Astro Blog

The Martyrs of Iran

On April 14th 1980 after months of training with the elite military unit Delta Force, an ambitious – over ambitious – mission was launched by America to rescue 52 American hostages who were being held by Ayatolla Khomeini’s revolutionary guard at the embassy in Teheran. It involved eight helicopters and accompanying refueling planes, which were to rendezvous at an abandoned airfield not far from Teheran, from where a commando force was to drive in and find the hostages, who were supposedly held at different locations in the capital. Iranian jets were to be destroyed at Teheran airport, and the rescuers evacuated by the helicopters flying in. The helicopters were to be subsequently destroyed, and everyone was to be flown out in C-130 transport planes.Operation Eagle Claw was aborted because several helicopters were damaged in a dust storm, and in the subsequent confusion, a helicopter hit a transport plane and 8 soldiers were killed. For Jimmy Carter, whose gut instinct was to use diplomacy and not force, it was a colossal disaster. And looking at the astrology for the event, it is not difficult to see why:

Operation Eagle Claw: 24.04.1980 Sunset. Masirah, Oman

It is fascinating to see, how significant Mars is in the horoscope, which is set for when six Air Force C-130s carrying 132 Delta commandos set off for Iran from Oman. Mars is conjoined with Rahu – the North Node of the Moon – at 27 Leo which happens to be exactly opposite the US Moon at 27 Aquarius. In other words, the eclipse cycle was passing over the US Moon, and with the reputation of Rahu and Ketu as “the abortive planets”, in Vedic astrology at least, it is hardly surprising that the over-confident Mars in Leo came to grief. A Mars/Rahu conjunction in Leo is a classic signature for hubris, and Icarus-like, this rash venture crashed in flames.

What is more significant is that there is also a Saturn/Neptune square at the time from 20.51 Virgo to 22.25 Sagittarius. Referring again to the US horoscope, Mars is at 21.33  Gemini and Neptune at 22.25 Virgo, so the Saturn/Neptune square activates the warlike US Mars, which is so often historically undermined by its square to Neptune. This was a guaranteed pattern for chaos and humiliation, and indeed Jimmy Carter was systematically humiliated by the new fundamentalist government in Iran for a period of 444 days. The hostages were finally released on the very day Carter handed over the presidency to Ronald Reagan.

It is worth looking at the US chart relocated for Teheran, because this gives an Ascendant of 24 Taurus, which means that Uranus at the time of the aborted mission was exactly on the relocated Descendant. Note too, that the US nodes are exactly on the relocated MC/IC axis, which both shows a fateful relation to Iran, and suggests the tendency for abortive relations. The key here is that the nodal axis in the US chart is exactly on the midpoint of the Mars/Neptune square in a semisquare aspect to the North Node. This keys in the latent weakness of US military might to all relations with Iran, and from this it is safe to predict that all aggressive ventures directed at Iran – especially if connected with oil and naval enterprise – will end in chaos.

The election of the relatively unknown Mahmoud Ahmadinijad to the Iranian presidency on August 3rd 2005 brought a new and acute development in Iran’s relations to Europe and America, who had been negotiating for several years to get Iran to stop their development of nuclear technology. It can be argued that Iran is absolutely entitled to develop this technology for peaceful purposes. It can even be argued that a secret plan to develop nuclear weapons is understandable, when they have the US military on its eastern borders in Afghanistan, and its western borders in Iraq. North Korea has shown by example that a nuclear deterrent is extremely valuable in relation to America. Israel has nuclear weapons, and what has the USA or the UN done to prevent that?

Yet Mahmoud Ahmadinijad could not have handled this situation in a worse manner. He is simply an unsavory character. In his period as mayor of Teheran, he required all male city employees to have beards, and instituted separate elevators for men and women in municipal offices. No surprise there. But earlier he had been a senior commander in the elite Qods Force, from where he directed assassinations of dissidents in the Middle East and Europe, including the assassination of Iranian Kurdish leader Abdorrahman Qassemlou, who was shot dead by senior officers of the Revolutionary Guards in a Vienna flat in July 1989. At a Teheran conference The World without Zionism, on October 28th 2005, Ahmadinejad stated that “Israel must be wiped off the map”, further stating that a “historic war between the oppressor and the world of Islam” would occur in Palestine. Later that same day, at a gathering of students, he called for “the annihilation of the Zionist regime.”

