoming a managing director of Goldman Sachs. In between, in 1994, he invested a half million dollars into Australia’s first major ISP, Ozemail.

The year after that fateful investment his progressed Mercury, planet of communications came to meet his birth Venus, planet of values. His original investment capital multiplied many times over. Turnbull later sold his shares in 1999 for fifty seven million.

The same year he led the charge for an Australian Republic. He had his reasons. “First, I object to any office that is hereditary. And second, I object to the fact that the monarch must be a member of the Church of England and can only be married to a Protestant.” Both Turnbull and the man who placed him at the head the Republican movement, Paul Keating, are Catholics.

SECOND TIME AROUND

Turnbull seems to succeed a lot, second time around. He lost his first bid for political pre-selection in 1981. In February 2004 he recontested that battle and sealed it by winning the seat of Wentworth on October 9 the same year.

He lost his first bid for Liberal leadership to Brendan Nelson on November 29 2007. He carried it off with a second challenge on September 16 2008. A year later on December 1 2009, he was ousted by one vote by Tony Abbott in a shock result. He returned to depose Abbott on September 14 2015.

THE SWEARING IN

Turnbull achieved his ultimate ambition, to lead his country, when sworn in as Prime Minister, on September 15 2015 at 13.34 hours, in Canberra. The horoscope of this moment can be taken as the beginning of his tenure and studied for future developments.

It shows the sudden shock planet of Uranus at the base of the chart and opposing Mercury. The New Moon of April 7 2016 would spotlight this axis, falling on Uranus and promising something out of the ordinary. The month of April brought an unexpected sitting of botth houses of Australian parliament.

On the morning March 21 2016 Malcolm called a hasty press conference for 10.30 am. He addressed the media at 10.41 am, with what would amounted to a pre-emptive call for a double dissolution election on July 2. In what took political pundits by surprise, but not the astrology chart, parliament was to be recalled from April 18.

Turnbull had cocked the trigger. If the Senate refused to pass the Liberal's industrial reform package, the rebuttal would act as a prelude for an election. Turnbull’s call came at a significant astrological moment – the annual Aries ingress.

The theory goes that the moment that the Sun enters the tropical sign of Aries and begins a fresh cycle through the twelve signs, defines the starting moment of the astrological year. A chart set for that time, at any specific location, indicates the annual prospects for that area.

Although his media address came shortly after the Sun entered Aries, it remained in the opening degree of the sign. The charts of Turnbull’s swearing in as leader and the timing of his pre-emptive election bait, showed an important correlation.

The first-degree Aries Sun of his announcement was joined to the South Node of his swearing in chart. The North Node of his announcement was conjunct the Sun of his swearing in chart. The dual exchange of the Nodes and the respective Suns would play an important role. Click here for the chart overlay.

The Nodes are a literal measuring stick for eclipses. And the Sun represents the leader. Could Turnbull’s bold call eventually eclipse his leadership? His grab for absolute power – control of the upper and lower houses of parliament – would have to take place from an election beginning at 8 am on Saturday July 2.

On that day the Sun will be directly opposite the Sun position of Australia’s first ever federal government. It’s a huge risk. Little wonder the polls, once heavily weighted in Turnbull's favour, have now moved to almost neck and neck.

THE SHORTEN CONNECTION


One thing is for sure. Turnbull's 'official' Mother's Day election announcement at 14.31 (AEST) on May 8 in Canberra, comes during a Mercury retrograde period. It also comes right before his Labor opponent Bill Shorten's birthday. Shorten was born May 12 1967 with the Sun and Mercury together at 20 and 21 Taurus.

The Turnbull election timing comes as Shorten experiences the retro Mercury move across his Sun and shortly before the Sun also does the same. So the mercurial 'newsmaker' will actually be Bill Shorten. It was exactly ten years ago as a relative unknown union representative Shorten was thrust into the public spotlight via the Beaconsfield mining disaster in Tasmania.

In a miraculous escape the two trapped miners walked free at 5.58 am on May 9. In the preceding days Bill Shorten became a national identity. Again it was shortly before his birthday. On past evidence alone, Turnbull's election timing could hardly be more opportune for Bill Shorten. Check the election call chart with Bill Shorten's planets by clicking here.

May 1

With fears of a nuclear dirty bomb haunting Europe this week's column looks at the astrological history of the nuclear age.

SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME

It was during a regular morning walk on September 12 1933 in London that the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard first conceived the idea of a nuclear chain reaction. He patented the idea on March 30 1936 but asked the British government that it be kept secret, as he did not want the Germans to have access to knowledge that could create a nuclear weapon.

Leo Szilard was born February 11 1898 at 3 pm in Budapest and would become a key figure in the eventual manufacture of the first atomic bomb. Szilard’s birthchart shows intellectual Mercury conjunct military Mars and both on the cusp of his seventh house of – in his case – war. The same Mercury/Mars, using the technique of astromapping, would fall on the IC across Japan.

On December 17 1938, as the Sun transited the zodiacal degree of the massive black hole that is recognized as the Galactic Center, German biochemist Otto Hahn took another step along the nuclear road by achieving nuclear fission. Hahn’s discovery came in the looming shadows of World War Two. Just before the war began, Szilard then resident in America, paid a visit to the Long Island home of Albert Einstein.

THE INFLUENCE OF EINSTEIN

It was July 12 1939, upon a tight Grand Cross of Mars, Saturn, Pluto and the North Node. The purpose of Szilard’s pressing mission was to convince Einstein to sign a letter addressed to the US President Franklin Roosevelt, urging the development of a nuclear bomb. The planetary picture of the fateful day was appropriate. A Grand Cross of Mars, Saturn, Pluto and the Nodal Axis.

The definitive textbook CSI, defines Mars/Saturn/Pluto as “Brutality, the rage of fury of destruction. The intervening of Higher Power, bodily injury or harm, murder – the death of a great many people.” So it would be. The letter was finally put together on August 2 and given to the Jewish banker and Wall St economist Alfred Sachs, as Venus joined Pluto in the Grand Cross. Sachs had direct connections to the US President.

A meeting was convened with Sachs and Franklin Roosevelt for October 11 of 1939. By then Mars had moved to oppose the Pluto and Mercury had advanced to the Mars position of the original Szilard/Einstein meeting. This created another Grand Cross of Mars, Saturn and Pluto but with Mercury, the North Node and Venus together at one arm. Roosevelt went ahead with the idea, and it became known as the Manhattan Project.

The irony was that in July 1940 Einstein was denied a security clearance to work on the bomb. The reason? He was a judged to be a pacifist with leftist leanings. If protecting capitalism was the primary objective, then Einstein was a security risk on top-secret projects. Before the war was over the world’s greatest scientist would regret signing the letter. Leo Szilard had similar thoughts.

THE MANHATTEN PROJECT


The first meeting of scientists, in what was to become the Manhattan Project took place on December 18 1941, reportedly with ‘urgency and enthusiasm’. At 17.30 hours the same day F D Roosevelt signed in the War Powers Act. December 18 featured a New Moon conjunct Mercury, again at the degree of the Galactic Center, the Sun’s position when nuclear fission was first attained. Days before Japan had attacked Pearl Harbour and the US were officially at war.

The next big breakthrough came on December 2 1942 with the world’s first nuclear reactor at the University of Chicago. The moment of ‘criticality’ is recorded as 15.25 on December 2 1942. The operation was guided by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. Forty-nine scientists were present including Leo Szilard. It began at 9.54 am and when criticality was reached a coded message was sent to the President saying, “The Italian navigator has landed in the New World.”

The top secret Manhattan Project was accelerating. It would eventually consume $2 billion dollars of the national budget and involve over 120,000 Americans. An entire city was built for research at Oak Ridge Tennessee. In New Mexico the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory began operating under the stewardship of Robert Oppenheimer. He would gain the dubious title as the father of the nuclear bomb.

THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS

Oppenhemier was born May 22 1904 in New York. His Pluto – at 19 degrees of Gemini - was close to the US Mars of 21Gemini in the Independence horoscope of July 4 1776. When the first nuclear bomb was detonated at 05.29.51 on July 16 1945 (MWT) at the Trinity test site near Alomogordo, New Mexico, Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu god of destruction Shiva - "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

The planetary equivalent of Shiva is Pluto. If one is to use astromapping on the horoscope of the Trinity bomb, Pluto sets across Japan, where the bomb would be soon deployed. The chart of the successful explosion places Mars at 25 of Taurus, the degree of Algol; a lethal fixed star likened to ‘piled up corpses’ in oriental astrology. Saturn in Cancer comes to the USA’s Sun and Neptune in early Libra sits at their Midheaven and Mars trines their Pluto.

