Sunday, September 28, 2014

Islamic State vs the West: the Astrology

Two days ago the UK government voted by a big majority to join in the US
-led bombing of Islamic State. I’d been wondering for some time about a chart for the Islamic State Caliphate, and then I noticed Christina had put up a post on the subject, suggesting a particular chart. Which got me thinking.

Islamic State Flag: the 7th Century 'Black Banner'

 (NerdWatch: Skip the next 10 paragraphs if you’re not technically minded).

What we know is that the spokesman for IS declared the Caliphate (extending across captured territory in Syria and Iraq) on the first day of Ramadan, 29th June 2014, the Islamic holy month, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. 

The timing for this declaration, however, is confused. If you look on skyscript, or on Robert Hand's Facebook Page for 3 July, it becomes apparent that there are a number of conflicting reports, some as much as 12 hours apart from each other. Not only that, but there is also youtube evidence of ISIS fighters celebrating the announcement of the Caliphate before sunrise that day!

At exactly what point did the Caliphate come into existence? We may never know, indeed there may well not be an exact time. Rather like the USA, did it come into existence on 2nd July, when Congress decided the USA was now independent, or 2 days later when the public declaration occurred?

In the same way, did the Caliphate exist once it was announced publicly, or at some point in the previous decision-making process?

The founding of the Caliphate, however, has one big astrological advantage over the founding of the USA, which is that it was clearly timed to coincide with a powerful symbolic event: the start of Ramadan. Astrology is essentially symbolic, and so I think a strong case exists for the start of Ramadan '14 being a chart that signifies the Caliphate. That is already what the declaration is associated with. In the absence of a clear time for the declaration, this chart could eventually become THE chart for the Caliphate.

Even though the public declaration was made sometime during the 29th of June, Ramadan begins with the first sighting of the crescent Moon after the New Moon, which was the evening before.

So I spent a couple of hours researching the moment at which the crescent Moon would have become visible in Ar-Raqqah, Syria on that date. Some Muslims use the time of the New Moon, which is easily calculable, but that is not so traditional, and IS are nothing if not traditional, as they see it.

At Moonsighting, there was a sighting of the Moon from Kuwait at 18:59, 8 minutes after sunset (which was 2 minutes after the Sun dipped below the Descendant on Solar Fire).

That was the best info I could get for that area. They weren’t able to see it, for example, in Saudi Arabia or Lebanon.

So the best possible guess I can make is for 10 minutes after the Sun crossed the Desc in Ar-Raqqah.

End of NerdWatch

And that gives this chart. One of the main differences from some other charts is that, crucially, Pluto is in the First House instead of being hidden in the 12th.

Islamic State Caliphate

And I think that what has characterised the IS Caliphate from the start is the openness of their brutality and their aspirations to power in the Muslim world. That is more characteristic of a 1st House Pluto. With 12th House Pluto, their real motivations would only have become clear over time, and even then they would be denied.

Overall it is a very powerful chart of an emotionally based religious movement (Sun and Moon in Cancer, Moon conjunct Jupiter) creating a homeland (Cancer) that wishes to expand (Jupiter), and willing to be as brutal as necessary to survive (Sun opposite Pluto Rising) in the face of what it sees as a world that is against it (Sun opposite Pluto).


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And the world that is against it is essentially the US and the other western powers. The US has Sun-Jupiter at 13-9 Cancer, conjunct the Caliphate Sun-Desc and opposite its Pluto.

The US and the Caliphate
This comparison of the two Charts shows very clearly the mutual shadow projection occurring. The 7th House is the House of 'Open Enemies', of mirrors, if you like, each seeing its own brutality in the enemy. Each have major placements in the 7th of the other, and all in the same sign of Cancer, the visceral sign of homeland and patriotism/nationalism. America is the Great Satan once again, while the IS are terrorists, subhumans who commit brutal acts for the sake of it, for no reason. Which has a truth to it, but that's not the point.

I wouldn’t want to defend IS at all, but it also involves the old story of the US projecting its own brutality outwards, a need it seems to have.  See Oliver Stone's admittedly angled but informative Untold History of the United States.

You could argue that IS and its Caliphate are the logical outcome of the US attempts to control the Middle East over many decades, an attempt that continues and which fuels the extremism of IS. The bombings, while maybe producing short term gains, will in the long run only make the situation worse.

 I don't want to let us Brits off the hook either. Our Moon conjoins the Caliphate Moon, and our Sun conjoins the Caliphate Asc-Pluto and opposes its Sun. And our MC is opposite the Caliphate Asc. (See Chart below.)

That is a very powerful connection. There isn't the same mutual 7th House connection that the US has -it only goes one way - so the emphasis on the Caliphate as 'enemy' is less. But overall the connection is stronger. Like it or not, we are locked in to Islamic State, and the fears of Brits flying out there and joining IS, then returning and creating problems at home, are therefore real.

