Europe was in ruins. Refugees were everywhere. German cities were reduced to rubble and dust, and Germany itself was split into zones controlled by England, the US, France, Soviet Union. In the aftermath of World War 2, the Soviet Union had taken over all of Eastern Europe. As Winston Churchill commented:
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an “iron curtain” has descended across the continent.This represented a great success for the Soviet Union, much to the alarm of the Western powers.

Western nations after the war feared that the greatest threat to peace was Soviet communism and their response was the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4th, 1949, later formalized as NATO on August 24th, 1949.  Both horoscopes are telling, but the April 4th chart really captures the essence of what this military organization is about.


North Atlantic Treaty. April 4th, 1949. 16.52. Washington, DC.

A Multinational Military Force
Ascendant ruler Mercury conjoins Mars, which is together with Venus and the Sun in a grand stellium in Aries. The North Node is also in Aries, and there has been an eclipse just a few days before exactly on Mars, so this whole chart is extraordinarily martial. Presumably the nodal axis from Libra to Aries encapsulates the ancient Roman saying: “Let he who desires peace prepare for war”, and the 8th House position of the North Node emphasizes a willingness to use resources for this deadly purpose. The purpose of NATO is a mutual defence pact, with Article 5 guaranteeing that NATO will intervene if any of the member states is attacked.

Another striking influence in the chart is the close conjunction of the Moon and Uranus on the Gemini Midheaven exactly aspecting the Nodes. There are a multiplicity of interpretations for this, not least seeing this as an assembly of what is now 31 different countries with a cacophony of languages, with English and French being the official ones.


The Dissolution of Borders
Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are all close to sign cusps, and by progression they all have changed signs in the last 74 years. Furthermore, Jupiter is the apex planet of a finger of god pattern (quincunx both Saturn and Uranus), wandering by progression into Aquarius and back into Capricorn over a period of 100 years. The significance of this is probably connected with the changing nature of national borders, and the ability of NATO to hoover up newly independent nations, not least the East European nations after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A look at the map of Europe shows how since 1991, NATO has incorporated all the countries bordering Russia apart from Belarus. It is not difficult to see why Russia gets nervous about any talk of the accession of Ukraine to NATO, and, since Ukraine has been invaded since 2014, it is not difficult to see why Ukraine itself desperately wants to be incorporated.


Map of NATO Countries

In 2023 Pluto has been transiting Jupiter in Capricorn, which as co-ruler of the 7th house awakens the perception of a powerful and inscrutable enemy that threatens to undermine the rules-based international order. This transit has led to a transformation and expansion of NATO.

The Sun in NATO’s horoscope is at 14 Aries exactly trine Pluto, which testifies to the resilience and raw power of this military organization. This is a signature of invincibility. The opposition to Neptune may undermine its ability to show leadership, or undermine the will to take action when peace is an option. However, maybe this also shows that in the post-war climate, appeasement (South Node and Neptune in Libra) had acquired a bad name, and is no longer an option.

The Dissolution of the Putin Regime
NATO is at least not inclined to appease Putin, who badly miscalculated with his full scale invasion of Ukraine. This served to alarm Sweden, which abandoned a 200-year policy of neutrality, and Finland which, with its 1,340 km (832 mile) border with Russia, no longer feels safe. Both countries have now chosen protection under the NATO umbrella. As a result of the invasion, NATO is stronger than ever, and Russia is isolated, apart from alliances with Belarus, North Korea, Syria, Iran and to a certain extent China and India. This block clearly represents autocracies, whilst NATO represents democracies. A tidal wave of skilled Russians have fled the country since the invasion, including 100,000 IT specialists, which is going to set Russia back several decades.

The invasion of Ukraine is a disaster for the Putin regime, and spells its decline and ruin over the next three years. It has created worldwide chaos, politically, financially and materially. Putin has Mars at 26 Sagittarius, Ukraine has Mars 25 Virgo, Zelenskyy has Jupiter 27 Sagittarius and NATO has the Descendant at 25 Pisces, so clearly the current transit of Neptune through Pisces has had a powerful and chaotic effect on these mutable sign placements. Transiting Saturn will transit these planets three times in 2025, compounding the suffering, and it is only during the Saturn-Neptune conjunctions in Aries from 2025-2026 that this will come to an end, as Russia reconstitutes itself.

