Middle East – boundary disputes

Since 2013 journalist Patrick Cockburn has been relaying a message from the Middle East that – ‘It is the end of Sykes-Picot,’ I was told repeatedly in Iraq.’ This was a secret agreement between the French and Brits on 9 May 1916 during World War One which effectively carved up the old Turkish Ottoman Empire, then on the brink of collapse.
It also seems to be one of Al-Baghdadi’s rallying cries and the advance of ISIL across boundaries that were laid down around 1920 or shortly after is seen as an act of revenge against old Western Imperialism.
However there seems to be some dissent from a military historian. ‘The borders — which Isis seeks to erase, were the work of Faisal, King of Syria and later of Iraq, and the British High Commissioner in Baghdad. In the case of Iraq at least, they remained the same as under the Ottomans and are therefore no more artificial than when they had been settled nearly three centuries earlier and Western empire-building had yet to begin.’

In which case the other boundary problems are a result of a plethora of agreements between 1919 and 1922; and 1926 in the case of Palestine.

Whatever it is worth the chart for Sykes-Picot has been under tremendous pressure in the past two years with tr Pluto opposing the S-P Saturn in Cancer; and Solar Arc Sun conjunct Mars and opposition Uranus. There will be jolts and jangles on the S-P chart through 2016; and heavy pressure for change in 2017/18 with tr Pluto trine Sun.

The S-P chart does work with ISIL 2006 since there’s a paranoid composite Sun Saturn opposition Jupiter square Neptune; a bitterly hostile composite Mars Pluto conjunction; and a war-like, stressed Yod of Pluto setile Saturn inconjunct Uranus.

But none of this gets any closer to a light at the end of the tunnel. On the ISIL chart 2019/2020 looks very destructive from their point of view and destabilising with tr Pluto square their Sun Mars; and Solar Arc Uranus square Pluto.

However it is a hundred-headed hydra as we saw with Al Quaeda. Decapitate one and another emerges.

Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara – talented rivals

Cate Blanchett, the multi-award winning Australian/American actress has a talent for picking (and being picked for) highly successful movies. Her latest of ‘Carol’, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, about two women falling in love, is certainly picking up the publicity and nominations for the Golden Globes on 10th January.

Cate Blanchett, 14 May 1969 (6.40am rectified) Melbourne, AU, is a Sun Taurus opposition Neptune, and trine Jupiter Pluto in Virgo and Uranus at 0 Libra. So she’s definitely suited to the movie business and has confidence to spare. She can be outspoken and quite a campaigner with Mercury in Gemini opposition Mars in Sagittarius.

She could hit it lucky at the Globes with tr Jupiter just about to reverse back over the conjunction to her Pluto (only one degree away) and trine her Sun. Though less so at the Oscars when tr Saturn is exactly conjunct her Mars.

Rooney Mara,17 April 1985 New York, best known for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, who plays opposite Blanchett in ‘Carol’, also has awards and nominations under her belt. She won Best Actress at Cannes this year and is also up for a Golden Globe.

She’s a late Sun Aries opposition Pluto in Scorpio; with a hard-edged Mars in Taurus opposition Saturn in Scorpio. She does have tr Pluto conjunct her Jupiter/Uranus midpoint over the Globes and tr Jupiter trine her Mars, both of which look lucky. Those influences will have moved on by the time of the Oscars.

It wouldn’t have been the easiest working relationship between the two with Blanchett’s Sun opposition Neptune clashing with Mara’s Mars opposition Saturn.

Games of Thrones – rip roaring Aries

Game of Throne, the epic fantasy, hugely successful TV series is now aiming for season six with a possible seven in the offing. Despite criticism for violence and a meandering storyline, it is bracketed with other top ratings shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Sopranos.
It first transmitted on 17 April 2011. As befitting an adventure fantasy, it has Sun Jupiter Mercury Mars Uranus spread out through Aries. The violence comes from Mars in opposition to Saturn square Pluto – so brutal fighting and Mars Pluto can also signify rape.

English actress Gwendoline Christie plays a warrior, and also appears in the most recent Star Wars. Born 28 Oct 1978, she’s a Sun Scorpio with Uranus Venus Mercury and Mars also in Scorpio, so definitely intense. She also has Moon Saturn in Virgo so hard-working and conscientious; with a lively Jupiter in Leo trine Neptune.

Solar Arc Jupiter was conjunct her Saturn when GoT started lifting her morale considerably.

Miss France – making root canals more appealing

A fifth year dental student has become Miss France. Iris Mittenaere, born 25 January 1993, Lille, has Sun Mercury conjunct in Aquarius and Saturn also in scientific Aquarius. She’s got a feisty Mars in Cancer opposition Uranus Neptune in Capricorn square a confident lucky Jupiter in Libra. Plus a super-charming Venus in Pisces trine Pluto.

