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And this too will pass: part 2

Jamie Macphail DFAstrol

This article follows on from an earlier one in the May/June 2002 Journal, which focused on the likely effects of the Solar eclipse on 10 June 2002. This one is largely based on the impact that Pluto's station exactly opposite the eclipse between February and April 2003 will have, as this would seem (writing in mid-September) to be the time when war in Iraq is most likely to ensue. One can hope that with the good will of all people this will be averted, but all things being equal the following account seems to me to be the most likely outcome for the early months of 2003.

The Gulf War in 1991 started on the day of a Solar eclipse at 25CAP-0-Iraq's Mars (-180-North Node). The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 is -45-North Node, thus invoking Mars again. This eclipse in Baghdad has Uranus-90-MC and Chiron-45-MC, which hardly inspires stability, while Neptune-0-ASC denotes Baghdad's weakness at this time, but also the danger of chemical/biological weapons coming to the forefront - or at least being the presenting issue. Iraq's transits in the first four months of 2003 include Neptune-180-Uranus, Pluto-150-ASC, Chiron-135-Pluto-150-Moon and Uranus-180-Pluto, suggesting sufficient turmoil to instigate 'regime change'. However, this is unlikely to signal the end of Iraq's problems as many of these transits will be around for the next year, joined up with Pluto-180-Moon + Saturn-90-MC-135-Chiron from July onwards. Curiously, Iraq has Jupiter-0-Uranus in February 2003, just as it had in the middle of the Gulf War (the joker in the pack), perhaps representing the hopes of the Iraqi people that they may soon be free of Saddam's tyranny.

Iraq's Solar return for 2001 (until July 2002) had Uranus=ASC/MC, signalling Saddam's resistance to pressure, while the Solar return for this year has Chiron=ASC/MC, suggesting it to be a year of great pain - the wound which won't heal after twelve years of sanctions and USA/UK bombing. With Neptune-0-ASC, its position is a replica of that in the 4 December 2002 eclipse chart, thus reinforcing the likely outcome. Clearly Saddam's downfall is presaged, and this is also reflected in his chart, regardless of whether his time of birth is accurate. His Jupiter-180-Pluto is exactly picked up by the Solar eclipse of 4 December 2002 (-45-JU-135-PL), as it was in 1991, though the orb is much tighter this time, while his Chiron is -0- the Solar eclipse of 10 June 2002. With Pluto approaching this point between February and April 2003, while also triggering off Iraq's sensitive Moon-0-Venus-180-Saturn, his future looks ominous, especially as Saturn-45-his Sun during this period reinforces the sense of his declining power.

America's military intent was clearly stated in my last article. The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 falling -0-ASC-45-Pluto in the USA chart is likely to intensify this process, as will the final transits of Uranus-0-Moon-135-Sun in January and February 2003. However, it also looks as if things won't go as well as they would have hoped for (although Jupiter-120-ASC-60-Saturn-60-Uranus should still enable them to achieve their objective of regime change in Iraq), and they may well have to pay a very high price for this victory. This is indicated by a succession of difficult transits during the early months of 2003, including Chiron-45-Moon-180-Sun-90-Saturn along with Saturn-90-Neptune andUranus-135-Saturn. Taking a leap ahead to its forthcoming Solar return in July 2003, with Sun-0-Mercury in the ninth house -180-Chiron-150-Neptune-45-North Node, the USA will find it increasingly unsustainable to maintain their assumption of the high moral ground. One can only hope that this will initiate a period of deep soul searching as they ponder upon the responsibility that goes with their power.

