Month: August 2004

Russia – A Painful Transition

It has been three years since 9/11, and during this time there no significant terrorist attack has occurred on American territory. Whether this is because of the effectiveness of the security system in the USA , the difficulty of operating under cover in America , or the fact that people like it so much in the States that terror cannot get a foothold, is difficult to say.

The same cannot be said for Russia , which in a comparable period has lost hundreds of lives to terrorist attacks. In 1999 two housing blocks in Moscow were reduced to rubble leaving 213 dead, and prompting an uncompromising repression in Chechnya . During the Moscow theatre siege in October 2002 129 hostages died. Two female suicide bombers detonated themselves at a Moscow rock concert in July 2003 killing 15. After elections in December 2003 a female suicide bomber killed 6 in central Moscow . 40 people were killed on February 6, 2004 when a suicide bomber detonated himself in a subway car. But in recent months, things have gone from bad to worse. On August 24, 2004 , terrorist suicide bombers brought down two passenger planes, killing all 90 passengers. One week later a suicide bomber killed 10 outside a crowded Moscow subway station.

And, at the time of writing, the disaster at Beslan school led to the death of more than 300 people, half of them children. A litany of disaster and sorrow for the Russian people. This string of disasters is unusual for any country, so what is going on in Russia ? On Christmas day 1991, at the time of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, which takes place just once every 172 years, the Russian flag was raised over the Kremlin, symbolically marking its rebirth after 74 years of communism.

See chart for Russia – Flag-up: 25.12.1991 20.45 Moscow AS 25.16 Leo

This chart marks a strong departure from the 1917 Revolution chart (Note 1), which has a powerful and secretive T-square from Sun/Mercury in Scorpio to Saturn/Neptune in Leo and Uranus in Aquarius. However one major similarity between the two charts is the position of Flag-up Moon at 3.13 Virgo, on Revolution Mars at 2.58 Virgo. Transiting Uranus in Pisces from 2003 to 2004 has of course powerfully activated this Virgo position. In itself this indicates explosive and violent developments for the Russian people. The 1991 chart also has Mars at 19.12 Sagittarius, which has been activated by transit Pluto over the last two years.

Terrorism is the act of extremely small minorities using extremely brutal methods to attain results out of all proportion to their size, and these elements are very much part of the Pluto dynamic, which becomes exceedingly violent when aligned with Mars. The natural result of this is the transformation of a nation’s military arm, so that it becomes more secretive and more repressive to cope with the threat. To some extent this is also happening in America , whose Mars at 21 Gemini is currently being opposed by Pluto. But it is most definitely happening in Russia , as Putin’s latent autocratic nature begins to assert itself, and indeed is welcomed by the majority of the Russian people, who want a strong leader like Stalin, not a “good” leader like Gorbatchev.

It is an extraordinary thing – the chances are one in a million – but the US progressed Mars and the Russian (Revolution) progressed Mars BOTH move retrograde by progression in 2005, at 18.42 Libra and 3.04 Libra respectively. What does that mean? Two similarities that spring to mind are: the USA has overextended itself by invading Iraq , and its army is getting mired in an increasingly violent “terrorist” backlash in that country, and Russia has overextended itself in Chechnya and is suffering from its own “terrorist” backlash. Putin declared that the insurrection in Chechnya was over around the same time that Bush famously announce “mission accomplished” at his aircraft carrier photoshoot after the fall of Baghdad .

Logic would indicate that when Mars is stationary retrograde – a process that lasts many years – it shows an impossibility of making progress. It is brought to a halt. Only one direction is possible, and that is backwards. Whilst the planet is stationary, it is mired; later it can withdraw. Therefore we will see America locked in Iraq and Russia locked in Chechnya for a number of years, with a withdrawal likely probably around 2010 – 2011, when the Pluto/Uranus square hits the 1991 Russian Sun (and US Venus/Jupiter).

This is a time that will bring other forms of upheaval worldwide because of the number of countries with important planets activated by the coming grand cross between Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. Looking at the progressions in the 1991 chart for Russia , it can be seen that the progressed sun reaches Uranus in 2001 and Neptune in 2004, so clearly this period is a time of upheaval, change and confusion for the newly reborn country. The awful outcome of the theater siege in 2002 eerily reflects the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1991 Russia ‘s 5th house – an explosive terrorist action at a place of entertainment ending in 150 deaths by gas poisoning. On September 11th, 2001 that the Sun conjoined Russia ‘s Uranus to the minute of arc! With Uranus ruling Russia ‘s Descendant, it probably shows the US as Russia ‘s main partner and adversary, but the progressed conjunction showed them joined in mutual shock.

With Putin’s support for Bush’s war on terror, Russia was freed of international criticism to escalate its own oppression in Chechnya. Whatever plans Putin had for the subjugation of Chechnya , the escalation of terror in Russia has increased with the passage of the Sun over the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. The unfathomable tragedy of the school siege at Beslan took place as the Sun progressed conjoined Neptune (and progressed Neptune… within 6 minutes of arc). This was a pinnacle of despair for Russia… a sense that terrorism was unbeatable and that no measures could conquer it.

See chart for Beslan School siege1.09.2004 9.00 (approx) Beslan 43N12 44E33 AS 7.56 Libra Source: The Guardian

This siege took place just after the downing of two Russian airliners, amongst other virulent terrorist attacks, and this is reflected by the applying Sun/Mars conjunction of August/September 2004, earlier opposing Uranus, and soon to square Pluto. In fact the siege Sun activates the Uranus/Pluto midpoint, showing the potential for insane destruction. This is the time when Venus in Cancer reaches Saturn, a conjunction that vividly illustrates the grieving families.

The nodal axis at 3 degrees Taurus/Scorpio of this chart is on Putin’s Ascendant/Descendant axis and Russia ‘s Sun/Moon midpoint, and indeed, when the transiting Moon conjoined the South Node, the siege disintegrated into mayhem and murder. The trigger for the series of explosions that reduced the school’s gymnasium – where the hostages were crowded together in the summer heat – to ruins, was the passage of the MC over the Sun/Mars conjunction at 13.05 on September 3rd. As the explosive charges were detonated, the roof collapsed.

It is interesting to note that Putin’s Moon is at 2.55 Gemini, exactly square 1917 Mars (3 minutes of arc) and 1991 Moon. This too has been triggered by transiting Uranus in Pisces, and the fact that schoolchildren were in the firing line is perhaps reflected by the Moon’s position in Gemini and the 8th. Chiron stands exactly on the 3rd house cusp of education. The reaction of Putin to this tragedy was typical. His point was that he had allowed a referendum in Chechnya in 2001, and the people of Chechnya voted to stay with Russia . The attack in Beslan had nothing to do with Chechnya , it was the work of international terrorism. He refused a public enquiry into the siege, promising only an internal enquiry behind closed doors. And looking a Putin’s chart (Note 2) one can see why.

