Month: April 2011

The Marriage of William and Kate – Royal Family Part – III

Almost 30 years after the extravagant but flawed marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, a full Saturn return later in fact, the eldest son of Princess Diana, Prince William, has, like Charles, chosen a “commoner” to be made princess. Kate Middleton has ancestors who were miners and her parents, who became millionaires selling party goods, originally worked for British Airways. Her mother is Jewish. Jolly good going William… it is good to bring in a little genetic variation into the inbred royal families of Europe.

True to astrological genetics Prince William has his Venus within a degree of his mother’s Venus – exactly on Algol and in the 5th house. (The chances of this happening are approximately one in five thousand). Furthermore, with Neptune at 25 Sagittarius and Pluto at 24 Libra, his Venus is the apex point of a double yod, or finger of god. And Chiron is at the same degree as his Venus. Here is a man born to be wounded in love, and his first great loss was the queen of hearts.

HOROSCOPE: Prince William 21st June, 1982. 21.03 London. (Ascendant 27.30 Sagittarius)

Just like his mother, he has Sun in Cancer in the 7th house conjoining the moon… a solar eclipse in fact. What a marriage he is going to make! Fortunately for him, his Sun at 0.06 Cancer, right at the power point of the summer solstice, is exactly trine Jupiter. His Ascendant ruler is Jupiter in Scorpio which conjoins the Midheaven, reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth’s Ascendant ruler Saturn on the Midheaven. Prince William will definitely become King William V, probably around 2026… with Jupiter progressing into the Midheaven, this is a man born to be monarch. (Note 1)

So what does William see in Kate Middleton? Actually he met her with his progressed Ascendant in trine to his super-romantic but fated Venus, and at the time of the wedding Venus progressed moves into Cancer just 5 minutes of arc from his Sun. This is love. If you want the hairs on your arms to stand on end, consider this: When his mother’s Venus progressed to conjoin the Descendant, she got engaged to Charles; when William’s Venus conjoined his Descendant, he got engaged to Kate.

HOROSCOPE: Prince William marries Kate Middleton – 29th April 2011, 11.00 London (Ascendant 4.14 Leo)

On April 29th, 2011 at 11.00 the scene will repeat itself as he walks down the aisle of Westminster Abbey together with the coming Princess Kate. There will be five planets in Aries in the 10th house in varying opposition to Saturn exactly on the IC. Venus in Aries constellates with the Mercury/Saturn/Pluto T-square, which probably indicates a rather warlike marriage. Kate is certainly not promising to “obey”. Bearing in mind that William has a Sun/Moon conjunction in Cancer in the 7th, he is likely to make many concessions to his bride, though the trine to Jupiter in Scorpio shows humor and tolerance.

The Mars/Jupiter in Aries shows incredible power in the public face of the marriage, and the fathering of a whole host of children… probably three or four. The first may well be born as Venus progressed conjoins the Moon and his Sun progressed moves into Leo squaring Jupiter in 2015. There will be problems with this daughter, perhaps because of primogeniture rules. (Female heirs are currently ruled out). As Kate has Venus in Aquarius in exact square to Jupiter, she is going to take any inequality very personally indeed.
Kate Middleton, whose birth time is currently not known, is born on January 9th 1982, and has Mars exactly on William’s Mars – on Vindemiatrix. Amazingly they are born 6 months apart, but Mars is in the same position because it travelled retrograde and direct in the interval. Karmically speaking, in choosing her, William appears to be picking up where he left off. She is born with a full moon squaring Mars and Saturn, and she is ambitious, tough and capable. Her Mercury and Venus in Aquarius are actually on Diana’s Jupiter bringing the same echoes of humanitarianism. William will probably dote on her, and she will run the show and be a very powerful mother to the coming heirs that they will produce.

Adrian Duncan 19.04.2011
1. Apart from Jupiter progressed conjoining the MC, there is a progressed full moon from Leo to Aquarius at this time.


