The most popular man in Russia right now is Vladimir Putin. Fresh from the international success of the Sochi Winter Olympics, he has managed to engineer a referendum in Crimea that has brought this peninsular, which in the past has been ravaged by war, back into the Russian family. 96% of the residents of Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and unify with Russia. It’s odd, because in 1991, when Ukraine became independent during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, 56% of Crimea voted to leave Russia, and 90% of Ukrainians generally.  Of course it did not help that non-Russians were terrified of showing themselves and basically boycotted the vote, opposition media were closed down, and activists arrested. The good old Soviet times are coming back.

Ukraine has not had much of a history as an independent country. During the Russian revolution Ukraine was split into East and West. Most of the West did not want to join the Bolshevik cause, and they declared independence on November 1st, 1918. However with civil war raging, Ukraine never had a chance to enjoy independence, and it was integrated into the new Soviet Union on December 30th 1922.

During World War II, war raged once more in Ukraine, and Crimea changed hands between German and Russian forces several times. Going back in history, Russia fought England, France and the Ottoman Empire back in 1853, and Russia remembers with pride the great battles of Crimea, which has always served as a naval headquarters and the gateway to the Mediterranean.

In the West, we think that Russia must want to be like us, but really the Russian soul could scarcely be more different to the American soul. An American comment like “How are you doing today” is met with incredulity by a Russian, who, remembering millions of dead through Stalin’s depredations, and more millions through Hitler, is proud to be just getting by.  A Russian would say, “I’ve survived so far” and mean it.

The Russian soul can be seen in the face of Putin. Inscrutable, closed, full of unseen depth. It is the face of a man who has his Sun in Libra conjoining Neptune and Saturn, and it is the Saturn/Neptune conjunction cycle that completely harmonizes with the major historical cycles of Russia, from the 1917 revolution to Stalin’s death and Putin’s birth in 1952-3, to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. That is why we can expect to see Putin until two six-year presidential periods end in 2024, upon which there will be dissolution and chaos in Russia during 2025-2026 when the next conjunction cycle takes place at 0 Aries. A new Russia will be born at this time, and Putin will have disappeared.

Horoscope for Vladimir Putin

 Vladimir Putin – October 7th, 1952 9.30 Petrograd AS 3.10 SC

 Until then, Russia will move in the way Putin wants it to move, because he is Russia and Russia is him. With his Saturn/Neptune conjunction in the 12th house, and square Uranus, Putin is not afraid of isolation. He prefers it. So he will take Russia on an isolation course and the West may as well accept this, instead of dreaming of a Russia integrated with the West.

The naivety of EU and US politics in connection with Russia over the last decade has been extraordinary. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the majority of Russia’s buffers states have been integrated into the EU – some, like Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia having a Russian population in the region of 10%. That all went reasonably smoothly, even though these countries became members of NATO. Carried away by this, there had been talk of integrating Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, and of course also into the EU. You only have to look at a map of Russia’s eastern borders to see how threatening this must have felt. NATO even wanted to place advanced missile bases in former Warsaw Pact countries, to which Putin objected strenuously. Fortunately the Obama administration came with a milder alternative in 2009. Considering the US nearly got into a nuclear war because Soviet missiles were placed on Cuba in 1963, it is not difficult to understand how Putin felt about these developments in Russia’s own back yard.

Putin has made no secret of his attitude to further encroachment by the West, and he launched a minor war against Georgia in 2009 to make his point. The recent independence referendum of Crimea is likened in Russia to the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, which was welcomed in the West. In Russian thinking, Kosovo set a precedent for Crimea. But of course, there is a difference – Serbia’s president Milosevic had a history of killing in Croatia and Bosnia whilst there was no real threat to ethnic Russians in Crimea, although Russian television has been full of Orwellian news items featuring Ukrainian “brutality”.

Ukraine merged with the Soviet Union on December 30th, 1922, and became independent again with its dissolution in 1991.

Horoscope for Ukraine

Ukraine independence: August 24th 1991. 16.31 Kiev AS 8.41

 This was at the time of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction – the New World Order. The new Russia itself was formed on December 25th of the same year when the Russian flag was raised over the Kremlin at 10.45.

The revolutionary turmoil in Ukraine in early 2014 can be related to the fact that transiting Uranus in Aries has just been exactly square, and Pluto conjoining, independence Uranus, which at one and the same time shows revolutionary fervor and the danger of occupation.

With the referendum in Crimea on the full moon of Sunday 16th March, and the outraged reaction of the EU and USA to what amounts to annexation by Russia, dangerous times are approaching. It is worth noting that the long-awaited grand cross, involving Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, takes place at the end of April. The nodes of the moon have now moved into Aries/Libra, which means the full moon on April 15th will be a lunar eclipse, with Mercury conjoining Uranus square Pluto. This will surely indicate a breakdown of communication, if not cyber warfare, and the following two weeks will be fraught with danger.