See chart for Vladimir Putin – 7 Oct 1952 9.30 St Petersburg AS 3.10 SC

I have previously commented on Putin’s chart (Note 3) which, with Scorpio rising, Pluto/South Node on MC and the Moon in Gemini in the 8th, shows the information-gathering spy, which Putin once was. He spent his early years rising through the ranks of the KGB stationed in East Germany , before becoming vice mayor of St. Petersburg after the disintegration of the Soviet Union . Putin has a sixth degree black belt in judo, and has been training since he was 14, so – if world domination was decided by single combat – Russia would undoubtedly come out on top. The only other premier that might have compared was President Roosevelt, who achieved a rank of brown belt. What this means is that Putin is a fighter, and he is dedicated to winning. For the samurai, failure is not an option.

Mars in his horoscope is on the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, suggesting a masculinity elevated to the divine. (Note 4) The Mars/Pluto trine shows a person able to mobilize extreme willpower to achieve victory. His Mercury/Neptune conjunction constellates strongly with this trine, showing a subtle, secretive and ingenious mind. Putin says what is necessary to say under the circumstances – truth is a relative concept subservient to achieving supremacy.

Nobody in their right mind would fight against Putin. Still, there are times when even the most skilled samurai runs into trouble. Pluto, which has crossed 1991 Russia ‘s Mars during 2003 and 2004, will reach Putin’s Mars during 2006-2007, casting him into a struggle for survival against formidable odds. People are not weakened by Pluto transits, but rather called upon to exhibit superhuman strength. At the same time, it can also be wise to cut your losses. Putin will fight power with power at this time. He may take losses, but he will survive. The danger is that the losses, bearable for him, will not be bearable for others.

If his birth time is correct, 2006-2007 is the period of the Saturn/Neptune opposition from 19-22 Leo/Aquarius, right on Putin’s Pluto, Nodes and MC/IC axis. This suggests that he will be ruling a country that is dissolving into a morass. Bearing in mind that Russia has always been sensitive to Neptune/Saturn cycles (Note 5), and that Putin himself was born during one, this is obviously going to be a difficult and testing time for both him and the country. The prognosis is that the extreme manifestation of terrorism in Russia will continue until 2007, but will die off as the Sun progresses away from the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, and Pluto moves away from Russia’s and Putin’s Mars in Sagittarius. These terrorist atrocities are a reflection of the extreme transits and progressions of the last few years. Putin will achieve a measure of success in “winning the war on terrorism”.

On the other hand, there is no denying that the 1991 chart, with its Sun/Uranus/Neptune conjoining the nodal axis reflects a constant struggle to govern the ungovernable. As the Russian Uranus at 13.19 Capricorn is exactly square Putin’s Sun at 13. 56 Libra, much of Putin’s time as president will be spent coping with the unpredictable, and when Pluto conjoins this point in 2015, whist Uranus squares it (opposing Putin’s Sun), Putin will leave the Russian stage.

Adrian Ross Duncan 17.09.2004

1. Russian Revolution (Storming of the Winter Palace ) 8.11.1917
2.12 St Petersburg 59N55 30E15 2. Theoretically Putin’s data come from his birth certificate. There is however controversy about this, with some Russian astrologers pointing out that there were no birth certificates in Russia at the time of Putin’s birth. His birth time should therefore be treated with caution. One argument for this time is that his Ascendant at 3 degrees Scorpio in exactly at 1991 Russia ‘s Sun/Moon midpoint.
3. See
4. The Galactic Centre is a black hole around which the Solar System revolves once every 2.25 million years. Those who think that Brad Pitt is a god will be interested to learn that his Sun is at 26 Sagittarius.
5. The Russian revolution, Stalin’s death, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union all took place during at Saturn/Neptune conjunctions.

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Love & Romance on the Mediterranean

When summer comes to the Northern Europe, holidaymakers flock to countries where the sun is guaranteed to shine, and cross-cultural encounters take place that can be both puzzling and disturbing. If you are young, blond – and male – you can forget it, if you are thinking of seducing a Greek, Spanish or Italian female. It could be more than your life is worth, even in the unlikely case that you succeeded. But if you are young, blond – and female – there is nothing like a visit to a Mediterranean beach if you want to learn about the local men. Take Sicily for example. Women from the north, with cool blood running through theirs veins, are fair game to young Italian studs who are fully convinced that they can offer an experience in romance and passion that cannot be match by their pale rivals in the north. There will be no escape from the relentless pursuit of these persistent Romeos. Advice: Find a boyfriend from a Mafia family, and the harassment will stop.If you travel even further afield, then far stranger things can happen. Hitching to India with my girlfriend at the tender age of 19, we came aboard a long-distance lorry bound for Teheran. When we stopped for the night, the driver made a little love nest in his cabin. I prepared to defend the honor of my girlfriend, but it turned out the driver wanted me to join him. Only when I declined the flattering offer did he then make a (vain) attempt at luring my girlfriend. Travelling east I found again and again that it was the young man who was the object of desire.

Although it cannot be quantified scientifically, national stereotypes, which arise for the deepest cultural roots of a particular land, are widely seen as being more or less accurate. To some extent these gender stereotypes can be clearly seen in the country’s horoscope, and Italy is a classic case. A country can be represented by a series of horoscopes for political events, and these charts can both show an evolution in gender roles, as well as confirm historical roles that persist through history. The most recent chart is likely to show the current cultural trends, which both sexes will respond to.

See chart for Republic of Italy – 10 Jun 1946 18.00 Rome

The 1946 chart for Italy has Scorpio rising with Mars in Leo in the 9th conjoining the Midheaven. This Mars, which configures (rather weakly) with a Jupiter/Uranus trine, clearly indicates a man confidant of his own worth and sexuality. The blond Swede sunbathing near Palermo is going to have her work cut out fighting off this Mars. Mars in Leo can scarcely imagine anyone truly wanting the rebuff his advances. This is complicated by the controlled and moralistic Venus/Saturn conjunction on the 9th house cusp squaring Jupiter in Libra. The Italian woman is bent on marriage and a relationship for life. Mars can hardly believe his luck when he sees the blonde on the beach. Resistance is only to be expected – he gets it every day from Italian women. Actually Mars in Leo is probably just having a bit of fun… the sextiles to Jupiter and Uranus just want to talk. (Unlike French men, who really mean business). Let the Italian man celebrate his freedom while he has it. As soon as he is married, he will be bound into the controlling web of the family.