Drilling teeth may have to take a backseat for a while as tr Pluto moves square her Jupiter through 2016 – which is exact now as she wins – which will boost her confidence and bring both money and luck. Though it won’t all be a smooth run since tr Uranus is still square her Uranus Neptune which is highly strung and edgy; then tr Pluto will move to square her Mars midpoints to Uranus Neptune in 2016 as well, bringing some panicky moments.

Donald Trump – will the strain get to him?

This may be clutching at straws but Donald Trump’s 6th house of health ruler Uranus does square his Saturn from late May through June 2016 which is high tension. If the predisposition or vulnerability is there, it could lead to health problems such as heart.

He’s also got a run of tr Uranus in hard aspect to three Mars midpoints from May almost continuously till November which can also suggest high insecurity, over-taxing strength and in certain cases could also suggest heart strain.

His Solar Return from June 2016 has Pluto in the 6th which is heavy health-wise; with restrictions on his platform exuberance with an afflicted Saturn in his 5th.

So could be. With tr Pluto square his Jupiter from March onwards he’s certainly going over the score and pushing with overwhelming over-confidence. He’s got no earth in his chart so won’t have any sense of what his body’s limits are.

Princess Tiaamii – a mini-mum

Katie Price, the ex-glamour model, reality star and astute businesswoman – the UK’s answer to the Kardashians – is in trouble on mumsnet for allowing her 8 year old daughter to be photographed in full beauty-pageant make-up.

Princess Tiaamii (sic) was born 29 June 2007 at 8.49am London and has a Cancer Sun with a Moon Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius in the 5th. So she’ll definitely incline towards mother, who looks possessive – and towards public performing. Plus she has Venus Saturn Leo on her Ascendant – so again wanting to be showy though she’ll also be cool, perhaps a touch more sophisticated than her mother, though at the moment she looks more like a clone.

She’s also got Mars in Taurus on her Midheaven so ambitious and also a pushy mother.

What is slightly mind-boggling is that Katie Price, 22 May 1978, has a harsh Mars Saturn in Leo with Mars square Uranus – and that Mars Saturn is exactly conjunct the Princess’s Ascendant. So mother will definitely put a heavy hand on her image and appearance. Though there’s a much better cross over with ma’s Venus Jupiter in Cancer conjunct her daughter’s Sun. So very affectionate but it’ll come at a price.

The relationship chart is enthusiastic and adventurous with an argumentative composite Sun Mars square Jupiter; but also very chained-together with composite Saturn square Pluto and Saturn sextile Mars, which will ultimately cause resentment. There’s also a close composite Yod of Neptune (and Uranus) sextile Pluto inconjunct Sun – so difficulty in handling the joint ego. Together they either overdo or underdo the grandstanding.

Mother Teresa – cold compassion

Mother Teresa is being fast-tracked to sainthood because of miraculous cures. Although she became a worldwide icon for compassion, there were also dissenting voices. She believed that suffering was a gift and despite the $100 million she raised, the inmates in her homes were not given medical care which could have saved their lives and often not given adequate food. She thought they died ‘beautifully’, accepting of their lot.
A good deal of the money raised came from quite dubious donors and only 5 to 7% of that was ever used to cater for the poor. She was also against abortion and contraception.

Born 26 August 1910 2.25pm (?) Skopje, Macedonia, she was a Sun Virgo trine Saturn in Taurus, sextile Pluto – so hard-working and tough. She also had Mars in Virgo trine Moon and North Node in Taurus trine Uranus in Capricorn; with Uranus opposition Neptune. A very earthy and angry Grand Trine, focused onto spiritual Neptune as the driving planet.

Her Neptune opposition Uranus also squared onto Jupiter in Libra – giving her an aura of fair-minded idealism. Though Neptune Uranus can also carry a hint of fanaticism.

In many ways it is a hard chart and an emphasised Neptune can be cold, putting the purity of the vision before human comfort.

Motorway baby – bouncing in with high exuberance

Out of idle curiosity I looked up the chart of a baby born in a hurry on the motorway going to hospital at 8am either 12 or 13 Dec 2015, Watford, England.
What is delightful is that on either date it has a Sagittarius Sun on the Ascendant – which placing is traditionally associated with larger-than-life personalities who bounce into rooms with great gusto. So clearly intending to continue as he started. Plus, of course, the Mars opposition Uranus square Moon Pluto, no doubt contributing to the high-adrenaline rush.

Rwanda – an infinite presidency

Rwandans appear to have voted overwhelmingly to allow President Paul Kagame to extend his term in office, which could see him in situ till 2034. He has held power since 1994, when his rebel force entered the capital Kigali to end the country’s genocide. The US and other Western donors are unhappy at the prospect, saying younger leaders must be encouraged; and rights groups accuse the government of stifling the media and political opposition.

