Salman Rushdie – three decades of danger ++ attacker

Novelist Salman Rushdie, for years the target of Islamist death threats, has been stabbed repeatedly on stage while speaking at a literary event in New York State. His agent said he is now on a ventilator and unable to speak, may lose one eye, the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver stabbed and damaged. He is one of the most celebrated and successful British authors, with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, winning the Booker Prize in 1981. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, brought about international turmoil. Many Muslims argued the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad was blasphemous. Rushdie was forced to go into hiding, under police protection.  

   Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini broke off relations with the UK in protest and issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s assassination in 1989. In Mumbai, Rushdie’s hometown, 12 people were killed during Muslim rioting, the British embassy in Tehran was stoned, and a $3m (£2.5m) bounty was put on the author’s head. The book needless to say became a best-seller.

 Rushdie was born 19 June 1947 2.30am Mumbai, India, was sent to the UK aged 14, studied at Cambridge University, became a UK citizen, allowed his Muslim faith to lapse, worked briefly as an actor and advertising copywriter, while writing novels. He has been married four times, and has two children.

The death sentence against Rushdie stopped being formally backed by Iran’s government in 1998 and in recent years the author has enjoyed a new level of freedom. But threats to his life always lingered under the surface, and Iran’s current supreme leader – Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – once said the fatwa against Rushdie was “fired like a bullet that won’t rest until it hits its target”.

  Rushdie has a New Moon in communicative Gemini conjunct an outspoken and provocative Uranus; with Venus also in social butterfly Gemini trine Neptune. He has the bleak, tough-minded Saturn Pluto in Leo of his generation in his domestic, family and childhood roots 4th house. He was born just two months before the tumultuous partition of India and Pakistan which became the subject of Midnight’s Children. His Pluto is in a pushily-confident square to a 7th house Jupiter in Scorpio which opposes a determined and stubborn Mars in Taurus.

  All of his marriages have been short-lived so his 7th house Jupiter hasn’t brought stability to his close relationships.

  When the fatwa was declared on 14 February 1989 his Solar Arc Sun and Moon were both conjunct his 4th house Saturn which would be a considerable setback and sobering moment. In the scary, dangerous years following his Solar Arc New Moon moved across his Saturn/Pluto midpoint and then Pluto as he hid from public view. In the immediate aftermath his finances improved considerably so not all negative.

  At the moment his Jupiter at 18 Scorpio caught the recent tr Uranus, Mars, North Node opposition which is shaking up his life.  Jupiter on its own would not cause too many problems but since it ties into both Pluto and Mars the reverberations would be risky.

  He’ll have an undermining phase ahead, assuming he pulls through, with tr Neptune square his Uranus this year and then his New Moon with assorted midpoints also being weakened though he will have one upbeat influence in 2023/24.

  His temperament wasn’t one that was easy to warm to and however repellent the attacks on him, there was always a slight suspicion that he set out to be provocative and it blew up in his face. His self-defeating 10th harmonic and 16th harmonic are both strong.

   Which isn’t to say there should not have been a tougher response in the UK to hard-liners repeating the fatwa. Racial and cultural over-sensitivities blunted what should have been a flat refusal to accept outrageous attacks, verbal and otherwise. A good deal of the rot started around that time of not tackling such issues head on. As Joan Bakewell remarked at the time it is the problem for a basically tolerant society when it takes in intolerant elements. It doesn’t know what to do with them. Being laissez-faire about fanaticism is a slippery slope.        

Add On: The attacker Hadi Matar, born 12 September 1997 (CNN), with Hezbollah sympathies has his Pluto conjunct Rushdie’s ‘bull in a china shop’ South Node in Sagittarius so at the very least will anchor him down though there may also be a sense in trying to control Rushdie’s words and message. Rushdie’s Gemini North Node highlights his ability to communicate. Matar’s Pluto squares his Mercury so he’ll have a closed-minded and dogmatic/fanatical mindset.