Looking at two other significant, but older, charts for Italy in 1861 and 1871, the first chart (Note 1) shows Mars sandwiched between Moon and Pluto in Taurus. This Mars in exile is square Jupiter in Leo, so it is probably a very naughty Mars, eager for sexual satiation, but it is firmly under the sway of Mother. Even here Venus is in trouble, exalted in Pisces but opposing Saturn – the woman as self-denying saint. The later chart (Note 2), which is also a very significant horoscope for Italy has Venus at 24 Leo (square Pluto trine Neptune ) exactly where Mars is in the 1946 chart. So there should also be room for the Venus in Leo woman in Italy – proud, sexy and imperious. This Venus sextiles Mercury in Gemini, which brings to mind an attractive woman on her motor scooter. In this later chart, Mars is weak (but amorous) in exile in Libra.

If our northern blonde wants to sunbathe undisturbed (though this may not be her goal) then the place to go to is Spain . Statistics show that 27% of Spanish males visit a prostitute in their lives (Note 3) – the highest proportion in Europe . They are more reserved, and more frustrated. In the 1975 chart for the establishment of democracy in Spain , Mars is as weak as it can be.

See chart for Inauguration of King Juan Carlos22nd Nov 1975 12.45 Madrid

In fall in Cancer and retrograde, Mars is retreating from a trine to Uranus in Scorpio (those prostitutes?). Perhaps Mars still has memories of the bloody civil war during the 1930s. Mars is under the sway of the Moon in Cancer, and indeed it has been shown that it is Spanish men who stay longest in the home, often living under their mother’s wing into the 30’s, if a suitable partner has not been found.

Spanish women on the other hand appear deeply aware of their femininity and sexuality. Slim, poised and bejeweled you will see them walking proudly on the streets… obviously quite a handful for that weak Mars in Cancer. The Venus/Pluto conjunction in the 8th house seems to speak of the fatal allure of Carmen and the passionate flamenco dancers with their swishing red and black skirts. The sexual power of Spanish women is one thing, but the exact square to the Moon in Cancer is another. Once the flamboyance of youth has faded, then motherhood rules supreme. Talking to a womanizing Dutchman who had been resident in Spain for over a decade, he complained bitterly of how Spanish women tended to let themselves go once a relationship had become stable. Apparently, as he ruefully explained, they even stopped shaving their legs.

Whilst the women of Spain are blessed by a dignified Venus and Moon, the women of Greece have the misfortune of having the reverse placement. The chart for the establishment of democracy in Greece , after the overthrow of the military government in 1974, shows Venus conjoining Mercury and Saturn in the chart’s 12th house, and in close square to a Moon/Pluto conjunction in the 4th. That’s a very heavy combination. It reminds of the circumstances of the widow who has an affair in the iconic film Zorba the Greek , who is ritually murdered by a jealous mob of older women in black. You can forget about falling in love again in old Greece if your husband dies.

See chart for Greek Democracy24 Jul 1974 4.00 Athens

Other significant horoscopes for Greece were created when they gained independence from Turkey in 1822, (Note 4) and the subsequent kingdom in 1830. Both charts show Venus in Pisces in either square or opposition to Mars, which seems to suggest that men and women are at odds with each other and lead separate lives. In Ancient Greece, o nce a woman was married her husband controlled all her property including any she might have inherited. Any respectable woman would not be seen in public. Without political rights women were controlled by men at all stages of their lives, but they in turn ruled a plentiful supply of female slaves. It is said that even in modern Greece , women have very little power and influence, though they rule the home and the sexual favors they give with an iron hand. Certainly the Venus/Saturn in Cancer in the 12th square Moon/Pluto in Libra in the 4th show them as the power in a shadowy home, with sex and love released in controlled doses to achieve an agenda.

Still, with Mars in Leo sextile Uranus, why should the men care? Men socialize with men and women with women, even in modern Greece , so they can always go and sip ouzo in a cafe and eye the foreign talent. Women on the other hand are virtually imprisoned in the home, and get together in each other’s houses so share their secret world, or go to church.

If there are any French readers of this article, they are probably trying hard to contain their impatience. We all know who the world’s greatest lovers are, don’t we? Looking at the many charts for France , one has to agree that French women at least have certain charms. The most recent chart for France is the 5th Republic, which was established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958.

See chart for France 5th Republic – 5 Oct 1958 0.00 Paris

Here we can see Venus at home in Libra, and in harmonious trine to Mars, suggesting an uncomplicated mutual attraction between the sexes. With Venus, Mercury the Sun and Node in Libra, we have a glimpse of France as the fashion capital of the world. A trip to Paris confirms the image of French women as stylish and fashion-conscious. The French are really proud of their culture and taste. They look with horror at the dumpy English with their stodgy food. Quel horreur! The Mars/Venus trine does suggest a nation of lovers, and it is politically correct for polticians to have affairs. Mitterand certainly had his extra-marital escapades, even fathering children outside his marriage. The finest precedent was set by President Félix Faure who died in a mistress’s bed in 1899. In earlier charts from France – for example the famous establishment of a new government in Day One of Year one (Note 6) Venus was also in Libra.

However there may be grounds to be skeptical about French men. Not their virility of course, that can’t be in doubt, but their male chauvinism. In the 1958 chart Mars in Gemini is square Pluto, in the 4th Republic chart from 1946 Mars is in Scorpio loosely square Pluto, in Day 1, Year 1, Mars is in Scorpio square Pluto (and Uranus) … so these are some complicated men – powerful, secretive and somewhat obsessed with virility. French men may not be the world’s greatest lovers, but they are probably the most fixated. Adverts in France often reflect the fetishist quality of male fantasies, and the depiction of their female counterparts in very sexually explicit situations. The 1958 Mars in Gemini square Pluto also suggests an obsessive secretiveness… perhaps it is the ambition of the average French male to have both wife and mistress. After all, that’s what the President has.

Of course, as an Englishman (Welsh actually – it is said we favor sheep) it can be very comfortable sitting back and writing about other Europeans. But what about the British? Sex amongst the British is hardly something I can bring up in polite company, but perhaps in another article…

Adrian Ross Duncan


1. Kingdom of Italy 17th March 1861 , 0 hrs LMT AS 3.58 SG

2. Italy : King Victor Emmanuel enters Rome : 2 Jul 1871 12.30 Rome AS 13.46 LI

3. Information from The Guardian

4. Declaration of Independence : Jan 13 1822 Noon (Time Unknown) Athens

Kingdom of Greece : 3 Feb 1830 Noon (Time Unknown), Athens

5. France, Day 1 Year 1: 21 Sep 1792 15.20 LMT Paris, AS 25.33 CP

6. France, 4th Republic 28 Oct 1946 0.00 Paris , AS 11.31 LE


John Kerry: Antiwar Warrior

You don’t win a presidential election in the USA through good behavior. Americans like their presidents to be human, with the failings of human beings. And a dose of machismo does not harm either. Presidential candidates may try to portray a squeaky clean moral image, but looking back, we can see that Kennedy was a womanizer, Nixon a mendacious cynic, Reagan a macho star, and Clinton a man addicted to sexual conquests. That’s why they were liked. Jimmy Carter was an embarrassment to the American people – and he was truly a good man.