Current Trends for NATO
The current fears that a second Donald Trump presidency threatens the cohesion of NATO are almost certainly evoked by Neptune’s transit over the NATO Descendant, and the simultaneous square to NATO’s MC-Moon conjunction. It is also quite likely that this transit also represents the delicate negotiations for the accession of Sweden, which Turkey objected to. By the Inauguration this fear of dissolution will have abated, as Neptune travels on.

From January to May 2024 NATO will hold its largest military exercises in Europe since the Cold War, involving 90,000 troops. If the April 4th NATO chart is progressed to this period, it can be seen that the progressed Sun is at 27 Gemini, which is exactly on radix Uranus. This reflects the vast logistical operation, the sense of emergency, and the escalation of the war through the transference of fighter jets and long-range missiles. At the time of writing (March 1st 2024) progressed Moon has just left Pisces and entered Aries, so NATO is adopting a less passive and more aggressive posture. Progressed Sun will conjoin progressed Uranus in 2027, so it is quite likely that the whole situation will be unstable for a few more years.

Military Successes
The success of NATO as a military block can be measured by the fact that its power is rarely used. The first time it was ever mobilized was 43 years after its inception, and this was to enforce a naval blockade and a no-fly zone over Bosnia. This process started in 1992, when NATO’s Ascendant progressed was square Jupiter and sextile Saturn, then moving into Scorpio, at which point NATO adopted a much more muscular approach. At this time Mars progressed squared Pluto. NATO’s engagement in former Yugoslavia ended with a bombing campaign of Serbia in 1999 to protect newly-formed Kosovo. At this time MC progressed was trine Mars in Aries, which resulted in peace, albeit tenuous, in the region.

The next major NATO engagement took place after 9/11 with the invasion of Afghanistan, which involved troops from all NATO countries – the first time Article 5 has been invoked. Interestingly, this took place at a progressed New Moon opposite pr. Chiron to a minute of arc, which presumably confirms the concept of Chiron symbolizing wounds. At this point NATO’s MC progressed sextiled Neptune, going on to conjoin Pluto and trine the Sun in 2002. (And at the same time transit Pluto was trine radix Pluto and the Sun). This signified the incredible power and logistical ability of NATO, which subdued Afghanistan and dismantled the Taliban within the space of a few months. This was technically the start of the “War on Terror”.

Currently (March 2024) progressions show the Sun at 27 Gemini on Uranus and it will go on to sextile Saturn and conjoin progressed Uranus over the next three years. This clearly shows a period of high alert. Putin has repeatedly threatened nuclear retaliation – threats which seem to have had the effect of the boy crying wolf a few too many times. The sextile to Saturn is stabilizing, and tends towards the establishment of a rules-based order. The likely outcome is ultimately the dissolution of the current Russian regime, and, long-term, the integration of Ukraine into the EU, but probably outside NATO.

The United Nations
What NATO is to military muscle, the United Nations is to peace. It is the antithesis, clearly indicated by the sculpture outside the UN headquarters in New York, which shows a steel handgun its barrel tied in a knot. This is an expression of Mars and Saturn, in fall and detriment respectively, in close conjunction in Cancer. War is anathema to the United Nations, and it is worth noting that Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine took place with transiting Venus, Mars and Pluto opposing this Mars-Saturn conjunction.

Sculptures outside NATO (left) and outside the United Nations (right)

Formed in 1945, immediately after the end of World War 2, the UN chart represents the desire of world leaders to avoid the destruction of two world wars that took place within the space of 30 years. The UN charter was negotiated as a lunar eclipse squared Neptune on June 25th 1945, and it took effect on October 24th, which is the chart examined below. For this chart, the timing was perfect, with the closest imaginable Venus-Neptune conjunction, both conjoining an exact Jupiter-Chiron conjunction – all in Libra and the 6th house. People characterize the United Nations as weak and ineffectual, but in a sense it has to be. This chart enshrines the dream of peace, sending blue-helmeted soldiers whose only agenda is to help to trouble spots, and who, when on peacekeeping missions, can only protect themselves if attacked.