  Matar’s Mars at 18 degrees Scorpio is exactly conjunct Rushdie’s Jupiter with both being triggered by the tr Uranus opposition at the moment.  Both of them oddly enough have their Mars in hard aspect to Jupiter natally which can be opportunistic or a ‘holy warrior’ who is inclined to justify aggressive responses with a moralising excuse.

  Their relationship chart has tr Pluto exactly conjunct the composite South Node at the moment – evoking a primitive response.     

There’s usually a nodal connection between victim and perpetrator, even where it is random.

21 thoughts on “Salman Rushdie – three decades of danger ++ attacker

  1. Interesting according to Janus astrology program,when Salman Rushdie was in western NY,his relocated asc was in 10 degree scorpio.

  2. The perpetrator, Hadi Matar, has violent, aggressive, midpoints…….Sun = Moon/Mars; Mars, knives = Sun/Moon; Saturn = Sun/Mars;
    and Uranus, violence = Mars/Saturn, sadistic.

    • It’s a question that’s come up before, but it’s a bit of a dilemma, naming the perpetrator/s in these attacks.

      It’s a horrible irony that these attackers use democracy and press freedom as oxygen to fuel their notoriety. Of course the attack had to happen on stage, it’s chilling but he probably hoped it was being filmed.

      I hope Rushdie can pull through. His speech, sight and arm motor functions are likely to be affected, which must be particularly devastating for a Gemini new moon writer.

      If he doesn’t, the £2.5 million fatwa might be diplomatically awkward for a while, to put it mildly

  3. Yet another terrible event, with an apparently lone perpetrator. Who knows how long he’d been planning this in secret? Chilling. I hope Salman Rushdie can make a reasonable recovery, but have my doubts.

    If you look at the Fatwah, 14 February 1989, it has Mars in Taurus, 14, opposing Pluto in Scorpio, 15. A long-lasting rage with violent undertones, possibly softened by Venus in Aquarius squaring onto that from 12 degrees. That’s all close to Rushdie’s natal Jupiter in Scorpio – religion or no religion, publishing, digging into the darkness. The Fatwah’s Jupiter is 27 Taurus, currently trined by tr Pluto, with tr Mars fast approaching a conjunction – intense, potentially religious, secretive, criminal potential….Jupiter is square Sun in Aquarius, 25, which in turn trines Rushdie’s natal Sun and Moon at 26 Gemini. The F’s Moon is also in Gemini, but no time so I don’t have a degree for it. Curiously, Iran 1906 and Iran 1979 have Gemini Moons. It all seems quite tied together.

    On 19th August Mars is close to the last quarter Moon in Taurus, in amongst the Pleiades in the Shoulder of the Bull. It’s visible from Earth. The Seven Sisters is said to have strong female energy, but is also associated with turbulence and by Indian astrologers with fire and obstinacy. Yet more Taurus anyway. Mars then goes on to align with Alcyone, which I believe is the brightest star in the Pleiades, 0 Gemini. I think this is a sensitive time for Rushdie with his nodes in early Gemini. And in a wider context, for all of us looking on too.

  4. “His self-defeating 10th harmonic and 16th harmonic are both strong.” What makes them “strong”? Lots of squares and oppositions? Lots of trines? Lots of angles, period?

  5. Here is the biwheel for the stabbing….Rushdie natal inner chart, stabbing transits outer wheel.
    He has transiting Sun in Leo being hit by trans Mars-Uranus. For males, the Sun rules the right eye.
    He may lose his right eye. Trans Mars represents the knife and is in Taurus, ruling the neck region.
    The motor nerves were also damaged….represented by Mars-Uranus. Multiple stabbing is shown
    by trans Apollon on the 7th, open enemy.
    In numerology, the #22, appears for “famous person”, while the #22 also is frequent in transits
    for acts of violence and sometimes death. Rushdie should have avoided a speaking date when the
    #22 would have been prevalent in transits.

  6. Awful news, though we musnt overlook the translators who were murdered and attacked over the decades. On a ersonal my father was Rushdies boss in advertising.