As WWII drew to a close, with Germany defeated and having failed to develop a nuclear weapon, Einstein and Szilard urged the US government against using the bomb. Ignoring their advice, at 08.16 am August 6 1945 the first uranium based nuclear bomb exploded across Hiroshima. At 11.01.47 on August 9, a second plutonium based bomb blasted Nagaski.

The combined immediate death toll was over 129,000 lives. They remain the only occasions nuclear weaponry has been deployed in war.

April 24

THE ROYAL WAVE GOODBYE

Upon the death of a famous person, people write eulogies. People who don’t know them well and often not at all. But people whose lives have been affected by their works. And in a world much maligned for its material focus, it’s not so unusual that artists should hold a special place in our hearts. Prince being the latest.

2016 could be remembered as the fatal year of music icons. David Bowie set the scene in the first fortnight. But whilst Bowie’s death was no surprise to his family and close acquaintances – he fought a losing battle with cancer – Prince’s demise shocked everyone when he was discovered unresponsive in his home elevator at 9.43 am last Thursday.

It happened with his Sun progressed to the planet of shock factor in Uranus and also as Saturn transited opposite his birth Sun. As the Sun is indicative of the heart and vitality, it might help explain his recent hospitalization and flu. But this article is not an astrological autopsy - rather a brief analysis of his character and life.

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER

According to a copy of the hospital birth certificate, obtained by an astro-colleague Frank Clifford, Prince was born Prince Roger Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7 1958 @ 06.17 hours. If there was anything prophetic in that title, it was his father’s stage name.

Prince was born with a Sun opposite Saturn the planet of structure and order. Both are considered primarily male symbols. He described his father in typical saturnine terms, as a very strict disciplinarian. John Lewis Nelson was a plasterer and also a jazz musician who played in a trio under the name of Prince Rogers.

The father was born June 29 1916 with the Sun and Moon in close proximity to concentrated and controlling Pluto. That would make for an emotional intensity that seems to have played out in his son’s upbringing. The younger Prince was booted out of home as a teenager when he was sprung with a girl in his bed.

Prince begged to return home but his father was unrelenting. Susan Rogers, an engineer on Prince’s Sign Of The Times album, talked of abuse during his childhood. In adult life, Prince would reach the musical heights that his father could only dream of.

His mother left the marriage when he was eight. He thought that she had deserted him and barely mentioned her in interviews. The potential for this dysfunctional family life is evident in his horoscope. Prince’s Moon lies at the foundational base of his chart, normally considered the home base. Yet the nurturing Moon opposes distant Pluto.

THE PLUTONIC MOON

Oppositions between the Moon and Pluto accompany intense and compulsive emotions usually connected to early life and the mother. John Lennon had the same precise Moon to Pluto opposition. He was another whose public fame may have been subliminally aided by the private feelings of abandonment from his mother, following his parents early separation. Lennon wrote about this in the haunting song ‘Mother’ opening with (plutonic) funeral bells.

In adult life the Moon can also represent the emotional face we show to the public and our sensitivity to that. Prince’s Moon, at the underside of his horoscope, would also indicate that he was a very private and emotionally intense individual, despite his public flamboyance. The control planet of Pluto is placed at the zenith of his chart, which often represents the perception of the public.

On stage Prince was in total control. He was the most captivating of performers. And yet control was also something he struggled with. His famous split with his recording company Warner Bros began in 1993, over the conflict of artistry and ownership. He would frequently talk of the artist’s work being owned and controlled by big business and thereafter advised young performers on the perils of signing recording contracts.

Pluto and his public Midheaven were both joined to the royal fixed star of Regulus. Therein lies the astrological irony of the name Prince, that he would make famous around the world. That fame began initially with the release of the album called Prince released on October 19 1979 and the sales of the single ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’. Successful Jupiter was passing across his Midheaven and Pluto.

JUPITER & SUCCESS

Prince was born with a retrograde Jupiter. It didn’t turn direct until around eleven to twelve years of age. The same age is when an individual experiences their Jupiter return transit. This planet of growth and life education also represents one’s philosophy on life. As Prince’s recording career was gaining traction, his progressed Jupiter, now back in direct motion had regained its birth position.

By 1982 he would experience his second Jupiter return and record the signature party track ‘1999’. By now his career was blasting into the stratosphere. Planetwise he would be experiencing some of the strongest transits possible. They would coincide with the release of the album and film ‘Purple Rain’. Sales would eventually top 20 million.

At the height of his fame, powerful Pluto would be favorably in sextile to itself as the planet of image and mystique, Neptune, was simultaneously in trine with his Midheaven and Pluto. Bountiful Jupiter had solar arced to his Ascendant. Not since the Beatles combination album/film ‘Hard Days Night’ had an artist achieved such cross media saturation. But the reality was that Prince didn’t own what was rated his greatest creation.

In 1993 as that reality sunk home, Saturn arrived at the base of his chart and linked with his Moon opposing Pluto. Prince would experience his own self-propelled separation. This wasn’t about mother and father – instead it was his parent music company. Performing with the word slave on his cheek, ‘the Artist Formerly Known as Prince’ divorced his record company. He saw out his contract but with minimal input.

FINDING HIS RELIGION

Prince was brought up a Seventh Day Adventist. But one of his closest musical buddies was the legendary bassist Larry Graham, himself famed for inventing the percussive slap technique that influenced bassists worldwide. If Larry wasn’t a father figure to Prince he was at the very least considered an elder brother.

Twelve years his senior, Prince’s Jupiter and Larry’s were identically placed. Jupiter is the planet of faith and philosophy, Prince eventually emulated Larry’s devotion to Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was reported canvassing his hometown of Minneapolis with copies of Watch Tower.

The public would be reminded of the Prince legend on the evening of February 4 2007, in the unlikely setting of the Miami Super Bowl final. Prince was scheduled to perform during the half time break. Mass media Pluto was heading into trine to both itself and his Midheaven. Before a nationwide television audience he gave a sensational live performance, closing out with Purple Rain in a literal downpour.

There will be no encore from 10.07 am April 21. Just memories, songs recalled and record companies making extra cash. And for those who lived the 80’s with MTV and grew up with Michael Jackson and Madonna, Prince will rank with them all. As a writer and brilliant multi-instrumentalist who could play every instrument on his albums, he was a rare talent indeed. Click here to view his horoscope arrival and departure.

APRIL 17

SIXTY MINUTES

At 7.30 pm on February 11 1979, Channel Nine debuted Sixty Minutes. It was a copy of the US current affairs program of the same name. Due to the smaller national audience, the Australian version was more international in concept and coverage. The first executive producer, Gerald Stone, remembered the advice of station owner Kerry Packer being, "I don't give a f... what it takes. Just do it and get it right." But sometimes the best laid plans...

The horoscope of the first broadcast shows a socially minded Aquarian Sun conjunct the reporting planet of Mercury with competitive Mars. One of the program's longest serving reporters is Tara Brown. Now a fifteen-year veteran, she’s now in her Saturn opposition phase stemming from her first appearance in 2001. Tara Brown’s Aquarian Venus and Mercury is conjunct Sixty Minutes Sun and Mercury, showing what a natural fit she is for the show.

THE BEST LAID PLANS

The April 7 New Moon, occurring with the jack-in-the-box Uranus, promised to deliver some shocks. It’s when best-laid plans go awry, and dubious ones are certain to. The New Moon fell right on Tara Brown’s birth Mars. Normally that would be a warning to think things through carefully. Especially if your own progressed Sun is currently in a difficult angle to Uranus. What happened on the day of that New Moon bore that philosophy out.

According to her published passport, Tara Brown was born on March 14 1968 in Sydney. Her Pisces Sun closely opposes penetrating Pluto. This skeptical aspect would certainly support investigative journalism. It is also prone to bring one in touch with powerful people likely to influence her destiny. For Tara, that regularly plays out in everyday interviews with the rich and famous.

EARLY SEPARATION

The Sun is also tightly opposed to Uranus, supporting sudden and unplanned changes in relationships, notably in her early life, and possibly in her mid to late forties. The Sun is generally considered as the father or masculine principle in a personal horoscope. Its dual opposition to cathartic Pluto and unstable Uranus also implies an unstable or possibly broken relationship.

Tara’s parents separated when she was nine. It was an experience she described as both abrupt (Uranus) and traumatic (Pluto). She hasn’t spoken to her father in forty years and doesn’t even know whether he is alive. More positive is her affectionate Venus joined to communicative Mercury in worldly Aquarius. It displays her passion for learning and information.

Brown loves all to do with communication. Her Mercury and Venus are opposed to idealistic Jupiter and also in a testing square to unclear Neptune. In relationship matters, she varies between high optimism and a certain sacrificial nature, which tends to balance the investigative cynicism of her Sun and Pluto opposition. It also shows empathy for the underdog.