King George VI (Note 1) died in 1952 without a male heir, whereupon his eldest daughter Elizabeth became queen at the tender age of 25 on February 6th. The coronation over a year later on June 2nd, 1953 was the first mass-televised event (against Winston Churchill’s advice and at Elizabeth’s insistence) with three million people lining the streets of London.

Clearly the powers that be had a sense of timing those days, for the horoscope for the coronation, which took place shortly after 11 a.m., had Leo rising (probably on the King’s star Regulus at 29 Leo), with the ruling sun conjoining Jupiter in the 10th house. You can’t get finer than that, and the exact trine from the Sun to the Moon in Aquarius in the 6th (we, the people, her loyal servants) has ensured her popularity for almost 60 years now.

As is well known, the Queen has had two children who both made unfortunate marriages: Prince Andrew, who married Sarah Ferguson (popularly known as Fergie) and Prince Charles to Diana Spencer. (She has had four children in all). In 1992, her “annus horribilis”, both Charles and Andrew were separated, Princess Anne divorced, and part of her beloved Windsor castle burned down.

HOROSCOPE: Queen Elizabeth II, born 21st April 1926, 2.40 a.m. London. (Ascendant 21.43 CP)

A queen who reigns for over half a century must have a very strong horoscope, and this one shows Capricorn rising, with ruler Saturn conjoining the Mid-heaven in Scorpio. She has a powerful Mars/Jupiter conjunction, which recurs again and again in royal horoscopes (for example Prince Charles also has the conjunction in Sagittarius). The moon in Leo is the seventh is strong and “popular” and in reception by exaltation with the Sun in Taurus. Venus is also exalted in Pisces, so there seems to be a nice progression from princess to queen. At her birth in 1926 the chances of her being queen were extremely remote, and she only became so because of the abdication of Edward VII, which put her father in line for the throne.

The horrible year of 1992 was the culmination of several years of the Queen trying to force Charles to patch up his relationship with Diana, and coincided with the progression of her Ascendant, together with progressed Venus onto her natal IC, which is on the fateful star of Algol – 25 Taurus, and opposing her horoscope ruler Saturn, which is retrograde in Scorpio. (Algol plays an enormous role in the royal family, as we will subsequently see. Note 2.) Simultaneously Pluto transited over the Queen’s MC/Saturn conjunction, whilst Saturn transited her Mars, so 1992 was destined to be an unforgettable year.

The wedding of Charles and Diana was a classic example of bad timing.

HOROSCOPE: Charles and Diana were married on 29th July, 1981 at 11.17 in London (Ascendant 7.54 Libra)

This was the time of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Libra, which was on the Ascendant at the time of the wedding ceremony. But Ascendant ruler Venus is in fall in Virgo, and Descendant ruler Mars in fall in Cancer (and in square to the Ascendant, Saturn and Jupiter). Their weak sextile adequately describes their weak pretense of a love life during the 1980’s. The problem with this horoscope is that it is just at the end of the lunar cycle and two days later there is a solar eclipse, which was obviously not good. As Diana walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey just after her arrival at 11 a.m. Mars was on the MC and Saturn on the Ascendant. Bad timing.

Of course Charles was quite a lad, with his Mars in Sagittarius in the 5th house (Note 3) and when he wasn’t riding around on horses, he did tend to visit his long-term mistress Camilla Parker Bowles.With Leo rising and the Sun on the 5th house cusp square Pluto he was a man with big secrets and an all-consuming passion. The Venus/Neptune conjunction in Libra was a fine representation of the beautiful princess pining away at home, whilst the dark side of the prince pursued his own sexual agenda. It is interesting to see that Charles has the moon exalted in the 10th house at 0.24 Taurus exactly on the Queen’s Sun at 0.12 Taurus. Perhaps she will always overshadow him.

