If you had to invent a horoscope to describe a country in constant tension with its neighbors, a land that has risen from the ashes, a land with supreme confidence that could fight its own battles, then you might have chosen the 14th May 1948, and that country would be Israel. This was the time when Jewish figures under the leadership of Ben Gurion declared the existence of the state of Israel whilst the Arab League was in the process of invading the country. Even at inception, Israel was at war.See chart for Israel 14.05.1948 16.00 Tel Aviv

This horoscope is one of the most interesting horoscopes of all time for a myriad of reasons. The country was formed less than a week after a solar eclipse at 18 Taurus, which squared a Mars/Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Leo, thereby assuring its destiny at the center of a power hub in which war, struggle and survival were to be the keynotes. The Saturn/Pluto conjunction takes place every 35 years, and in this case it shows the rebirth of the Jewish nation after the Holocaust. The sun placed on the 8th house cusp shows that the country’s identity is based on contested territory – it is in fact founded on other people’s land, and these people were made permanent refugees in the war of Israeli independence. Ever since, the Palestinian people have claimed their land back. Indeed extremist forces in Arab countries have called for the elimination of the state of Israel. The fate of Israel is to live under the constant threat of extermination, and to cope with this they have an enormous willpower to survive.

Fortunately for the Lion of Israel, they have an extremely strong Mars in Leo, which trines an even stronger Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a people with a well-trained army with enormous confidence and will to win. They have the sense that right is on their side, and that might is right. Mars is actually square the Sun, and there is the suggestion that the army can run independently of government, but as the Sun disposes of Mars, then it can be reined in.

The horoscope ruler Venus is in Cancer and the 9th, and this shows an important side of the Israeli character. They love their home and their family, and they are settlers, trying to build a home in a difficult environment. The 9th house position of Venus also shows that many have arrived from abroad – in fact this Venus position is exactly on the Venus/Jupiter conjunction of the United States, which of course the protector of Israel both financially and militarily. This is a soft and cultural influence, and with the square to Neptune in the 12th there is also a sorrow and awareness of the martyrdom of their race. As Ascendant ruler, Venus has a special role to play, especially in Israel’s progressed chart.

Mercury is strongly placed in Gemini, which probably says something about the many languages spoken in the country and the dual use of English and Hebrew. The strong aspect of the 8th house Mercury to Pluto in Leo indicates the effectivity of the country’s intelligence services, particularly Mossad. The ability of Mossad to orientate itself in the Arab world is a major extension of Israel’s power. Mercury makes a powerful trine to Neptune in the 12th, which gives great spiritual depth and teaching tradition, and shows the success Israel has in keeping alive the knowledge of the Holocaust. Mercury has also an extraordinary story to tell in the progressed chart.

Israel has been in extreme turmoil since the elections in Gaza that gave power to Hamas, which is generally seen as a terrorist organization. This coincided with the withdrawal of the military from Gaza and the removal of settlements. At the same time, Ariel Sharon had his near-fatal stroke, and the party he had just formed on November 21st 2005 – Kadima – won the March 28, 2006 elections with Ehud Olmert as its leader.

Progressed chart July 2006

Weakness has never been a very useful strategy in the Middle East, where the spirit of compromise is so difficult to capitalize on. Olmert has a chart with three planets in fall – Sun in Libra, Mars in Cancer and Venus in Virgo – and this is not going to stand him in good stead in the current conflict that is escalating with Hizbulla in the Lebanon. (Note 1) Olmert is in fact an idealist, with a Sun/Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in Libra – a good man who believes in compromise. In fact his chart is similar to the UN, and he should get them involved as soon as possible.

It is an extraordinary thing that both Mercury and Venus retrograde from Cancer and back into Gemini for a very long period. During this time their energies merge with the Uranus/Jupiter opposition clearly indicating the years and years of international diplomacy connected with the dilemma of Israel/Palestine and how to create two separate states that recognize each other’s existence. The long Sharon/Arafat “dialogue” was a manifestation of this activation of Uranus in Gemini.