Those she cares for would see more of the generous Jupiter and travel would play a big part of her life. Tara’s job entails spending as long as six months on the road. But her latest escapade has landed her in a Beirut jail. She was part of an alleged 60 minutes sponsored attempt to unite and return two children with their estranged Australian mother.

IN SEARCH OF A HEADLINE

After a custody battle in Australia, the father took the children back to Lebanon in 2015. Australian law favors custodial rights to the mother - Lebanon rules favor the father. Current affairs program ‘60 Minutes’, in search of a headline, allegedly funded the mother an exclusive fee of $115,000. She then allegedly hired a child recovery agency for a retrieval operation with the TV crew on location for the story.

But the audacious kidnapping plot went belly up and the headline became an unwanted one. It placed the mother and TV crew in the hands of the Lebanese courts and a hopefully sympathetic father. The timing for the clandestine operation could hardly have been worse. It took place around 7.30 am April 7 2016 in Beirut. CCTV footage shows the children being taken from their grandmother and bundled into a waiting car.

The horoscope of that act shows the approaching New Moon rising in the twelfth house, associated with self-undoing. This is also the house of incarceration for the same reason. This traditional astrological belief around self-undoing comes via the blinding rays of the rising Sun when placed in this house. They obscure any objective outlook and therefore actions have unintended consequences. It’s one reason for the battle tactic of attacking from the east, as the sun rises thereby blinding the enemy’s vision.

The Sun of the abduction chart squares powerful Pluto in the house of higher law and overseas dealings. The Sun is also inconjunct (a challenging angle) to judicious Jupiter, suggestive of the law being totally ignored or broken. The Sun’s only saving grace is that it is in an accommodating trine to Saturn, the planet of authority, tradition and judgment. To this end, the judge is encouraging a responsible compromise between both parents.

REVISITING THE PAST

In Tara Brown’s own chart the solar arc directed Pluto, has come to sesquisquare her Sun, presenting problems through powerful people. Their ‘story’ is an international incident. The Pluto impacting so, tends to bring back the buried trauma of separation as well. Tara’s adult entanglement involving a father refusing to separate from his children counterbalances her childhood experience of her own father leaving without a trace.

Brown is also a mother of two children. Her second son, Tom, was born at 11.07 am on December 12 2010 at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. His Jupiter sits right upon Tara’s Piscean Sun. That kind of connection is where the child inadvertently becomes the teacher of the parent. And currently the healing asteroid of Chiron is moving across both Tom’s Jupiter and Tara’s birth Sun.

As she awaits the court’s decisions she undoubtedly feels the disconnect. This critical experience will have a major impact on her family life versus career. She will re-evaluate future time spent way from home. Tara is born with what is termed a seesaw chart, a horoscope split into two distinct halves. It shows the need for a balancing of factors, an objectivity and developed sense of judgment.

This coming week, as the court weighs up its own inevitable judgments, there is little choice but to contemplate those consequences. A custodial battle when merged with the competitive world of lucrative TV ratings has delivered the headline they were hardly expecting. And it's proof that Kerry Packer's original 'whatever it takes' advice also comes at a high human cost.

April 10

SOMETHING ABOUT APRIL

If the entire history of the USA were condensed into one year, the third week in April would take up quite a space. It's a time when headlines seem to write themselves. Accidents either happen or are surreptitiously planned to. It’s also the annual period that the transiting Sun squares transformative planet of Pluto, planet of death and destruction, in the July 4 horoscope of the USA.

The first human headline was the daring midnight ride of Paul Revere to announce the British are coming. The next day of April 19 1775 witnessed the initial shots of Lexington beginning the American Revolutionary War and the birth of the new nation. Many years later April would host an even deadlier battle, the Civil War.

On the third week on April 15 Abraham Lincoln called on 75,000 volunteers to suppress a national insurrection. Four years later to the exact day, the same President was assassinated. Lincoln’s funeral of April 19 marked the 90th anniversary of Patriot’s Day. Even America’s first imperial war against Spain began in earnest with a blockade of Cuban ports beginning the third week of April 1898.

HOMELAND FIREWORKS & EMBASSY LOSS

The period around Patriot’s Day features homeland fireworks well above average. On April 19 1993, the FBI siege and subsequent burning of the Branch Davidian compound, inspired dissident veteran Timothy McVeigh to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing, exactly two years later. School massacres such as Columbine and Virginia Tech took place in the third week of April.

The April 15th 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon put the city in lockdown until the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the 19th. US involvement in Middle East politics incited the bombing of the US Embassy the day before Patriot’s Day in 1983. Although the day is commemorated for eventual military victories, it has also produced notable losses.

Kennedy’s ill-conceived Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion took place from April 17 1961. On April 15 1969 North Korea shot down a US spy plane with thirty-one lives lost. President Nixon raised the nuclear option but his military advised against it. On April 19 1989 a gun turret mysteriously exploded on the USS Iowa killing forty-seven sailors.

But the plethora of fireworks is not confined to military encounters or human intervention. Natural disasters such as the San Francisco Earthquake of April 18 1906, the Great Texas Fire of April 16 1947 and the ecological disaster that followed the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon undersea oilrig on April 20 2010, all fit the time window. In 2013 a deadly fertilizer fire ripped through West, Texas.

THE MYSTERIOUS CORRELATION

For the more superstitiously minded it may appear that the ghosts of Paul Revere, Abraham Lincoln and those first shots of war still haunt American history. To the scientifically minded these recurrent dates constitute a freaky correlation of similar incidents.

The astrological connection would date back to Lexington and the positioning of Pluto in late Capricorn, squared by the Sun and in trine to fiery Mars. Pluto remained there for the formation of the USA on July 4 1776. The Sun will always square that position in the third week of April each year.

Will the third week of April again deliver a shock headline – like the sinking of the Titanic? Should we look to the 2016 developments of the South China Sea, and the growing rivalry between the US and China? It was on April 17 1895 when First Sino-War ended, with China conceding Korea, Taiwan and other islands to Japan.

Closer to home the New York primaries are due April 19. They will go a long way toward deciding who governs the US into 2020 and the direction the country takes. Thankfully no other planets are backing up the Sun's difficult square to Pluto. But even if the third week produces little, it will echo through the memories of the many. Too much has happened for it not to.

April 3

WHEN THE CLOCK TICKED 9.11

When the last of the Brussel’s terrorist bombs exploded at Maalbek metro station at precisely 9.11 am, the symbolism could hardly have been more obvious. Since September 11 2001 that number has taken on a whole meaning for the sworn enemies of western globalism.

The organized assault on the US embassy at Benghazi took place on the eleventh anniversary of September 11. The coordinated London metro bombings of July 7 2005 happened at the time of 8.49 am. But another way of reading that is 11 minutes to 9.

The days between September 11 2001 and the March 11 2004 Madrid train attacks numbered exactly 911. That’s why when the pro US Spanish government tried to place the blame on Basque separatists rather than Islamic extremists, they were thrown out of office in an election three days later.

Was there a symbolism is the selection of September 11 for the aerial attacks on New York and the Pentagon that have so changed our world? The late author Christopher Hitchens thought that was the case. He claimed it was connected to the Battle Of Vienna, which also altered the course of European history.

THE BATTLES OF VIENNA & ZENTA

The classic conflict took place on September 11 and 12 1683, following a two-month siege of Vienna by the Ottomans. The decisive battle was fought at Kahlenberg Mountain on the outskirts of the city, pitting the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nations against the invading Ottoman Empire.

From 6 pm on the 12th of September a massive cavalry of eighteen thousand horsemen, led by the Polish King John III Sobieski, charged down the mountain hills, routing the Turkish army. The two-month siege of the fortified city was lifted.

The further decimation of the Ottomans occurred again on September 11 fourteen years later. This time their forces were routed in the Battle of Zenta (in modern Serbia), occasioning a loss off 30,000 Ottoman lives to a mere 300. This comprehensive Christian victory by the Hapsburg Imperial forces thereafter left Europe free of Islamic occupation.

As tempting as this reasoning appears, it is not the only connection to September 11. The same date has been important in the history of the USA concerning both New York and the Pentagon.

NEW YORK AND THE PENTAGON

New York is the financial hub of the world. It began as a trading post for the Dutch East India Company, the first public company to issue stock shares. Henry Hudson, the man most connected with the early explorations of New York, was employed by this company to find an easterly passage to Asia. On September 11 1609 Hudson sailed into the Upper Bay of what would become the Port of New York and New Jersey.

On that day as Hudson and his crew explored Manhattan Island, they could have scarcely imagined the import of their venture. European migration would soon displace the indigenous population. Centuries later Manhattan would host Wall St, The Twin Towers and the United Nations and be the center of world trade.

Further on September 11 in 1789 George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as the first Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was the founder of the US financial system and conceived the plan of selling US bonds to eager overseas buyers, underpinning the security and growth of the fledgling nation. September 11 also has a military connection.

