Sultan Qaboos, the Arab world’s longest serving leader has died. Educated in England and Sandhurst he returned to house arrest under his father’s mediaeval rule in 1966 and subsequently overthrew him in a bloodless coup. He then brought in a policy of modernization, oversaw a rise in living standards and development in the country, unified a previously divided nation and ended Oman’s international isolation. He also turned Oman into a diplomatic bridge that navigated a neutral course through the region’s troubles. He was a steadfast western ally who also maintained close relations with Iran and attracted investment from China.
Although progressive in some respects, he remained prime minister and defence minister as well as head of state; and wasn’t above silencing dissent when discontent arose amongst the population after the Arab Spring.
Born 18 November 1940 he was an enduring Sun Scorpio opposition an innovative Uranus in Taurus which was sextile/trine an artistic and sensitive Neptune in Virgo. He also has a Fixed Jupiter Saturn in Taurus in an immoveable square to Pluto, with Pluto in a ruthless square to Mars. His Jupiter Saturn which mixes idealism with materialism fell in Oman’s 10th house with his Pluto in a controlling conjunction to Oman’s Sun Mars. His Sun was conjunct Oman’s Neptune in the 5th house of entertainment and children. He was a fervent promoter of classical music and had a thriving orchestra of young Omani players. He was married briefly and had no children.
His cousin Haitham ben Tarek was named as his successor and was sworn in on the morning of 11 January. Born 13 October 1954, he’s a very different temperament with a Sun Neptune in Libra on the focal point of a T Square to Mars in Capricorn opposition Uranus Jupiter in Cancer – overflowing with initiative, restless in the extreme, good at starting new projects but not always so good at the long haul. It won’t be a smooth transition for him with tr Pluto conjunct his Mars from late February 2020 till late 2021 which is frustrating, blocked and risky; with muddles and confusion in 2021/22 from tr Pluto square his Neptune. Though he’ll have more success and luck in 2023.
Oman itself will be under pressure to change with its last degree Cancer Sun square Jupiter catching the tr Pluto hard aspects in 2023/24 which will bring a confident push in new directions though it won’t be without its dangers with road blocks until well over mid decade . The Oman chart is very together with a great deal of potential – a Water Grand Trine of Sun trine Neptune trine Pisces Moon, turned into two Kites by Moon opposition Pluto and Neptune opposition Saturn. But there’ll be more forced change in the next few years before it moves onto a new trajectory as tr Uranus is conjunct the Saturn and then opposition Neptune from 2023 to 2025.