Massachusetts Man
So what chance does presidential candidate John Kerry have, war (and anti-war) hero, cultured Yale graduate (as indeed Bush also is), brought up in European boarding schools with a French mother and married to cosmopolitan philanthropist Teresa Heinz? As a rather inhibited and intellectual upper class Boston politician he has traditionally hopeless credentials for winning against Bush. Elections in the US are often decided by a population powerfully influenced by a rather right-wing media, and where lack of support for guns and the death penalty (which Kerry is against) will lose key voters.

The Bush campaign is arming itself for a devastating attack on every apparent weakness in the character of Kerry, and judging from the challenger’s chart there will be plenty of material to choose from.

Click here to see John Kerry’s horoscope

Kerry was born just before sunrise with a huge full Moon descending over the Western horizon, sandwiched between the two “malefics” Mars and Saturn. This is a very strong constellation, but it gives Kerry a very dour, controlled and even petty style. His seriousness and lack of spontaneity is a major obstacle in a country where hand shaking and baby-hugging are essential ingredients on the campaign trail. Put bluntly Kerry lacks charm and voter appeal. He thinks too much, is too long-winded and can’t express his emotions. That is not to say that Kerry is not experienced. He came into the Senate in 1982, and prior to that was a key anti-Vietnam war figurehead in the seventies. Few people doubt his integrity, and his personal war record makes Bush seem like a namby-pamby, so the Mars/Saturn connection can work in his favor – if the time is right.

Paradoxically for a man with such a strong Saturn, Kerry likes being the center of attention. His local newspaper the Boston Globe famously commented “Kerry cannot go past a mirror without saying hello”. Newspapers are clever – they certainly captured Kerry’s full moon in Gemini here. He was awarded the nickname “Live Shot” by Massachusetts political insiders for his relentless courting of reporters and TV stations. Obviously this is an expression of the Sun on his Ascendant, which manifests as attention-seeking, just as it does for the notoriously vain Italian premier Sylvio Berlusconi, who has the same Sun position. Kerry is a man deeply unsure of his self-image, but determined to overcome his weaknesses through a driving ambition to succeed. He has every chance of doing this, however. What could be better than Ascendant ruler Jupiter in Leo trine Sun in Sagittarius and in reception with it? Truly this is also a generous and magnanimous man. Jupiter’s sextile to Saturn shows the capacity to soften his dour and clumsy nature, to learn and to improve, and it also shows a consummate politician with a winner mentality, who can support and improve the society in which he is engaged.

Special Interests
Another charge that can be leveled at Kerry is that he is in the pockets of special interests. Republican strategists will not be slow to analyze his voting record over the last 22 years, and it will not be difficult to compromise Kerry as someone influenced by lobbyists of doubtful pedigree. These charges will stick: Kerry has Venus in Scorpio square the Pluto/Node conjunction in the 8th house. This is a strong signature for economic corruption and secret financial machinations. A closer look at this aspect reveals that the Sun is in semisquare to the Venus side of this square, whilst Saturn is in semisquare to the Pluto side. In other words the Venus/Pluto square is tightly integrated with the Saturn-influenced Full Moon. This is a man who has dirtied his hands during the course of his political life, and there will be damaging revelations in the months up to the election.

The Flip-Flopper
The most obvious apparent weakness in Kerry’s chart is the stellium in Gemini opposite the Sun, straddling the Ascendant/Descendant axis. The Bush team is already on to this. Witness the following remark from Bush who called his Democratic challengers:
“an interesting group with diverse opinions – for tax cuts and against them; for NAFTA and against NAFTA; for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act; in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it….and that’s just one senator from Massachusetts”
That’s a very clever remark, and Bush managed to get in the fact that Kerry was a Massachusetts politician – a state associated with remoteness and Protestant aristocracy. It’s a funny remark too, as he also deftly portrays Kerry as a man with multiple personalities – easy to recognize from his horoscope. Full marks to Bush’s handlers on that one.

It doesn’t help that the dispositor of the Gemini stellium, Mercury, is in very strong square to Neptune. Apart for a documented weakness for taking different positions on the same issues over time, the Neptune square may show a Kerry tendency to throw a smokescreen over issues, and even the risk of being exposed as a liar. Democratic strategy on this is to portray Kerry as a man of subtlety who can see shades of gray, but Bush will have little difficulty exposing him as a flip-flopper without strength and conviction. Kerry’s Achilles’ heel is the danger of being exposed from some secret economic deal and subsequently lying about it, as it will destroy his major resource – credibility.

Courting danger
The most extraordinary thing about Kerry’s chart is the journey (progressive) Mars makes during the course of his life. Retrograde at birth it was stationary at 5 degrees from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, in constant conjunction with Uranus. Vietnam was his battleground and it was with progressed Mars conjoining Uranus that he saw action as a navy captain on the Mekong Delta. He received his first medal for rashly ignoring orders and whilst under fire, bringing his boat to the river bank, pursuing and killing the Vietcong soldier who had fired grenades at the boat. He was wounded in action three times, which meant he had the right to be repatriated, which he chose to do after just four months.

Mars was still conjoining Uranus three years later when, as spokesman for “Vietnam Veterans Against the War” he make his now famous first major political speech at the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Mars Refreshed
2005 is a significant year in Kerry’s life because the journey is over for Mars. At the age of 62 it returns to the very position at 10.36 Gemini that it occupied at Kerry’s birth – mission accomplished. From 2005 onwards Mars enters new territory, but right now it is the story of Mars and it’s journey which is the myth-making factor for Kerry. War was the making of Kerry, and war will be the defining issue during the 2004 election. This is Kerry’s trump card because via his retrograde Mars he is hooked in to the old Vietnam story in the minds of American citizens, and, whilst the body bags are returning from Baghdad, they are remembering.

Election Year
The USA is longing for Saturn right now, and Saturn is obliging by making its once every 30-year conjunction with the USA’s natal Sun at 13 Cancer. This is a time of reckoning for Bush too… he has the same Sun degree. America wants structure, not chaos. It wants protection, not vulnerability. That is why, even though the American people traditionally prefer a lighter, folksier type, they will be attracted to the Saturn-dominated Kerry. Advice to Kerry’s handlers – let him capitalize on his Saturn, and avoid making clumsy attempts to change his image.