It will be interesting to see how Bush copes over these turbulent months. The Solar eclipse of 10 June 2002 is -0-Uranus-0-North Node in his chart, and he will be affected from February to April as Pluto opposes them. December's Solar eclipse-135 Saturn in his chart speaks a very different language, and suggests a profoundly melancholic reaction to the chain of events he is in the process of precipitating through his autocratic behaviour (Uranus/North Node). Interestingly, his Saturn is -0-Venus in the tenth house of his composite chart with the USA. Could it be that America's love affair with Bush is about to be eclipsed? Neptune's transit-180- Bush's Mercury-0-Pluto would appear throughout 2002 to have impacted on his ability to see things clearly, and that is likely to continue in the coming year. Saturn-45- these planets in December 2002 and April 2003 is likely to add to his sense of difficulty in coping with the process he has started, although Jupiter's transits over these planets in February and May will enable him to hang on in hope. He will need this during Pluto's -180-Uranus in January and May, accompanied by Chiron-180-Sun-90-Chiron-90-Moon-90-Jupiter throughout the year, as well as Uranus-135-Chiron-135-Moon-90-Jupiter, all of which are likely to test his personal pain threshold to the limit.

Bush's Solar return for this year, with Sun-0-DSC-135-Uranus-150-Pluto, shows his preoccupation with foreign affairs as well as his compulsive wilfulness in this area. The unaspected Mars-0-Jupiter in the seventh house magnifies his self-righteous militancy at this time. All of this is compounded by Pluto=Sun/Moon and Jupiter=ASC/MC, so his gung-ho approach to international relations is hardly surprising. However, Neptune-90-MC and Saturn-135-MC suggest that his goals may not be so easily attained as he would like, and this may cause him great emotional distress: Moon-135-Chiron. It looks as if both Bush and the USA will have to pay the price for their assumption that they are God's chosen people!

As previously mentioned, the Solar eclipse on 10 June 2002 -45-Israel's Moon in the tenth house=Mars/Neptune portends the profound suffering of the Israeli people, and their status in the world, when Pluto opposes the eclipse between February and April. Israel's transits in the early months of 2003 include Uranus-180-Mars (last hit), Saturn-0-Uranus and Chiron-150-Pluto-135-Mars-150-Saturn.This is likely to be a pivotal and painful time for the Israelis as they grieve for their missed opportunities to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians. This is further indicated by Neptune's long-lasting transit over Israel's highly significant Jupiter=Pluto=Sun/Moon (as from April2003), suggesting that the national sense of righteousness and the philosophy of 'might makes right' will be sorely weakened. Furthermore, Israel's Solar return in May 2003, with Mars-0-Neptune(=Sun/Moon)-90-Mercury-180-Jupiter in the seventh house -135-MC, highlights a diminishing capacity to assert itself as vigorously as it would like in the year ahead. However, Jupiter=ASC/MC does offer the opportunity for a new peace initiative, albeit on terms they would previously have rejected, so one can only hope this opportunity is not squandered.

The Saudi Arabian government has done well to survive so far this year. The Solar return for 2002 has Chiron-0-MC-90-ASC (=ASC/MC exactly), while the ruler of the MC, Saturn, is -135-Sun in the tenth house! The Solar return for 2003 finds Chiron-0-DSC-45-Mars-45-Uranus, threatening sudden misfortune in their foreign relations (could it be Iraq or USA?). Similarly, the Sun in the seventh house -135-Moon-150-Saturn-90-North Node suggests difficulties with foreign countries, as well as strife between the rulers and the people. Perhaps Jupiter=Sun/Moon signifies the introduction of democracy here at long last. This would also resonate with the Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 falling close to the Saudi Arabian ASC, as well as Jupiter=ASC/MC on the eclipse chart for Riyadh.

In the process of stationing opposite the Solar eclipse of 10 June 2002 between February and April, Pluto will also be triggering off Saudi Arabia's t-square of Pluto, Uranus and MC. As if this isn't volatile enough, between December 2002 and April2003 Saudi Arabia has its Chiron return, while both Saturn and Neptune make hard aspects to Saudi Arabia's difficult exact aspect of Mars-90-North Node. Further transits include Neptune-45-Moon, Saturn-150-Sun, and Chiron-150-Pluto. It's hard to imagine how the Saudi government can withstand such a plethora of challenging planetary energies. The progressed Moon-0-ASC in January 2003 begins to look like a possible new dawn on the horizon in this country.

