Monday, May 20, 2024

A shocking turn of events as Mars approaches 4/8 Eclipse Point


c. Doctors Without Borders- a scene from Gaza

Today’s news (5/20) reports stunning developments related to the war in Gaza. From the New York Times:

“The International Criminal Court [ICC] prosecutor, Karim Khan, said Monday that he had requested arrest warrants for the leaders of Hamas and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to the Oct. 7 attack and the war in Gaza.

In a statement, Mr. Khan said he was applying for arrest warrants for Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Deif and Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. He also said he was requesting warrants for Mr. Netanyahu and for Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant.”

This news comes on the heels of surprising news yesterday

“Benny Gantz, a centrist member of Israel’s war cabinet, presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with an ultimatum, saying he would leave the government if it did not soon develop a plan for the future of the war in Gaza.”

Cajoling Netanyahu to develop a post-war plan has long been an objective of the Biden administration’s talks with Israeli leadership, as well, but Hamas, Israel and Biden were quick to condemn this action by the ICC. Despite all that, however, the pressure for a conclusion to the war on Gaza is mounting dramatically and--whether the ICC can enforce a warrant against the two sides or not--the conflict itself is being widely regarded as one crime against humanity after another. 

Now-deceased Iran president, Ebrahim Raisi

Also shocking the world today are reports out of Iran—again, from the New York Times—that President Ebrahim Raisi and Iran’s foreign minister were killed in a helicopter crash. Raisi was thought to be the most likely successor to Iran’s current Ayatollah (supreme leader).

“Mr. Raisi, 63, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash resulting from a ‘technical failure,’ Iranian state news media reported. They were traveling from Iran’s border with Azerbaijan after inaugurating a dam project when their helicopter went down in a mountainous area near the city of Jolfa.

The astrology of these near-simultaneous events is worth a look, not just for the events themselves, but for what they say about the times we’re living through in this fraught year of 2024. It’s not inconceivable that the two seemingly disparate events are connected in some way, in fact: Iran has been a major supporter of Hamas and presumably, Raisi was involved in that.

And, as if these two major stories are not enough, it’s more than likely that the Trump hush money trial will also reach a conclusion in the next week or so, and will be tapping into similar planetary dynamics.

For starters, let’s take a quick look at the event in Iran, which happens to be pretty-well documented—Wikipedia says that pre-crash emergency calls were received at 13:30 IRST (1:30 Iran time) and has given the coordinates for the crash, which reportedly happened in the mountains near Jolfa, Iran, so this is the information I’ve used to cast Chart 1 below.


Chart 1. Iran president killed in helicopter crash, May 19, 2024, 1:30 p.m. ISRT, Jolfa, Iran (38°44′34″N 46°39′37″E). All charts are cast by author on Kepler 8.0, with Tropical Equal Houses and True Node and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.


 A real eye-catcher, there’s an amazing convergence of Taurus planets arrayed across the top of this chart, including a cazimi Sun-Jupiter conjunction that further conjoins the early Gemini MC on one side and Venus and Uranus on the other. This convergence of Sun-Jupiter speaks loudly to the fact that a highly-esteemed leader (Raisi was thought to be in line for the Ayatollah’s position) was the victim of this crash. Assuming the published timing is accurate, the Sun-Jupiter conjunction straddles the 10-9 cusp, reinforcing the subject’s prominence. Jupiter-Venus and Uranus in the 9th may very well speak to the shocking accident happening in the midst of official travel.

In the case of deadly events like this, the 8th house is usually prominent—here, we see a mid-Aries Mars tightly conjunct the North Node and opposite 2nd house Libra Moon-South Node, suggesting violent death as a goal-directed event. It’s curious to me that both Venus-ruled signs (Taurus and Libra) play significant roles in this chart—could it be that the victims were posing obstacles to the Hamas-Gaza peace (Venus) process? In fact, there may be something to this, according to Barrons:

“Gazans on Monday spared little thought for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi killed in a helicopter crash, saying he had failed to ease the suffering in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

Raisi was confirmed dead on Monday after search and rescue teams found the remains of his helicopter which crashed Sunday in a fog-shrouded western mountain region of Iran.

Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and receives financial and military support from Iran, paid tribute to Raisi's ‘support for the Palestinian resistance, and tireless efforts in solidarity’ with Palestinians.

But Gazans in the central city of Deir al-Balah, an area which has been hit by fighting between Hamas and Israeli troops since the October 7 attacks, told AFP that Raisi's legacy in the Palestinian territory had been tarnished by inaction over their plight.”

It’s also possible that the April 8th eclipse may have helped set up the conditions for this event, as well:  Chiron following after Mars in later Aries in the 8th and the Mars-Node/Chiron midpoint comes uncomfortably close to the April 8th eclipse point at 19°24’ Aries. Mars transits over any eclipse point can be consequential, but over this still-active eclipse point it’s not surprising to see violence erupt.

In other examples, Mars’ proximity to that point seems to have re-energized Russia’s aggression against Ukraine lately and—despite (or maybe in response to) the ICC’s actions (see above)—Israel could intensify its controversial attacks on the city of Rafah.  