I find it fascinating when themes reverberate down the decades, and astrology sometimes reveals this. Britain was involved in the creation of Iraq, an artificial state made up of different peoples, in the 1920s. And the chart for the Caliphate shows that our involvement in the power-politics of the region is just as strong now as it was then.

Of course, it's all ultimately about oil. The West does not wage war against Boko Haram (a jihadist Muslim organisation sympathetic to IS) in Nigeria. We only wage war if our vital interests are threatened, and then we claim the war is about something else.

And that's what I mean when I talk about each side projecting its brutality on the other. We are bombing IS not because they are awful (which they are) but because they threaten the West's control of a region on which it is dependent for a vital interest. And that is brutal. But it is concealed under fine words, and made remote through distance and technology. IS, however, do no such thing. They execute people and display it all over the internet. It seems self-evident that they are the bad guys and we are not.

Other aspects of the Caliphate chart include:  

Mars in the 9th opposite Uranus: the religiously (9th) inspired beheadings (Mars-Uranus), or the beheading of foreigners/journalists (9th). Gruesomely, Aries is associated with the head, and Uranus with sudden separation: Uranus is in Aries. The beheadings began in response to American airstrikes, what is called 'asymmetrical warfare'.

Trine from Saturn in Scorpio in the 10th to Moon-Jupiter: there is harmony between the people (Moon) and their rulers (Saturn) suggesting the Caliphate is here to stay and may grow.

Sun, Moon and Asc are all Cardinal: Cardinal signs begin events, they initiate, so we have the suggestion of a powerful beginning, that lends strength to the endurance and ambitions of the Saturn. The Caliphate, ridiculed by many Muslims, is likely to permanently change the Islamic world.

Cancer, Capricorn and Scorpio are all pronounced in the chart. Cancer and Capricorn are conservative, traditional signs, while Scorpio at its worst involves the exercise of archaic, cruel power, and hangs onto the past for dear life.

North Node conjunct Mars in 9th House Libra opposite Uranus: what the IS needs to learn is that others also have a religious/metaphysical viewpoint (9th Libra), instead of imposing their own views, using shocking violence (Mars-Uranus) that puts them outside the human community (Uranus).

Venus square Neptune: the women (Venus) are invisible (Neptune).

I keep thinking of Nazi Germany when I think of IS, they really do seem to be that bad. The charts don’t have much in common, and you can always find something! Maybe it is WHAT you find that matters.

Nazi Germany
The Nazi Pluto at 21 Cancer conjoins the Caliphate Moon. This suggests the aspect of Nazism that involved the collective (the Moon) giving absolute power to their leaders (Pluto) and doing things under orders that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. There are stories of Brits who've gone to join IS becoming disillusioned, but IS won't let them leave, and in any case they would be treated as criminals in the UK.

The Prog Nazi MC-IC is at 15 Aries-Libra. The IS Mars-Uranus runs closely along this axis, as well as conjoining the Nazi natal Uranus. It suggests the shocking violence of the Nazis being born again in IS.

Note that in the Nazi Germany chart, Pluto is hidden on the IC, not entirely unlike having it in the 12th (as I said earlier). And Hitler concealed his intentions until they were obvious and for many it was too late, or in the case of the UK, nearly too late. With the Caliphate and its 1st house Pluto, we know from the start what they are about.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Of Queens and Prime Ministers

The BBC has removed the source link from its news item that, according to David Cameron, the Queen “purred” when he told her that Scotland had voted against independence.

Well she would, she has Moon in Leo, the royal cat: her sense of Queenship is physical (Moon = embodiment), and it expresses itself accordingly.

David Cameron also has Moon in Leo, conjunct the Queen’s Moon. So they instinctively get on. Cameron’s Moon is also conjunct Jupiter and the UK Jupiter. He wants the UK to grow, not shrink. He roared his delight.

Remember “Calm down dear”, Cameron’s injunction to a female opposition MP in the Commons? It suggests a patronising attitude – sometimes at least – towards women. It occurred in late April 2011, while Mars-Jupiter in Aries was opposite his Libra Sun. This was the daring, yet macho, conjunction under which bin Laden was executed by US Navy Seals. And when Cameron told a female MP to “Calm down dear.”

So was he being patronising when he said the Queen “purred”? I think he was, but not as a weapon. The result of the Scottish referendum came out on 19th Sept, when both he and the Queen experienced a Lunar return. They were both feeling happy in a Leo-like way. Mars in Sagittarius was trining Cameron’s Moon and out it came. It was affectionate, but it also suggested that it is he, not her, that rules the pride.