Will events in Iraq affect Iran, bearing their proximity in mind? As previously mentioned, the Solar eclipse on 10 June 2002 -180-Neptune(-90-North Node) leaves it 'in great tension compounded by confusion', and clearly this will resonate from December 2002 with Pluto-90-North Node through to December 2003 with Pluto-0-Neptune, although February-April is likely to be the critical time. Iran's Solar return for 2002 (as from April) has Uranus-0-ASC-90-Moon-45-Sun, indicating further tensions within the country which may manifest quite explosively as Pluto=Sun/Moon. The trigger for such a reaction could be an Islamic abhorrence of the infidels' invasion of Iraq (Sun-90-Jupiter-90-Chiron), although such a scenario may seem somewhat far-fetched at this time. Interestingly though, Iran's Solar return commencing in April 2003 highlights this possibility further (as well as the possibility of revolution within), with Saturn-180-Pluto across the ASC/DSC axis and Uranus-0-MC-0-Venus-45-Mars-45-Chiron-90-North Node.

Do the transits support either of these hypotheses? Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune all make hard aspects to Iran's aggressive Mars-45-MC, indicating great difficulty and instability for the government, especially between December 2002 and April2003. This is further compounded by Saturn-45-Chiron (=Sun/Moon). I wouldn't like to predict quite how all this will impact on Iran, although it would be an understatement to say that it will clearly not remain unaffected by the events going on around it (and within it) at this time.

How is the UK likely to fare in the early months of the new year, bearing in mind its close identification with the USA in the war against terrorism? The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 suggests an aggressive military stance as it is on the Sun/Mars midpoint in the UK chart, with the eclipse-0-ASC-180-North Node(-0-Dsc) in London. Neptune-120-MC describes the likelihood of success against Iraq, although Chiron-90-MC suggests that this victory may prove more damaging than imagined. Indeed, this eclipse coincides with Chiron's entry into the UK's fourth house, and is likely to raise painful questions about the nature of patriotism. Followed shortly by Pluto's station opposite the Solar eclipse of 10 June 2002, terrorism on our doorstep remains a real threat (see previous article), while the housing market looks extremely vulnerable, despite all the predictions to the contrary from within the market. The most likely cause for this would be a rise in interest rates as a result of oil prices escalating due to war in Iraq.

This war seems likely to embroil the UK in a far bigger mess than Blair would appear to have anticipated. The significant aspects in the early months of 2003 in the UK chart are: Chiron-90-North Node-45-Pluto, North Node-45-Moon-180-Chiron, Pluto-150-Moon, Uranus-45-North Node in the seventh house, and most significantly, Neptune-90-Mars (lasting the rest of the year). There's little there to encourage the military adventurism which Blair seems determined to embark upon, but much to discourage it, as it will clearly weaken the UK. Also, bearing in mind that Mars is in the eighth house, thereby affecting financial affairs, while Uranus-0-Pluto in the fifth house in May suggests upsets in the realm of speculation, the outlook for the economy is worrying.

It is difficult to substantiate this scenario from the UK Solar return for 2003, as it's a bit of a mixed bag. Certainly, Sun-0-Chiron-45-Venus-45-Uranus-150-North Node presents a worrying financial picture, with Venus in the second house also -150-Saturn, Uranus on the fifth house cusp and North Node in the eighth! What doesn't compute in particular is Moon-0-Pluto-120-Jupiter, which seems to suggest strong morale accompanied by optimism. Perhaps this will be seen to reflect journalistic jingoism at the time of conflict. However, it's difficult to see this configuration as a happy bedfellow with Sun-0-Chiron. Herein lies one of the greatest problems facing the astrologer - how are we to make sense of different plots within the same story?

Is there anything in Blair's chart to indicate turmoil ahead? The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 triggers his Mercury-90-MC, bringing his career aspirations into the spotlight and raising the prospect that they may be eclipsed. His present Solar return, with Pluto-0-MC-180-Venus, Saturn, Mars and the North Node -150-Sun, indicates the likelihood of him being consumed by issues of power. The early months of the new year see both Chiron and Uranus making hard aspects to Venus, Jupiter and Uranus in his chart, but most ominously, Neptune-0-Moon in the tenth house for the next year from February2003 (just as it's -90-UK Mars), suggesting that his emotional state and his public status are likely to reflect the dissipated sense of UK virility around this time.

