Category: Adrian’s Articles 2003

A Wise Whale

I knew a woman once who met a whale. Becalmed in the vast expanse of the Atlantic it swam under the small boat she was sailing in. Wondering where it had disappeared she donned goggles and swam under the boat, and that’s where she met it. Vast head and enormous calm eyes staring into hers. She went quiet after that, and two years later, when she consulted me, she was still quiet.Her progressed Mercury had retrograded, and in the year of her transatlantic trip it went stationary direct conjoining Neptune. I guess the ocean trip was Mercury/Neptune in the third house and being becalmed for two weeks mid-ocean was related to Mercury being stationary. Read More

Borderliners

Anybody who has crossed the border between two countries knows how it is. Some borders of course a traditionally worse than others, and you would not get far trying to go from South to North Korea for example. There the no-man’s-land is seeded with mines, and electronics register anyone so foolish to intrude, night or day. But even a relatively innocuous border like that between Poland and Germany retains the essential characteristics:1. When the traveler approaches the border he/she is still in a very familiar landscape. The language is well known, the car number plates recognizable. Toilets and plumbing have a particular design and size of pipe; electricity fittings are as expected. The coffee tastes just so, as does the tea, beer etc. The people are dressed in a certain style; the men and women relate in a distinctive way. You are familiar with the money. Read More

Bush-Clinton, A Study in progressed Mercury

Prediction with astrology has never been an exact science. Whilst there have been attempts throughout astrological history to build up sets of rules for judging contests and finding outcomes, such rules are unreliable, perhaps because no set of astronomical circumstances ever repeats itself exactly. Furthermore, what may have worked in the 15th century under certain historical conditions is unlikely to work in the same way in the 21st century. Even different cultural conditions during the same period of history can bring quite different outcomes to astrological stimuli.Progressions Read More

Turkey in Europe

Crossing the Straits of Bosphorus in 1970, after hitching through Europe, was an extraordinary experience for me.

Istanbul itself – though very exotic with the Blue Mosque and the city’s Muslim culture – still had a European feel. But once across the waters that separated Istanbul from the rest, and far larger part, of Turkey, I knew I was definitely in unknown territory. Dry, poor, undeveloped, primitive, this was Asia, not Europe. At no point in the vast territory of Asian Turkey did I have to wait for more than 2 minutes for a lift – the people were friendly and hospitable beyond measure. They were definitely not European! 32 years later the European Union at the Copenhagen summit has given Turkey a date for full membership negotiations and thereby given the message that Turkey’s membership will contribute significantly to EU’s becoming a global power. Read More

The Future of Iraq

Saddam Hussein had an unhappy childhood. He was born in the total poverty typical of rural villages near Tikrit, north of Baghdad. His father died or left the family soon after birth, and he was brought up by his mother and a brutal criminal stepfather, who relentlessly beat his stepson and forced him to steal. Only at the age of 10 did he escape this home to live with an uncle in Baghdad who grew to have tremendous influence on him. The uncle had nazi sympathies – and was instrumental in getting Saddam into the fledgling nationalist Baath party in his late teens. Schooled in violence from an early age, Saddam participated in an assassination attempt of General Qassim, who had just overthrown King Faisal II, at the age of 22, got wounded in the leg, and fled to Syria and later Egypt to continue his “education”.

Apart from the childhood, there are few mitigating circumstances in Saddam Hussein’s life, although the whole climate of Iraq was pervaded by a unique brutality at the time. When Baath party officers overthrew General Qassim, he was tortured and assassinated, and this and the subsequent execution and mutilation of his followers was shown on television for all to see.

Rise to Power

Hussein quickly returned to Baghdad, where he excelled as interrogator and torturer, rising through the ranks of the fascist Baath party. He built up an all-pervading security network of spies and informers, not dissimilar to the agent network in East German during the same period, which he had studied in detail. When he finally took power in 1979, his first act was to “cleanse” the party, and he and his henchmen personally executed 20 of top officials in his own party. Add to that the millions killed in the debilitating war with Iran, and the killing of 5000 Kurds in poisonous gas bombings, it is safe to conclude that Saddam Hussein is not a nice man – difficult childhood notwithstanding.

