WW1 Armistice – a hundred year remembrance



‘In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row.’ John Macrae

The Armistice for World War 1 was agreed 100 years ago this Sunday at 11 am November 11 1918 at Compiegne, France. One of the deadliest conflicts in history it was known then as the “war to end all wars” and involved 70 million military personnel. An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result and it is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which killed between 50 and 100 million worldwide. In certain countries it wiped out almost an entire generation of young men.  It pitted Germany and Austria-Hungary against France, Russia and Britain and later Italy (who switched sides), Japan and the USA.

Given the magnitude of the cataclysm that followed the shooting of Archduke Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 you would think the astrology would have been screaming headlines. But, as in WW11, the signs were not that clear. Pluto has just moved into Cancer with an approaching conjunction to Saturn, exact in the autumn, which is often a harbinger of a more major war than usual. But these come around every forty years or so – 1947/48 and 1981/82 – so not epoch-making.

There were certainly indications on the individual country charts.  The Germany 1 January 1871 chart has its military-minded Mars square Saturn moved by Solar Arc to hard aspect its’ power-hungry 8th house Pluto in 1914, with the Solar Arc Saturn exactly square the Pluto and Solar Arc Mars in Scorpio moving to oppose the Pluto two and a half years later as the destruction grew and defeat loomed.  At the start tr Neptune was also conjunct the Germany 10th house Uranus for a fanatical mood of high excitement and misjudgement.

France, 21 September 1792, who suffered the worst losses of all, at the start had a ‘shocking collision’ of Solar Arc Mars opposition Sun; tr Saturn conjunct the Solar Arc Pluto; tr Pluto just off and tr Saturn approaching the square to the France Sun – all of the latter suggesting either war or deprivation.

The UK 1801 chart had tr Uranus square the 8th house Mars; and tr Saturn Pluto just before and after the conjunction to the Solar Arc Pluto – risk and hardship. The UK Declaration of War 4 August 1914 at 11pm was certainly ferocious with an Earth Grand Trine of Mars trine Algol on the Ascendant trine Moon Midheaven, formed into a Kite opposition Neptune; with the Leo Sun sitting exactly on the Saturn Pluto and Mars midpoint and opposition Uranus – so an unholy mix of all the outer planets.

The Austria, 18 October 1221 JC chart (astrotheme) gave strong indications of brutality, along with delusional optimism and megalomania.

So all the country charts showed up massive strain.

The Cancer and Libra Ingresses of 1914 do link Mars Uranus and Pluto – and Saturn Pluto and Mars – respectively but those will also occur for passing disasters. And the Eclipses aren’t much help either.

The relationship chart between Germany and France shows a strong undermining Neptune square to the composite Mars, pointing to a failure in the bond; tr Uranus opposing the composite Uranus upending the connection between them; and tr Saturn Pluto was square the composite Pluto during the course of the war.

The relationship chart between Germany and the UK had tr Neptune square the composite Saturn exactly at the kick off but not much else.

So really difficult to see how an absolute prediction could have been made in advance.

Comments gratefully received.

15 thoughts on “WW1 Armistice – a hundred year remembrance

  1. What makes it difficult for me is that there were almost two stories unfolding according to gender. On the one hand the tragic deaths of brave young men, but for women there was the steepest drop in the maternal mortality rate, so far fewer young women suffering agonising deaths from childbirth. It plateaued again through the 20’s and 30’s and took an even bigger drop during WW2 and continued thereafter. I just can’t figure out how the astrology would account for the difference between the sexes? It seems Neptunian – one half of the generation saved, one half sacrificed

    • That’s intriguing, never knew that. Having googled around seemed to be something to do with trying to offset the deaths of young men with replacements. ‘The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 again heightened the value of children for the future of the country. And brought in wellbeing measures that were considered too expensive or politically unacceptable in peacetime.’
      Both wars also freed women from the shackles of kitchen/family to become more independent. Part of that would be to do with Pluto moving through Cancer 1913 to 1937 which transformed women’s lives and broke up the old family culture.
      The law of unintended consequences. Astrology doesn’t do gender. Though a country’s Moon can give some indication of the status of women and events surrounding that.

  2. Marjorie, take a look at the heliocentric chart for the 28th June 1914 assassination chart, if you can. It gave me a shiver when I looked at it for the first time. A heliocentric conjunction of Venus and Mars occurred on that very morning, a few hours previous to the shooting, in Libra, sign of war and peace, square the Earth Pluto opposition and also at the focus of a Mercury Neptune trine. Very much a ‘poisoned arrowhead’ to my way of thinking. That morning’s heliocentric arrangement maybe affected the destiny of the whole solar system in ways we don’t really fathom as yet. Back on Earth, the northern hemisphere summer solstice 6 days before the assassination had, as its highlight, the conjunction of Sun and Pluto (recently arrived in nationalistic Cancer), with Saturn ominously gaining on them. Oddly Mercury and Neptune (poisoned gas?) also feature strongly here.

    • Well not really. There was no major world war in 1947/48 or around 1981. Saturn Pluto comes round to the conjunction every forty years and the squares/ more frequently. It would have been part of it but not really an explanation for the gross carnage that followed 1914.

  3. I’d look to the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in Gemini in the late 1890’s to early 1900’s as a major contributing factor to WW1, which built out of pressures in Europe, with Germany’s consolidation and expansion of its power base, a few years before the actual conflict. The years of the Neptune/Pluto conjunction brought with it, among other things, human flight, consumer electrical goods, plastics, pharmaceuticals, socialism as a political force and increased globalization of markets and ideas. That aspect served to dissolve old empires and national boundaries and raise new ones. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Cancer in the middle part of the 1910’s was probably the immediate trigger, which brought with it a wave of hard-edged nationalism (a Cancerian theme).