    • I was thinking about that too, the poor Japanese translater and Norwegian publisher. The supportive, Saturnine people that make the product happen – who had no protection.

      I was also thinking of Olivia Newton-John passing away recently after first being diagnosed 30 years ago and how our feelings and reactions are different to these events. Some people live under the cloud of cancer for decades and the threat of it returning. I think it has something to do with issues of shock and what we can control – human behaviour or the more indiscriminate nature of disease

  7. Thank you so much Marjorie for looking into this horrific event. Between Neptune pulling at all those Gemini points and Mars Uranus NN creating a fiery frenzy in Taurus it has been quite a time for provocation and just plain going too far. For Rushdie this attack has been 30 years coming. Dreadful. Very Saturn. Still, I wish him a strong recovery. With Jupiter in the 7th there will be loads of sympathy and largesse made available to him in the US, I think.

    • This Mars/Uranus/NN conjunction has seen a period of quite inflammatory and shocking events. This terrible attack, the death of Anne Heche, the Trump raid as well as extreme weather and drought. Mars was conjunct Algol yesterday and I notice that Salman Rushdie’s Taurus Mars was sandwiched at the midpoint of transiting Uranus and Mars.

    • I’m not surprised we’re seeing this frenzy. Taurus generally resists any change, it is the most immovable of all the signs. People who have mars there are hardworking but difficult to anger. There is 80+ yrs of non-change and resentment backed up, waiting to unleash, since the last time Uranus visited Taurus.

      Last year when Mars/Uranus were conjunct at 6Taurus, it was January 20th and we were all sat at home in a lockdown. The previous Mars in Taurus transit occurred while Uranus was still in Aries – the conjunction happened Feb 13th at 29Aries. Pre-pandemic seems a world away now for remembering what was going on then.

      • GD difficult to anger? You’ve never met a hangry Mars in Taurus 🙂
        Also, raging at objects that don’t work – always puts me in mind of Basil Fawlty and the car.

        • I have again and again, my family and their extended circle is jammed with them, way beyond statistical robability. Can I just say how grim it is. Mars in Taurus aka bullying, incredibly literal and as sensitive and observant as a rock. Driven mad by other views or the need to change a habit As to cuboard love…marry that money

  8. Quite incredible to have lived with this for 30-odd years. Really highlights to me that sometimes our life’s work is not always what we think it is. The mars in 1st Taurus was never going to back down or be overly sensitive towards others and the Jupiter in Scorpio wants to prod and see what it can dig up from the shadows of others. Jupiter in 7th can be problematic for relationships because the grass is always greener.

    The Satanic Verses themselves would have been written and published around the time when Saturn-Uranus were conjunct in late Sag opposing his Gemini sun-moon-uranus. The astrology really seems to follow him although nothing obvious in 2006-07 when Pluto was transiting opposite.

    With his asc being only 12-mins into Taurus – a sign of fast ascension – and the time of birth a nicely rounded 2:30am; I wonder whether his asc-desc isn’t late Aries-Libra and therefore his relational axis getting squared by Pluto. He does look somewhat Taurus to me and a slightly later time, could move this attack onto the midheaven. A slightly later ascendant would time with Saturn crossing his Ascendant in 1999 when he came out of hiding. Intriguing.

    • Can’t find a precise date for publication of The Satanic Verses – only September 1988. Spot on with the astrology

      Opposing his Gemini Sun-Moon; transiting Uranus turned direct at 27Sag03 on Sept 5th.
      Transiting and Saturn beginning September at 25Sag56, ending it at 26Sag 41 and the Saturn-Uranus conjunction at 27Sag50 occurred on Oct 18th.

      Furthermore Jupiter turned retrogade on Sept 25th at 6Gem08, Rushdie’s Venus is at 6Gem02.

      Two of the big midlife crisis transits also completed with:
      – Oct 14th – the final hit of Pluto square Pluto (11Sco39 to Leo).
      – Nov 4th – the final hit of Neptune square Neptune (8Cap01 to Lib).

      Life changing indeed.

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