Princess Diana, elected queen of hearts by the people, continues the Algol theme, with her Venus in Taurus in the 5th house exactly on this ominous star, squaring an exact Moon/Uranus opposition. (Note 4) Well, she was not averse to a love affair herself of course. The Mars/Pluto conjunction in the 8th combined with her Venus/Algol conjunction suggests danger, and certainly indicates that her paranoia about being shadowed by the secret service was probably justified. She died with a solar eclipse on the Mars/Pluto, ensuring years of conspiracy theories about her death.

True to astrological genetics, the eldest son of Princess Diana, Prince William, has his Venus within a degree of his mother’s Venus – exactly on Algol and in the 5th house. (The chances of this happening are approximately one in five thousand). Furthermore, with Neptune at 25 Sagittarius and Pluto at 24 Libra, his Venus is the apex point of a double yod, or finger of god. And Chiron is at the same degree as his Venus. Here is a man born to be wounded in love, and his first great loss was the queen of hearts.

In my next blog, we will take a look at his coming marriage to Kate Middleton.

Adrian Duncan 19.04.2011

1. Edward VIII was born on 23rd June 1894 in Richmond and had 1 degree Aquarius rising. His Moon square Pluto/Neptune in the 4th house, indicates the years spent in exile after abdication.
2. Algol is rich in mythology and is related to the Medusa’s head, cut off by Perseus. Many famous people have planets strongly placed on Algol – Eric Burdon of the Animals has a stellium on it – but it is often connected with misfortune.
3. Prince Charles was born on 14th November 1948 at 21.14 in London (Ascendant 5.23 Leo)
4. Princess Diana was born on 1st July 1961 at 19.45 in Sandringham. (Ascendant 18.24 Sagittarius). She died on 31st August 1997 at 12.23 a.m. in Paris.
5. Prince William was born on 21st June, 1982 at 21.03 in London. His Ascendant is at 27.30 Sagittarius conjoining Neptune. He has Mars on Vindemiatrix, the widow star, at 9 Libra. When Mars progressed to conjoin Saturn, his mother died.

THE KINGS SPEECH – Royal Family Part- I

If you think it would be fun to be royalty, it might be worth considering the case of the Duke of York who came to the throne on December 11th, 1936 (after his brother decided to abdicate to remain together with the twice-divorced Wallace Simpson). As George VI he reigned during the war years, and fathered Britain’s current monarch Queen Elizabeth II.  He is therefore the great-grandfather of the soon-to-be-married Prince William.

The story of King George VI has been wonderfully portrayed in the recent film “The King’s Speech”, which received four Academy Awards here in 2011. The young George had a terrible stammer, and, required by public duty to make speeches all over the realm, he suffered terribly from the embarrassment and frustration that ensued – as did his audiences. The film is about how he sought the services of a speech therapist called Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), and the charm of the film is in how Logue refused to compromise his integrity as a therapist and insisted on treating the king as an equal.

Though George refused at first to divulge early family history to Lionel, the facts came out bit by bit. He was in fact naturally left-handed, but was forced to start using his right hand, apparently something that is often at the root of stammering. Furthermore, being knock-kneed, he had to wear iron braces on his legs during the day and during the night… you can’t have the future Duke of York walking funny, can you? His nanny, who favored the elder brother (Edward VIII, who abdicated), used to pinch George to make him cry just before the daily “presentation” to the King and Queen, so that they had no desire to see him.

The whole family considered it their duty to ridicule George’s early stammer, thinking that this may have the desired effect of making him stop. There was also another son, John, to whom George was attached, who was unfortunately epileptic and kept out of sight and mind until he died an early death in 1911.

All in all there is sufficient material here to ensure that both you and I would develop a stammer under similar circumstances. It is educational, therefore, to take a look at his horoscope, to see if it hints at the communication difficulties:

Chart for King George VI December 14th, 1895 3.05 UT Sandringham (AS 27.09 LI) From birth certificate.

