Sunday, January 19, 2020

A moody Lunar Eclipse joins Saturn & Pluto for a volatile chain of events

This post is about the remarkably volatile chain of events we've seen this past week, with a special focus on two tragic instances which victimized ordinary people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

The most highly covered tragedy in the news was Iran’s accidental downing of Ukraine Flight 752 on January 8th—in the wake of ongoing U.S.-Iran hostilities—and resulted in the senseless death of all 176 individuals on board. 

The less-highlighted disaster in the news was the 6.4 magnitude earthquake (the most potent of an earthquake swarm) that struck the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on January 7th, causing at least one death, injuring many more and rendering thousands temporarily homeless. This may sound small by comparison with the Iranian story, however the problem is ongoing and it's crippling their everyday life, as damaged buildings can't be inhabited for fear the ongoing tremors will bring them down.

To add to the misery, Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from the destruction of Hurricane Maria (2017) and its troubles, along with Australia’s unprecedented fire season, should be considered fair warning about looming climate change disaster.

So scant coverage aside: Puerto Rico’s earthquake deserved more attention than it has gotten, and it’s relevant to our exploration here.  

All of this transpired against the backdrop of volatility here at home, of course, with Trump’s impeachment trial beginning, at the same time an additional trove of incriminating evidence has been released against him. The House Articles of Impeachment were ceremoniously presented to the Senate for the trial on January 15th and on the 16th Chief Justice Roberts took and administered the official “oath of impartial justice” required to the Senators, who will pass judgment and vote to either acquit or remove Trump from office.

House Impeachment managers deliver Articles to the Senate.
The trial will undoubtedly require an entire post here, so we’ll reserve that for the near future, after the actual arguments have begun. Suffice to say here that Gemini rose in the chart for the oath-taking process, which may not bode well for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth prevailing, although it may also make hiding relevant information difficult. Was a meaningful oath administered, or was it simply more empty words?

Not surprisingly, a great deal of focus falls in the 8th and 9th houses. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell wields a lot of power over which GOP Senate campaigns are financially supported and which are not (8th), so there’s pressure on GOP Senators from all sides—to follow their oath and deliver a fair trial on one side, and to deliver the quick acquittal McConnell is looking for. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if they simply ignore everything we’ve learned in the House impeachment hearings and since. The 9th house, of course, applies to all things legal.   

A quietly powerful lunar eclipse

Naturally, none of this is coincidental astrologically—in fact, the first lunar eclipse of the calendar year seems to provide a common theme that we can use as a leaping off point here. Known by some as a "Wolf Moon," it was a moody looking penumbral lunar eclipse in Cancer on January 10th , and it seems to be packing quite a bit of punch.  

This eclipse was not even a total eclipse event, however Cancer eclipses are potent simply because the Moon is occupying her home sign and naturally cries out for nurturance, security, and at least some measure of empathy and accountability. The responsibility factor emerges as a theme because this eclipse point was directly opposed by the transiting Saturn-Pluto conjunction (conjoined by the Sun), putting the focus on social accountability as a response to Lady Luna’s concerns. 

We often focus on the fact that the Sun in a mundane chart represents both the nation-at-large as a solar entity and the leader or head of that nation. However, when eclipses are active, both the Sun and the Moon come into simultaneous focus, and this is key: the Moon in a mundane chart is about the People of a nation, so it’s appropriate (and often the case) that eclipses trigger events that stir up the “Body Politic.” This imagery is explained in Wikipedia:

“The body politic is a metaphor that regards a nation as a corporate entity,[2] likened to a human body. Here the word ‘politic’ is a postpositive adjective: this is ‘a body of a politic nature,’ rather than ‘a politic of a bodily nature.’ A body politic comprises all the people in a particular country, considered as a single group. The analogy typically includes reference to the top of the government as head of state,[3] though the analogy may also be extended to other anatomical parts, as in political readings of Aesop's fable of ‘The Belly and the Members’.”

Of course, in the tragic news we’re considering here, the lives and bodies of individuals have  been at stake, but their suffering impacts that collective level in both tangible and intangible ways. When Iran’s government admitted responsibility for shooting down Flight UIA752 (more ahead on that), thousands of Iranians protested for days into the streets because their government had lied to them for days. They continued protesting, despite Iranian police forces firing live ammunition into the crowds.  