These are hardly reassuring words at a time when Iranian negotiators were trying to convince their European counterparts that they were developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes. The noon chart for Ahmadinejad tells a story of just how intractable he is:

Mahmoud Ahmadinijad: 28.10.1956 Garmsar, Iran. Solar Sign.

As a Scorpio with a Sun/Uranus square he is clearly an uncompromising and rather dangerous character – in fact Kim Jong-il of North Korea also has a Sun/Uranus square. It seems to give a tendency for leaders to involve themselves irresponsibly with nuclear weapons and to practice brinkmanship. Donald Rumsfeld, who has an even more threatening Sun/Pluto conjunction square Uranus, has – no doubt with Iran’s underground nuclear facilities in mind – initiated plans to develop earth-penetrating nuclear weapon designed to destroy hardened underground targets. An equally irresponsible idea that completely blurs the distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons.

Ahmadinijad also has Saturn in Sagittarius conjunction the North Node square Pluto, which does show an ideological hard-liner, with immovable religious and political convictions. His view of democracy is quite clear: in his view Iran “did not have a revolution in order to have democracy, but to have an Islamic government.” The Jupiter/Venus conjunction in his chart indicates a leader who is comfortable with women having a subservient role, servicing Islam in every detail. Obviously this aspect shows someone seeking to deal with a discomfort with women through petty regulation. Men in Teheran can thank Ahmadinijad for the new sex-segregated bus service about to be launched, and soon a special park for women will be opened. The current Pluto square to his Venus in Virgo shows a growing repression and subjugation of women in the country he governs.

In fact, the position of Venus at 26 Virgo resonates extremely strongly with the powerful Islamic Republic Chart from 1979.

See chart for Iran: 1.04.1979 15.00 IRDT Teheran

This chart has a Mars/Mercury conjunction in Pisces directly opposite Ahmadinijad’s Venus. And on Ayatolla Khomeini’s triumphant return from exile, Venus was at 25 Sagittarius, so this is clearly a sensitive area for Iran. The current Pluto transit activates this area and indicates a growing crisis for the regime. In 1980 both Jupiter and Saturn in transited the late degrees of Virgo aspecting this sensitive spot. This was the time when Iraq, secretly encouraged by the US, invaded Iran in what was to be an eight year war of attrition that left the male population of Iran decimated. Against an Iraq armed with more advanced weapons, Iran used human waves of infantry with some success but enormous casualties. Iraq also used poison gas against the Iranian troops, whilst the international community turned a blind eye.

These Iranian martyrs are clearly shown by the Mars/Mercury conjoining the South Node in Pisces in the 8th house of the horoscope for the Iranian Republic.

Bearing in mind that Pluto squares these planets in 2006 and 2007, an issue is raised as to whether there will be another wave of martyrs. The veiled threats from both Israel and the Bush government that all options are on the table, raise the specter of an armed attack on Iran. The window of danger is open well up to December 2007, when Jupiter conjoins Pluto at 28 Sagittarius. As this is a time when Mars retrogrades from Cancer into Gemini, there is likely to be an alarming struggle at this time, probably triggered by the first of three oppositions of Mars to Pluto on September 21st 2007 at 26 Gemini/Sagittarius.

At present Europe and the USA are trying very hard to get Iran to stop uranium enrichment through diplomatic means. These seemed doomed to failure. Ahmadinijad has not shown the slightest hint of wishing to compromise. His election platform was confrontation with the USA and EU, and he will not change course. The position of Iran appears extremely strong. At a time when control of oil and gas is increasingly in the hands of Russia and an independently-minded South America, with both demand and prices high, and with India and China desperate to ensure future supplies and intent on building a pipeline to Iran, America has little international leverage. At the same time the USA is overextended in Iraq, and the American people want their soldiers out. There is little domestic support for a military adventure in Iran.

The USA has the option of destroying nuclear facilities through a missile attack or bombing via proxy using Israel, who successfully destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq on June 7th 1981. If they do this, Iran may well shut off oil flow in the Persian Gulf, and a severe economic crisis could be the result. Iran’s horoscope shows Uranus in Scorpio in the 4th house, which indicates both the likelihood of a secret project to develop nuclear weapons, and that they are buried deeply underground. In March 2006 Jupiter stationed 1½ degrees short of Uranus, which was the time when Iran revealed a vast expansion of its uranium refinement process through an exponential increase in centrifuge production. When Jupiter finally transits the Uranus degree on October 10th, can we expect to hear that Iran has finally manufactured a bomb? Note the fact that there is a grand trine in water between Mars, Jupiter and Uranus in Iran’s chart, and that these same three planets have been in a grand trine in May 2006… something that can only happen once every 14 years, if that. It would seem that nothing will stop Iran’s nuclear expansion plans.