This is a nice horoscope for a king, with Jupiter in Leo conjoining the MC, and trine Mars in Sagittarius… much more so than Edward VIII, who had a weak 10th house, and with Moon in Pisces trine Sun in Cancer was quite a softie. (Note 1) But the Ascendant ruler Venus is in exile in Scorpio, and the Moon is in fall in the same sign… that cruel nanny perhaps? In fact the Moon conjoining Uranus in Scorpio clearly shows a traumatic upbringing and a dangerously low self-worth.

The speech problems are almost certainly indicated by the combust Mercury in Sagittarius opposing Pluto and Neptune in the 8th house. Mars, though far from Mercury is also drawn in to the opposition to Pluto, and the combination Mars/Mercury/Pluto is typical for traumas connected with communication. These oppositions from the 2nd to the 8th house indicate the many years George spent in speech therapy. As Duke of York, and later king, nobody communicated normally with him. When he got over his initial shock at his treatment as an equal by the irreverent Logue, he grew to form an amazing bond with the man, eventually conferring on him the honor of Commander of the Royal Victorian order. Throughout the long years of the Second World War, Lionel Logue coached the king, standing directly in front of him and coaxing him through the monumental task of stringing sentences together and enunciating words. He became a popular king who inspired the British during the war years.

1. Edward VIII was born on 23rd June 1894 in Richmond and had 1 degree Aquarius rising. His Moon square Pluto/Neptune in the 4th house, indicates the years spent in exile after abdication.

Adrian Ross Duncan

2012 and all that

The end of the world is coming… it’s a sure thing. Certainly within 100 years, you will no longer be able to read this, because you will be dead and gone. It is quite a worrisome thing of course, but humans have a wonderful ability to forget their coming demise, on the surface at least.

There are people who like to universalize dying though, so we can all go at once. This idea that the end of the world could come in our lifetime has been considerably facilitated by Christianity, and a whole chapter is devoted to it in Revelations. (Note 1)
There is nothing new about the apocalypse or apocalyptic thought. In Matthew 16:28 Jesus himself said “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Subsequently every period of history has had its Armageddon moment. There were many stories of apocalyptic paranoia at the turn of the first millennium – Y1K – but when Christ failed to return at this time, the date was pushed to the 1000th anniversary of the crucifixion. But still no go. And of course we have had our own millennium bug – Y2K – but it was after all not catching.

In the early 16th century about 20,000 people abandoned their homes as astrologers predicted floods in London heralding the end times. (Note 2) Later astrologer Richard Harvey predicted the end of the world because of a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Pisces in 1583, and Martin Luther thought that the End would occur no later than 1600. Personally Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door about 20 years ago, assuring me that the end of the world was coming, because the European Union was increasing in size to include 12 countries, a number of great significance. With membership now at 20+ there has been no second coming.

Performance artist Laurie Andersen tells a story about her grandmother, who was Southern Baptist Holy Ruler and had a very clear idea about the future, and of how the world would end. She recalls the day her grandmother died. She was very excited, and dressed up for the big moment when Christ was to come to get her. But at the very last minute – after a whole life of praying and predicting the end of the world – she panicked because she couldn’t decide whether or not to wear a hat. (Note 3) There is a certain cachet in being part of a select group designated for the Promised Land, whether this be Christian, Muslim or connected with an intergalactic race who will pluck you and your fortunate group off the doomed planet. But a free pass through purgatory is not so cheaply bought. A hat will not do the trick.

Anyway, now the end of the world is coming, and you need to be ready for December 21st, 2012. This is the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, popularized by Jose Arguelles in the book “The Mayan Factor”. This is the time when the winter solstice sun aligns with the Galactic Equator, which is something that happens every 25,800 years – otherwise known as a Great Age. The Mayans were obviously pretty good at cosmology, although it is difficult to measure this alignment with precision. Astronomers today contend that it took place in 1998 but allow 18 years each side of this date, from 1980 – 2016. (Note 4)

But of course, you do not have to have studied astrology for long to get a little frisson about 2012, because June 24th 2012 is the date of the first of seven Uranus/Pluto squares (the last being in 2015), which is an event that takes place twice during the course of the rather irregular 120+ year conjunction cycle of these two planets. Bearing in mind that the last square took place in the ideological insanity of the 1930’s when Hitler and Stalin exercised a hypnotic hold on enormous population masses, a certain nervousness could be expected.