The Future Trial

This man is now a prisoner. The time ahead will be a collective remembering for the people of Iraq, as he goes to trial, and his crimes against humanity are listed. It seems the Americans in Iraq had learned from their lamentable handling of previous high-level fugitives, the sons Qusay and Uday, who were quite unnecessarily killed when located. Unless Saddam Hussein was taken alive by error, as some Arab commentators suggest. He has a lot of truths to tell, which will be very embarrassing to the West. Britain, America, France, Germany, Russia… they kept him well supplied with weapons and all the ingredients needed to make chemical and nuclear weapons throughout the eighties.

A Possible Birth Chart

Officially, Saddam was born on April 28, 1937 and this date was made a national holiday in 1980. Whether this is his actual birth date or not is a matter of dispute. The tradition with poor peasants at the time was to give them all the same birth date: July 1st, and there is evidence to suggest he borrowed his birthday from an associate with a better pedigree. Still, the official birthday is a fascinating chart, and definitely worth using.

See chart for Saddam Hussein

The Journey of Progressive Mars

Taking a noon time for the birth, which often works well for public figures, because this places the sun in the 10th house, there is a dominant Sun/Uranus conjunction in Taurus that could show his revolutionary rise to power. What is fascinating about the chart is Mars, which (like Venus) is retrograde at birth. During the course of his life Mars moves back into Scorpio first trining Saturn and then Pluto, indicating his relentless and ruthless consolidation of power through an all-pervading informer network. In the buildup to the 2nd Gulf War, Mars finally stations at 19 degrees Scorpio, which just happens to be the unchanging position of the actual planetary node of Mars. This degree is associated with evil in horary astrology, and has the name Serpentis . Currently his Mars is at 19.49 degrees, moving direct at just 3 minutes of arc a year, and soon to make a sesquiquadrate to Saturn progressed at 4.57 Aries.

With the capture of Saddam Hussein, George W Bush, certainly a believer in the corrective powers of the death penalty as governor of Texas, has called for the “ultimate penalty” to be imposed. The Mars/Saturn connection in Saddam’s birth chart indicates that this is not an unlikely fate, no doubt at the hands of a court run by the provisional government of Iraq. In the meantime CIA experts are interrogating Saddam, and entertaining him with his own torture videos from the past between sessions.

Venus and the Trial

Another interesting progression in the chart is Venus, which moved direct at the age of 10, when Saddam moved to Baghdad, and is now at 26 Taurus, trining Jupiter on the one hand at 26 Capricorn, and Pluto on the other at 26 Cancer. This Pluto/Jupiter opposition may indicate the elevated position and power of Saddam’s clan based around Tikrit, and the ruthless political power that was evoked in him through the influence of his uncle. This will almost certainly culminate in a high-profile court case, and the Venus trine from Taurus may indicate that he receives tremendous support, both financially and in terms of support from his clan. It is probable that a high profile lawyer will defend him well. Mind you, Venus is currently 26.06 Taurus and the ill-fated star Algol is currently placed at 26.09 Taurus. This star is particularly associated with injuries to the neck, such as hangings.

The Capture

The capture of Saddam Hussein was an interesting and predictable moment. This took place at the Sun/Pluto conjunction… obviously a completion of the process started at the Sun/Pluto trine which took place at the exact moment Saddam’s statue was toppled in Baghdad back in April. Mars was also leaving Pisces, after a 6 month sojourn in the sign. Quite obviously the direct and retrograde motion of Mars during the latter half of 2003 related to the chaos in the country at the time, and the deterioration of conditions for the US military. Mars in Pisces also represented Saddam on the run, and when Mars’ time in Pisces ran out, he ended up as a prisoner. Curiously, when the invasion took place on 20th March 2003 at 3.34 am the Sun was at 28 Pisces. Mars finally arrived at this degree with the capture.

See chart for capture of Saddam Hussein

At the time of the arrest Mercury was in exact opposition to Saturn, and because of Mercury’s retrograde motion this aspect will take place two more times in December and January. Despite reports that Saddam was cooperative, this hardly indicates a talkative prisoner. One would imagine that a painstaking interrogation would take place until at least January 22nd, when the final Mercury/Saturn opposition takes place. As Mercury retrogrades to conjoin the Sun it makes a square to Mars, now in Aries, which certainly indicates high stress levels, if not an element of brutality. Still, with the three Saturn/Mercury trine, it seems like there is a triple lock on information.