The next 1½ years are crucial for Iran, for there is a real danger that they will be bombed. The Bush government has no faith in the UN, or the EU for that matter, and Russia and China are sure to veto any effective resolutions against Iran. Yet it would seem to be madness for America to go it alone. Bush would have to get permission from Congress, yet there are many powerful voices in Congress, not least senator John McCain, who will not countenance the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran. If Ahmadinejad continues on his rabid and suicidal course, then the unconscious drive towards self-destruction and martyrdom of the Islamic Republic of Iran may become a reality.

Ahmadinejad was elected when the progressed Ascendant of Iran conjoined its Saturn. Next year the progressed MC will square Saturn, and prior to this Saturn will conjoin the Ascendant of Iran in August 2006. This double hit is surely a sobering experience for Iran. Added to this is the fact that Neptune makes a long triple transit to Iran’s Descendant, opposing Saturn of course, which shows hopeless international relations, with little sense of reality about the intentions of the West. It is said that Saddam Hussein was completely taken aback when the US actually invaded his country, and perhaps the Iranian perception of American intentions is just as unrealistic.

Transit Pluto squares Iran’s unhappy Mars three times, the final time in November 2006, though retrograde Mars can still trigger this transit as late as January 2008. In an extraordinary transit + progression hit involving Mars and Pluto, Iran’s progressed Mars in Aries opposes progressed Pluto in March 2007 and radix Pluto in March 2008. This a dangerous – and radioactive – influence that has the hallmarks of destruction. The laying waste of Iran’s nuclear facilities may well become a reality.

It is difficult to see America daring to take this step however. Bush does have progressed Mars conjoining his Moon later this year, which may be warlike, but surely reflects the enormous domestic unrest in the USA. The US progressed Mars will go stationary retrograde during the course of the year, though this probably signals the gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq. With the Pluto station at 24.05 Sagittarius directly opposite Israel’s Uranus at 24.21 Gemini in the 9th house, it seems more likely that an Israeli long-distance strike will take place with US assistance. Indeed Israel’s progressed Moon is triggering a progressed Mars square progressed Uranus in July and August 2006, so there will be a readiness to take some extreme risks.

It would be wiser to take a deep breath and let things take their course in Iran, keeping up a constant diplomatic pressure. North Korea and Pakistan are already members of the nuclear club, and in reality they cannot use their weapons… they are only effective as a deterrent. Even an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel is inconceivable – there are almost as many Arabs in the region anyway, and retaliation would be brutal and swift. But logic is one thing, and world history quite another. If American rhetoric against Iran increases in the coming months, then there is every likelihood that the Iranian nuclear dreams will suffer the same fate as the Iraqi dreams in Osirak, with unforeseeable consequences for the world economy.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19.05.2006

The Fifties

Front line veterans of the 2nd World War had the conviction in the first month or two of fighting, that it was possible that other soldiers in their division might get killed, but they would not. After two months at the front, when they had seen their units get decimated, they realized that there was a reasonable chance that they might die. After four months at the front, they knew they would die… it was just a matter of time. This is a speeded up version of how we all feel. In the twenties and thirties we are convinced of our immortality, but not so in the forties. When we reach the fifties, we have no illusions. We will die, sooner or later. This realization affects different people in different ways, but we have to come to terms with our mortality.In the fifties, women may enjoy the arrival of their children’s children, but they will not have children themselves. Men in their fifties would have to be very naïve to think that their chances of scoring beautiful women were very high. It’s not a pretty sight seeing a 50 year old chatting up girls at a disco. Both men and women who have worked their way up the professional ladder live in nervous anticipation of being unceremoniously ejected by the younger upwardly mobile. Those who lose their jobs in the mid-fifties can find great difficulty getting employed again. Those who lose their spouses feel as if they have landed on the scrap heap far too early.Yet there are those for whom the fifties are their best years. Their professional credentials fully established, they gain highly paid positions and full respect. Relationships find new life as children fly the nest, and there is the economic freedom to indulge those things sacrificed for the family cause. Symptoms of male and female menopause wane, and new erotic pleasures can be found in non-performance related sex. There is the time to develop spiritual interests alongside professional concerns. Providing there is material security and good health, the fifties are fine.The early postwar generation of children are in their fifties today. This was a period with Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra… the generation that refuses to grow up. This was the first generation to be shaped by television, and they grew up in a world shaped by dreams and ideals of perfection. They are still searching for immortality and the perfect love. Tony Blair was born in 1953 with Saturn conjoining Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Cancer, Jupiter in Taurus, Chiron in Capricorn and the North Node in Aquarius – he turned 50 on May 6th 2003 just 2 months after the invasion of Iraq. In the following analysis of the fifties, these planetary positions will be used to gain detail on the significance of each year.