The grand cross takes place on April 23rd with Mars and Uranus at 13.39 degrees Libra/Aries, Pluto at 13.33 Capricorn and Jupiter at 13.52 Cancer. You don’t get a closer grand cross that that.

Consider then that Putin’s Sun is at 13.55 Libra. Consider that the US Sun is 13.19 Cancer. Consider that Russia’s horoscope for 1991 has Uranus at 13.18 Capricorn… this is a recipe for explosive developments.

It is safe to say that the crisis over Crimea will escalate, and that sanctions by the West will convince Putin and Russia that they have little to lose, so that more extreme actions will take place. It is tempting to point out that Putin’s Sun in Libra is in “fall” and that the psychological pressure will get to him… and it will. However Putin’s horoscope has similarities with another Libra – Margaret Thatcher – who was by no means weak. In fact both leaders have Scorpio rising, and in Putin’s case ascendant ruler Mars is on the Galactic Centre at 26.31 Sagittarius. He is a major player in the world, and with his Mars in trine to Pluto exactly on his Midheaven, we have the signature of an all-powerful and dictatorial leader, who knows how to pick a fight and win it.

Is he in the mood to do so? He certainly is. His Mars progressed is at 12.08 Aquarius exactly square his Jupiter progressed at 12.21 Taurus… the bullyboy aspect. Will Barack Obama back off? Not really, because his Mars progressed is at 26.38 Libra square his progressed Jupiter at 27.20 Capricorn. Quite an extraordinary coincidence of progressions, and an indication that the diplomacy will not work. It’s strange, because both Putin and Obama have the Moon at 3 Gemini, so they should be on the same wavelength. However Putin’s Moon is in the 8th house – nice for his ex-career as a KGB agent – and unaspected, except for a semi- and sesquisquare to his Saturn/Uranus square. Putin is a very secretive thinker, and his communications are designed just as much to mislead as inform.

In any case, Putin has a Mercury/Neptune conjunction in the 12th house, and the only smoke signals he sends are to his diminishing core of advisors, who in recent years have been advocating a more isolationist course. Sanctions against Russia’s oligarchs, with their property and fortunes abroad, do not worry Putin or his advisors in the least, because Putin has been warning oligarchs for several years that they should invest their money in Russia and not abroad, where Western influence can put them in a weak position.

Threats to isolate Russia suit Putin fine, and over the next decade we will see a minimizing of Russia’s involvement in the West, and perhaps more interest in China and Russia’s own Economic Union, as well as closer alliances with Iran and Syria. Back to Soviet style. Of course this is going to have serious financial consequences in the short term both for the West and Russia. Uncertainty in the markets and over delivery of natural gas from Russia will prolong the financial crisis well until the end of 2015.

It is almost certain that the EU, which gets over 30% of its natural gas and oil from Russia, will turn to the USA for liquefied gas to reduce dependence on Russia over the next few years. The USA has recently accessed huge quantities of gas through fracking and has plenty to export. Over the long-term this is going to really harm the Russian economy, and it is very likely that the next ten years will see the kind of stagnation in the economy that was evident in the decade prior to the end of the Soviet Union.

Putin has Venus rising in Scorpio (which progressed Mars is currently in square to along with progressed Jupiter) and the extraordinary extravagance of the recent winter Olympics along with the repercussions of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, will drain the finances of this country, which has traditionally struggled with failed economic plans. 1917-Russia had Venus in Capricorn opposed to Pluto; the USSR (1922) had Venus in Scorpio and modern Russia (1992) has a Venus/Pluto conjunction in Scorpio. There is enough inept financial management and corruption there to impoverish this huge country so rich in natural resources.

Where does this leave Ukraine? At best, it will be a Ukraine without Crimea, and that means without the income from the vast Russian naval base there. At worst the same tactics Russia has used in Crimea will be used in the eastern cities of Kharkov, which is right on the Russian border and a major Russia-friendly industrial center, and in Donetsk, also close to the Russian border. The worst scenario is that Ukraine could lose Eastern Ukraine up to the Dnieper… it was split on these borders in World War I. Whether these extreme consequences will take place will probably be decided in the period from mid-April to mid-June 2014, when Mars repeated activates the Uranus/Pluto square. Eastern Ukraine will in any case align much more strongly with the EU – very few people there want to become part of Russia.

Ukraine’s August 1991 horoscope shows a country, which can prosper from a West-leaning course. Right now Pluto is transiting its Capricorn Ascendant, Uranus and Neptune, but with the moon in Aquarius opposing a Venus/Mercury/Jupiter conjunction in Leo, this promises to be an outward looking country, which has very creative human resources. This opposition seems people-friendly and open to other populations, languages and nationalities. They can attain prosperity through international cooperation and exchange, particularly in information technology. It’s an open and exhilarating horoscope, and perhaps Kiev has more to gain by losing Russian influence than by wooing it.

Adrian Ross Duncan
18th March 2014