On 12th December there will be an exact conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Sagittarius. It relates to all sorts of things, such as the sub-prime scam and the bursting of the credit bubble. But it also has a lot to do with the War on Terror: Pluto is war and secret attacks, Sagittarius gives religious fundamentalism as the motive, which Jupiter can also suggest, as well as expanding it out of all proportion.
But conjunctions are beginnings/endings of cycles, so we may well see some new phase in the War on Terror. I use the chart for 9/11 for this war – 8.46am 11 Sept 2001, New York – and what I have been aware of this year is that the 9/11 chart had a Progressed New Moon in August, which again suggests the beginning of a new phase.
I think that this war takes place as much inside of George Bush’s head as anywhere else. It was him who first used the term, and he has since used it as a single category for any person/country who he considers to be an enemy of America. To start with, it was a war against those who had brought about 9/11. But none of the resulting military activity has actually had much to do with 9/11. And he’s fudged it, drawing in Iraq, Iran and North Korea, his ‘Axis of Evil’, as all somehow connected to this ‘war’.
The only attack America has had on its home territory in this ‘war’ was 9/11 itself; the only attack the UK has had (America’s main ally in this war) were the July bombings of 2005. Yet this ‘threat’ has been used to justify rafts of measures in both countries that undermine civil liberties. In the UK we know what it is like to be subject to a terrorist campaign, through the IRA bombings of the 1970s. That was real, and yet we did not need all these repressive measures throughout the country. OK, we had such measures in Northern Ireland itself, where most of the trouble was, but that was understandable. So this heightened state of security we have recently been living under is largely phoney.
Because it is phoney, you can only keep it up for so long, and the other night I suddenly had this sense of weariness about it, that the War on Terror is now old hat, it belongs to the past. Pluto in Sagittarius may be about fundamentalism, but it is also about truth, and as Pluto and Jupiter move out of Sag, truth may be what we are starting to get.
For the US, its 2 main theatres for this war are Iraq and Iran. Around the time of the progressed New Moon in August, things improved in Iraq, and have remarkably stayed that way; and just as Jupiter comes up to conjoin Pluto, all the American intelligence agencies say as one that Iran is not such a threat as we thought. So I think this war, at least as it is now, is slowly starting to end. The Iraq War Sun is at 29 Pisces, which Pluto will be squaring all of next year. This has the definite meaning of a new phase in the war, and I think a probable meaning that the war will be continuing to draw down – with no doubt the odd blip of increased bombings etc.
In the UK, just as Jupiter is coming up to conjoin Pluto, the Home Secretary has announced plans to increase from 28 to 42 days the time the police can detain a suspect without charging them. She has to get Parliament to agree to this. There seems to be a good chance they won’t agree, and I think the outcome may be a general sense that the crisis is not what it was.
I think that the period between the last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in 1994 and the present one has been a particularly strong cycle. Astrologically, this is because each conjunction took place in the rulership sign of Jupiter or Pluto. In 1994, the sky-god Jupiter visited his brother Pluto in the Underworld; in 2007, Jupiter is returning the hospitality and hosting Pluto at his home on Mount Olympus.
In November 1994, 3 weeks before the conjunction, George Bush was elected governor of Texas, and the political career of this fundamentalist began. On the same day, the Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, paving the way for the ascendancy of the neo-cons. In 2007, a week before the current conjunction, Bush has received a major political knockback over Iran, and this may come to be seen as the point at which his own jihad finally went into reverse.
Because I think it is a jihad, a ‘holy war’, that he has been waging. He wants us to think it is the Islamists who are the problem, but Bush himself embodies all those characteristics that he sees in his enemies. It is a classic case of projection. He is a religious fundamentalist who will go to any lengths to impose his own rigid view of the world on other peoples. Just like the Islamists.
So I think the 9/11 Progressed New Moon and the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction are between them pointing to a new phase, and probably a drawing down, of Bush’s War on Terror that has so dominated international relations for the last 6 years. It doesn’t mean that e.g. Iran’s nuclear ambitions won’t remain a major problem, but the way of dealing with it will be different.
For Pakistan, however, the problems with religious fundamentalism have yet to peak. President Musharraf’s position has been weakening for some time, and it seems to me to be just a matter of time before we have a nuclear armed Islamic fundamentalist state. Using astrocartography, this is reflected in Jupiter and Pluto being on the IC in Pakistan at the moment of their conjunction. It also opposes Pakistan's natal Mars at 0.35 Cancer – ‘violent religious revolution in the homeland’ – while at the same time Neptune is opposing the Pakistan Sun at 21 Leo (and Musharraf's Sun at 18 Leo), dissolving the present leadership. You don’t need the majority behind you to have a revolution, you can get away with quite a small minority if you are determined enough, which I think the Islamists are.