Of course, Kerry has been through a vast face-lifting operation already. Diagnosed and cured of prostate cancer when Pluto transited his Ascendant and Saturn his Descendant (his own Twin Towers), Pluto has ripped through his Sun/Moon opposition during the grueling Democratic candidate selection process, and he has survived and come through. Like he says, people have no idea how much of a fighter he is. With the Pluto transit Kerry has shed much of his reserve and stiffness, and he is reborn as a potential president. But can he win?

Compatibility with the US
The most important astrological factor for a presidential candidate is the synastry he or she may have with the chart for the United States. The interaspects between these two horoscopes must be marked, and they will subsequently show the actual factors in the USA chart that will be activated during the presidency. John Kerry has a lot going for him:
1. His Sun and Ascendant fall on the US Ascendant, and his Gemini stellium on the US Descendant. This resonates with the foreign roots and disparate languages of Americans, just as he himself has strong bonds to Europe.
2. His Uranus is on the US Uranus, and his North Node is on the US Node – with the same house positions too! This is an extraordinary powerful contact, supercharged by Kerry’s North Node/Pluto and Mars/Uranus conjunctions. It is power signature keying in to the American dream of self-realization and freedom. It is not unconnected with terrorism and foreign adventures, just as for Kerry it represented the bloody initiation of Vietnam.
3. He has Mercury exactly opposite US Jupiter (and Venus), and Venus exactly trine US Venus – which strongly suggests financial growth and favorable business developments for the US should Kerry win the presidency.
4. His Ascendant ruler Jupiter at 27.03 Leo is exactly opposite the US Moon at 27.10 Aquarius. Whilst this may show a perception of him as a man of privilege, it could just as easily give enormous popularity as people project there hopes onto him.
5. He has his Saturn on the US Mars. More of this later.

This is an impressive list of contacts, but he has already had success as a senator. Can he win the presidency? The first thing to catch the eye is that on Election Day there is a Venus/Jupiter conjunction straddling Kerry’s MC, which is a supreme signature of victory. Curiously, his MC at 5 Libra is exactly on Bill Clinton’s Ascendant, so there seems to be a presidential tie-in, maybe through Hillary Clinton. However, Bush himself has a strong Moon/Jupiter conjunction in Libra, and at the time of the inauguration in January 2005, Jupiter is exactly on his natal Jupiter… clearly a favorable influence. On the other hand the activation of Bush’s Jupiter/Uranus trine could show newfound freedom, and surely he must be longing to get away from the crushing presence of Cheney and Rumsfelt, not to mention his father.

Kerry’s chances
The key to Kerry’s success or failure in the November 2nd election may lie in the subtle influence of progressions, and they are looking good. Take a minor factor like the proximity of Kerry’s Sun to his Ascendant. It is curious to see that as his progressed Ascendant increases in speed through the signs of short ascension like Aquarius, it catches up with the progressed Sun, and will actually conjoin it during the next presidential period. Plenty of opportunity to look at mirrors then! More powerfully this Ascendant and Sun conjunction at 20 Aquarius is just two degrees from opposing progressed Jupiter at 22 degrees Leo, and this will become exact during the next presidential period. In fact the Descendant progressed will conjoin radix Jupiter at the 2008 election, which could even indicate a two-term president.

As mentioned before, Kerry’s progressed Mars returns in 2005 to its natal position after a 62-year apprenticeship. A rare Mars return of this nature suggests a radical change and completely new territory. As 4th house ruler, a move to the White House might be appropriate, especially as Mars conjoins the Moon.

Furthermore Kerry’s progressed MC is at 7.01 Sagittarius at the election. There is no reason to think that his birth time is inaccurate either… during the course of 2003 the IC has been exactly on his Uranus, surely reflecting the mad campaigning rush around America. His MC now trines his Leo/Aquarius nodal axis, as it also does the US nodal axis at the same position. This indicates a fated moment of greatness, in which the projections of the masses are fulfilled in the person of Kerry. From 2005 to 2006 his MC trines Pluto, so if there was ever a time when Kerry would be handling power, it is in the coming years.

Military shakeup
Having survived the Pluto transits to his Full Moon, Kerry will experience a long opposition from Pluto to natal Saturn during 2005. Crucially his dominating Saturn is but two degrees from the US Mars. The USA is experiencing a rare Pluto opposition to its Mars at a time when its progressed Mars is poised to move retrograde for the next 80 years, showing a radical repolarization of US military might. Just as Russia got mired in Chechnya when Pluto squared its Mars, the USA will find itself in trouble militarily through its engagement in Iraq. The transit of Pluto to Mars shows military cutbacks, and what better person for the USA than a warrior made famous 30 years ago for his anti-war stance… a man with Sun and Moon placed between Saturn and Mars? The stellium conjoining Kerry’s Descendant shows a potential president who will be committed to international relations and expert at them, involved in just as great a battle trying to extricate the US military from war, as he was at the time of Vietnam.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19th April 2004


Madrid, Europe & the USA

911 is a number with some very fateful qualities. For everyone in the Unites States it has for years been the number to ring in the case of an emergency. It was in fact on February 16th 1968, (when the Moon was exactly between Uranus and Pluto and opposite Mars… certainly an astrological emergency), that the first call was made. As fate would have it, the worst terrorist attack in history then took place on 9/11 2001, creating a state of national emergency and the war on terror. Just 911 days after the destruction of the twin towers, an extreme Islamist group struck again, this time in Madrid. With over 200 dead, and several thousand injured it was an event, as the Spanish newspaper El Mundo wrote: “… like no other in our history. 15,000 people have required psychological help, 100,000 fewer people are travelling on suburban trains, blood donations have doubled and so have the number of newspapers and flowers bought each day”.The Spanish Election
So it was that terror came to Europe, linked to the Spanish support for the US-run coalition in Iraq. Its effect was dramatic: in the subsequent election just 4 days later the pro-Bush José María Aznar’s conservative party lost to the socialist party of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as the people of Spain voiced their discontent. Anger at the manipulation of the post-bombing news, as well as their profound dissatisfaction with the fact that Aznar – just like Blair and Berlusconi – completely ignored popular opposition against the Iraq war, brought a complete reversal.

Zapatero subsequently condemned Bush and his coalition for their conduct of the Iraq war and of the postwar administration, and has promised to bring Spanish troops home. This has enormous repercussions for Europe, and indeed some commentators have been quick to point out, that this is the first time al-Qaida have succeeded in influencing an election. With terrorism duly encouraged, the likelihood of further attacks in Europe seems likely to increase.

Europe has tasted the trauma, which all Americans experienced back in September 2001. The question now is whether the US-Europe anti-terror coalition can hold together, or whether the coalition’s preemptive policies, so doubtfully applied in Iraq, will simply exacerbate confrontation. The balance of power has been changed through what some call Zapatero’s appeasement, and Spain will now align with France and Germany, who are against Middle East intervention. The pressure is now on both Bush and Blair, both of whom face re-election in the not-too-distant future.