On September 11 1941 the groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new headquarters of the US Defense Department. The five-sided Pentagon was the largest office building in the world, with over seventeen miles of corridors, accommodating twenty three thousand employees. On it’s sixtieth anniversary the Pentagon was under attack, along with New York.

THE SYMBOLISM OF FOUR

There is another prevalent pattern in many of the Islamic extremist attacks. It’s connected to the number four. There were four planes involved in 911, four separate bombs went off in Madrid and there were four bombs in London. Brussels experienced three as the fourth failed to explode. But 911 was not the only time that four international jets had been simultaneously hijacked.

One of the stranger anomalies of the mainstream reporting of September 11 was complete omission of the 1970 Dawson Field plane hijackings. They didn’t rate a mention in the popular press, known for comparing parallel events. This was the synchronized hijacking of four international passenger jets by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, desperate to gain publicity for their political cause.

In all three hundred and ten hostages were flown to Dawson’s Field in Jordan. What followed were tense days of negotiation between western governments and the hijackers. On September 11 1970, an eerily prescient order was given. US President Nixon commanded one hundred federal agents to begin working as sky marshals on US flights.

While the US and Israel refused to negotiate for hostage’s lives, the UK did. The majority of passengers and pilots were released on September 11 1970 and transferred to Amman. The terrorists detained fifty-six Israelis to further bargain for political prisoners in Israeli jails. Only one person was killed in the hijacking and he was one of the hijackers.

Twelve years later September 11 would again bring Israel and the PLO into a deadly one-sided massacre. It was on this date in 1982 that the United Nations Security forces, that had been guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, evacuated Beirut. Israel defense forces moved in five days later along with the Lebanese Christian militia. Thousands would be slaughtered in the now infamous Sabra and Shatila massacre.

The symbolism of the September 11 has a recurring role to play on many levels and not only religious based. It is why when a construction crane collapsed on September 11 last year at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 111 and injuring 394 others, King Salman banned all officials from the Saudi Binladin group from leaving the country.

Today the numbers 911 appear self-perpetuating. It doesn't have to be. There is a cruel irony to September 11 dating back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. On that day leaders of all faiths, East and West, came together for the first time in a meeting called the Parliament of Religions with a mission to create an interfaith dialogue. It continues today. Just needs a few more people to be listening.

March 27

PAKISTAN AND THE LUNAR ECLIPSE

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and home to over one hundred and eighty million people. It is also the planet’s second largest Muslim nation. But until the Lunar Eclipse of March 24 1940, it was just a dream. That all changed when the All-India Muslim League held an historic meeting from 3 pm on March 22 in Lahore.

The three-day gathering, now known as the Lahore Resolution, was originally a call for the creation of independent Muslim states in northern India. Instead it evolved into a commitment toward a new nation. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, considered the father of the country and Pakistan’s first Governor General was the driving force.

The Lahore resolution was adopted on Sunday March 24 1940, the date of a Lunar Eclipse at 3 degrees of Libra. Symbolically, the full moon eclipse represents the maximum separation and opposition of the Moon and the Sun. It is an important ‘relationship’ aspect. It will bring matters to fulfillment, even allowing for its obviously polarized differences.

POLARITY AND OPPOSITION

While the eclipse was forming in the heavens, similar thoughts were taking place at ground level in Lahore. Jinnah reasoned that the religious and cultural differences of a proposed united Indian independent state would prove irreconcilable.

“Hindus and the Muslims belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature.... It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes and different episodes”, he claimed.

Jinnah argued that the Muslim minority would not have a political voice in a predominantly Hindu nation. “To yoke together two such nations under a single state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the government of such a state.”

The British eventually agreed and partitioned India. The division created the largest mass migration in human history and occasioned 500,000 deaths due to retributive genocide between the respective religions.

Pakistan achieved independence when Muhammad al-Jinnah was sworn in as Governor-General at approximately 09.15 hours on August 14 1947, now a designated national holiday. The official transfer of power for the two states took place from midnight leading into the 15th, also recognized as the birth of modern India.

Astrologically, the Sun was at the 21st degree of the fixed sign Leo. The Sun was in a similar degree of a fixed sign for the original Indian rebellion of May 10 1857, which led to the breakup of the East India Company and the beginning of a new administration known as the British Raj. The rebellion took place with the Sun at 20 of Taurus, square to the eventual independence Leo degree.

The area of 20 degrees of fixed signs is an important one to note when it comes to sovereignty issues regarding both India and/or Pakistan. That makes calendar dates around the middle of February, May, August and November in any given year more sensitive to these issues. But getting back to Pakistan and the divisive lunar eclipse.

THE MARCH ECLIPSE

The degrees highlighted by the March 24 Lunar Eclipse that signaled the national foundation movement would prove to be significant in the subsequent history of Pakistan. On March 23 1951 there was another Lunar Eclipse in the same position. It would time the month of the Rawalpindi conspiracy, the first military threat designed to overturn the elected government.

The coup, involving eleven military officers and four civilians was busted on March 9. After a long trial the conspirators were jailed. But the leader, General Akbar Khan, along with his defense lawyer would later play a major role in Pakistan politics. Later that year Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated in Rawalpindi.

Rawalpindi had for years been the center of the British Northern Command. Following the partition of India it became the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army and remains so today. For half of its history Pakistan has been run by military regimes from Rawalpindi. It was also scene of another unsolved political assassination of a Prime Minister.

BHUTTO AND THE MARCH ECLIPSE

Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, twice elected Benazir Bhutto, was gunned down when returning home to run against the military rule of President Pervez Musharraf in December 2007. Although her death didn’t tie in with a Libran Lunar eclipse, her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death certainly did. He met his fate under the Libran lunar eclipse of March 24 1978.

Bhutto, a socialist leader, had initiated Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, claiming it was the only guarantee of national sovereignty. During his earlier years as foreign minister, Bhutto had also formed diplomatic ties with China during the days when they were shunned by the west. Lyndon Johnson even wrote to the Pakistan leaders to replace Bhutto.

Bhutto was eventually removed as Prime Minister, by a military coup on July 5 1977. Then, less than a week before the March 24 1978 lunar eclipse, Bhutto was sentenced to hang on speculative charges that he had arranged the murder of a political opponent. The March lunar eclipse was again timing a change in the established order and the remainder of the Bhutto family fled Pakistan.

The new leader, General Zia-ul-Haq, cemented close ties with the USA and the Afghan mujahedin. The nuclear program was placed under the command of Major-General Akbar, the man who had engineered the coup against the first Pakistan Prime Minister. But Zia-ul-Haq, along with the US ambassador and the chief of the U.S. military mission in Pakistan died in a mysterious plane crash, shortly after 4.30 pm on August 17 1988.

That ‘accident’ happened close after Pakistan’s independence day. Today General Zia-ul-Haq’s name has been removed from the Pakistan constitution. But his conservative Muslim party would return with the election of the now billionaire businessman Nawaz Sharif.

NAWAZ SHARIF AND THE ECLIPSE CONNECTION

The next lunar eclipse at the beginning of Libra took place on March 24 1997. A month before Nawaz Sharif had been elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, for a second term. He is now back in office for an unprecedented third term.

But not before being abruptly removed by another military coup conducted by General Pervez Musharraf on October 12 1999. Which brings us to the upcoming lunar eclipse of March 23 2016 and further national division.

The General is currently on trial, facing charges related to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi and treason. He is the first military leader of Pakistan to face such a trial. Last Friday the Pakistan Supreme Court granted General Musharaf permission to leave the country to obtain specialized medical treatment for a spinal complaint.

The government allowing Musharaf to travel has created a public furor. There are doubts whether he will return. Newspapers are ablaze with criticisms of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They claim his acquiesence in bowing to the military is further weakening democracy. On the historical record of this March 23 lunar eclipse he couldn’t have picked a worse time.

There is no doubting this date continually triggers important political change to Pakistan. Even the Pakistan Republic was declared on March 23 1956. All of which says that it's time to keep a closer eye on Pakistan politics in 2016. The eclipse casts a challenging angle to the horoscopes of both the Pakistan Republic and PM Nawaz Sharif. More on this later.

March 13

A TIME FOR CHOOSING

At 10.15 on October 12 1964 the cameras rolled in an LA studio. It was 'take one' with a Hollywood actor delivering a carefully scripted speech on the set of a political rally. A live audience was arranged to add a further touch of realism. When the speech wound up a half hour later the actor was given a standing ovation from the placard wielding faithful. There was a catch to this.

The oratory had been rehearsed and delivered many times. The Republican campaign of Barry Goldwater had decided to videotape the speech and use it in their presidential election campaign against Democrat incumbent Lyndon Johnson. Goldwater’s people purchased prime time on NBC for a nationwide screening.