The Future of Iraq

See chart for Republic of Iraq

There are a number of horoscopes for Iraq for the last century. I have ignored the earlier horoscopes that relate to an Iraq under the control of the British, and concentrated on the military coups that established republics, the first one being in 1958, and the subsequent one when Saddam Hussein came to power. The 1958 coup shows a Moon/Venus conjunction in at 19-20 Gemini opposition Saturn at 20 Sagittarius, and obviously the current Pluto transit has been activating this opposition, and will continue to do so in 2004.

Amongst other influences it was this Pluto transit that suggested that the Americans would go to war. As I wrote in a previous article (Sept 2002): “This suggests that the long-suffering Iraqi population will undergo a hammering throughout the year, but it also suggests that the yoke of oppression will be removed, especially for women and children.” The American invasion has brought tremendous destruction to the people, and the loss of a good deal of their cultural heritage through plunder. Whether Iraq continues to be plundered as American corporations make lucrative contracts in the country remains to be seen. Still, whatever the ravages cause by western capitalism, they are unlikely to equal the material and spiritual destruction of Iraq, which Saddam is responsible for.

An Islamic State

The actual chart for the foundation of modern Iraq (23.08.1921 6 a.m.) has a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 22-24 Virgo. Pluto will activate this in 2005, which will almost certainly indicate an ongoing transformation and upheaval of all existing political and religious structures, typified by extremism and ruthless power play. Saudi Arabia also has a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, (conjoining the Sun in Capricorn), and this may indicate the union of religion and politics in government: namely, the Islamic state. Therefore it is likely that elections in Iraq in 2004 do not result in a stable government, but rather bring extremist religious groups to the fore. Pluto transit in square to Jupiter/Saturn simply does not promise a democratic country or democratic reforms. Indeed, 2005 is the year when there is a full Uranus return to its position at 8 Pisces at the original creation of Iraq – another indication of revolutionary upheaval at this time.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19.12.2003

Mars in prison by the sea – Guantanamo

Planets visiting Pisces have many manifestations, and when depicted in an upbeat light, they can be said to be uplifted, transcendent, creative, caring and spiritual. These qualities are arrived at by a process of refinement of the grosser manifestations of human behavior. In Pisces, humans can no longer get away with how they might like to act as a normal member of society – it just does not seem to work. Perhaps that is why so much suffering is associated with Pisces; material pleasures pall, ambitions seem empty, desires run riot but do not bring satisfaction. Learning spiritual lessons comes at the cost of having to give up the ways of the world. So when the astrologer tells the client that he or she is entering a great period for spiritual growth, that’s often code for a long and trying period.The Fate of Pisces

Many Pisceans, or people affected by a difficult Neptune aspect or transit, will be able to tell a story of repeated efforts ending in dissolution, of a sense that the world is weighted against them, that they are misunderstood or hard done by. Hence the tendency of Pisceans to withdraw – either mentally into a world of fantasy and imagination, or physically to remote places. Undisturbed by the dreary demands of so-called reality, they can pursue their errand with who or what they perceive to be God. Some discover that the world is nothing more or less than what you perceive it to be, and rejecting martyrdom make life a playground for their creative ideas, often becoming rich and successful in the process. Others identify with fellow sufferers, and become shepherds for lost souls. Others still discover that, yes, the world is out to get them and fight imaginary battles against imaginary enemies. But even those Pisceans who descend to the absolute depths find redemption through giving themselves up totally to the battles within their soul.

And it is possible to imagine these battles right now, in the souls of those imprisoned in the world. With the transit of Uranus through Pisces from March 10th 2003 to March 12th 2011, prison is just one of the areas that will be highlighted. And with the current movement of Mars back and forth through Pisces from June 17th to December 16th – six long months – 2003 will be the year when the greatest trouble and suffering will manifest. Problems to do with prisons in this period will capture the public imagination… and they won’t go away.

