A final act of remembrance for the deaths at Flanders one hundred years ago in the First World War will be held this weekend. Passchendaele was one of the bloodiest battle of WW1, leading to 320,000 allied deaths and German losses of between 260,000 and 400,000 men. The Allied assault was launched at 3.50am on 31 July 1917 in torrential rain, the mud swallowing up men, horses and tanks. After just over three months of brutal trench warfare, the Allies had made just five miles (8km) of ground. Paul Nash’s evocative paintings of the Menin Road recorded the bleak scene for posterity.
When it started there was a brutal Mars Pluto in Cancer sextile Venus, with an exact Neptune Saturn (and Sun) conjunction in Leo on the midpoint. Uranus opposed Mercury squaring onto Mars as well. The Mars Pluto points to the destructiveness and Saturn Neptune to the chaos, hysteria and sacrifice.
The 12th Harmonic which relates to victims was stark – a Pluto Neptune Saturn conjunction quincunx Uranus; Uranus in turn opposed the Sun and was tied into Mars. Neptune Pluto carries as one of its meanings an insanely over-the-top energy.
Passchendaele wasn’t the costliest battle of WW1. That dubious record went to the Battle of the Somme fought two years earlier in November 1916, when there were 485,000 British and French casualties and 630,000 German. That started with a Sun Pluto conjunction in Cancer; a Yod of Saturn in Cancer sextile Mars in Virgo inconjunct Uranus in Aquarius; and there was a Neptune opposition North Node square Jupiter in Taurus. Sun Pluto craves power, is associated with physical suffering, martyrdom. A Yod focal point Uranus can be lawless and disruptive. And Jupiter was playing its usual disaster role in magnifying the bad.
The Somme 12th Harmonic had a Sun trine Saturn Uranus trine Pisces Node, with Sun square Mars and square Neptune. Both 12H charts have marked Saturn Uranus aspects = a difficult battle for life in overcoming danger.
Tr Pluto in Cancer (which overstayed its welcome) picked in 1914 at the outbreak of WW1 and lasted through the 1930s depression years till 1939, and more than anything contributed to the break-up of the family certainly in Europe.
The deaths in the First War and the Second were, of course, what led to the impetus to set up the EEC and then the EU as a way of avoiding future conflict between Germany and Europe, which tends to get forgotten in all the Brexit squabbling.