The age of 50 is crucial because it is in this year that most of us experience the Chiron return. As this minor planet is related strongly to teaching and healing, and is often an indicator of where there is a lifelong wound, the age of 50 will always be a time when issues connected with these things inevitably surface. This is also a year when Jupiter makes the waxing square to itself after the 4th return age 47. So:

– As you enter your fifties and commence a new decade, there is the realization that your character is now fully developed – you are who you are – it is now more a question of building on your talents, resources and achievements rather than proving yourself anew. You can be assessed by what you have achieved so far in life, and what there is to come is very much a bonus defined by your attitude and will. The challenge at this time is to find renewed hope and vision, yet it is a time when misjudgments tend to take place, either through lack of confidence or through being overly hopeful about the future. You tend to insist on following your own convictions without being sensitive to the opinions of others. (Jupiter) This is very much related to material values and beliefs which you have consolidated through the years, and which now have become guiding pillars of conviction. (Jupiter in Taurus in Blair’s horoscope). At the same time, there are deeper issues connected with your mortality, and your ability to pass on the body of wisdom you have acquired to those who follow after you. You are poignantly aware of areas in your inner life that need healing, or where there are flaws and weaknesses, for they will surely surface in your 50th year. (Chiron) For you this is profoundly connected with your professional position and ambition, and it is important for you to investigate just what you hope to achieve, and how these ambitions serve to allay inner pain. (Capricorn)

At the age of 51 the final square of Saturn takes place before the Saturn return age 59, and this is sure to be related to serious career restructuring. Fortunately Jupiter now moves to make the waxing trine to its birth position, providing every chance of growth:

– During your 51st year there are pressing professional issues that have to be addressed. This is a time when challenges pile up, both in connection with your relationship to authorities, and in terms of your goals and ambitions. You need to define exactly where you wish to apply yourself, and exactly what you want to achieve. As you are under pressure now, this is not easy, but with extra effort and determination you can carve out a position for yourself that can stand you in good stead for the next five years at least. (Saturn) This is very much connected with how you handle interpersonal relationships, for it is at this time that structural changes take place as far as alliances are concerned. (Libra) Fortunately, this is also a time when a further expansion of your influence is possible, if you adopt a positive and visionary attitude. Bearing in mind your achievements so far, you are justified in pursuing a confident and self-assured path. (Jupiter)

At Mercury returns to its birth position around the birthday both every 10th and every 13th year, the age of 52 is a Mercury year. For many people it will also be the year when Pluto trines its birth position, and as Pluto’s aspects to itself are so rare, then its effects are proportionately significant:

– Your 52nd year is a time when you breathe new life into communication and educational influences and are very active in networking with others. (Mercury) It is also a period of personal transformation that can see you both go into the depths and re-emerge newborn. It is at this time that buried emotional drives surface, and you can be quite unable to bury them again. These feelings fuel a deep-seated change that can lead you to rediscover sexual drives and psychological power. A new authenticity can come into your life based on releasing repressions and living life to the full. If there are features of your life you are tired of, now is the time to get rid of them. If there are bonds that drain you, then they need to change or go. There may be a power battle now, but it serves the useful purpose of evoking your survival instincts and bringing empowerment. (Pluto) This is connected with a deep unconscious drive to assert your ego, even if it means flirting with self-destructive impulses. (Leo)

The age of 53 is a year when many influences peak. Quite apart from the continued Pluto trine, both Neptune and Uranus trine themselves, whilst Saturn sextiles its natal position, and Jupiter opposes. But it is the outer planets that have the most profound effect:

– During your 53rd year you are very sensitive to the generational factors of your birth period, and there can be far-reaching changes that bring many opportunities if you are willing to embrace the future and let go of the past. You are still very much in a transformation period which has brought new life and empowerment. (Pluto) At the same time your visionary capacities now peak, and you are able to transcend your normal life structure and enter new realms of the imagination. There is a kind of global consciousness that pervades your being, and you are extremely sensitive to, and motivated by, the needs and sufferings of others. (Neptune) For you this is very much connected with a tendency to idealize the ability of mankind to relate in a positive way, and in your personal relationships to dream of an unreachable ideal. (Libra)  This is also a period that can bring travel to exotic lands or contact with exotic people. You are willing to take a risk to experience something new, and you want to be involved with people who get together with a shared vision. This is a wonderful time to experiment and innovate. (Uranus) This has a lot to do with an alternative vision that you have for the human family. (Cancer)

At the age of 54, the Neptune and Uranus trines will still be operative, and – equally significant – the progressed Moon returns to its birth position for the second time (the last time being age 27 and 4 months):

– During the course of your 54th year, you are still in a period of dynamic consciousness growth that sees you experimenting with your life on several fronts. You are open to any changes that bring renewal and excitement, and this can bring international travel and input from cultures very different from your own. This is the time to embrace new technology and surf the wave of change in society, rather than holding on to established tradition. At the same time there is a dawning spiritual sensitivity, and activities connected with nature, music or religion can bring inner enrichment. Furthermore this year is a time of emotional rebirth, and your feelings connected with home and family come strongly to the fore. Now is the time to confront latent emotional issues connected with bonding that can relate back to your childhood, so don’t be surprised if this a bit of an emotional roller-coaster year when you are concerned about creating security and a safe base.

Whilst the influence of Uranus and Neptune begin to fade as the age of 55 dawns, Jupiter will now make the incoming trine to its natal position, prior to the 5th Jupiter return at age 59. And during the course of this year, the Moon’s nodes return to their birth position for the 3rd time:

– Many things come together during the course of your 55th year, and if you have prepared the ground well, this can be a time of rapid growth and expansion. If you have listened to your visions and dreams over the last two years, and allowed yourself to be guided by your imagination and creativity, then you will now feel that the years ahead will be fulfilling and full of promise. Likewise, if you have been willing to move with the times and take a risk or two, then the future will hold no terrors for you. You can enjoy the fruits of increased awareness, and may feel a strong bond with humanity, ecology and nature itself. Now is the time to slip into overdrive whilst enjoying the fruits of past efforts. As the year draws to a close you have also to consider the general direction of your life. Are you associating with people who give a meaningful contribution to your life? Are you doing work which corresponds to your mission? (Node) For you this has a lot to do with finding the right balance between asserting your ego, and being receptive to the voice of the community… the latter being the most crucial in your case. (North Node in Aquarius)

At the age of 56, Venus returns to its birth position around the birthday, awakening themes of relationship and economy. The nodal return is still very relevant, and at the same time Jupiter will make a closing square putting the focus on expansion and issues of judgment:

– During your 56th year self-worth issues come to a head in relation to your love life and economy. If you are lucky in love, then more luck is due now. If you are looking for a relationship, then there is likely to be one, and if you are currently in a relationship, then this is a time to consolidate and cherish it, not least by cultivating the art of romance. As your aesthetic values become more important to you now, you may want to spend more money on life’s pleasures, and this brings your whole economic situation into focus. With your senses and desires so stimulated at this time, good judgment is required in the management of your economy. However you tend to be unresponsive to the advice of others, or too inclined to be guided by your personal convictions. Take care not to overreach yourself; seek the advice of experts. You need to be especially careful in matters connected with justice and the law. It is crucial at this time that you take stock of your life situation and make the adjustments necessary to work and relationships, so that they accord with your inner convictions of what your life is about.

There are no major planetary cycles at the age of 57, unless Jupiter’s final sextile before the conjunction is taken into consideration. However, the 3rd Saturn return is already looming on the horizon, and along with that the whole question of future life structure:

–  General trends during your 57th year bring some consolidation and calm, and a time when you can enjoy the fruits of your labors, especially in terms of your social life and friendships. However there is a growing awareness that the solutions which have served you so well during the course of the fifties will not last forever, and thoughts of how you would like the future to take shape begin to arise. As yet your main concerns are of how you maintain the professional momentum that you have achieved over the last few years, and there is the sense that hard-won achievements are getting washed away by the sands of time. Under these circumstances it is wise to develop your inner life and your creative or spiritual interests, for these will always be with you whether you have professional success or not.