Madrid Terror
The attack in Madrid took place on 3/11 – which means that the Sun was exactly opposing the 9/11 Sun position. In fact the awful explosions in Madrid clearly reflect the Sun/Pluto square which was one degree from exactitude.

Click here to see horoscope for terror attack

Pluto and national trauma
Sun/Pluto aspects have a history of unpleasant surprises. For example the space shuttle Challenger exploded on 28th January 1986, with the Sun square Pluto in Scorpio. Three months later the Tjernobyl reactor exploded, as the Sun in Taurus opposed Pluto. Using the same logic, the Sun/Pluto square of March 11th 2004 will repeat as an opposition on 11th June. This is not a very encouraging time for the USA, and it’s worth looking at the horoscope for this opposition:

See Horoscope for Sun/PLuto opposition in June

This occurs with Saturn at 13.22 Cancer extremely close to the US Sun at 13.19 Cancer, and of course George W Bush’s Sun at 13.47 Cancer. The actual opposition at 20.54 Gemini/Sagittarius falls almost exactly on the US Mars at 21.23 Gemini, so it seems almost certain that mid-June will be a time of severe tension for the United States, and obviously a time of high alert for terrorism. Uranus culminates on the MC on USA’s East coast on the April 19 solar eclipse, which could indicate unexpected developments on the Eastern seaboard in the subsequent months.

The Madrid explosions – a series of 10 that took place at staggered intervals from 7.39 to 7.46 for maximum impact – started with the Sun exactly rising on the Ascendant, and Pluto culminating in square on the Midheaven. Mercury in Pisces had squared Pluto just days earlier, and by the time the last bomb had exploded was exactly on the Ascendant. This is reminiscent of the World Trade Centre explosion (note 1) which also had Mercury on the Ascendant (at 14 Libra… exactly on the US Saturn). The emphasis on Pisces in the Madrid bombing could reflect the religious aspects of the attack; it certainly reflected the desperate mourning scenes that took place in subsequent days. Whilst the Saturn/Pluto opposition was a central feature of the World Trade center attack in 2001, the opposition is no longer there in 2004. One aspect highly symbolic of terror is though: the ongoing quintile between Pluto and Uranus, which in Madrid is 23′ of arc from exactitude.

Another deadly aspect of the Madrid attack is the position of the Moon in Scorpio conjoining the nodal axis (square Neptune) and opposing Mars and Venus in Taurus. This powerful opposition between a Moon and Mars in fall and detriment from the 8th
to the 2nd houses, shows the death and destruction of the event. The Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis has often a fated significance for Spain: General Franco (note 2) was born with a Venus/Uranus conjunction on the South Node in Scorpio, and with the advent of a new democracy of Spain after Franco’s death, the nodal axis was also in Taurus/Scorpio.

For those interested in midpoints, the all-important Sun/Moon midpoint at the Madrid explosion was at 18.58 Capricorn, semisquare Uranus within 9 minutes of arc.

The Horoscope for Spain
It is difficult to know why, astrologically, Madrid became the location where the destructive power of the Sun/Pluto square was to manifest. In the case of the World Trade Center, New York, the Saturn/Pluto opposition fell right on the US Ascendant, and on significant planets in the chart for New York, so it was not difficult to see USA as a target. The horoscope for Spain should be triggered in some way. This chart is firmly anchored at January 19th, 1479, when the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were joined by marriage.

The horoscope certainly reflects the character of Spain as manifested in the period of the discovery of the New World. The country was created at a rare conjunction of Neptune and Uranus, whose position at 1 degree Sagittarius seems to reflect the distant horizons of America and the sudden sense of world expansion. Pluto, Mercury and the South Node sextiling this conjunction speak of transatlantic commerce and the spread of Spanish to South America. Two Uranus/Neptune conjunctions later a series of revolutions on the southern American continent led to independence in many countries of South America, including Mexico and Brazil.

The 1479 horoscope for Spain shows Jupiter in Taurus exactly trining Venus in Capricorn at 21 degrees (the degree of the March 2004 Sun/Pluto square). This wonderful trine indicates the immense riches available to colonial Spain as it plundered the gold and silver of the New World. Even today Spain is the world’s 8th richest economy. It’s an immensely powerful horoscope, yet there are no clear transit triggers to it from the Madrid attack apart from transiting Uranus in square to the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. However, an examination of the progressions for March 2004 show that progressed Mars is at 1.12 Sagittarius – exactly on the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, and that progressed Moon is 15.42 Pisces – exactly on Spain’s Mars at 15.40 Pisces.

King Juan Carlos
The other main horoscope for Spain is for the inauguration of King Juan Carlos, which marked the restoration of both the monarchy and parliamentary democracy.

Click here to see horoscope for inauguration of Juan Carlos

This is a quite different chart to the 1479 chart, and reflects a quite different Spain. The main connection is once again the nodal axis, which falls exactly on the 1479 Jupiter and continues the theme of a traditionally Catholic country whose old colonial roots and riches have been ripped up by civil war from 1935-1939 – a trauma possibly reflected by the Scorpio North Node. It is interesting to see the two rulers of the Aquarian Ascendant in square to each other, with Saturn straddling the Descendant… the threat of authoritarian rule hung heavily over the new democracy. Mercury in Scorpio falls exactly on the Midheaven, with the Sun and North node in Scorpio on either side. This does not speak of a very transparent democratic government, and it is perhaps no surprise that Aznar’s party fell because of perceived secrecy and manipulation after the Madrid bombings.

The Moon in Cancer is strongly placed in Cancer, showing a loyal and emotional people. Likewise Venus is strongly placed in Libra, and its alignment with the Jupiter/Pluto opposition indicates perhaps a passionate commitment to justice, beauty and the arts.

Astrological signatures for the terror attack
One would expect strong contacts to this chart from the chart for the Madrid explosions, but the transits are not very dramatic. Saturn has been going over Spain’s Cancer Moon, which obviously can evoke sorrow and hardship. Jupiter had been squaring the 1975 chart’s Neptune, which could indicate religious fanaticism. Transiting Mars had just crossed the ever-sensitive nodal axis. It is however the progressions which really tell the story; specifically the position of progressed Mercury at 10.26 Capricorn in exact square to the 1975 Pluto at 10.55 Libra in the 8th. In the birth chart for Spain Mercury and Pluto are exactly semisquare. This graphically tells the story of rush-hour death and destruction.