At 9.30 pm Eastern Standard Time, on October 27 1964 “A Time For Choosing” was broadcast. It was an emotional stump style speech on US values. The speaker referred to Moses leading the Israelites to freedom, Jesus choosing to carry his Cross, and the patriotic heroes of Concord. It challenged the listener to accept their ‘rendezvous with destiny’, or elect a thousand years of darkness. The speaker was Ronald Reagan.

Republican Goldwater was soundly defeated in the 1964 election but Reagan’s speech went down a treat in Republican circles. He was asked to enter the real world of politics. As a result at the highly unusual time of 12.10 am on January 2 1967 in Sacramento, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the Governor of California. So began his stellar political career, which would eventually take him all the way to the Oval Office.

A STELLAR CAREER

Reagan’s career was stellar in more ways than one. When questioned about the bizarre swearing in time; inaugurations are traditionally a midday affair; he brushed it off. But an investigating sociologist, Professor Marcello Truzzi, had collected enough evidence to confirm Reagans' interest in astrology. He was convinced that the decision was made six weeks earlier, under the guidance of Carroll Righter, Hollywood’s astrologer to the stars.

Righter was famous enough to be featured on the front cover of the March 21 1969 edition of Time magazine. His horoscope for Reagan’s swearing in as governor displayed a powerful planetary pattern of beneficial sextiles and trines involving six celestial points. The Cancer Midheaven ruler of the Moon, is in exact trine to popular Venus, which tends to confirm the astro-logic of the elected time.

Righter was also a personal friend. Like Reagan, he was a fellow Aquarian with their Suns conjunct. Whether by design or accident Righter’s original swearing in chart for Reagan’s governorship of California would brilliantly progress to early 1980/81 bringing the Sun to popular Venus and in trine to the public Moon. This neatly timed Reagan’s ascendancy to US President, although it could hardly have been imagined at the time.

STRATEGIC DENIALS

When questioned, late in his presidency about the use of astrology, Reagan again denied it, but refused to criticize the subject. But by then it was hardly a state secret. At least four authoritative texts claim that the December 8 1987 INF Treaty with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was signed at 13.45 hours, based on astrological advice. When security adviser Colin Powell was questioned, by a fellow staffer, as to why the President insisted on this time his answer was, “you don’t want to know.”

The nuclear treaty coincidentally has the peace planet Venus as the most elevated in the horoscope and right on the leadership Midheaven. The other benefic Jupiter is at the Ascendant, in the Sun’s exaltation degree also and fielding a supportive trine by the Sun, which it rules. This treaty was one of the high points of Reagan’s tenure. It resulted in the destruction of 2692 nuclear weapons.

Any remaining doubt about the Reagan’s astrological beliefs was removed on May 8 1987, when his former Chief of Staff, Donald Regan, published his controversial autobiography, ‘For the Record’. The book unveils what is described as “probably the most closely guarded domestic secret of the Reagan’s White House.” It was an astrological calendar indicating good, bad and indifferent days.

He claimed that astrological timing dictated summit meetings, important debates, treaties and even transport on Air Force One. Regan claimed, "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagan’s made during my time as White House chief of staff was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."

JOAN QUIGLEY

The lady in question was Joan Quigley. She was consulted following a fellow astrologer’s warning that March 30 1981 was a dangerous day for the President. Retrograde Jupiter, his Ascendant ruler, was squaring his Mars. It was also the day of a potentially violent Sun Mars conjunction. That day Reagan’s life was spared when surgeons removed an assassin’s bullet, which had lodged inches from his heart.

Following the assassination attempt, Nancy Regan purportedly hired Quigley. Not only to choose propitious times but also to warn of the dangerous ones. She was even invited to presidential banquets. Two years after Reagan left office, in 1990, the astrologer wrote her own book titled “What Does Joan Say? My Seven Years as White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan”.

All of this has become news again with the passing last week of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Aged ninety-four, she was the last remaining survivor of the astrological menagerie. Nancy was open in her personal interest in astrology. But in honour of her husband’s memory and probably to defer any criticism, she refused to acknowledge that astrological timing played such a major role in his presidency. Evidence would suggest otherwise.

Reagan's first speech, which he later recognised as the turning point of his career, had a prophetic title in the light of what we now know. The 'times for choosing' played a dominant role in shaping a presidency that ultimately changed the political balance of the entire world.

Afterthought

Perhaps Donald Trump should have looked closer at his own astro-timing for his campaign launch. He chose a New Moon conjunct Mars and they were smack bang on the USA's Mars. Last week he had to cancel a Chicago address for fear of violence erupting. That's certainly Mars stuff. Right now transiting Mars has reached the nadir of his June 16 2015 launch in New York at 11.21 am. This week the Sun will also square the launch chart's New Moon with Mars. It's a dangerous horoscope and it's not about cool off in a hurry.

March 6

LIGHTS GO OUT IN SYRIA

On March 9 2016 @ 01.58.19 UT a Solar Eclipse will reach totality. It will cross Indonesia, be visible in Malaysia, Guam and across the wide Pacific to Hawaii. The same eclipse is a Supermoon, associated with weather extremes and natural disasters. Last Wednesday a 7.8 undersea earthquake struck near Padang Indonesia, thankfully well clear of populated areas.

The degrees of this March eclipse has more to do with mining disasters historically than earthquakes, but it also occurs close to the dates of two of the biggest stories of the 21st century. The March 11 Japanese tsunami that triggered the Fukushima meltdown and also the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

The renergising of these degrees and events may shed a new light on these events. But in looking to the predictive potential of the eclipse, Syria, the first modern Arab kingdom, looms large. The eclipse degree of 19 Pisces will highlight a degree area intimately connected to the history of modern Syria.

Is it an omen that the eclipsing of the Sun’s light was also preceded by a national blackout as the countries grid went down from 13.00 hours last Thursday? When the lights go out across the land, is it a time to be afraid? The people of Syria are now used to living with the fear of tomorrow.

FIRST MODERN ARAB STATE

It was on March 8 1920 that Syria became the first self-proclaimed Arab nation, following the WWI defeat of the Ottoman Empire. On that day Faisal the first was crowned king. Arab independence was short-lived. The Allied powers San-Remo Conference, of April that year, gave the Syrian mandate over to France.

After a brief battle, in which 400 Syrian nationalists were killed, Faisal surrendered his crown to the French military on July 25 1920. The British would eventually give Faisal a new royal role. On August 23 1921 at sunrise he was made King of Iraq instead. The Iraqi mandate was now in British hands. Meantime Syria battled France for their independence.

In July of 1933 Faisal made a special trip to London to protest increased Jewish immigration into Palestine. On September 8 that year –the opposite calendar date of March 8 - he would mysteriously die at the young age of 48 in Berne Switzerland. Although his private nurse reported signs of arsenic poisoning, and Faisal had complained of stomach pains, the official cause of death was a heart attack. In keeping with custom, there was no autopsy performed.

THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION

March 8 of 1963 brought new political change to Syria. It came in the form of a coup d'état, commemorated each year as the March Revolution. The movement came through a middle class uprising, supported by the lower social strata, overthrowing the elitist oligarchies. It brought to power the socialist Ba-athist Party, and indirectly led to the ascendancy of the al-Assad family.

On March 7 2011, on the eve the anniversary of the coup, thirteen Syrian political prisoners began a hunger strike. They were demanding an end to 48 years of emergency law and a restitution of civil rights. The protests escalated just like the Japanese tsunami that struck four days later. By mid-March the protests were becoming increasingly violent along with the government’s reaction.

It’s interesting to compare Syria’s Arab Spring with the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the US 5th Fleet is stationed. Bahrain has had the same Prime Minister since Black Sabbath released their first album and Paul McCartney announced he was leaving the Beatles. Bahrain immediately brought in the military, crushed the democracy protests and declared a state of emergency. Al-Assad lifted Syria’s state of emergency laws and suffered the consequence.

ENTER THE 2016 SOLAR ECLIPSE

A Solar Eclipse on March 9, so close to Syria’s anniversary date, is significant for the leadership. Especially considering the West and their Gulf states desperately want Bashar al-Assad out of the picture.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has told CNN that Syrian President Assad must be removed “by force” if a diplomatic solution fails. The end game is a new leader who will be a willing participant in proposed economic collaboration; particularly on the Qatar/Turkey pipeline plans.

Bashar al-Assad was born September 11 1965 in Damascus. His Virgo Sun is positioned with independent Uranus and probing Pluto. This combination is by nature revolutionary, the breaking down of an old structure and the erection of the new. His own chart mirrors his current political reality.

The reigning eclipse cycle began to activate his Sun/Uranus/Pluto from September 13 2015 just before Russia entered the war. That eclipse fell near his birth Sun. What followed was beneficial Jupiter also moving to al-Assad’s birth Sun by November 2015.