At the age of 58 Saturn will return to its birth position for the second, and perhaps the last time. This is a major milestone at the age of 29 to 30, and it is no less of a milestone as the fifties draw to a close. This has traditionally been the time of retirement plans and preparations for old age:

– During the course of your 58th year there is the sense that life has come full circle. Ambition has served its purpose, and you can look back on a series of achievements that have crowned your professional life. Now, with the wisdom of years, you realize that there is little sense in driving upwards and onwards to satisfy ambitions… what would be the point? The question is: what can you take from your current professional status to work on and continue to develop? Or has the time come to bow out from the rat race, wind down, and maximize your life quality in the last phase of your life? You cannot build your future on the framework of the past… you can either build a new framework, if you have the willpower and energy, or allow the old one to dissolve. You still have the chance to define what is uniquely you. There is nothing to prove, but if you allow yourself to be guided by your ultimate life purpose, there can still be mountains to conquer in the years ahead.

Jupiter and Saturn have a planetary cycle that repeats every 20 years, so that as the fifties draw to a close they both simultaneous return to their birth positions, marking a definitive watershed in life:

– As you enter your 59th year you appreciate the significance of your age… on the threshold to the sixties, with the realization that your greatest achievements may well lie behind you, whilst the future both professionally, economically and in terms of relationships is dependant on the structures you have already created. Yet this very realization has a settling affect; you are too wise to struggle against the inevitable, and fully aware that any decisions you make now will have effects that can last the rest of your life. It is at this age that you really can plan how you would like your future to be, using your knowledge and experience of the society of which you are a part, to maximize the benefits that the future can bring, and minimize the limitations. Radical experimentation can be left to those who follow in your footsteps, but if your economy is strong, and your professional foundations firm, you can easily build further on what you have achieved.

If childhood is like the water that springs out from the mountainside, surging in rivulets to join the larger stream, and middle age the powerful flow of the river through the plains, then the sixties and beyond show the river estuary as it flows into the sea and merges with the ocean. The strong tones of individuality that characterize the early stages of the flow finally make way for a merging into the collective. Outwardly the individual during the later stage of life steps back and sees himself as part of something greater. Inwardly he or she may smile at earlier self-importance and ambition, knowing it is all over far too soon. The time comes to embrace universal values that are not dissolved by the passage of time. In modern times many will live to experience yet another Saturn round, with perhaps thirty full years to consolidate and digest their existence and this is a great opportunity to prepare for the most exciting transition of all – death and the after-death state.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20.11.2005

The Thirties

During the twenties it can seem that anything is possible. The energy is there, there is naivety in abundance… the path is paved to be Master of the Universe. There are finance geniuses, football stars, successful models, rock idols – possibilities that are there simply because of youth. If these successes are not to be like a comet illuminating the sky just for a short period, there has to be a dramatic readjustment by the age of thirty. It can be marriage and children, or divorce and independence, or a career reorientation – the crucible of the Saturn return and the first sextile of Pluto to its birth position at the age of 29 demands soul-searching and change. Many “personal” motivations during the twenties lie in the conditioning of parents and society, and the unconscious reaction to them.It is possible to ignore the signals as the age of 30 approaches – lack of motivation at work, lack of love at home, lack of desire to get up in the morning – and struggle on. Much has been built up, must it be sacrificed? But life is too short for compromise. Burn out during the thirties, and a sizeable life crisis around 40 is the price. And it is far more difficult to start anew at 40 than it is at 30.In the last article on the twenties, I pointed out that it is in fact possible to outline an individual’s life in quite some detail if you know the person’s age. Also, if you know the year of birth you can be even more specific through an understanding of the position of the outer planets at birth. Many people in their thirties today were born with Uranus and Pluto on the move from Virgo to Libra, and the relationships of people in their early thirties, when both planets are in Libra, are deeply affected by the gender transformations that took place in the seventies.

Supermodel Helena Christensen (25 th Dec 1968) and actress Rene Zellweger (26 th April 1969), who have Uranus in Libra, but Pluto still in Virgo, are classic examples. They come from a generation who find it a real challenge to make a commitment to a relationship. Helena Christensen changed her lifestyle around the age of thirty, and gave birth to her son, Mingus. However, when asked if she had married the father, her response was:

“Nej, vi var aldrig gift… når vi gik fra hinanden var det mere noget med at sige goddag til hinanden langsomt. Vi var nødt til at gå fra hinanden for at blive venner. Nogle mennesker er bare bedre som venner, ikke?”

“No we were never married… when we left each other it was more like just saying hello to each other slowly. We had to leave each other to be friends. Some people are better as friends, aren’t they?”