Will Blair remain in power? His progressed Moon tells an interesting story in the early months of the year, moving from -180-Mars in December, -180-ASC in January, -45-Chiron in February, to -45-Saturn and Neptune in March, suggesting that his aggressive stance will most likely sink into despondency, as the full implications of his actions sink in. Pluto=ASC/MC in his Solar return from May 2003 indicates that this may be an overwhelming year for him, while Uranus-0-MC-90-North Node-45-Chiron promises a time of unexpected upsets. Emotionally, he may well be frazzled by the strain of political leadership due to Moon-0-ASC-150-Mars-120-Uranus, and could well decide that he no longer has the resolution to continue in high office: Sun-90-Neptune-90-Mars-90-Jupiter. Time will tell!

The most direct manifestation of last summer's Solar eclipse brought India to the verge of war with Pakistan. The eclipse in Delhi fell -0-ASC-0-Saturn-0-North Node-180-Pluto, with Uranus-0-MC-90-Mercury - an extremely potent cocktail! In India's chart, Saturn was also -0-Chiron-90-Saturn, which is a very sensitive aspect at the best of times. War was fortunately averted at this time, but the risk grows greater in January 2003 when Pluto transits these planets, as it does again in May/June (after stationing on the eclipse!) and November. Never will the need for diplomacy be greater, although the national sense of pain may militate against this if emotions become overly aroused. Pluto moves very close to India's Sun-90-Moon before retrograding - which may be the saving grace at this time. The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 with Pluto in the ninth house in Delhi further highlights foreign affairs, and Mercury-180-Saturn across the MC/IC axis the need for clarity of thought, although Mercury-45-Neptune=ASC/MC hints that this won't be that easy to achieve.

India's Solar return for 2002, with Moon-135-Mercury-135-Venus-120-Uranus-135-Neptune-0-North Node, shows a high degree of emotional arousal, though with the ability to act in a measured manner: Pluto-120-MC, Sun-60-Mars-120-Saturn-0-Neptune. However, the Solar return for 2003, with Neptune=Sun/Moon=ASC/MC, suggests that India will be subject to considerable confusion in the year ahead. It will also be prone to paranoia (and react accordingly) due to Pluto-45-Sun-45-ASC, and with Moon-0-MC-90-Jupiter-90-Neptune, emotionally liable to make a drama out of a crisis. Pakistan would do well to bear this in mind during 2003.

Indeed, the misunderstandings which threatened to propel Pakistan into war with India just before June's Solar eclipse can be understood in terms of the eclipse -90-Mercury in Pisces in the twelfth house in Pakistan's chart (difficult synastry with India's Chiron-90-Saturn), which is likely to be confused in its mode of communication at the best of times. Pakistan will need to be aware of this during February and March, as well as late in the year, when Pluto stations -90-Mercury. Any manipulative endeavours could prove disastrous at this time, as India will be only too quick to smell something fishy!

The Solar eclipse on 4 December 2002 falls very close to Pakistan's North Node in the eighth house, which is a matter of great concern, with the risk to life which this potentially threatens. Just as Chiron-0-MC in Pakistan's chart occurred in late May at the time of the last crisis, so it uncannily recurs in early December, indicating that a dose of humble pie might be in order at this time! One can't help wondering why the UN are not more proactive in trying to resolve the Kashmir problem, as this would seem to be the only way of removing the ongoing threat of war between these two nuclear powers; still, we live in hope.

Due to the length and complexity of this article, I haven't included any ingress charts, though curious readers will find, in particular, the Capricorn ingress set for Washington a chart worth pondering. However, a few specific dates to watch out for are 9 December 2002, 17 February 2003 and 30 April 2003, when Mars makes -45- aspects to the Solar eclipse of 10 June 2002, and 4 February 2003 when it aspects the Solar eclipse of 4 December 2002. I'm aware that much of the content of this article is of a distressing nature, but can only hope and pray that (in the words of a great mystic) all things will be turned to the Good as soon as they have come to pass.

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