For his part, Trump attempted to leverage public outrage against the Iranian government by tweeting his “support” (in both English and Farsi)—as might be expected, this undermined the protestors’ message and made them more vulnerable to official blowback. The Washington Post put this Cancer-Capricorn conundrum well:

“ ‘When the Iranian people are upset with their government for blatantly lying about shooting down a plane, he [Trump] should have taken the high road and send his condolences to the families,’ said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘By seeming to make it about him, he de-legitimizes the protesters and allows the government to portray the protests as a U.S. plot.’ ”
Astrologically, we might say that trust between the Sun and Moon was violated and the public’s (Moon’s) efforts to demand accountability were basically thwarted by a “leader” (Sun) posing as a sympathizer. 

Again, the accountability called for by the January 10th eclipse in question comes down to its Zodiacal placement: closely opposite the Saturn-Pluto conjunction that launched this duo’s new cycle at 22°+Capricorn. Connections also abound between this eclipse and significant players in our current geopolitical drama: with Trump, the doomed UIA flight 752, and our neighbor, Puerto Rico.
These connections point to common threads running throughout last week’s events in the news, of course: we’ve already discussed Trump’s choice to kill Iran’s top military leader on January 3rd here, but this week’s news has been filled with the tragic aftermath of that attack, the inadvertent (if not “accidental”) downing of Ukrainian Air flight 752 (UAI752), killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.  How many thousands are needlessly harmed by association?

Protestors in Tehran after the regime admitted it shot down UIA752.
Thankfully, Iran came forward to take responsibility, once it became clear that trigger-happy human error was in play during the state of heightened alert it was in with the U.S. at the time. Here’s how the Washington Post described the situation this past Saturday (1/11):

“Iranian officials said military personnel targeted the plane as it turned toward a “sensitive military site” shortly after departing Tehran’s international airport before dawn.
The statement was a stunning about-face for Iran after days of rejecting Western assertions that a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane.
Now, leaders in Tehran face new challenges.
Ukraine has led demands for compensation and accountability, which could force Iran to appease the international community with a rare public reckoning over a military action. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged the nation’s military to conduct a thorough inquiry.
At home, the tragedy quickly brought protests back onto the streets in another show of anger. In November, protests erupted around the country after an increase in gasoline prices, leading to deadly clashes with security forces.”

Interestingly, Iran has been undergoing its Progressed Full Moon across a Taurus-Scorpio axis, with Progressed Moon conjunct Progressed Uranus Rx (Scorpio), for added intensity (see radix chart in Triwheel #2 below). Yes, its People are motivated to rebel and demand change—this, after quickly uniting behind their government when the U.S. struck and killed Soleimani.

PM Justin Trudeau was outspoken on behalf of Canadian victims.
Perhaps by pouncing on this public dis-ease with his “support,” Trump thought he would chalk up one for regime change—unfortunately, he probably helped discredit the protestors instead.   

For his part, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (a majority of the UIA752 victims were either citizens of, or returning to, Canada for their studies and work) posted a read-out of his call with Trump after the crash:

"President Trump expressed his condolences for the loss of life in the Ukraine International Airlines plane crash. The two leaders discussed the need for a thorough investigation to determine the cause of this crash.”
No mention of the tangential role the Trump administration’s actions towards Iran might have had in the crash: at least Iran admitted a mistake, even if it unleashed public outrage. For Trump, however, the eclipse helped to turn this event into a personal opportunity, leveraging tragic circumstances in which emotions are running high is a particularly cynical expression of Capricorn Saturn-Pluto transiting opposite Trump’s natal Cancer Saturn-Venus (chart not shown), and the eclipse (falling across that axis) surely facilitated.

There was also a broader populist agenda in play, of course, that seeks to leverage crisis, and populism expert Catherine Fieschi sees the method in this kind of madness. In her very interesting study entitled Populocracy, she teases out the way in which populism tends to distort democracy and consolidate power in “strongmen” leaders:

“Benjamin Moffitt makes an important point when he argues that populist politics also seeks to trigger crisis (Moffitt 2015). Here the triggering of crisis is described as a process that goes from identifying failure, to turning this failure into a crisis by linking it to a particular identity (that is framed as under threat), identifying those who can be blamed for this failure, using the media to propagate the message and then putting forward a simplistic solution rooted in strong leadership to resolve the crisis. And repeat.”[1]
A recent analysis in Foreign Policy seems to pick up on the toxic nature of “crisis populism” as well:  
 “As a matter of policy, Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Iran, having responded, is now ‘standing down’ hardly vindicates his reckless action. Assassinating state leaders, provoking retaliation, then narrowly averting needless open warfare is not strategic success. This is especially true when the episode leaves Iran policy in a far worse place than it was five years ago, when the previous administration negotiated a suspension of Iran’s nuclear program. Most important, by using assassination as a tool of preemptive self-defense, the Suleimani strike raises the haunting question whether Trump has resurrected the very doctrine that many thought had been wholly discredited by the disaster in Iraq.”

