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2011: A Year of Revolution

Some Insights into The Astrology of the Recent Uprisings in North Africa

One of the things I€'ve noticed just looking at the charts for Egypt, Tunisia & Libya is that it's the independence charts that are being triggered most obviously. They instantly look more radical that the charts for the founding of the respective republics.This makes sense. It's the Libyan independence flags that were raised to call the people, a demand to get back to the roots of what independence means, and start over.

Several things stand out for me in the Egypt Independence Chart.The first is the real tussle between Jupiter (progressive, youthful, visionary, optimistic) representing the energy of change, and Saturn (traditional, time-honoured, controlling, authoritarian), representing the old order. Jupiter, the ruling planet of this chart is in Libra, prominent in the 10th house and in conjunction to the moon, representing the people, and this conjunction is highly illustrative of the enthusiasm for freedom that exists among Egyptians and here we are witnessing the capacity they have for expressing that publicly. it's retrograde though, and thusit's been more difficult for the people to express that youthful energy effectively, but then, as Jupiter turned direct recently by secondary progression, that would seem to have changed. And that Jupiter has been undermined by a scheming Saturn, which has continually thwarted the quest for genuine independence.Saturn, exalted in Libra, marshals the mid-heaven, but lacks integrity on account of its own retrograde position, and the square to Pluto highlights the way that Egypt’s governance has always been a shadowy affair. Although this is the chart of independence, it has always been heavily compromised, more of a sop to the Egyptian people, for although Egypt’s independence was negotiated in London in 1922, it was done so in such a way that it never really removed itself from the control of the protectorate, and that theme continued through the Mubarak regime’s compliance and subjugation to the US.

Having recently had its Saturn return back in September, Egypt has been through a rite of passage here. Pluto is about to oppose its natal position and is squaring Saturn, marking an intense struggle for power and the destruction of the old order - Pluto hit the exact midpoint of the aspect as Mubarak was overthrown. The beginning of the uprising coincided with Jupiter’s transit over Venus in Aries, Venus being the ruler of the 10th house, and the possibility of a rejuvenated governance. As Mubarak stepped down Jupiter contacted the IC in the chart and the people were jubilant. Yet with Saturn sitting plum on natal Jupiter right now one has to wonder whether the new military leadership will actually make any real difference at all. The decision to retain Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq and three other Mubarak loyalists hardly seems a progressive move, and is unlikely to satisfy people for long. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a heavy-handed clamping down on the activists, as Saturn retrogrades back over the natal moon in March, though with Uranus moving into Aries in the same month and conjuncting the natal Venus in early April, we should see a yet more radical response from the people. This revolution is by no means over. I also admit to having certain suspicions about the uprising itself and the extent of covert western involvement behind the scenes to help bring this about. This would be entirely consistent with this heavily Plutonised Saturn stationing on the natal Jupiter. That said I'm convinced that a genuine radicalism has been stirred and this will not go away, indeed I would almost certainly expect it to intensify.

This radical wave of youth uprising began in Tunisia of course, precisely on the progressed lunar return of its own independence chart, which has a tight Sun-Moon square, the Sun having been activated during the previous two months - the perfect time for the people to declare the end of an era. With Chiron crossing the IC exposing the deep wound at the very foundations of this country, and Neptune exactly opposed to the perfect Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Leo (Pluto is the chart ruler) the disintegration of this country’s identity was inevitable. It still took people by surprise though, with Saturn guarding the ascendant (again, a corrupted retrograde Saturn) and doing a good job of feigning stability.

And it's all happening in Libya, now, of course, and it's the bloodiest battle yet, as Khaddafi's regime bears its teeth. The Libyan Independence Chart immediately shouts out for attention. In its sixtieth year, Libya is now in the throes of both its Saturn and Jupiter returns. She is experiencing her own difficult Saturnian rite of passage, while the Jupiterian spirit is arising from the grass roots (Jupiter ruling the 4th house) demanding freedom and a new way forward. Khaddafi’s response was perhaps predictable, especially with Saturn stationing conjunct Mars (they are conjunct natally) a ruthless, heavy handed reaction, as he instructs his security forces to wage war on his own people. Mars and Saturn are in conjunction in Libra where Saturn is strong and Mars is weak. The Martian instinct has been kept in check for a very long time, and it carries with it years of repressed anger, and we can see that in the way the warring energy is splitting itself, with Mars in Libra; a country divided, an army divided, a leader set against his people. As in Egypt though, the revolutionary energy in the people will not go away. While the ruling planet, Mercury may be rather weak (retrograde in Sagittarius) it does cling magnetically to the IC, the gatekeeper of a fourth house which is receiving a great huge amount of energy right now. Pluto has recently crossed the Sun of this chart, so powerful change is inevitable, and by the time Uranus comes to square the Sun in early April, one would expect to see the ruling elite turned on its head, and when the overthrow comes, one would expect it to be shocking and abrupt, but quite possibly decisive. I think there are more dark days ahead for Libya, the Saturn has not worked its way through yet, and it will make two more squares to Uranus yet and another conjunction to Mars before completing its passage back across the natal Saturn in September.

I've only looked at the charts of three countries here and focussed on the independent “being” of each one, rather more than how they are constituted as republics, but there’s also a lot that could be said about this too, by interrogating the republic charts. And there are many other countries involved here too, of course, a study of which would most enrich the overall picture. I'm certain that we’re just seeing the beginnings of what I expect to be more of a worldwide pattern of revolution, political instability, and radical activism, as the Uranus-Pluto square does its work over the next few years. It's very difficult to predict what will come of it all, but the next few years look particularly volatile. he demand coming especially from the youth in society is to have a genuine voice and to be able to direct the course of affairs from the grass roots. This may sound idealistic but that is what is being celebrated and fought for on the street, and this I think is why the independence charts are so lively. The people will not be satisfied just to get rid of their tyrannical leaders, it is a much more deep-rooted revolution that is being acted out here, and it looks likely to extend to the whole world before long. These are indeed extraordinary times!

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