United Nations horoscope

The United Nations. October 24th 1945. 16.45 Washington, DC.

The UN has an Aries Ascendant with Mars in fall in Cancer, and this indicates the constraints it must operate within. The Mars-Saturn conjunction likely represents the five permanent members (the heavyweights) of the security council – the US, UK, Russia, France and China – who can veto any resolution that makes them feel uncomfortable, although the conjunction does seem to reflect the signature of Stalin’s Soviet Union. Just like with the NATO horoscope, the Moon conjoins Uranus in Gemini, this time conjoining the 3rd House cusp. So all the nations of the world talk and talk, but the results tend to be ineffectual. Clearly, it is not ideal that the Ascendant ruler lacks dignity; the five permanent members manipulate the organization for their own benefit, effectively ignoring the other countries when it suits their interests.

The UN saw action in 1950 when it authorized a US-led coalition to resist the North Korean invasion of the South. At this time Venus had progressed onto Chiron (and then Jupiter). Often the UN has been unsuccessful in mediating many conflicts, such as Vietnam, Kashmir, the Middle East and, most disastrously in Rwanda. On the other hand, the UN has had more success in peacekeeping roles, gender equality, development, and human rights.

With the end of the colonialist period, the original group of 51 member states was augmented, and at the time of writing there are now 193 members, which comprises virtually all the world’s sovereign states. As such, the horoscope for the UN is almost like a horoscope for the world, and indeed, major world events are reflected in its chart.  At the time of perestroika, there was a new moon at 12 Sagittarius opposing progressed Uranus at 15 Gemini and this seems to presage the dissolution of Soviet control over Eastern Europe, and ultimately the Soviet Union itself, which dissolved five years later when progressed Sun was exactly opposite radix Uranus, now conjoined by the progressed Ascendant.

There are other examples of the UN horoscope accurately reflecting key world events. When the Twin Towers were felled by passenger jets, Venus progressed was at 17.03 Sagittarius exactly opposite UN Uranus at 17.02 Gemini! (Also progressed Mars retrograde was at 1 Leo square UN Sun at 1 Scorpio and progressed Moon was square Neptune within 5 minutes of arc.)

If the progression of the Ascendant of the UN horoscope to Uranus could predict what Putin called “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century” (the collapse of Soviet Russia), then the question must arise about what will happen when the Ascendant conjoins Mars then Saturn. Curiously, Ascendant ruler Mars actually moves retrograde by progression at 3 degrees Leo in 1989 – another indication of a turning point for world powers that the fall of the Berlin Wall represented. As Mars retrogrades back into Cancer (2008) it once again conjoins Saturn in 2023 – obviously a key signature for the full scale invasion of Ukraine and the destruction of its towns, villages and cities by Putin’s war machine. (And of course the Hamas massacre in Israel and subsequent destruction in Gaza).

Over the next 4 years, the Sun progressed opposes progressed Saturn (2024), radix AND progressed Mars (2027), and then radix Saturn (2028). The progressed Ascendant crosses Mars and Saturn progressed and then radix from 2029 to 2031.

This incredibly powerful activation of Mars and Saturn indicates violence and destruction, and that violence seems to be what we are witnessing in Ukraine. It may be a subjective Western viewpoint, but this could be further corroboration of major changes in Russia, as a consequence of the murder and mayhem unleashed by Vladimir Putin. He has created a murderous and oppressive regime, killing and imprisoning opponents in his own country, sending hundreds of thousands of Russian men to untimely death, and bombing civilian targets in an effort to eliminate the existence of a neighbouring country.

Mars and Saturn in Cancer – the bereaved mothers and widows and daughters will surely rise up in the end.

Adrian Ross Duncan
March 4th, 2024