The Queen
The Queen’s chart is by and large fixed and conservative. That is not a criticism, for those qualities have their place. But she finds change difficult. The progressive point in her chart is her 1st House Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius. Diana’s Moon conjoined the Queen’s Mars-Jupiter. So the way Diana instinctively was (Moon) provoked the Queen’s anger (Mars) but also ultimately forced the Queen to change, to come down from her remote, arrogant perch. When Diana died, Pluto and Neptune had recently finished crossing the Queen’s MC and Asc respectively. It doesn’t get much bigger than that. Events were beyond her control, and she was forced to stand down and fly the flag for Diana. And the transits suggest that it was more than a gesture, it was part of a deep change in attitude by the Queen. She was 72 at the time. There’s hope for all of us!

But she’s much happier carrying on as she has always done. According to my calculations, Elizabeth will equal Queen Victoria’s record of 63 yrs 7 months and 2 days on the throne on September 10th 2015. (I calculated it by number of days on the throne, including leap days.)

Queen equals Victoria's Record

At that point Saturn in Scorpio will be about to leave the sign, having finally finished with the Queen’s Saturn-MC in Scorpio, a signature of career longevity if there ever was. It will be her 3rd Saturn return, a transit of achievement and ripeness.

The day before she equals the record, the Moon will cross her Descendant and the UK Moon, so the people (the Moon) will be very aware of this event. And the day of the record the Moon will be in Leo, conjoining her natal Moon. She is likely to purr.

There are, of course, other features to the chart of that day: for example, the Moon Venus conjunction (that conjoins the Queen's Moon). Very nice feeling quality, rejoicing. And the North Node conjunct the Queen's Desc (and the UK Moon): an event of personal significance for the Queen as the 'mother' (Cancer) of the people (UK Moon). This astrology suggests that even if you are anti-monarchy, you will still benefit from the collective feeling quality of the day! 

(Personally, I think having a monarch takes a lot of pressure off the Prime Minister to be that him or herself - which didn't stop Blair or Thatcher trying to be - and means they can get on with their job. I think the USA suffers from this problem, and could do with a monarch. That perhaps why, in our celebrity age, the last 3 Presidents have all had Leo Sun or Asc. Maybe they could try as king a washed-up member of the Kennedy family who would do as he was told?)


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On that day (Sept 10th) I think David Cameron will still be Prime Minister, and probably also purring under his Lunar Return. Politicians usually rise to power under major transits, and fall from power once those transits are over. Margaret Thatcher reigned under Pluto, and Blair under Neptune.

David Cameron

Cameron has a wide stellium from Asc to Venus to the Sun. He became leader of the Conservative Party as Pluto squared his Asc, became Prime Minister as Pluto moved on to square his Venus, and next year (as well as in 2016) Pluto will exactly square his Sun. From then on his power is likely to wane, so I think he is likely to stand down 3 or so years into the next Parliament, in order to make way for an electable successor. A Pluto square Sun transit is pretty hefty, and it will be starting to conclude as the EU referendum of 2017, which he initiated, takes place.

David Cameron

Pluto’s simplest meaning is power, and Cameron will be faced with power issues of national importance from the start of the next Parliament: what powers to give to Scotland, and what powers to reclaim from the EU. These are likely to be his defining issues, at the conclusion of which it will be time for him to go.

Putting astrology aside, I’m not ruling out voting conservative at the next election. I don’t think there is much to choose between the parties. But Cameron is proving to be the first PM for decades who can both lead his party and not divide the country. Thatcher and Blair divided the country and created a lot of ill feeling. Brown and Major could not lead their own parties, let alone the country.

I don’t think of Cameron as a great man. He is, however, holding together not just his party but a coalition government, which is a difficult thing to do. And the country has climbed out of the worst recession in living memory (a recession which I think would also have occurred under a Tory government.) Cuts have been needed, though they have been applied in unfair ways at times. And I really don’t like the concentration of ex-public school in the government, it amounts to a new ruling class in a way we haven’t seen for a long time.

But as a leader, I think Cameron is doing better than any of his predecessors. If Labour had a leader who could lead, then I’d consider voting for them. But Ed Milliband doesn’t seem to have it.

Of course, given the chance I would vote for a party that would change the whole course of the world so that we could live sustainably and stop destroying the environment and where countries would stop trying to dominate each other in a competition for resources and the fanatical backlash that creates...

Sunday, September 14, 2014


It is said that if you want to predict major events in someone’s life, then look at the charts of their close relatives. In the absence of a chart for Scotland, we need to look through the lens of the UK chart and see what is happening there.