Mercury retrograded into Gemini in 1993, and will reenter Cancer this year by progression, and this probably marks the end of dialogue, in the sense that Israel now make unilateral decisions and no longer negotiate officially with the Palestinian government. This is the end of the 1990’s epoch of the Oslo accords, which had such limited success. The policy of Israeli unilateralism will continue into the foreseeable future.

As may be expected with the sudden explosion of violence in the Middle East, Mars is involved. At the time of writing – when bombs are being dropped over Beirut and rockets falling on Haifa – transiting Mars is in fact exactly on Israel’s Mars at 28 Leo, so quite obviously Israel is flexing all its muscles. However, progressed Mars is at 26.52 Virgo – exactly conjoined by progressed Moon! – and approaching the square to progressed Uranus at 27.44 Gemini and natal Jupiter at 27.39 Sagittarius. This is a high explosive cocktail, and it looks like going on for a while. Progressed Moon enters Libra in October, which may help peace negotiations, but the exact Mars square takes place at the time of the New Year in 2008. This indicates that high tech warfare may flare up periodically over the next 1½ year period. And as mentioned in a previous article, air strikes on Iran are a distinct possibility.

The progressed Mars to Jupiter, which is exact at the end of 2007 indicates that the actions of Israel will not meet with approval. They will overreact, and definitely be open to the charge that they are using disproportionate force (which Europe is already claiming). With progressed Mars in Virgo this could be because military efforts are focused on the destruction of infrastructure.

The current efforts to establish security in the face of fundamentalist threats will only have a limited success. The Saturn/Neptune opposition of 2006-7 will square Israel’s Taurus sun created a long-lasting and apparently insoluble problem. Saturn squares the sun on 27th October 2006, and 15th January and 13th  July 2007. Neptune squares the sun in 2008, and Mars in 2010. This is going to be a damaging time for the Israeli economy in particular, and dealing with increasing debt will be a major preoccupation. At the same time military methods for conflict solving will become less and less effective as time goes by. The entry of Mars into Libra in 2012 will signal the end of the smaller skirmishes with militants, but there may be new alliances and heightened world tension at this time.

Lebanon celebrates its independence on 22nd November, after it wrested power from the French in 1943, and a noon chart places the Moon at 26 Gemini, which is exactly where the progressed Moon and Mars of Israel are right now. Pluto is squaring this position and opposing Lebanon’s Saturn in Gemini, showing the upheaval and restructuring currently going on as a consequence of Israel’s bombs. Lebanon has Mars, Saturn and Uranus in Gemini which clearly indicates the religious polarities in the country and the potential for civil war. This is obviously a destabilizing time in a country that has never been stable.

The general consensus regarding the current war footing of Israel is that this is something that has been orchestrated by Hizbulla at the behest of Iran and Syria. With the current pressure on Iran because of their nuclear program, a low-intensity Middle Eastern conflict can be very useful in distracting energy and attention away from its president Ahmadinejad, and a reminder of Iran’s regional power. The new longer-range rockets are manufactured in Iran, and can now reach major population centres in Israel. Given Israel’s extreme sensitivity regarding the capturing of their soldiers, it is a simple matter to provoke Israel into an escalation of hostilities, and this has probably been the intention of Hizbulla and their patrons. Everyone is a hostage to this – even the Hamas government of Palestine, who would probably love to be able to prevent its fundamentalists sending rockets into Israel. The Lebanese government would probably also love to stop Hizbulla aggression, but moderate Arabs have very little influence these days. With a peaceful resolution of this conflict in the hands of the masters of Hizbulla, there is likely to be low-level conflict for some time to come.

As mentioned earlier, Venus progressed retrograded into Gemini in the mid-90’s and will remain there until 2029. It stations in 2011 at 24.38 Gemini exactly on Uranus (24.21) and also conjoins Uranus progressed from 2000 to 2025. As ruling planet for Israel this shows an extremely disturbing process, characterized by the stress of rockets and suicide bombs. Uranus in Gemini shows provocative neighbours and the challenges in dealing with people whose language, religion and culture is almost insuperable. To learn to communicate with people who are so different is the fate of Israel. Peace will come in 2030.

Adrian Duncan 19th July 2006-07-19

Note 1. Ehud Olmet: 30 September 1945.