The 1975 chart for Spain has Mars very weakly placed: retrograde and in fall at 0.46 Cancer. At the time of the Madrid tragedy, Mars had progressed backwards to 20.59 Gemini, whilst Spain’s IC axis had progressed forwards to 22.01 Gemini. This clearly indicates not only Spain’s engagement in the Iraq war, but the danger of attacks on public transport on the home front. And note the position of progressed Mars and IC at 21 to 22 degrees; in an intricate weaving of progressions and transits, they connect to the Sun/Pluto square of the Madrid bombings (as well as to the 1479 Venus/Jupiter trine).

The combination of progressed Mercury and progressed Mars clearly show Spain’s vulnerability at this point in time, although it would have been difficult to make a concrete prediction, at least with the tools I use. It is safe to conclude however, that at times of international tension, Sun/Pluto aspects bring periods of heightened risks from terror. Whether it is possible to predict where these risks may manifest is another question. It would seem that when Spain’s natal Mercury in Scorpio semisquare Pluto became precise by progression 28 years later, some deadly tragedy was unavoidable. However, the basic energy of Mercury/Pluto is control through withheld information. This is why the terrorist attack in Madrid and the fall of Aznar’s government were linked. The Spanish government was not open with its people, and ignored the voice of its people, and paid the price when the people voted.

Adrian Ross Duncan 24.10.2004

Note 1. General Franco: 4 Dec 1892. 0.30 LMT El Ferrol, Spain 43N29/8W14
Note 2. World Trade Center destruction: 11 Sep 2001. 8.48 EDT New York


Making the Most of 2004

From 2001 to 2003 world headlines have been dominated by the Saturn/Pluto opposition, which takes place every 36 years and shows severe upheaval of the Establishment. Pluto tends to be reflected by small organizations that exert a disproportionate power, just as Pluto itself is exceedingly small in comparison with the rest of the planets, yet seen as a very powerful transformative force, astrologically speaking. The Saturn/Pluto opposition was reflected by widespread anxiety due to September 11th, and the subsequent polarization of civilizations through the war on terror. With Pluto in Sagittarius, the repercussions have been religious, and the war on terror has had the hallmarks of a crusade.End of a Trend

With the passing of the Saturn/Pluto opposition the “war on terror” is now an anachronism. Saturn has moved on into Cancer and domestic issues are more likely to dominate the agenda. We are entering a period of consolidation and order.

On a business level the Saturn/Pluto opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius has resulted in a dramatic weeding out of weak players in telecommunications and travel. Prior to this opposition, markets were profoundly affected by a period of euphoria, effectively squashed by the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Taurus that took place in May 2000. Earlier that year Jupiter in Taurus had squared Neptune, and it was at this time that Dot Com hysteria peaked, subsequently to crash when Jupiter conjoined Saturn.

Recovery from Dot Com

Huge pessimism and skepticism about technology stocks followed, and many companies were consigned to oblivion by banks trying to salvage what they could. But actually Saturn, travelling in 2002 and 2003 through Gemini, was to trine Uranus in late Gemini/Aquarius, and this showed that those technology and communication stocks that survived the Dot Com crash of mid 2000, and the subsequent World Trade disaster of late 2001, would bounce back in 2003. This has indeed happened. For example in this period Yahoo stock went up from $9 to $44; and Qualcomm from $25 to $59, and there are many more examples.

Uranus in Aquarius and business trends

However, since Uranus makes it final entry into Pisces on the first day of 2004, the rules of the game are bound to change. What we have witnessed in the last seven years, since Uranus entered Aquarius, is the transformation of world consciousness through the accessibility of the web, the ubiquity of Email, and the possession of mobile phones. Information and self-profiling is available to everyone who can reach a computer, and this has had a democratizing effect. Gifted people all over the world can now access business markets anywhere. A world without borders has been created, and in business terms this means that people can combine skills and work together whether they live in India, Japan, Europe or America, and get immediate results. Those who understood this trend early, like developers of search engines, or people who invested in key domain names, have made their money, but that party is now over.

Uranus in Pisces and new business trends

The interesting question could be what is the Uranus in Pisces equivalent to the Internet and the global transformation it carried with it whilst Uranus was in Aquarius. The difference is content, and the content is intuitive. Aquarius has much to do with the rational mind and abstraction, and this manifested in the written word, as experienced through Email, and the mobile phone. Pisces brings pictures and images, which stimulate the imagination. In terms of the Net, this means Flash and far more image-based websites. As far as mobile phones are concerned, then they will all be videophones by the end of the Uranus transit in Pisces. Computers will generally have in-built cameras, with much Email being replaced by video telephoning and conferencing. It will be an interesting world, because there is the possibility of being constantly plugged in both visually and auditorily. This will give a corresponding need to turn off and drop out, so there will probably be a boom in places of retreat, where technology is not allowed. Invest in spas.

Business as Dreaming

For those interested in investment, it is probably a good idea to drop traditional technology stocks, and try and get in early on technology which twins with the imagination. In the film world, the ability to create worlds with virtual reality, and the marriage of people and cartoon images (as for example seen in Kill Bill, Lord of the Rings and recent children’s movies) will experience growth. Studios like DreamWorks and Disney may be well-worth investing in, as Uranus in Pisces shakes up the world of cinema, but outsider producers and studios may produce some of the most lucrative films. Companies making display screens are obvious choices for growth.

Liquid Light

New liquid technologies will be of interest. For example, when Neptune entered Capricorn, the first liquid crystal displays appeared displaying digits (in calculators etc). With Neptune in Aquarius, there is more of a sense of “liquid electricity or light” – laptop screens for example – and there are certain developments with minute switches, which work on the principle of metals that melt at room temperature to create mirrors, enabling non-mechanical switches. With the reception of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius, there could be some interesting interactions of this nature.

Selling with Images

The manifestation of Uranus in Pisces will not be obvious at first glance, but the boom period will probably come through after the middle part of the 7 years phase. There will be a dramatic fall off at the end – for example when Saturn squares Uranus in 2008-9. But early surges of growth in new technologies can perhaps be seen with Jupiter in Scorpio trine Uranus from November 2005 to August 2006, and later with Jupiter in Capricorn sextiling Uranus from April to November 2008. The water trine from Scorpio to Pisces is obviously rather good for the expansion of the sex industry, especially when the ability to deliver films in real time becomes generally available. Generally speaking the established film world will be just as much under threat in this period through free sharing of films, as the music industry has been. This certainly brings a risk element into investment in this area, but those who earlier invested in bandwidth should get their payoff during the course of this decade.