Guantanamo

That is the significance of the closely-guarded Guantanamo prison camp in these months, which has all the qualities of the Mars/Uranus conjunction in Pisces. It’s a prison housing religious militants on an island . Therefore, by following the aspects to Uranus and Mars in Pisces over the coming months, it should be quite possible to predict how things will develop. Guantanamo is an American outpost on the tip of Cuba, which is not technically a part of America (and obviously the Cubans don’t dare demand it back). Guantanamo is not a country, so it’s not subject to international law, which is quite useful, because prisoners can be held indefinitely and without charge for as long as the American military want. The militants – Mars/Uranus in Pisces – are having a hard time there particularly because they have no status, no international protection, and no way of knowing when – if ever – they will be released. The prison houses almost 700 people most of whom are very young, teenagers really. Three are between 13 and 15 years of age. Ten attempted suicide in 2002, and 11 more in the first three months of 2003.

The only journalist to enter the camp is Ted Conover (Note 1), who reports that prisoners can see documentaries about the ocean, Disney cartoons – and the only feature film: Cast Away (with Tom Hanks starring as a man surviving alone on a desert island.) Like Tom Hanks, these prisoners dropped from the sky onto some unknown island to experience indefinite detention. The slogan at the camp’s main gate is “Honor bound to Defend Freedom”. (Slightly reminiscent of war-time Germany’s “Arbeit mach frei”?)

Legal Limbo

As Guantanamo holds combatants from 42 countries, it’s a bit of a foreign relations disaster for the USA, especially as some are allied nationals, coming from countries like Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Australia and England. There are conventions ratified by the UN, which protect child prisoners, but then Guantanamo is not part of the UN. Each prisoner lives in a 7 ft by 8 ft cell (about 2½ meters by 2 meters) with wire mesh walls, and is allowed out 3 times a week for 20 minutes of solitary exercise, and when leaving the cell must be shackled. Had the inmates been designated as prisoners of war, then they would have enjoyed protection from the Geneva Convention that would have prevented solitary confinement and interrogation, but with their status legally undefined, they are subject to repetitive interviews from different US intelligent agencies who all have an agenda.

In April this year, Secretary of State Colin Powell – chided by foreign ministers around the world – sent Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld a strongly-worded letter pointing out the dangers to America’s reputation which Guantanamo represents. Here in July 2003, matters are reaching crisis point. Tony Blair, already under pressure from member of the Labour party to assert his independence from Bush, is facing concerns that the coming military tribunals in Guantanamo could result in the death penalty – also for the British prisoners. Apparently officials at Guantanamo have begun planning for construction of court facilities and an execution chamber.

Activation of Uranus/Jupiter opposition

See how Mars and Jupiter trigger Uranus and Pluto

The first obvious crisis in this respect is the coming opposition between Jupiter and Uranus, which happens on August 30th at 0.34 Virgo/Pisces. This opposition takes place on the borderline between two signs. Looking at the graph, it can be seen that retrograde Mars goes back to oppose Jupiter on September 7th and then goes direct at 0.07 Pisces at the end of September, narrowly avoiding a second conjunction with Uranus. This period will be a time of uproar about justice. There will be world indignation about matters of international law. The fact that zero degrees is activated emphasizes the issue of borderline matters – that Guantanamo is on (the edge of) an island and outside international law and that detainees have no official status is part of the picture. Although there can be many other crises in the difficult month of September, Guantanamo will certainly be a major one.

Cuba

It is interesting to note that the chart for Cuba (Note 2), when it was granted independence from the USA in 1902, shows an Ascendant/Descendant axis of 0.17 Virgo/Pisces. This further emphasizes the focus on Guantanamo in the months to come. This chart for Cuba shows a Mercury/Pluto conjunction at 17-19 Gemini in opposition to Uranus at 20 Sagittarius – just the spot for extreme manifestations of the law perhaps. The current Pluto transit of this aspect will show upheaval in the legal status of Cuba, and radical change in its international relationships over the next year. Actually, the Cuban government ended a 3-year moratorium on the death penalty this year, and sentenced to death three hijackers in April provoking bitter international protests. America has obviously chosen the right place for it’s future trials of the detainees.

Consequences for Washington

The astrological picture is clearer looking at the chart for the New Moon around this time, calculated for Washington.