Russia’s military clout has enabled the government forces to turn the tables against the rebel mercenary forces for regime change. Jupiter has remained stationed in the same area as simultaneously the healing asteroid of Chiron has moved into opposition with al-Assad's birth Sun. All of this led to a brokered cease fire between the US and Russia from midnight February 27 2016.

OMENS OF CHANGE

The March 9 eclipse opposes Jupiter. Eclipses were an unwelcome omen to the kings of ancient Mesopotamia. Except if they occurred with Jupiter. In R. C. Thompson's Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon he wrote, ‘Jupiter stood in the eclipse, it portends peace for the king, his name will be honorable’.

The current eclipse opposes al-Assad’s Sun and also represents the Gulf state royals rabid opposition. Babylonians also took notice of what they considered omens. They would amount to unusual occurrences that held a symbolic message.

The electrical outage of Syria would be considered a modern omen. Its interpretation, along with the following eclipse, would seem important given that the eclipse is occurring so close to a date that stands out in the national history for leadership change. And also the history of the struggle for Arab autonomy and nationalism.

Feb 28

THE ONE HUNDRED MILLION GAMBLE

It was the one hundred million dollar big bet that failed. At 20.43 hours on February 20 in Columbia, South Carolina, Republican Jeb Bush suspended his presidential campaign. He was the original front-runner, when he announced his candidacy at 16.07 hours on June 14 in Miami, Florida. But Bush’s supremacy lasted barely a day.

On June 16 at 11.21 am in New York, Donald Trump weighed into the race. He would be Bush's greatest handicap. Since that moment Bush has been on a defensive back foot and Trump dominated the headlines, whether they involved making America great or making American’s grate.

Astrologically speaking, the timing of any enterprise holds the key to its outcome. That’s why the advice of astrologers was once sought for inaugurating a building or starting a battle. Two of the old world’s great cities bear witness to this tradition.

The Roman Emperor Constantine arranged the opening of Constantinople via his astrologer Valens for May 11 330 AD. Likewise Caliph al-Mansur had his court astrologer, Nawbakht, with help from the Jewish astrologer Masha’allah, time the founding of Baghdad as a proposed capital of the Islamic empire, on July 31 762 AD.

A TALE OF TWO CAMPAIGNS

Although less than two days apart, the Jeb Bush campaign and the succeeding Trump launch display defining differences. It’s enough to make one believe that Trump employed his own astrologer. But the same evidence would suggest that Bush most certainly did not. Everything was wrong from the start.

Jeb began his bid in a closing Moon phase. That suits winding down, not starting up. The Moon was positioned in the second degree of Gemini and in a close opposition to obstructionist Saturn. The Moon’s next aspect would be a conjunction with Mercury. It may have been helpful with media, if it wasn’t also positioned in a difficult semisquare to sudden surprise Uranus.

Finally the Moon would come into square with dissipating Neptune. Progressing Bush’s launch chart to it’s final disappointing demise, shows the Moon has just completed the progressed square to sacrificial Neptune. It was an inglorious end to an expensive experiment that never really got off the ground.

Bush’s biggest problem, he envisioned as his greatest strength – the family name. His birthchart, Feb 11 1953 @ 8.50 pm in Midland Texas, clearly shows the predominance of that outside influence. In World Predictions 2016 I wrote about the difficult legacy of the Bush surname, which I felt was aptly shown via his close Sun to Pluto opposition. It’s like dealing with forces beyond one’s control.

I had also noted that his progressing Midheaven would be moving over Pluto. That's a make or break aspect, indicative of total career transformation. On February 20 Bush’s progressed Midheaven was bang on the progressed Pluto with not a minute of arc to spare. And like the black hole that Pluto can be, it swallowed up his lofty ambitions the same day.

THE TRUMP TIMING

Donald Trump maintains his momentum leading into the Republican Super Tuesday primaries. His campaign had Mercury the newsmaker in media driven Gemini and elevated to the Midheaven. He is inevitably a headline waiting to happen.

Mercury had moved away from the opposition from a retrograding Saturn, which had transferred back into Scorpio. Conversational Mercury rules both the Ascendant and Midheaven of Trump’s launch. The Donald made his announcement bang on the New Moon in Gemini.

The Sun and Moon are joined to acerbic Mars. Trump concentrates on the issues of public frustration and anger, he thrives in the battle, he turns the campaign into an all in dogfight. Trump’s rambunctious approach, tailored down to his flaming red hair are all fittingly associated with the aggressive warlord Mars.

If there is a weakness in Trump’s campaign chart, it lies with Neptune setting at the Descendant. What this suggests is a lack of support, even an undermining, from those who would be partners. It’s indicative of the opposition within the Republican Party establishment. That’s little wonder as he also represents the biggest challenge the party has faced from within their own ranks.

REPUBLICAN CRISES AND NEPTUNE

The meeting that led to the foundation of the Republican Party took place on Tuesday evening February 28 1854, in a small school hall in Ripon, Wisconsin. A second meeting on March 20 from 6.30 pm confirmed the formation of the new political party. Both charts are useful when mapping the future of the Republicans.

The original February 28 horoscope shows a compassionate Piscean Sun and Venus with empathetic Neptune in opposition to angry Mars. It is descriptive of the original anti-slavery breakaway movement proposed by former Whig Party member Alvan Bovay, that underpinned their early policies. This chart works!

Every time that Neptune has thrown a hard aspect to the Sun/Venus of the February 28 formation chart, the party has faced a crisis. Back in 1893, as Neptune came to it's first square, the former Democrat President Grover Cleveland won back leadership against Republican Benjamin Harrison. It was the most decisive win in twenty years – 277 electoral votes to 145.

Neptune's opposition to the Sun by 1933 would usher in twenty years of ongoing Democrat dominance, triggered by the Great Depression and the record run of F. D. Roosevelt. The Neptune square of 1974 saw Republican Richard Nixon become the first US President to resign in disgrace. This time around, the Republican horoscope is due for its Neptune return.

TRUMP AND NEPTUNE

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy on June 16 last year, Neptune was reaching the Sun/Venus of the Republican formation horoscope. Neptune was moving retrograde at the time and is only now coming back to the position it occupied in June 2015.

It has already coincided with Bush throwing in the towel. Neptune’s return to the position it held when Trump launched his campaign will now coincide with the Super Tuesday primaries. They will go a long way to determining the final nominee, formalized at the next Republican convention.

The convention begins on Monday July 18 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. On that morning, the Sun will be positioned sesquisquare to both Saturn and Neptune. This aspect formation is called the quadriform. But perhaps the name Thor’s Hammer bestowed by astrologer Linda Reid, is more descriptive.

The only event that comes to mind featuring the rare Thor’s Hammer aspect with the Sun as the apex planet to both Saturn and Neptune in square was the ill-fated ‘Operation Eagle Claw’. That was an aborted attempt to rescue Iranian hostages during the Carter presidency.

It crashed and burned, damaging the national image and costing Carter any hope of retaining his position. Watch this year’s Republican convention! It should be the unexpected fiery start of the party's reformation. But not without 2016 being the year of another major party crisis!

FEB 21

SHORT MEMORY

An energy pipeline is planned to stretch over 1200 kilometres, from the rich fields of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia all the way to the Mediterranean. One problem! The Syrians are reluctant to come on board, stifling a financial bonanza. A US sponsored military coup is organized to overthrow the elected government of Syria. Does this sound vaguely familiar?

It actually it happened – back in 1949. The name Shukri al-Quwatli is unknown to most westerners. He was the first democratically elected President of an independent Syria. Originally sentenced to death by the French, who ran the country from 1920, Al-Quwatli lived in exile until returning as leader and proclaiming Syrian independence on April 17 1946.

On March 29 1949, the President was arrested in his pyjamas, in the days when a CIA coup was a real CIA coup. Resistance against the proposed pipeline and Al-Quwatli’s opposition to Zionism and western recognition of Israel sealed his fate. The new leader, General Husni al-Za’im, was immediately acknowledged by the US, with the UK and France fast following. The former leader was exiled to Egypt.

DESTROYING DEMOCRACY

The coup destroyed the fragile Syrian democracy. The General reversed foreign policy. He signed an armistice with Israel on July 20, and promised to resettle 300,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria. He gave the go ahead for the Trans-Arabian Pipeline, a joint operation between what are now Exxon, Chevron and Texaco. From 1950, for the next twenty-six years, Saudi oil would travel across Syria.

However, the newly installed President Husni al-Za'im didn’t fare so well. In the early hours of August 14, less than a month after his peace deal, al-Za’im was executed, along with his Prime Minister, by former colleagues. These days he is best remembered for famously shouting, ‘bring on the dancing girls’, during a meeting with dissatisfied clerics.