Consolidation Trends

Looking more specifically at 2004, the year is dominated by just a few major planetary cycles, none of them very threatening. The main business cycle is the Jupiter/Saturn sextile, which is very close for a long period during April, May, June, July and August. The first sextile actually took place at 13 degrees Virgo/Cancer in early November 2003, and the next two take place on April 30th at 8.55 degrees (just as Jupiter goes stationary direct, and the 18th August at 21.53 degrees. It is difficult to assess just how beneficial this sextile is going to be, as Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo, and Saturn is in detriment in Cancer. Still, seeing this sextile as the first important aspect between the two planets since the 2000 conjunction, it should signal a sensible expansion and growth. With the entry of Saturn into Cancer, many astrologers had expected a dip in the property market, but generally property prices have continued to rise, fuelled by record low interest rates. Continued investment in this area up to August 2004 will probably bring modest gains.

2004 for the US Economy

The Saturn/Jupiter sextile will likely bring greater stability to the American economy, especially as the first sextile activated the US’s and Bush’s Sun positions in Cancer. Stability, but not expansion. The record low value of the dollar will hardly be stimulated by this weak sextile, so perhaps the very weakness of these planets actually reflect the concrete benefits a weak dollar brings, in the form of stimulated exports and tourism. If this is so, then the low point for the dollar will be the April to August period, after which time it will go up, with a dramatic change as Jupiter hits the square to Pluto on August 6th. By the time Jupiter reaches 0 Libra and is joined by Mars exactly on the US (Sibley) Midheaven at the end of September, there could be a great boost to America’s position.

Love and money in 2004

The planet Venus is up to extraordinary tricks in 2004, and this will bring the role of women to the fore. And of course, in our personal lives, we can expect major developments if Venus is strong. Taureans will see major economic transformation, and Libras very significant development connected with travel and education. Geminis will also be affected, as Venus enters Gemini on April 3rd, goes stationary retrograde on May 17th, stationary direct at 9 Gemini on June 29th, finally leaving Gemini on August 7th – four long months in the sign. 2004 is one of those rare years, when Venus in its retrograde motion actually passes across the disk of the Sun, and it will be clearly visible (with suitable eye protection) for a few hours on June 8th.

There are a number of key issues connected to this retrograde cycle of Venus. These cycles take place every eight years, each time two degrees earlier in the sign. As Pluto will be from 22 to 20 degrees Sagittarius during the 2004 cycle, Venus will make an opposition to it three times. Clearly this shows crisis and transformation in relationships. For some this will be an economic crisis, for others, relationship crisis. Politically it shows women-power, and economically an ongoing transformation in the communication and education sector. In Iraq this period straddles the expected transition to a provisional government at the end of June, and it is worth noting that in the 1958 Iraq Republic horoscope, there is a Moon/Venus conjunction at 19 and 20 degrees Gemini. Let’s hope women get some electoral power at this time. It will certainly bring a dramatic transformation of the electoral process.

A Royal Marriage

see chart for the Royal Wedding

Venus enters Gemini with Mars already at 8 degrees Gemini, so during a long period Venus gains on Mars… but she slows down to go retrograde, never quite reaching conjugal bliss.
This is likely to be reflected by a planned liaison that never quite makes it. Considering the double nature of Gemini, one possibility is that there are several candidates for the lovebirds’ affections, of which only one (if any) survives in the last analysis. However, there is a least one famous marriage planned for this time: that of Mary Donaldson (born 5.02.1972) to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Here the marriage is planned just days before Venus goes retrograde. It’s probable that the Venus/Pluto opposition here more reflects “Down Under” – Frederik found his future queen in Tasmania.

It’s an odd choice of time, what with Mars in Cancer right on the MC conjoining Saturn, strongly indicating that the professional duties of the royal couple will be rather heavy, and bound by tradition. It’s no easy job being a foreign princess in a patriotic country that expects new arrivals to immediately learn the rather difficult language of Danish. The wedding takes place with transit Neptune just minutes of arc away from her Sun at 15 Aquarius. So much for the dream of royalty.

Still, it is interesting to see that the Moon is both in reception with Mars, and also in reception by exaltation with the Sun. As Mary Donaldson has Mars in Aries trine Jupiter in Sagittarius, it clearly suits her to find a prince (who is also an elite soldier) in a distant foreign land. But if she tries to assert her own will, there is sure to be considerable tension. If the Moon in Aries can be received by the Sun in exaltation (giving up personal initiatives and fulfilling a queen-like role) then things may work out well. With her Venus exalted in Pisces, and her Moon in Libra (albeit in conjunction with Uranus), she should have no difficulty being a female icon. As Venus is soon to go retrograde here in the 9th house, Mary will obviously want to return periodically to her native land, most notably three years after the wedding.
The Mars/Venus interplay

After going direct, Venus finally catches up with Mars at 16 degrees Scorpio, square Neptune on December 6th, repeating the previous Venus/Mars conjunction of December 2002. For those receptive to the movement of Venus there will be echoes of this earlier conjunction – as Venus is in exile and Mars disposes of her, the woman is in an extremely weak position in love affairs at this time. Mind you, the situation is the reverse in the first 10 days of November, when Venus in Libra disposes of Mars. There could therefore be a reversal of power in love as the year draws to a close.

Jupiter and Pluto

Another major influence in 2004 is the final square between Pluto and Jupiter. This was almost exact in November 2003 (a crisis month for those ruled by Jupiter), and unfinished business from this time will be resolved when the square forms in early August. Jupiter in Virgo has had a lot to do with humanitarian organizations. For example just as it entered Virgo and opposed Uranus (and Mars retrograde) in August 2003 the UN had to withdraw their mission from Baghdad because of a devastating bomb attack. The Jupiter/Pluto square will again place humanitarian organizations at risk from terror, but will also signal major restructuring within these organizations. The ethics of the death penalty will also surface at this time – this could of course be a time when Saddam Hussein’s fate is decided in this respect.

Peace and the US election

When Jupiter moves from exile in Virgo into Libra, things will brighten up. The October eclipse takes place with five planets in Libra, so this sign will be in the headlines in some way. On November 5th, Venus conjoins Jupiter at 8 Libra, which is surely a happy period, and a great time for relationships in general. Jupiter/Venus combinations are often related to peace, so we can expect a lot of successful international diplomacy at this time. Of course it occurs immediately after the US election which – in contrast to the 2000 election – promises to be just and fair. Saturn stations at 27 Cancer at this time exactly opposite US Pluto, so perhaps this means a time of reckoning for secret powers that manipulate behind the scenes.

2004 begins with a businesslike atmosphere as the establishment tries to create stability and order in the wake of the Jupiter/Saturn sextile. It ends with a Jupiter/Neptune trine, which takes place on November 29th 2004, and repeats in the following year in March and August, with Neptune from 13 to 17 Aquarius. Enjoy the dreams, inflate the balloons and celebrate the euphoria. It could last a long time… but when the Saturn/Neptune opposition takes place from Leo to Aquarius in 2006, then make sure you have parachuted to safety.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19.01.2004