King Salman, the 80 year-old monarch of Saudi Arabia, is reportedly suffering from pre-dementia or another form of brain damage, though, as ever, in the deeply secretive court and country, it is difficult to get accurate details.
He took over the throne on the death from pneumonia of his half-brother, the 90 year-old King Abdullah, at 1 am on 23 January 2015. This gives a rather flashy Jupiter in Leo on the MC, but more pointedly a muddled 4th house Moon Neptune Mars in Pisces square Saturn. Subsequent events have made it clear how much game-playing is going on within the family, more so even than usual. The impetuous young Deputy Crown Prince bin Salman is evidently at odds with the steadier Crown Prince bin Nayef, though there were reports that bin Nayef was also ill – which has been hotly denied.
On King Salman’s reign chart, the Solar Arc Moon and Neptune are moving to conjunct the Mars exactly in 4 months and 8 months’ time respectively. Plus the late Feb 2017 Solar Eclipse in Pisces will conjunct that Moon Neptune Mars – so it will become even more confusing and undermining at an internal family level.
King Salman, 31 December 1935, does have tr Uranus square his Pluto from mid 2017 which could be destabilising for someone his age and in frail health.
The kingdom is suffering from a severe economic crisis with plummeting oil prices, is slashing public spending to plug the hole in its deficit and has issued an international bond for the first time to raise money. Plus Deputy Crown Prince bin Salman has become embroiled in an expensive and destructive, no-exit war in Yemen as well as in Syria. BND, the German intelligence agency, recently published a remarkable memo talking about “an impulsive policy of intervention”. It portrayed bin Salman as a political gambler who is destabilising the Arab world through proxy wars.
There’s certainly no love lost between the Crown Prince bin Nayef, 30 Aug 1959, and his Deputy bin Salman, 31 Aug 1985.
The elder has his Sun Pluto in Virgo conjunct the younger’s Virgo Sun. But bin Salman has an ultra-determined Pluto opposition North Node in Taurus square Jupiter in Aquarius, so he’s a man on a mission from which he won’t easily be diverted. Their relationship chart has an argumentative, suspicious, bad-tempered composite Sun Mars square Neptune Saturn – with the dislike being further exacerbated by tr Neptune over the next fifteen months. And indeed looks as if it is undergoing an upheaval at the moment with tr Pluto square the composite Uranus till late this month.
Saudi Arabia is rapidly heading towards tr Pluto conjunct its Saturn in Capricorn from mid March 2017 onwards for two years which is usually a sign of hardship and economic cutbacks. There’ll be some uplift from tr Uranus square Jupiter (and the Sun) in April and December/January 2018. But it’s going to be unaccustomed deprivation for a country which has always kept the peace by doling money and benefits out lavishly to its citizens. There’s also a raft of Saturn transits hitting the SArabia Pluto and Uranus before this year end and then the Moon from March to early May and again late November which could be a time of national mourning; as well as hitting on its Neptune later in 2017. So a very uncertain time.