See chart for New Moon in Washington

Here, with the opposition between Jupiter and Uranus about to form, the new Moon also draws the Mars/Venus opposition into a massive constellation of tension, which falls on the MC/IC axis in the US capital. As new moon charts tend to describe events over the following month, this presages many troubles and worries for the US government. It’s a time when the US progressed Mercury retrogrades to conjoin the Sun – a very rare event which takes place coincidentally on September 11th (happening extraordinarily synchronistically just as transit Mercury retrograde also conjoins the Sun and squares Pluto.)

The Venus/Jupiter conjunction in early September is a force for peace and mercy, but both planets are weakly placed, suggesting that their influence will be ineffectual and swept aside. The Mars/Uranus conjunction is perhaps a more powerful influence, indicated continued anxiety about terrorist threats – an anxiety that is probably justified. During September opposing forces will be arrayed, one representing the voice of logic and reason, the other the presenting the specter of irrational fears. Obviously there will be virulent criticism of the US government, both from within and from abroad.

The Jupiter/Uranus cycle

The fact that Mars is retrograde until September 20th shows many old issues returning to haunt the administration, not least the misleading of the country about those infamous weapons of mass destruction which Iraq was supposed to possess – part of the big lie of the earlier Neptune/Jupiter opposition. Thus there will be battles on many fronts, and the planets in Virgo will strive to get clarity, whilst the planets in Pisces will strive to maintain the smokescreen. The backdrop for all these developments is the Jupiter/Uranus opposition, which takes place every 14 years, bringing revolutionary justice, battles for intellectual freedom, and struggles for transparency in international law. Going back 14 years, this was the time of revolution in Eastern Europe, and subsequent freedom of movement between borders. 14 years prior to that, when the opposition took place from Taurus/Scorpio the US high court upheld that the death penalty did not constitute unnatural punishment. It is very likely that the death penalty will loom large as an international issue as Jupiter moves away from its opposition to Uranus to make a square to Pluto in July 2004. However unnatural it is, anxiety will probably win out anyway at this time.

Suicide

After the September crisis in international relations through developments in Guantanamo, the next key period will be in November. At this time Mars, now direct in Pisces, will again oppose Jupiter and go on to square Pluto. Of course, a major theme of Mars in Pisces is self-immolation and suicide. This relates to suicide bombers just as it does to the Iranians who set themselves on fire in June (just as Mars entered Pisces) to protest at their political party being branded as terrorist and banned in Europe. Not just prisoners at Guantanamo are affected either – the whole issue of prisoner releases in the ongoing negotiations between Israel and Palestine is part of the larger picture. It is possible that that as Mars stops at 0 Pisces (imprisonment), and does not go into Aquarius (freedom) that neither prisoners in Cuba, nor in Israel will be released in significant numbers. November will again see these issues coming to ahead amongst a growing atmosphere of extremism.

These developments reach their finale in April 2004 with a Mars/Venus conjunction in Gemini opposing Pluto, which by this time is exactly opposing US Mars at 21.23 Gemini). There can hardly be any doubt that the USA will assert its power at this time notwithstanding international opposition, and they are unlikely to be intimidated into avoiding the death penalty. It is in these months, leading up to the US election, that America’s military will be high on the political agenda. A vast restructuring of the US army is unavoidable, and indeed it is part of Donald Rumsfeld’s grand plan for change to have highly mobile and smaller elite forces placed strategically around the world. What is likely however is that the Mars in Pisces will show US troops getting bogged down, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that restructuring can be more far-reaching than anyone in the State Department imagines right now.

It is unlikely that the current US government will bow to pressure about the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. But the polarization of world opinion regarding this peculiar manifestation of American justice will be a volatile issue for months to come. Guards at Guantanamo have cut a large hole in the canvas that had been shielding the prisoners from a view of the bay, and say that the prisoners now derive great pleasure from looking at the ocean. Well-fed, and with the requisite health care, they have put on weight, and can learn more about their hosts through watching Walt Disney cartoons. Yes, torture has many forms.

Adrian Ross Duncan 14.07.2003

Note 1. The Observer: 13.07.2003
Note 2: Cuba independence: 20.05.1902. 12.00 Havana 82W22 23N08 (Book of World Horoscopes: Nick Campion)