Rene Zellweger’s role as Bridget Jones is also a classic example of the plight of the singles culture that seems to have resulted from the influences of the outer planets in Libra. In 1969 Saturn and the Node were in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, and Neptune still in Scorpio (just).

The age of thirty is characterized by the ongoing transition engendered by the Saturn return. The pieces are just beginning to fall into place after a period of transition. Every 15 years Mars returns close to its birth position on the birthday, so 30 is also a year when Mars is strong and ready for battle. Therefore it would be possible to say of a person born in the very late sixties or early seventies entering their 30 th year:

– As you enter your thirties and a new decade, it is important to harness the lessons you have learned from the twenties, whilst letting go of the parental and social conditioning that could lead you along a path that is not uniquely yours. During the course of this year, you will lay the foundation stones for a new life structure on which you can build your life, especially professionally, during the course of the next 10 years. For you this is partly connected with overcoming any fear of taking an initiative, and any resentment that there are blockages on your path (Saturn in Aries). It is now you need to apply all your energy and willpower into achieving what you really want for yourself – not what others want for you. By mobilizing your resources for battle, setting your sights, and investing all your energy, you embark on the first steps towards creating your own unique and independent future.

After the struggles of the previous three years, much resistance has been swept aside, and with Jupiter trining its natal position age 31, there is a good chance of a smooth run. Helena Christensen had her child at this time. For our hypothetical client…

– At the age of 31 you can slip into overdrive as you begin to reap the benefit of the changes that have been so much a part of your life for the past two or three years. The basic structure is in place for you to expand your influence and harvest some initial results. There may be a hint of overconfidence, but your potential for good fortune is strong, and an optimistic attitude attracts success. For you the greatest bonuses can come in connection with your personal relationships, and there will be an expansion not only in your social life, but also perhaps in connection with a deeply significant romantic bond. (Jupiter in Libra)

32 can be a magical year – especially if Venus and Mars are strong in the chart, because the birth relationship between Venus and Mars will repeat themselves. Jupiter squares its natal position at this time, so this is a year when there is a tendency to do things against one’s better judgement too…

– During the course of your 32 nd year you have the need to realize your relationship potential. It is important that your romantic needs are met at this time, and that you feel valued in your relationships. Feelings and passion need to be integrated – love and Eros go hand in hand, and you want fulfilment on all levels. If you are unattached, then this is a year when your attraction peaks, and potential partners come your way. If you are in a relationship, it needs to be satisfying; otherwise your eye may stray. As this is not a year characterized by the best judgement, or wise ethical choices, you may be tempted to allow yourself to be guided by your passions, though this may not necessarily be a bad thing in the long term.

At the age of 33, Saturn makes its first sextile after the return, and the Nodes make a square to the birth position. This is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position at the birthday so…

– As you enter your 33 rd year, you are in a positive development phase of your life, and the new structures you established as you entered your thirties are beginning to show their potential. (Saturn) Confronting fears of going it alone, you have been able to take personal initiatives and establish your independence on the career front. (Aries) This is a year in which you are filled with curiosity and there is much to learn. You may wish to attend courses, study and travel. (Mercury) Questions arise during the course of the year as regards the direction in which your destiny lies. You encounter people, or get involved with groups, who may not be aligned with your mission in life, but who nevertheless inspire you to consider an adjustment in direction. (Node) A crucial question for you is whether to pursue independence or whether to make compromises for a relationship, and finding a balance is not easy at this time. The ideal is to avoid dependence on others, so that you can give your strength to a relationship. (Aries/Libra)

During the 34 th year, the Saturn sextile is still effective, whilst Uranus is quincunx its birth position, which is its last aspect to itself before the coming opposition…

– As you enter your 34 th year you are building strongly on firm foundations, and making concrete progress on your path, acquiring useful communication and educational skills and building a solid network. (Saturn) Your initiatives are beginning to pay off, and there is a sense that what you are building now will stand you in good stead for the future. A sense of restlessness may also inspire you to make some adjustments at this time; on the one hand you don’t want to rock the boat, whilst on the other you would like to distinguish yourself from the norm. Your unique choices as regards relationship come to the fore at this time, and you may be chafing at the bit if you feel there are too many restrictions. At work you seek out a personal niche.