As it turns out I was reminded of the imminent demise of the world by a client who visited recently. Adam (not his real name) has been so kind as to allow me to use his horoscope to illustrate the phenomenon of apocalyptic thinking.

Horoscope data private

I was to learn that this person had a large property where he has lived with his parents. He had slowly taken over the administration of the property, but as his father had recently died, he was now confronted by urgent demands from the family to fully take over, which would be a costly affair. I always work with the consultation chart for the client’s arrival, which tends to magnify the here and now issues the client is facing, and I use the first 10 minutes to describe the situation without having any knowledge of the client’s current circumstances… to prove the credentials of astrology so to speak.

Horoscope data private

The position of the moon at the very end of Capricorn in the 8th house shows the client both traumatized and exhausted. In fact he wants his freedom – the sextile to Uranus on the 11th – and he will soon let go of the yoke he is carrying on his shoulders… the Moon will soon leave Capricorn. He turned up 7 minutes early, which placed Pluto exactly on the Descendant, which indicated a sense of being opposed by implacable and powerful forces.

Note the astonishing parallels between the birth chart and the consultation chart. Mars is sextile Saturn in both and the Sun and Mars are in Aries/Leo with almost exactly the same number of degrees between them. Clearly this is a tough guy, normally very positive, confident and full of life. What is killing him is the Moon in detriment in Capricorn, conjoining the North Node, opposing Saturn in fall in Cancer, and square Pluto.

Thirty-six years have gone by since his birth – a Saturn/Pluto cycle – which means the square has reproduced itself and once again activates the Moon! A fact highlighted by his arrival with the Descendant on his natal Moon, which Pluto is now transiting. These were at least the points I highlighted in the first ten minutes, speaking of the need to break free from a crushing family situation characterized by maternal domination. It hit the mark fairly well, and the story came out about how he felt pressured to take over the property and buy the family out, perpetuating the family heritage. Something I naturally urged him not to do… Pluto knows when to consign something harmful to the dustbin of history.

Having won his confidence, he leaned over conspiratorially and said – well you can see the other thing too, right? Which I couldn’t. “You know… 2012″ he whispers. Now I couldn’t drag my family to see the film (Note 5), not even for the sake of an article, but I know my Mayan Factor. I have had clients who know that the destruction of the Twin Towers was an inside job, and that the moon landing in 1969 never actually took place, but this was my first 2012 person. I suggested tongue in cheek – with impregnable Moon in Capricorn constellating with invincible Saturn/Pluto – that this was the time to start thinking about build a very robust bunker. But he was ahead of me… he was already examining the possibility of building a bunker in the Nevada desert. Could I see the possibility of a move? Well, with the next aspect of the moon in the consultation chart to be a trine to an exalted Saturn in the 5th, which ruled the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th houses, and of course the current transit of Pluto to the moon, later to be followed by Uranus and Jupiter activating the whole T-square, a move with partner and children did seem rather likely.

But why does Adam think the world will end, and why does he think it is crucial to survive it? It seemed a very disempowering view, and also very likely a view that would alienate those dear to him – the Pluto on the consultation Descendant. I tried out a few arguments: What if he died tomorrow, would he be worried about the end of the world? Or: He was going to die anyway within about 50 years, as would his family. But this cut no ice… this was about the survival of humanity. Obviously with his Moon in the 4th conjunction the node he was thinking of long-term survival of the family heritage. But, I interjected, didn’t he think that the US government would have their own bunker, bigger and better, and that if humanity was to survive they would ensure it? No, they could not be entrusted with the task. Well, reason will always lose the battle against irrational anxiety, but it was interesting trying.