Causing a crisis (he ordered the hit on Soleimani that helped precipitate it) so he could then solve the crisis gets old, and thankfully, this point seems to be growing on foreign policy experts. Writing for a recent Brookings Brief, Thomas Wright suggests that it’s time for accountability:
“Trump’s Iran crisis fits perfectly within his narrative arc. His administration has had three identifiable phases. The first was the age of constraint, as the so-called Axis of Adults shaped and limited Trump’s options. The second was the age of hubris as Trump got rid of anyone who stood up to him so he could act as he wished — this came in two variants, maximum pressure and deal-making. The third is the reckoning as Trump is forced to face the consequences and contradictions of his own actions. There have been inklings of this third phase for some time. It has now well and truly arrived.”
So, this accountability phase for Trump—again, quite personal to him, even as it represents a collective issue for the American public (Sibly Moon)—may  have just been triggered by the January 10th Cancer eclipse in question, which took place inconjunct Sibly Moon (Aquarius). More frustrations, internal divisions and difficulty getting to a clear resolution ahead—we’ll be addressing these issues in a coming post about the impeachment trial. 

But first, let’s explore the astrology of this very impactful eclipse and the related chain of events. An eclipse that draws Saturn-Pluto into its impact is bound to create structural challenges, and these can manifest on the collective level of political power dynamics and institutional well-being, but they can also manifest on the purely physical level of buildings and infrastructures being crushed in an earthquake. As we’ll see, those distinct manifestations overlap and intersect in amazing ways—let’s begin.

The astrology

We’ll briefly consider the January 10th eclipse chart on its own first—cast for Washington, D.C.. (Chart #1). After that, we’ll consider that same chart set for San Juan, Puerto Rico and Tehran, Iran, only set against other relevant radix charts and event charts.
These charts reflect not only events on the ground, but longer-term possibilities as well. Coinciding as closely as it did with the launch of a Saturn-Pluto cycle is bound to add to this eclipse’s geopolitical punch.

Chart #1: Lunar eclipse, January 10th, 2020, 2:20 pm ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Mercury (Capricorn) rules Gemini ASC and conjoins Eclipse Sun-Ceres-Saturn-Pluto (opposing Eclipse Moon in Cancer). Eclipse stretches across 2nd-8th houses. This suggests that the prevailing narrative (Mercury) will be nurtured (Ceres), but also scrutinized and held accountable—Gemini and Capricorn are naturally at odds, so that will be felt by those who attempt to pin down a concrete story. The convergence of all this Capricorn energy in the 8th house suggests a focus on high-profile financial entities, including international ones (Saturn rules 8th & 9th). 

Recall that the first Article of Impeachment hinges on Trump’s attempt to use U.S. dollars to extort Ukraine’s cooperation in smearing his political rival, Joe Biden—shadowy, underhanded tactics involving money other than his own certainly fit the 8th house placement here. 

Venus conjoins MC (Aquarius); Uranus Rx (Taurus) rules MC, trines Jupiter-So. Node (Capricorn)-Pallas (Sagittarius), and inconjoins Mars (Sagittarius). Shocking, unconventional public events and relationships (perhaps even diplomatic agreements) are likely to characterize this eclipse period. The Jupiter-So. Node conjunction suggests that growth could be stifled by relationships (7th) that have outlived their usefulness—Jupiter rules the 7th (Sagittarius) from Capricorn—our foreign relations may be marked by surprising developments or break-ups (Jupiter-Uranus trine). 

As we’ll discuss in the next post, this Jupiter also opposes Trump Mercury (Cancer-chart not shown)—he could react to challenges by co-opting them to his own benefit; whatever happens will likely reflect his mindset and erratic Sun-Uranus (Gemini) nature. 

The Eclipse Uranus Rx trine to Justice-minded Pallas (Sagittarius) could certainly reflect the unconventional “trial” that the Senate is planning for Trump—we’re led to expect that the GOP will move quickly to acquit without even listening to witnesses, however Uranus is unpredictable. It rules the Aquarius 9th house here, as well, and its dispositor relationship with Venus in that house suggests that some beneficial surprises are still possible in the legal sphere. 