    • Interesting points Andy, regarding the Pluto/Neptune conjunction in Gemini of that period – war often appears to escalate the development of technology. The conjunction always conjures up for me the image of the wholesale slaughter of the youth (Pluto in Gemini) and sacrifice (Neptune) and of brotherhood and loss of siblings for that generation. Uranus, the planet of technology and rebellion against the establishment was in the opposite sign of Sagittarius in 1900/1901 making an exact opposition in 1901 – the British Labour Party was founded in 1900.

    • I’ve often thought the Neptune Pluto conjunction had a good deal to answer for having spawned Hitler and Mao Tse Tung – and Winston Churchill. Stalin born slightly before had Neptune and Pluto both in Taurus tho’ not conjunct.
      But I’m still perplexed about why the astrology is not more obvious for the unholy atrocity that WW1 turned into.

    • I believe the previous Pluto Neptune conjunction was in the 1390s just at the very beginning of the Italian Renaissance and coinciding with the birth of Henry the Navigator..

      One of the big ones for the history of mankind seems to have been the one in 578 BCE in Taurus which occurred very close to a Uranus Neptune conjunction. The two centuries century saw the emergence of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, the emergence of Greek philosophy, Greek democracy etc.

      Some think these conjunctions mark turning points in history echoing in changes that last over 500 years. If that is true the 1890’s are probably a better mark of the start of a new millennium than the year 2000.

  4. The early years of the 20th century saw the European powers nearly come to the brink of war in 1904, 1908, 1911 and then of course 2014…the Balkans was the cause of many of these crises. I don’t know what the astrology is but from a historical point of view Europe was simmering until it finally boiled over. It has been said that Edward V11 did much good in keeping war at bay during his reign. How ironic that we are coming out of Europe, that Brexit is happening so close the centenary of the Armistice.

    • One of the interesting points is that class tensions within the European states in the run up to the Great War were simmering just as much as national rivalries. The population of the continent was rapidly increasing (Germany ‘s had almost doubled in 50 years) and was becoming more urbanised and industrialised. Russia almost underwent a revolution in 1905, Britain was swept by major strikes and worker unrest in 1911, socialist parties controlled most of the seats in the German Parliament and were a major force in France. The assassination of the anti militarist French socialist Jean Jaures in July 1914 was as important a step on the road to catastrophe as the more famous murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as Jaures had been trying to unite workers parties across Europe in opposing conflict. In some ways the war was a means by which conservative politicians were trying to choke off revolution by diverting the workers to fight for their nation not their class. Of course, the attempt to preserve the old order was a failure since the ensuing conflict ensured the destruction of most of the “iron thrones” just as certainly as any popular uprising.

  5. Looking at the chart of Wilhelm II Uranus was retrograde in his 8th House at 9° Aquarius when the Great War broke out directly opposite his natal Saturn at 9° Leo. Uranus transited backwards across his Sun at 7 ° Aquarius almost exactly as the First Pluto Saturn Synod at 2° Cancer occurred. Although nominally still Emperor the Kaiser increasingly became little more than a puppet of his Generals as the war progressed.

    • The Kaiser had Neptune and Mars in his 10th House in watery Pisces square Venus in Sagittarius. I wonder if that explains his obsession with building an Imperial Grand Fleet, incidentally something the Prussian Generals who dominated German military strategy had almost no interest.

  6. Just to add one more quote from Tuchman from her book The Proud Tower about the origins of the Great War in the supposedly Belle Epoque

    “Malignant phenomena do not come out of a Golden Age.”

  7. Astrologers would not have been the only ones failing to predict the conflict. People writing at the time such as the author of the Great Illusion published in 1910 thought that conflict in a globalised capitalist world bound by ties of trade was unimaginable. The great powers not only shared common history, culture, religion and political ideology, many of them were ruled by monarchs who were closely related (the Czar, Kaisar and King of England were all first cousins).

    In a way it is like a morality tale. The European powers had subjugated the globe but then fell out over the spoils. What started as a competition between equals for prestige, wealth and power spilled over due to the recklessness of those involved into war. A few far sighted individuals such as Bismarck saw the long term dangers of conflict particularly in the east of Europe but even those who thought war inevitable did not imagine it would last more than a few months. Few had learned the lesson of the US Civil War that once fighting starts it develops a logic and momentum of its own. As more effort, money and lives were expended the participants found it increasingly difficult to admit their mistakes and stop. Similarly, most did not appreciate that like the American conflict it would be the material war fought in the factories just as much as the fighting at the front which would be decisive.

    The American historian Barbara Tuchman has memorably described the Great War as like a great iron door shutting on the past which in many ways we can not reach beyond. The modern world are its product but I dont think we are much better at understanding its causes than those who blundered into it. Given its roots ran back for decades before 1914 I would think that astrologers might need to look further back than just the charts for the outbreak of war. I think that it would also be necessary to look at some of the key personalities involved with particular relevance to the Kaisar who in many ways was a troubled man that did not always enjoy easy relationships with his royal relatives. His decisions and particularly his desire to build a battle fleet to rival that of his uncle Edward VII and his cousin George V played a not inconsiderable role in dragging Britain into the conflict and ensuring the war stretched far beyond the borders of Europe.

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