SYRIAN NATIONALISM

Syrian nationalism would not be denied. In 1955 the exiled leader Shukri al-Quwatli returned to contest elections, regaining the presidency. On September 10 1956 he requested an arms deal with the USA. When this was denied he began negotiating with the Eastern Bloc for military and economic aid. Despite the Cold War, al-Quwatli maintained a neutrality toward both sides.

On August 6 1957 the Syrian President organized a long-term loan from the USSR. Immediately another CIA coup was planned, but foiled by Syrian counter-intelligence on August 12 1957. The incident led to the suspension of the US military attaché from Damascus as the US also expelled the Syrian ambassador from Washington. Tensions between the two countries heightened, with rumors of a Turkish led invasion of Syria.

If that again seems like a replica of today, there was one major difference. The situation was diffused thanks to Saudi and Iraqi support for Shukri al-Quwatli. But self-determination was still denied the people. Syria entered into an agreement with Egypt that virtually had their affairs run from Cairo. In its short modern existence, Syria has endured five military coups.

THE AL-ASSAD DYNASTY

During a Jupiter/Saturn opposition, on November 21 1970 General Hafez al-Assad became the new Prime Minister of Syria. It was the result of a bloodless coup displacing the leftist government on November 13. The takeover occurred with a Full Moon straddling the Jupiter Saturn opposition. It would prove prophetic. Al-Assad would rule for the complete Saturn cycle of twenty nine and a half years.

Aware of the division that plagued his predecessors, Al-Assad consolidated his position by surrounding his government with fellow Alawites and members of his family. For the populace he generated a ‘personality cult’, much like Egypt’s General Nasser, whom he greatly admired. Yet Syrians continued to live under repressive laws that outlawed public protests and jailed dissidents.

Hafez al-Assad passed away on June 10 2000 – this time at a Jupiter Saturn conjunction. Saturn was back in the latter degrees of enduring Taurus, where it had been positioned when he first gained national command. This neatly led to his son, Bashar, becoming the anointed successor, despite being six years younger than the age that the constitution demanded a President must be. That law was quickly amended.

Bashar began his presidency with promises of greater freedom and social reform. But in the face of mounting protests that marked the so called ‘Arab Spring’, his government responded with a brutal crackdown. This proved a trigger for a revolutionary war, which western backers seemed eager to sponsor. Soon there would be thousands of instant ‘mercenaries’ armed and deployed with a mission. To overthrow the al-Assad government. But was this really about freedom?

PLEASE DON'T MENTION THE PIPELINES?

In July 2011 the Syrian President was drawn to choose between two competing gas pipeline projects, one from Qatar and one from Iran. Al-Assad chose the latter. By the end of the year the US, UK, France and Israel were gearing regime change in Syria. Jupiter and Saturn had reached the opposition point.

The energy war would produce the greatest humanitarian crisis of the Middle East and Europe of the 21st century. Millions displaced, hundreds of thousands dead. The press sold it as a civil war and strangely nobody was talking pipelines. Instead a new Syrian government was announced, fittingly in Qatar, on November 11 2012.

The US, UK and France immediately dubbed them the legitimate Syrian administration. But the real war was so obviously economic. On one side the West and its Middle East monarchies, on the other Russia, Iran and the al-Assad government.

Unlike 1949 – this proposed pipeline coup was not an overnight success. Syria’s mainly Sunni army have remained loyal to their President. As Jupiter and Saturn moved into square, the battle expanded. Bashar al-Assad, born September 11 1965 would soon find expansive Jupiter joining his Virgo birth Sun. It happened last November as Russia began air strikes against the rebel co-alition and their jihadist networks.

It is not only Jupiter and Saturn that square off between March and June 2016, timing the turning points of this titanic struggle. It is also Saturn and Neptune that came into a closing square from November of 2015 and continue until September. They time the bigger ideological differences between Russia and the West.

The last closing Saturn Neptune square appeared in 1979/80. Check the events. Iran becomes a theocracy. An Islamic uprising in Afghanistan threatens a Soviet friendly government. Enter the Russian military. Jihadist groups receive funding and training from western interests leading to Al-Queda.

Saudi Arabia begin to flood the oil market, depressing prices (by 1986 they were down to $10 a barrel) and eventually crippling the Russian economy and stifling Iran’s financial growth. Same cycles and repeat actions. But some nations have extremely short memories.

FEB 14

BLACK HOLES MERGE

On Thursday February 11 at 10.35 am in Washington DC scientists excitedly announced that they had identified physical proof of Einstein’s century old theory of ‘gravitational waves’. They detected and measured ripples in the fabric of space and time coming from two massive black holes around thirty times the size of our Sun, colliding and merging over 1.3 billion light years ago.

The cataclysmic unification produced an enormous explosive energy sending gravitational waves permeating through the universe. At precisely 02.51 on September 14 2015, in Hanford Washington, the ripple was picked up via a four-mile long laser measuring system. It was a groundbreaking discovery for 21st century science, bound to assist new theories on how the universe was born.

The day after the announcement of the gravitational wave discovery and the binary black holes merging, two leaders of modern Christianity came together for the first time in almost a millennium. Roman Catholic Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill met at the unlikely venue of Havana Airport at shortly after 2 pm on Friday February 12. The subject of their highly symbolic encounter was peace in a world on the brink of WWIII.

POPE AND THE GALACTIC CENTRE

Pope Francis was born at 9 pm in Buenos Aries, Argentina on December 17 1936. The position of his birth Sun at 26 degrees of Sagittarius is within the zodiacal degree of the Galactic Center. This super massive black hole is the size of our Sun 4.3 million times over. It is actually the rotational center of the Milky Way. While our earth may revolve once in 24 hours, it takes the Sun 240 million years to revolve around the Galactic Center.

Astrologers are still working to understand the implications of this energy source, but it may be likened to a centrifugal force bringing objects, and possibly people into alignment. December 17 was the birthdate of the Tunisian street merchant Mohamed Bouazizi whose self-immolation became the catalyst of the democratic uprisings that marked the Arab Spring.

This zodiacal position marked mankind’s first heavier than air machine flight. The Sun and the planet of aeronautics, Uranus, came together at the degree of the Galactic Centre on December 17 1903 when the Wright Bros forever changed world travel and laid the foundations for the future exploration of space.

The Sun was also on the Galactic Center on December 17 1938 when nuclear fission was discovered by German Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Strassmann. The downside of that momentous discovery was that splitting the atom also led to the atomic bomb and a deadly nuclear arms race. For the first time humankind was capable of blowing themselves off the planet and into a virtual black hole of oblivion.

MAN ON A MISSION

Perhaps Pope Francis’ December 17 birthday is more than simply symbolic. He was born in the times of the Great Depression. His horoscope shows a rising sign of compassionate Cancer with its ruler the Moon in Aquarius, the sign of universal brotherhood. The Moon is in conjunction with popular Venus also in socially aware Aquarius.

His birth year of 1936 featured a close opposition of Saturn and Neptune in the mutable signs of Pisces and Virgo respectively. Those born into powerful aspects of the Saturn Neptune cycle have a strong social conscience. And with Saturn and Neptune in the closing square of their current 36-year cycle, the man who once worked as a bar bouncer, is now increasingly thrust into the spotlight.

It was on the Pope’s birthday in 2014, with the Sun back at the Galactic Center, when the USA and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations after 55 years in the political wilderness. Pope Francis was instrumental in the détente. He personally wrote to the leaders of both nations urging reconciliation. He also hosted secret talks at the Vatican, between US and Cuban officials, leading to the two countries friendlier relations.

But the meeting of the two church leaders at Havana airport was more than a call to stop the slaughter of Christians in religious wars. It was also to help heal the growing rift between Russia and the West. The Russian Orthodox Church has praised Vladimir Putin’s military efforts in Syria, calling the mission to fight the jihadists of the Islamic State a "holy battle." Putin has hung his hat on religious nationalism.

CHECKMATE

As the tide of the Syrian war changes and government troops lay siege to Syria’s largest city of Aleppo, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have threatened to directly intervene. This would place the traditional Christian western nations in a difficult diplomatic position, bound to have ramifications back on home soil. Could they directly support nations with known ties to Islamic jihadists?

The Syrian civil war correlated with the choice of two lucrative gas pipelines – one from Saudi Arabia and one from Iran. Syria's President chose Iran. It has morphed into something much deeper. Apart from the enormous casualties and ever growing refugee crisis, it has divided world opinion and now threatens European unity. It has helped re-ignite a new Cold War. And it was a Pope who helped diffuse the last one.

In 1978 the first Polish pontiff, Pope John Paul II was elected following the 33-day reign and sudden death of Pope Paul. The new Pope was politically active in the days of the western leader’s Thatcher and Reagan’s deregulation drive. Pope John’s homeland led the revolt against communist rule. Historians credit the Pope as a seminal figure in the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.