Perhaps the trial won’t be over quite as soon as some hope, either. This Venus also conjoins Sibly Moon (Aquarius-chart not shown), so could it be that the People will ultimately benefit? Shocks delivered by associates (11th house Uranus Rx) will likely continue (Lev Parnas’s recent revelations certainly qualified). More about this when we consider Trump’s nativity next to this eclipse in the next post. 

Finally, the lack of an aspect between an elevated, revolutionary Aquarius Venus and its dispositor, Taurus Uranus Rx could relate to the frustrating issues left hanging by the very surprising Equal Rights Amendment ratification this past week. Uranus also trines Jupiter (Capricorn), so perhaps that gave the process a boost. The ratification campaign’s spokeswomen seem quite certain that this time the progress is for real, but again, there are legal challenges (Uranus Rx rules 9th) to overcome. 

On another note (also involving Virginia, interestingly), that state’s governor just declared a state of emergency in anticipation of hate group-inspired violence at a scheduled gun rally. Those would-be “revolutionaries” are committed to spawning a “race war,” and could be taking advantage of the roles Mars and Uranus Rx are playing in this chart. This situation could get worse before it gets better under this threat-conscious (Cancer) eclipse period.

Mars (Sagittarius) semi-sextiles Jupiter-So. Node (Capricorn), trines Chiron and quincunxes No. Node (Cancer). This combination of aspects evokes the gnarly military affairs we’re seeing in the news, and the potential that Trump’s pre-emptive strike (Cancer-Capricorn Nodal axis)  of Iran’s Soleimani has to wound (Chiron) our image abroad (10th). This possibility certainly surfaced in the Ayatollah Khameini’s surprise Friday sermon on the 17th, but his perceptions are probably shared by other world leaders. Trump’s fear of looking “weak” is palpable—interestingly, this Chiron also falls square his natal Cancer Mercury (chart not shown).   

The view from Puerto Rico

To fully appreciate the January 10th eclipse’s impact on Puerto Rico, we need to bring the island Commonwealth’s radix chart into the mix, so we’ll consider that triwheel below, between the radix chart, the January 7th earthquake chart, and the eclipse chart we’ve been considering, cast for San Juan, PR. Although there are only slight differences between the middle and outer wheels, using both reveals some definite astrological “fault lines,” as we might expect. Let’s begin.

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Commonwealth Puerto Rico, July 25, 1952, 12 p.m. ST, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Wikipedia data—no exact time known); (middle wheel) Earthquake-PR-1/7/2020, January 7, 2020, 4:24 a.m. ST, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Wikipedia report); (outer wheel) Lunar eclipse, January 10th, 2020, 3:20 pm ST, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Equake & Eclipse Capricorn stellia fall over PR 3rd & 4th houses and t-square PR ASC-DSC (Libra-Aries) and Eris (Aries). As noted earlier, structural challenges are prominent with this Eclipse chart, and that certainly fits the situation in Puerto Rico: the probability of continuing quakes has destroyed both structures and public confidence in nature and their leadership. The news has highlighted the fact that the Trump administration is putting heavy limitations on where the island’s administration can use federal aid dollars (Saturn-Pluto)—not on the fragile electrical infrastructure, etc. Restrictions around the wages that can be paid to contract workers are also mandated—all of this fits the heavy Capricorn focus, especially as in the eclipse chart, all this is happening in the 8th house of finances. 

Puerto Rican natives are U.S. citizens, so even though they have no vote in the coming presidential election (IMHO, that should be revisited), they have a clear stake in how D.C. functions, our image in the world, and so on. Amazingly, all the points except Jupiter and the So. Node in both Capricorn stellia also oppose PR MC at the same time they oppose PR Uranus (Cancer), turning that cardinal t-square into a tense grand square and a strong reflection of the continuing earthquake disruptions being experienced on the island.  

Notice that transiting Jupiter –So. Node points (Capricorn) conjoin PR Chiron (Capricorn), which is widely square transiting Chiron (Aries). Perhaps the island will begin to realize more benefits and aid as Jupiter transits over the Eclipse point, but a Capricorn Jupiter isn’t particularly potent and the aid could remain limited and conditioned by all the other Capricorn energy. 

This Jupiter also opposes Trump’s Mercury (Cancer, chart not shown), but it will soon transit over Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer), and that may not improve the situation much. 

