POLITICAL ASTROLOGY MUNDANE MUSINGS

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

February 22

GREECE – DEBT IS THE WORD

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

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

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

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

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

AND DEBT IS A FOUR LETTER WORD

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

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

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

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

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

DEATH TO A REFERENDUM

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

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

WHERE TO FROM HERE

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

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

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

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

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

THE MAASTRICHT TREATY

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

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

February 15

BAD MOON RISING

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

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

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

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

UKRAINE - A HOUSE DIVIDED

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

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

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

THE RETURN OF THE CROSS

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

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

DREAMS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

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

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

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

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

UKRAINE MODERN INDEPENDENCE

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

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

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

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

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

ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE

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

February 8

AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP CRISIS

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

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

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

A NATION OF CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT

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

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

THE KARMIC GRAND CROSS

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

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

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

WRITING ON THE WALL

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

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

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

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

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

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

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

STOP THE VOTES

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

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

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

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

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

February 1

AMERICAN SNIPER AND THE US MARS

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

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

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

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

FIFTEEN SECONDS OF FAME

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

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

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

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

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

CAPTAIN PHILLIP

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 25

ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHERE DID THE EVIL GO?

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

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

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

THE AXIS OF EVIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMETH THE HOUR

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

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

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

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

Jan 18

THE SAUDI US CONNECTION

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

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

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

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

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

SAUDI ARAMCO

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

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

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

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

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

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

CUT PRICE WAR

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

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

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

January 11

SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE

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

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

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

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

URANUS AND PLUTO – THE VERY BEGINNING

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

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

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

THE DE-CHRISTIANIZATION OF FRANCE

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

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

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

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

BROTHERS IN ARMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHARB – MORE FAMOUS THAN EVER

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

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

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

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

January 4

A GROUNDBREAKING DAY

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

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

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

DEFENSE OF LIBERTY – FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

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

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

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

A TALE OF TWO ICONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PROPHETIC CHARTS

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

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

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

REALITY IGNITES

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

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

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

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

THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW

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

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

Dec 28

SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS

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

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

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

THE EUROPEAN AND SOVIET UNIONS

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

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

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

EMPIRES DISSOLVE

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

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

WEALTH INEQUALITY ADDRESSED

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

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

THE MIDDLE EAST

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

The Israel/Palestinian developments are effectively timed by the current Jupiter Saturn cycle, which began on the degree of the birth Sun of Israel. The opposition point in the sequence came when Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza aid flotilla taking eight lives and creating a global backlash. The cycle will form three closing squares marking August of 2015 and late March and May of 2016 as the next crucial stages in resolving the conflict.

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

Neptune is mythically related to the sea, and its forays with the USA Ascendant have coincided with naval growth, especially into South East Asia. The Pacific pivot, a significant shift in US foreign policy, would appear to be a feature of these coming Saturn Neptune squares. This policy is seen as a containment of China’s growing power, and the same Saturn Neptune squares will impact on China’s progressed Sun.

SHOOTING FOR THE STARS

Travel is a feature of exploratory and farsighted Sagittarius and Saturn’s entry here previously coincided with the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnick 1, on October 24 1957 @ 19.29 UT. This led to the reactionary creation of NASA – the space race and the US and world’s first communications satellite SCORE on December 18 1958 @ 23.02 UT just over a year later. Saturn’s return to Sagittarius in the mid 80’s witnessed Russia launching the first modular ‘space station’ in Mir, available to astronauts of all countries. Today New Horizons is on target for the first close up shots of Pluto in July of 2015. Sagittarius is still shooting for the skies.

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

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