Pope Francis was elected after the shock resignation of Pope Benedict. Francis has been a long opponent of unmitigated capitalism. At the planetary Grand Cross of April 2014 he famously tweeted, “Inequality is the root of all evil.” As the political pendulum swings too far one way is another Pope on a mission to correct it?

With his progressed Sun soon meeting roadblock Saturn by March, the difficulties certainly lie ahead. The developments of the Syrian war will be the litmus test. Transiting Saturn will also meet his Sun early next year - a double dose of the ringed planet. It's all about working with - and on - the 'establishment'.

FEB 07

THE GREAT CHRONOCRATORS PART II

Last week I wrote how the Jupiter Saturn cycle was long regarded as the arbiter of caliphs and kings. For our astrological predecessors it provided the key to political prophecy. The current cycle began in the year 2000 and is connected to a much longer cycle of 794 years when two planets were again in a similar zodiacal positioning.

That cycle takes us back to 1206. It was the year a Mongol leader by the name of Temujin was dubbed the Great Khan, for uniting the tribes of Northern Asia. Genghis Khan would be subsequently recognized as one of the greatest generals of war. He founded the largest contiguous empire in world history. That makes year 2000 important in both the military and empire building sense.

THE NEW KHAN?

Ironically, year 2000 was designated the Year of the Culture of Peace by the United Nations. It didn’t start that way. Between January 5 to 8, in Malaysia, the al-Qaeda Summit took place, involving two of the hijackers responsible for the September 11 attacks on the USA.

But it was in Moscow that a new military leader would be inaugurated right at the vital conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Vladimir Putin had risen from relative obscurity to be nominated Prime Minister on August 9 1999.

This was two days before the Solar Eclipse made famous in the oft quoted Nostradmus quatrain, that read

"The year 1999, seventh month,
From the sky will come a great King of Terror:
To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck."

I’m no great fan of Nostradamus’ quatrains. In a recent conference talk I referred to them as another version of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. They are very open ended, although there are plenty who make a lucrative living out of re-interpretation.

But this one held a particular fascination for its clear timing near the great August Solar Eclipse of 1999 that cut its swathe directly through Europe and the Middle East. As the eclipse formed a potent planetary Grand Cross and warplanes flew over Europe for the first time since WWII in 1999, it may prove auspiscious.

INAUGURATIONS OF 2000

By May 2000, Vladimir Putin was sworn in, with pomp and ceremony, as the new President of the Russian Federation. The following month Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father Hafez, as the new President of Syria. Both came to full power at the Jupiter Saturn conjunction, something that would not be lost on the astrologers of old.

Last week’s column concentrated on the Israel/Arab relationship and its peculiar consistency with the Jupiter Saturn cycle. We can also look at Putin, al-Assad and the Syrian War. The Jupiter Saturn opposition came to meet for a third and final time in March of 2011. It was during this month that protests began throughout Syria, and triggerred the Syrian Civil war.

The result was a strengthening of Syrian and Russian co-operation involving Putin and al-Assad. By the time the closing square of the Jupiter Saturn cycle began in 2015, Russian jets had joined the war and were bombing rebel held positions. This was a test of the leader's power, originally inherited at the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of 2000.

Jupiter and Saturn will again square from late March through to early June 2016. It is why we have seen, and will continue to see, an escalation of the conflict in Syria. It is why scheduled peace talks have been put on hold. What began at the Jupiter Saturn opposition, involving key players elected at the conjunction, will be truly decided at the square between March and June.

THE ZIKA VIRUS

The Zika virus is the new pandemic sweeping through Brazil and Latin America. Commonly transmitted by mosquitoes, it has symptoms of high fever and general debility with joint pains, rashes and headaches. The virus contagion has now been linked to birth defects, such as microcephaly, meaning children born with a reduced skull. It is also associated with neurological conditions among adults.

Currently there is no known antidote for the Zika Virus. It was originally isolated in April of 1947, in a rhesus monkey from the Zika Forrest district of Lake Victoria, Uganda. During the month of its discovery, there was a union of Mercury, the transmitter with infectious Mars, with both in close opposition to boundless Neptune.

Viruses, or more specifically global pandemics, are associated with the unbounded qualities of Neptune. The ethereal blue gas giant represents the principle of the infinite and the indefinite – invisible, yet permeating all. The Saturn and Neptune cycle is the major one historically connected to global pandemics, from the Great Plague to the Spanish Flu.

Their sociological correspondences are restrictions and quarantines, which is very much a Saturn phenomenon in order to counter the spread, that is naturally associated with Neptune. Saturn also represents structure and Neptune typifies dissolution, with such illnesses representing a breakdown of structure, at least in the physical sense.

VIRAL ROLE OF SATURN AND NEPTUNE

During 1952, the year of a Saturn Neptune conjunction, the Zika virus was identified to have transferred to humans. But it would take sixty years from its initial discovery to suddenly spread from Africa and Asia into Micronesia and then across the Pacific. Up until 2007 there were only 14 known humans to have contracted Zika.

In the March of 2007, Mars, the planetary ruler of fevers and infections, had joined with Neptune and both opposed Saturn. By April of 2007, there were 49 confirmed cases with 59 unconfirmed in Micronesia. The astrological signature of the pandemic was ignited. Art also imitated life with the much-acclaimed US movie ‘Pandemic’ premiering on May 26 2007 at 8 pm, with Saturn still opposing Neptune.

Early in 2015 a fresh outbreak of the Zika virus reignited in Brazil. Saturn was within two degrees of squaring Neptune. By the end of the year, with the square complete, Zika had spread to other South American countries and into the Caribbean. It now threatens international tourism and the Rio Olympics. Additional cases are being diagnosed on mainland USA and even Australia.

The prevalence of Zika may be timed, by not only Saturn and Neptune square – which will not begin to depart until mid September 2016 – but by additional planetary triggers. For example, Mars will join the Saturn in squaring Neptune for the final week of August 2016. The September 1 solar eclipse will activate the Saturn Neptune square. This may signal the climax of the Zika phenomena.

SPANISH INFLUENZA

The world’s greatest and deadliest pandemic was Spanish Influenza. It claimed more lives in the single year of 1918 than the dreaded Bubonic Plague did at its height over four years from 1347-51. In all one fifth of the world was infected in the two years that it surfaced. One in four Americans was affected, with the US death toll of 675,000 higher than the Civil War.

In the US it began the morning of March 11, 1918, when company cook Albert Gitchell reported to his infirmary at Camp Funston, Fort Riley, Kansas, with a temperature of 103. Waiting behind in the sick bay were Corporal Lee Drake and Sergeant Adolph Hurby. By midday, 107 soldiers had reported ill. Within two days, the numbers swelled to 522.

Spanish Influenza raged rapidly across battlefields and continents. It eventually claimed a conservative estimate of more than 21 million lives - eight million in Spain alone – from where it took the name. In 1997, the lungs of an army private killed by Spanish Influenza in September 1918, were used to obtain its genetic code.

The US experience of Spanish Influenza climaxed six months after it began. It was then that the disease 'went public' and Massachusetts Department of Health alerted newspapers to the epidemic. The Health Commissioner of New York City, Royal Copeland issued a contrary statement saying, "the City is in no danger of an epidemic. No need for our people to worry."

That was September. By October, 851 New Yorkers would die from Spanish Influenza in a single day. It got so bad that funerals were limited to fifteen minutes and there was a shortage of both coffins and grave-diggers. One of the other problems connected with pandemics is misinformation. It’s also one of the by-products of difficult aspects between straight shooting Saturn and phantasmagoric Neptune.

Zika is nowhere near as dangeous as the Spanish Flu. But while the caution of Saturn squares the free floating anxiety of Neptune there will be a concerted effort to contain the reach of Zika. By the end of the year as the SaturnNeptune square evaporates so may the dangers. Meantime it is something you don't want - as the saying goes - coming to a theatre near you.

JAN 31

THE GREAT CHRONOCRATORS

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

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

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

THE 60 YEAR SIGNIFICANCE

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

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

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

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

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

THE CURRENT CYCLE

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

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

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

THE JUPITER AND SATURN SQUARE

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

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

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

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

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

JAN 24

CHINA

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

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

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

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

POWER IN THE CHINA SEA

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

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

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

XI JINGPING

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

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

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

Jan 17

FAME

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

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

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

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

DAVID BOWIE

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

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

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

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

JUPITER RETURNS

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

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

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

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

BLACKSTAR

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

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

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

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

Jan 10

IT STARTED WITH A BANG

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MILITANT BILLIONAIRES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 3

OBAMA VERSUS THE GUN LOBBY

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

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

POLITICS OF PARALYSIS

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

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

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

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

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

GUN LORE MEANS NO GUN LAW

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

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

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

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

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

A COMPLIANT NRA

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

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

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

A FOCAL CAMPAIGN ISSUE

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

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

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

To access last years Political Astrology articles click on this line.

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