Capricorn transits square PR Neptune, rising at ASC (Libra); Eclipse Neptune (Pisces) quincunxes PR Neptune; PR Neptune disposes Eclipse MC (Pisces) while Eclipse Venus (Aquarius) conjoins that MC. Clearly, these are precarious times for island populations—rising ocean levels are one of the more threatening impacts of climate change and with PR Neptune also square PR Uranus, the pressure being put on both right now is adding to the unstable, unsustainable situation. Hopefully, Eclipse Venus (Aquarius) will rally the public into constructive action--this could help them overcome their shaken confidence.

Perhaps this beneficial-looking Eclipse Venus-MC conjunction also speaks to the commitment and consistent efforts of prominent female politicians in PR: Governor, Puerto Rico governor Wanda Vázquez Garced , not to mention San Juan’s outspoken mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, who has been so instrumental in helping the island recover from Hurricane Maria. 

Building sound, sustainable infrastructures (Capricorn Saturn-Pluto cycle) has never been more important, obviously, and the earthquake swarm experienced by PR is a powerful reminder of that. Transiting Venus (Aquarius) is in mutual reception with transiting Uranus (Taurus) in both outer charts, and that Uranus falls in PR 7th house—needless to say, PR will be vulnerable to continuing  instability, which is likely to inspire all kinds of security-conscious building and tech development (Uranus in Taurus).

Iran and the ill-fated Ukrainian Flight 752

As with Puerto Rico, the only way to get a comprehensive picture of the situation in Iran this past week is to consider a triwheel that combines Iran’s radix chart, Ukraine’s radix chart, and the tragic downing of Ukraine’s Flight 752 on January 8th. We’ll consider Eclipse points when they become relevant—the charts above will help illustrate as we go. It’s worth repeating that eclipses often make themselves known in the few days before they perfect, so the fact that the 176 crash victims were “in the wrong place at the wrong time” could certainly be eclipse-related. 

Notice that the UIA752 angles are 1°+Capricorn ASC and 21°+Libra MC, whereas the Eclipse angles set for Tehran have moved to 1°+Libra ASC, and 1°+Cancer MC.  The cardinal emphasis certainly captures the volatile nature of events.

We have a published time of 6:14 a.m. ST in Tehran, Iran, for the “final signal” received from UIA752, so that gives us something to go on here for the radix charts of both Iran and Ukraine. The volatile aftermath of the tragic crash, especially the days and days of protests in the streets of Tehran once Iranian leaders admitted responsibility for firing missiles at the plane, was certainly stoked by the tense eclipse energies: the People were clearly incensed and disappointed by how their military and government handled the precarious situation.

Ukraine president Zelensky rose to the challenge of the UIA752 disaster.

The flip-side of this precarious situation was the diplomatic nightmare the situation could have created between Ukraine, Canada (most of the victims were returning there) and Iran. Thankfully, Ukraine’s young president Zelensky proved to be up to the task. According to the Washington Post:

“Zelensky, caught between the United States and Iran after a U.S. drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, had the difficult task of securing the ‘cooperation of Western backers and Iran without being drawn into either side’s narrative of the Iran-U. S. conflict,’ said Katharine Quinn-Judge, a Kyiv-based analyst for International Crisis Group.
Four days after the plane went down, Zelensky announced that he and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had ‘agreed on full legal and technical cooperation, including compensation issues.’”  

Given the role Ukraine was dragged into in Trump’s impeachment drama, this whole situation was dripping with irony, but it appears that Zelensky acquitted himself well. As one political scholar put it, “For a political novice, he seems to have a keen sense of exactly how to appease opposing factions in order to protect Ukraine’s interests.” 

So let’s consider the triwheel that reflects this situation. Please note that both the radix charts are contained in Nicholas Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes, 2004 edition.[2]


Triwheel #2: (inner wheel) Radix, Iran-Islamic Republic, April 1, 1979, 3:00 p.m. DST, Tehran, Iran; (middle wheel) Radix, Ukraine (independent), December 1, 1991, 6 p.m. ST, Kiev, Ukraine; (outer wheel) UIA752 final signal, January 8, 2020, 6:14 a.m. ST (news report), Tehran, Iran. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-square: UIA752 Neptune (Pisces) conjoins Iran So. Node-Ceres (Pisces) and opposes Iran No. Node-Ukraine Jupiter-Vesta (Virgo); this axis squares UIA752 Moon (Gemini). Notice that the oppositions cut across Iran’s 7th-1st houses here—quite a defensive axis, and Neptune transiting over its 7th was likely an obfuscating force. In fact, the entire configuration seen here suggests communication problems and perhaps a relaxing of Iran’s usual administrative protocols. Ukraine Jupiter conjoins Iran Saturn in Virgo, UIA752 Jupiter in Capricorn trined it and Mars in Sagittarius squared it. 