But back to his original question… could I see 2012 in his horoscope? Well, here’s the thing. Adam has Mars in Aries in the 8th house, so he is looking for a life-threatening situation that he can survive with energy and initiative. The magic is this: Mars in Adam’s horoscope has progressed from the 8th house to the 9th house and from Aries into Taurus. Currently it is at 9.09 Taurus. In December 2012 it will be at 9.16 Taurus and it goes no further. Mars stops, and so does Adam’s world. So if you had Mars going stationary in Taurus in the 9th house, wouldn’t you think of traveling to the US to build a bunker and sit things out?

Adam explained that the world would end on December 21st 2012 at 11.11 and that the cause would be a reversal of the poles. The North Pole will become the South Pole, which means the earth will start rotating in the opposite direction. The cause of this is a dramatic change in the magnetic field of the sun, which apparently happens with regularity. (Note 6). This knowledge was available to the Mayans and also to the Egyptians. This reminds me of the Islamic prophecy that the sun will rise in the West in the latter days prior to Judgment Day. (Note 7). Adam is starting to worry me.

It is fascinating to see that in 2012 Pluto will be transiting Adam’s nodal axis as Uranus squares it. It is not exactly a solar cataclysm but definitely enough to get those poles wobbling. And considering that Adam visits me just months before his nodal return, which takes place age 37, it is understandable that he is concerned that fate has something special in store for him. Life as he knows it cannot continue as it has hitherto. As far as I am concerned, the idea of him continuing the family business is beginning to seem more and more unlikely.

I am beginning to think that Adam does not need a bunker for himself, his wife and his many children. He needs a bunker busting bomb. The bunker has always been there, and the crushing burden of his Moon/Saturn/Pluto constellation has evoked more and more defensive behavior, year after year… layer upon layer of defense until he no longer can or dare feel what is going on in the family environment. Now the bomb has arrived, and its arrival was written, not in Mayan or Egyptian glyphs millennia ago, but in the Saturn/Pluto/Node planetary cycle which marks out the age of 37 as the end time. The end of the vice-like grip of family karma. Are not the hours that Adam spends googling the year 2012, indeed whole nights at his computer researching the Apocalypse, displaced anxiety about the upheavals that lie ahead for him personally? With his mother struggling with cancer, and his father recently dead, confronted with a business proposition that may (or may not) make his mother happy, but which he personally dreads, the end of the world might not seem so bad. Especially if you have that bunker.

But it is not easy to sell the idea of psychological displacement to someone busy preparing for the Apocalypse. And, hey, I could be wrong, so just in case storm clouds start gathering towards the end of 2012, I have his cell phone number. I hope he’ll let me in.

Adrian Duncan 20.04.2010

Note 1: Personally I find Revelations quite a comforting section of the bible, because it seems to herald a new age in which knowledge of astrology plays a key role.

Revelation 22, 1-2

Then he showed me the river of the water of life bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Note 2: See “A Brief History of the Apocalypse:

Note 3: Google “The End of the World” lyrics – Laurie Andersen.

Note 4: Check out the astronomical details here:

Note 5: The film 2012 was made in 2009 and is based on the idea of a world catastrophe and the struggle to survive it.

Note 6: Patrick Geryl: The Orion Prophecy

Note 7: Abu Hurayrah narrates that Mohammed said, “The day of the hour will not come until the sun rises from the west…”

The Dream of Dubai

If you happen to be on the moon some time, cast a glimpse down to Dubai on the Arabian Peninsular. Here a glittering palm tree shaped island will be visible shining into space – a man-made construction which contains more than 30 five-star hotels as well as residences for the glitterati like Brad Pitt, David Beckham, and other people who choose to be more anonymous. That is just in 2010 – two more paradise islands are planned, as well as a 300 island archipelago representing all the countries of the world. And another one featuring the universe.
Where is the world’s tallest building? The world’s only seven-start hotel? Which country currently has the most cranes in the world? The world’s largest indoor skiing slope? That’s right: Planet Dubai. Apparently when driving into town from the airport the visitor is greeted by billboards proclaiming “Welcome to Everything”, “Be Unlimited”, “Anything is Possible”. (Note 1)