The helicopter crashed in rugged terrain during heavy fog.

Returning to the helicopter crash that killed Iran’s president, Pisces Neptune in the 7th house appears to reflect the lethal fog that may have caused the fatal crash. Of course, Neptune is slippery—it could also reflect subversion and/or a conspiracy against the victims, or simply the government’s desire to obfuscate the facts.

The somewhat vague official reports about the deadly crash are probably reflected in Saturn’s compromised position in Neptunian Pisces and the deeply-waning, balsamic cycle between these two planets. Scrutiny and healthy skepticism may be the appropriate response to this event for now; Mercury (Taurus) rules this Virgo rising chart and it sits square Pluto (Aquarius), which rules the Scorpio 3rd house. Perhaps we can expect a “second act” to this story.  

Finally, a nod to Pluto’s (Rx) placement in early Aquarius, disposed by that elevated 9th house Uranus and trine the Gemini MC, so two air signs playing off each other in an ill-fated helicopter flight and—Pluto’s reputation for subterfuge being what it is—perhaps manipulating events from beneath that Neptunian fog.



l-r: Robert Costello, Donald Trump, Michael Cohen


A shocker in NYC at the Trump trial

To continue our theme of shocking events happening this week, let’s very briefly consider a chart for today’s (5/20/2024) Trump hush money trial session in NYC. Michael Cohen’s cross examination is now over, but not without a bombshell revelation that he admits to having stolen $30,000 from the Trump Organization, siphoning that much off the payment he was making to a shady organization named Red Finch to rig a poll for TrumpIt remains to be seen if Trump’s defense team will land a solid blow on the prosecution over this, but the chart for the day’s proceedings is worth a look, nevertheless. The entire court session was significant, it seems, so I’ve used the 8:45 a.m. gavel time the judge called for to cast the chart. Let’s take a look.


Chart 2. Trump hush money trial session, May 20, 2024, 8:45 a.m. DST, New York, New York.


Notice that the Moon rules this Cancer-rising chart from the 4th here, and that it’s also inconjunct the 11th house Taurus Sun-Jupiter-Venus-Uranus gathering that is rising at that mid-Cancer ASC.  The mid-range of any cardinal sign tends to be aggressive territory, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the mostly anti-Trump protestors outside and the legal actors inside have been energized and adamant. The protestors were particularly energized outdoors, drowning out the media statement of Trump supporters with cowbells and other noise making.

Interestingly, after the prosecution rested their case today, the defense called attorney Robert Costello to the stand, which turned out to be a dicey move. Making noises and pulling unfortunate facial expressions in Judge Merchan’s direction in response to rulings he disagreed with, Costello caused the judge to empty the courtroom and confront him about his actions. It sounds like Costello intended to disrupt the proceedings for the sake of Trump’s defense—thankfully, there’s been no report of violence breaking out, even though the chart above could support as much, with a dignified Aries Mars-North Node conjunction at the top of the chart and square the Cancer-Capricorn ASC-DSC horizon.

As noted under Chart 1 above, this Mars is treading ever closer to the April 8th eclipse point at 19°+Aries—the trial is now expected to continue into next week when Mars will have just completed its passage over that point; fingers crossed that security will be enhanced at the courthouse next week. This point is reinforced by Aries Eris and Chiron holding court in the 10th, just degrees from that potentially volatile Mars. Once it crosses over the Aries eclipse point next week, Mars will be conjunct these two, at which point the disruptions and chaos might be expected to increase.

The media always plays a major role in anything to do with Trump, of course, and that shows here as well—Pisces Saturn and Neptune are both occupying the 9th and straddling the Pisces MC. This could reflect the rather shady legal information that came out about Cohen in today’s testimony, or it could simply point to the ways in which the trial has been weaponized in the media for political purposes (probably on both sides, but particularly with Trump’s victimization narrative).

For its part, Jupiter tightly sextiles Pisces Neptune from Taurus, which could point to an opportunity for a soft-landing in this trial, but it isn’t over ‘til it’s over, and conditions could change by the time the trial ends. No doubt, Trump media and others will spin the latest revelations to his best advantage for now.



Final thoughts

It’s difficult to avoid being numbed to the volatile tone afloat in today’s politics and public discourse, but this situation didn’t materialize all of a sudden, like the events described above might come across. In fact, there’s been a decades-long evolution at the heart of all this, and it’s a story that has unfolded in the course of specific planetary cycles and key passages. Unlocking the astrological story behind the story is what mundane astrology is all about, after all, so in the next post we will begin to make better sense of how we got here. Maybe once we do that, it’ll be easier to see a better path forward!   

Hope springs eternal!


P.S. Progress has stalled a bit on the publication of the paperback version of the book I announced in the last post; my apologies for the delay and—if you happen to be waiting for it—thank you so much, and thank you for your patience!



Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and retired 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, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Her articles on these topics have appeared in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact:

© Raye Robertson 2024. All rights reserved.






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