Given the threat levels in force, this complex of energies may have caused some carelessness. Were clear signals getting through to its trigger-ready defensive forces?  Unlikely. 

UIA752 Mars (Sagittarius) squares Iran Venus (Pisces) and trines Iran Jupiter (late Cancer). Mars seems to provide the spark here for trouble, especially since Iran’s Jupiter was also being opposed by UIA752 Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn). The sense of threat was undoubtedly real and  unfortunately, Mars was being reckless and trigger-happy. The tragically mis-placed decision to fire at the flight also reflects the UIA752 Uranus (Taurus)-Mars (Sagittarius) inconjunct. 

UIA752 Jupiter-So. Node (Capricorn) conjoins Ukraine No. Node (Capricorn) and opposes Ukraine So. Node (Cancer); UIA752 Nodal Axis is flipped (Cancer to Capricorn), but aligned with Ukraine’s. This speaks to why Ukraine was drawn into this conflict and why now. The curious alignment of Jupiter with the So. Node in the outer wheel seems to be amplifying Saturn-like themes (Saturn rules Capricorn), which is easy to understand with so much Capricorn energy afloat. 

It’s worth noting that the Capricorn stellium falls entirely in first house of the UIA752 chart (see below)—ominous looking, for sure.

Caught between U.S.-Iran hostilities, Trudeau was firm, but diplomatic.

Also in the chart shown below, if we consider that the Moon (the People) disposes the 7th house Cancer No. Node, it supports the idea that those aboard Flight 752 were picked up as being “the enemy” and were dealt with accordingly. Mars-trine-Chiron in fire signs Sagittarius-Aries reflects the fiery missiles that targeted the victims (4th house Chiron), while the Gemini Moon fell in the 6th house of military/servants (in other words, expendables). This Moon was widely opposed by that fiery Sagittarius Mars, reflecting the chaos and recklessness of the moment.  

This doesn’t explain why Iran didn’t shut down its airport entirely during that time of heightened tension—again, unclear directives, loosened protocols and sheer recklessness could have been factors.

One last point about Triwheel #2 above…

UIA752 MC (Libra) conjoins Ukraine Venus (Libra) and Iran Pluto and all oppose UIA752 Eris (Aries); this axis squares UIA752 Sun-Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn). This tense configuration reflects the diplomatic nightmare that Ukraine’s president Zelensky seems to have successfully confronted with this volatile and tragic event. Notice that UIA752 Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn) fall over Iran’s 6th house here—again, the sense of military threat was real and managed to confuse and/or overwhelm Iran’s response systems. 

Yet, Ukraine proved capable of negotiating a fair settlement plan for the victims’ families—perhaps by appealing to Iran’s better nature or at least to their self-interests (Ukraine Sagittarius Mercury conjoins Iran Sagittarius Neptune and squares Iran Pisces Mars-Mercury).

Final thoughts

We’ve seen an amazing convergence of events in the past week, but I’m happy to point out that not all of them were tragic. For instance, how many caught the amazing fact that the Virginia legislature finally voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for women this past week, decades after it was first presented to Americans for a vote? 

And how many caught the fact that the devastating scourge of Ebola is now considered both preventable and curable, thanks to dedicated medical research and dogged persistence? 

The fact that such positive stories co-exist with the rest of the news this past week should remind us that things are better than they seem at times, and that tough-looking planetary energies can manifest in a range of ways. The challenge, as always, is to learn how to use such energies consciously and constructively, and to do this, context is everything. 

There will always be “surprises”—some tragic and disruptive, as we’ve seen—but a forward-looking plan can be used to channel energies where they’re needed, as well.  

Without a doubt, we’re witnessing extreme times, but these can also be heroic times. Capricorn calls for practical, sustainable and ambitious choices, not to mention clear-minded realism and perseverance. We are not powerless and we can do what needs to be done—full speed ahead!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 

[1] Catherine Fieschi, Populocracy: The Tyranny of Authenticity and the Rise of Populism, Agenda Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2019, p. 21.
[2]Nicholas Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, Charts #159, p. 163 (Iran-Islamic Republic) and #342, p. 326 (Ukraine), The Wessex Astrologer, Bournemouth, UK, 2004.