You will not be surprised then to see that the horoscope of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which includes Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai, shows the Sun on the Midheaven conjoining and at the exact midpoint of Jupiter and Neptune in Sagittarius. What could be a better astrological signature for a country which expands out into the ocean creating fantasy islands that contain the world, the universe… well, Everything?

Dubai: 2.12.1971 12.00 25N18 55E18 (Book of World Horoscopes)

The United Arab Emirates were proclaimed at 12 noon in Dubai on December 2nd 1971 at the time of an exact full moon, with the Sun at 9.29 Sagittarius and the moon at 9.36 Gemini. What makes these degrees fascinating is that they are placed on the fixed stars Aldebaran- the Eye of the Bull – and Antares – the eye of the Scorpion. These are amongst the brightest stars in the universe, placed exactly opposite each other and they have traditionally been revered in the Arab world, far back in history when they formed the axis for the Age of Taurus. Furthermore, the epoch-making Pluto/Neptune conjunction of 1891-2 took place at 8-9 degrees Gemini, marking out a 492 year long planetary cycle, which encapsulates the iconic dreams and ideas of world history. With the full moon in Dubai’s chart activating this conjunction, it probably has a significant role to play for a half-millennium or so.

Which might explain why its ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum feels the call to build a 21st century Xanadu in a desert country with average summer temperatures of 40+ C and virtually zero rainfall. Really the place should not exist. In a Muslim society with strict restraints on alcohol and sex, there is no difficulty getting a drink or buying other more forbidden services. Despite the apparent openness, there is no parliament or political parties, and no trade unions either. Which is bad news for the approximately 50% of the population who are Indians and Bangladeshis slaving away in temperatures that can reach 50C and living in labor camps conveniently placed an hour or so away out of town.

The rise of Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been meteoric. In the early fifties the population was about 20,000, whilst now it is 1.4 million. (Note 2) Even 30 years ago it was mostly desert and scrub. But with the rise of Arab fortunes after the first Oil Crisis of 1972, prosperity came quickly. Interestingly Mercury is exactly stationary in Dubai’s chart, which means that at the country’s inception it had extended itself to the furthest it can go in relation to the sun. Overextended in fact in its sign of detriment. From 1972 to 1992 it progressed retrograde, conjoining Jupiter in Sagittarius on the way – once in 1983 and then in 2007 – which pretty much indicates its expansion period. In 2011 it will once again be at the degree at which it started – 28 Sagittarius, and in 2012 it will enter Capricorn and face reality, where it will go on to meet the Venus/Pluto square. More on this later.

After the 2nd Gulf War, with oil prices hitting the roof, the region had more money than it knew what to do with. Dubai has in fact very little oil, so it wisely adopted a policy of building up its image as an international center, both politically and business wise. “Where shopping is a lifestyle” as the billboards say. With no income tax Western investors streamed to the country, and it embarked on an orgy of building.

However, if the truth be told, today the skyline is dominated by half-finished skyscrapers, and the hotels and shopping malls are in trouble. Dubai has proved to be just as vulnerable to the financial meltdown as other countries. When the global financial crisis hit Dubai, prices collapsed by 50 percent in a year leaving projects unfinished or scrapped. The horoscope for Dubai is dominated by the full moon conjoining Jupiter and on a Saturn/Neptune opposition. Whilst Saturn/Neptune does show a desert state with fortunes founded on oil (from Abu Dhabi), and does show the ability to build a new city on millions of tons of rock transported out into the sea, the Saturn/Neptune opposition also requires an element of realism. In many ways the full moon in Dubai’s chart shows an extravagant dream built on the slave labor of poor immigrants – the Moon/Saturn conjoining the IC.