His Presidential chart from 24 March 2000 has a controlling Sun trine Pluto, sextile Neptune – so inclining towards megalomania. With a determined, at times, ruthless, Fixed T Square of Neptune opposition a Leo North Node square Mars in Taurus. With an aiming-for-the-sun Jupiter Saturn conjunction in Taurus.
That chart is having a tough struggle, setbacks and uncertainty through 2016 with tr Pluto trine Saturn and tr Neptune square and tr Saturn conjunct Pluto. Though when it hits real problems are in 2018 with explosive tr Uranus conjunct the Mars.

Paul Kagame, 23 Oct 1957, is a Sun Mercury in Libra conjunct Neptune in Scorpio; with Mars Jupiter conjunct in Libra; and Venus Saturn in Sagittarius trine Uranus. So he has a vision, confidence aplenty, is determined in his opinions but a good innovator as well. He looks confused, undermined through parts of 2016 with tr Neptune square his Saturn; an insecure tr Uranus opposition his Mars. He’ll be pushing hard, perhaps over confidently and sometimes crossing lines of law or morality with tr Pluto square his Jupiter. There’s a considerable jolt for him late 2016/early 2015; and then a risky, blocked two years in 2017/18 with tr Pluto square his Mars.

The Rwanda independence 1 July 1962 chart looks unsettled for two years with the tr Neptune square tr Saturn hitting on the Pluto opposition Jupiter in Pisces, which could bring economic problems.

The Trump syndrome – magnifying underlying fears

I’ve been pondering on the Trump phenomenon, global chaos, migrants and general unease. It seems too much to be ascribed to a waning Uranus Pluto square though no doubt its’ disruptive influence has played its part over the past four years. [This is me thinking on paper so not necessarily conclusive.]

At a reasonably trivial level the tr Saturn square tr Neptune in orb early and late 2015 (i.e. now) and running till late 2016 is panicky, neurotic, distrusting, suspicious, paranoid. Often it is associated with poor, sick people or epidemics. The epidemic this time round appears to be more mental than physical (at the moment) – at least for the general public, as opposed to refugees who probably are at risk of disease. The tendency with Saturn Neptune is to worry more than the situation merits. Trump is almost certainly exploiting this.

However what is happening out in the world is hugely significant. A UN report out today says 2015 will see forced displacement worldwide exceeding 60 million for the first time – 1 in every 122 humans is someone who has been forced to flee their homes. Developing countries bordering conflict zones will host the majority of refugees and the report warned of growing “resentment” and “politicization of refugees”.

When you look back to the triple conjunction in Capricorn in the late 1980s/early 1990s, which was the most massive astrological phenomenon for nearly 150 years, the world was hopeful – the Berlin Wall came down in late 1989 releasing East Europeans from decades under the communist boot; and Nelson Mandela was released from prison in early 1990, ushering in what felt like a brave new world. Except that Bush Senior was embroiled in the first Gulf War, so business as usual for the USA.

It may well be that transiting Pluto in Capricorn now moving across the degrees of that triple conjunction is contributing to the break-down of what had been built up. Russia has gone back to the bad old days; South Africa is practically a failed state.

The USA was thrown off balance by the collapse of their old enemy in the USSR and it took them a decade to find a new one in Islamists. There is a peculiarity in the American temperament of desperately needing a bad guy to hate, more so than most countries, perhaps due to being a nation of immigrants. Though they also have their internal haters – the militia, anti-government types who don’t occur in quite such toxic form in other western countries. The USA 1776 chart is predominantly Water Air which is a fairly unstable combination – a difficulty in balancing emotional responses with rational ones.

The war-tainted Saturn opposition Pluto in 2001/2003 brought GWB, 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq – which arguably led to a good deal of the present chaos in the Middle East. [Though the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement in which the Brits and French carved up the Middle East and betrayed the Arabs in the first instance, also has its part to play – on a Saturn Pluto conjunction in Cancer.]

The Saturn Uranus opposition and Pluto moving into Capricorn in 2008 brought the perfect storm of a financial collapse. Although accompanying that was the election of Barack Obama on a wave of American and global euphoria and enthusiasm and on an anti-war ticket. His distaste for war-mongering left the world without a superpower. Into the vacuum stepped ISIL and Putin.

I’m not much wiser at the end of this. Except that vast migrations of people are typically associated with the aftermath of triple conjunctions.

Pluto in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces are both also historically significant in Muslim history – the spread of empires etc. And I would have to say personally my blood runs cold at the prospect of a religious faith (frankly any of them) taking over which denigrates women and pushes back on hard-won liberal principles. There is starting to be a kick-back even in laissez-faire UK which has been lazily tolerant of intolerant elements up till now.

The rise of Trump is a black comedy but he is plugging into deeper fears which a good many people hold and have been too scared to express.