First of all though, I don’t think that astrology on its own predicts much. It says a certain amount: for instance, we are currently in the latter stages of a square from Uranus to Pluto, that has impacted in a big way on the charts of all the major powers. So the astrology on its own has been saying with some certainty that the West would go through a major crisis and renewal over this period, and with less certainty but with high probability (based on history) that this crisis would centre around the economy.

The collective divinatory sea that has built up around the symbols involved tells us that much. It shows shapes in the mist. To see more clearly, you need the individual divinatory skills of the astrologer, his or her ability to use the symbols to see something beyond them.

And it’s the same with the Scottish referendum. The astrology on its own does not tell us which way it’s going to go. What it does say – through comparing a number of charts – is that something major is going on, and that even if there is a no vote, the impact will be lasting.


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The usual chart for the UK that astrologers use is the 1801 chart, the union of England and Ireland. Astrology is a symbolic rather than a literal, exact art (too much insistence on accurate data suggests that somewhere you are missing the point), and it’s as though a chart and a person/country grow into each other through repeated use. Like the US Sibly chart, which works well for the USA, but which is based on a symbolic rather than a literal time. And maybe it has worked better as time has gone on? That might be worth researching.

UK 1801 Click to Enlarge

The UK 1801 chart is emerging from Uranus and Pluto hard-aspecting its Sun and Angles. And the UK has been going through an identity crisis for some years now. Do we remain part of the EU? Will Scotland leave the UK? Even the traditional party-political set-up has shifted: we have the 1st coalition government since WWII, and UKIP has arisen as a serious challenge to the Tories.

The transits are set to continue as Uranus and Pluto move on to hard-aspect the UK Moon at 19 Cancer between now and approx. 2018, which covers the EU referendum in 2017.

The Sun is the leadership, the MC is the State and the Moon is the people. So changes to the leadership and state, leading to a change in the people a few years later. Big changes that take time to absorb and settle.

The referendum takes place on 18 September. My view is that the crucial astrological event of that day is a Lunar Return – the Moon will at one point be in exactly the same place, 19.26 Cancer, as in the natal chart of the UK. And it is the planet of the people, in the sign of homeland, a conservative sign.

UK Lunar Return 18 Sept
And at the exact moment of the Lunar Return, whether set for London or Edinburgh, the Sun and Angles will be in the late degrees of the mutable signs. This is not a good time for beginning a new venture – you want cardinal signs for that. The Iraq War was begun under Sun and Angles in the mutable signs (Sun at 29 Pisces) and that was a mess. It was able to begin because a collective hysteria had been whipped up, and I don't think this applies very much to the Scottish Referendum.

So this analysis suggests that the vote will be No to independence. If Scotland were desperate to get away, then I would read the mutable emphasis as a natural unravelling of the Union. But that is not the case, so it would take Cardinal energy to make it leave.

Scottish Parliament
At the same time, all this is happening under such intense transits to the UK Chart – the biggest in our lifetimes – that it will still be a seismic event. Something is being awoken in the people (Uranus square natal Moon over the next 2 years) on both sides of the border. Either way, Scotland will have increased powers of self-governance a year or two from now. Another referendum is perfectly possible when Pluto opposes the UK Moon in 3 to 5 years’ time (and that transit will also describe the EU referendum of 2017.) It may not, however, be orchestrated by Alex Salmond. His Sun is at 9 Capricorn, so his moment is now.


The chart for the Union of England and Scotland in 1707.

UK 1707
Pluto (shift in power) will be conjoining the ascendant of this chart in 2 years time, Uranus (breaking away) is squaring it right now. On the day of the referendum, the Moon will pass over the Moon-Desc conjunction in Cancer, which is very significant. This chart suggests something powerful is happening to the Union, and as it’s not getting closer, it suggests it is pulling away. The angular Mars at 20 Cancer is very significant, and like the 1801 Moon will be activated by Uranus and Pluto in the coming years. So again, if not independence now, then it looks likely in a few years.

The chart for the gradual disintegration of the UK, as I call the chart for 1922, when Eire left the Union.

UK 1922
What we see here is Neptune (dissolution) squaring the Asc next year, and then squaring the Sun in 3 to 4 years’ time, as Uranus and Pluto do their work on the Moon at 23 Cancer (whose sign and degree connect it to the UK 1801 chart). So again, we have a similar message to the 1801 and 1707 charts.

My overall conclusion is that Scotland will indeed become independent, but probably in about 5 years’ time rather than now.

UK 1801 Prog and UK 1922
Here’s a slightly uncanny one: the 1922 UK disintegration chart has MC at 5 Aquarius. If we progress the 1801 chart (the UK at its maximum size) to 2010, when the Scottish government published its 1st draft bill for a referendum on independence, the MC of this chart was also at 5 Aquarius. So the UK as a state (MC) moving into a period (progression) of disintegration (MC of 1922 chart).