Although Sheik Mohammed has been much worshipped hitherto by the business community, the Sun/Neptune/Jupiter square Mars in Pisces in Dubai’s chart shows rulers who not only are visionaries… but also dreamers. He has forged ahead with fairy tale developments, wooing investors and creating his own massive speculative bubble. Dubai’s own development vehicle, Dubai World, shook markets in December 2009 demanding a moratorium on its $60 billion debt, meaning that it can no longer keep up payments. Abu Dhabi has reluctantly indicated that it will help, but other major developments are still at risk. The creditworthiness of Dubai has been downgraded by international institutions.

Financial markets try to make reassuring noises about Dubai, pointing to the oil revenues in the region and to Dubai’s status as a business center, but all the astrological indications are that the current crisis with Dubai World is not just a blip on the radar screen. It is in fact the beginning of a long process of economic restructuring that will not end until 2014 at the earliest. The transit of Pluto over Dubai’s Venus in Capricorn is the warning shot. Clearly money is going to dry up, or at least be subject to draconian lending terms. The United Arab Emirates has a Venus/Pluto square to start with, so this is a development that has always been on the cards, it was just a matter of time. Now with transiting Saturn on Pluto on the one hand, and transiting Pluto on Venus on the other, Dubai is caught in a vice, and the screw will be tightened in 2010, bringing the highest level of discomfort from July to November 2010, the latter date being the final square from Pluto to Venus.

The movement of progressed Mercury – as it returns to its birth position – will be a reminder of the latent folly in the UAR chart, and when Mercury progresses into Capricorn as 2012 starts, Dubai will start applying its first strong dose of reality as concrete steps will be taken to place limits on the unreal expansion that has taken place. A new iron administration will take control from 2012 to 2014 which embodies an acceptance of traditional business realities. In other words the concept “Be Unlimited” will no longer apply.

Other indications that the euphoric mood of Dubai will slump can be seen in the movement of the progressed Moon which has been in Libra and the 8th house since 2007, highlighting the architectural achievements with borrowed money. In February 2010 the Moon will move into Scorpio, still in the 8th house, and Dubai will find itself mired in debt.

Furthermore, transiting Neptune is now extending its tentacles to the UAR Ascendant which it will station on in May 2010 and subsequently transit three more times, leaving Dubai metaphorically submerged by the time the last transit takes place in December 2011. Fortunately Dubai’s geographical placement in the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf makes it immune to a tsunami, but there will be no immunity to the flood of dismay that the economic downturn will bring.

Of course Dubai will prevail, and in the future it will live out the dreams and fantasies of the world and the universe. With the Sun and Moon on Aldebaran and Antares – two of the four royal stars of the Persians, Dubai will continue to make fantastic architectural statements to the world once this time of crisis is over. But it will always be vulnerable to hubris – such is the nature of a Sun conjoining a strong Jupiter in the 10th house of a nation’s chart. Dubai is entering a period of contraction when loss and debt will eliminate its natural optimism for a while. It will enter a period of chaos, when there is no longer a clear sense of direction. The Neptune transit to the Ascendant may also have repercussions for the many immigrant workers, who will lose their jobs, but not want or be able to go home. The Pluto transiting Dubai’s Venus will see Sheik Mohammed losing investor friends… and discovering who his real friends are. Nevertheless it is worth noting that Dubai’s progressive Mars trines Dubai’s Sun from 2010 to 2011, and this could indicate that he will take an active role in leading Dubai out of economic danger in the years to come through courageous initiatives, not least in continuing to convince investors that Dubai has a future.

I do hope so… prices have already gone down for the Burj al Aran 7-star hotel. (Now starting at only $1500 per night).

Adrian Ross Duncan 14.12.2009

1. Guardian Weekly: journalist Jon Henley 11.12.2009.

2. Information from Wikipedia