The 35 th year brings the third return of Jupiter to its birth position…

– This is a year when you gain deep insight and expand your understanding of your role in the world. This gives rise to strong views about your life situation, and some concerns about what is right, what is wrong, and whether justice is being done. During this year you propagate your views and express your latent wisdom with confidence and optimism. (Jupiter) The principle of fairness is particularly important in terms of relationships, and you do your best to ensure that balance is attained according to the enlightened principles that are so important to you. Your capacity for success is at its highest right now, and if you catch the wave, you can expect a surge of progress and good fortune. If you do not have a relationship, then good fortune can smile on you. If you do, then it can move to a higher level. (Libra)

At the age of 36, Saturn now makes a square to its birth position, and this is a time to review past progress and plan the future…

– During the course of your 36 th year you encounter a number of challenges, particularly in your professional life. The progress you have made over the last seven years is up for review, and structural adjustments are called for. Pressing demands on your time force you to improve your organization and planning. There are times when it may seem too much, but hard work and effort put in now will help you attain goals set earlier. (Saturn) You may feel that the burden rests on your shoulders alone, but this may be your personal choice and the price of maintaining your independence. By mobilizing your determination and fighting spirit, you overcome the obstacles the year presents. (Aries)

The Saturn square will often drag on into the 37 th year, but the main feature of the year is the second return of the Node to its birth position at the age of 37 and four months. These cycles are immensely significant, because the Nodes relate to eclipse cycles and have the capacity to occult the Sun and Moon, suggesting a cosmic consciousness factor superior to the forces of personality…

– During the course of your 37 th year you are rounding the corner in terms of overcoming challenges and realizing professional goals, after putting considerable effort and determination. Success is within grasp, but what does success mean for you, and are the goals you are striving to achieve in accordance with your higher mission in life? Equally important: are the people you are associated with, your friends and partners, conducive to a happy future? This is the year to say goodbye to those who are no longer relevant to your spiritual growth, and welcome new people who are… both in your personal and in your professional life. (Node) For you this is concerned with any dependency situation, and this is the year when you make choices that emphasize your independence. (Aries/Libra)

After the somewhat disjointing effect of the nodal return, 38 is a year when the waxing Jupiter square brings exhilarating change, warming up for the next two years, when the Uranus opposition will make its presence felt, as well as Neptune’s square to itself, and, for those born in the late 20 th century, the Pluto square.

– As you enter your 38 th year there is a sense of exotic promise. New experiences are awaiting on the horizon, but you may not know what they are to be as yet. After a period of effort and measured growth, the urge is now to pull out all the stops and expand your horizons. It may seem as if your local environment cannot supply the inspiration that you need, in which case you may start investigating possibilities farther afield. There is a growing sense that meaning is more important than achievement, and therefore a need to expand on the new circle of acquaintances you acquired last year to attain personal growth and consciousness change.

During the last year of the thirties, there are many changes in the air which are keenly felt because of the impending Uranus opposition. Nevertheless, with both Saturn and Jupiter trine their birth positions, this can be a year of unprecedented growth and consolidation of everything that has been achieved in the preceding nine years. As 39 is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position for the solar return, it’s a busy year…

– Your 39 th year is the culmination of the choices you made as the thirties began, and a time to harvest the results of all the efforts you have made. It is at this time when you both establish and advance your position in society, and maximize your influence and success. You are eager to gain more knowledge, and to spread the word about what you know. Whenever a peak is reached, then it also heralds the time for a new start, but at the same time it is important to enjoy the results of your labours and realize the assets you have built up. (Saturn/Jupiter) With your foundations firmly established, you may feel that you have the resources to take a few risks and experiment with your life. On the one hand you may want to see the world, and experience exotic cultures, whilst on the other you would like to manifest a more radical side of your nature. (Uranus) This can be connected with your interest in experimental forms of relationships that combine freedom and intimacy.

During the last years of the thirties a person will normally have established a life framework that serves well for the future, both spiritually and economically. But for those who perhaps compromised too much as they entered the thirties, and allowed the demands of society to have more say than their own personal needs, the price is paid during the period from 40 to 44 as the Uranus opposition, and Pluto and Neptune squares force readjustments that culminate in the Saturn opposition. For some this will be a period of soul-searching and inner upheaval, whist for those firmly established on their path, these influences bring turbo-charged growth and a sense of personal fulfilment. More of that in the next article.

Adrian Ross Duncan September 19 th 2005


Karol Wojtyla 1920 – 2005

If you’ve got to die, the age of 84 is a good time to do it. After 84 years, the first trans-Saturnian planet Uranus returns to its original position, rounding off a complete heavenly cycle. It is as if you have managed to encapsulate in your life the lessons of Uranus – consciousness, revolution, liberation and internationalism. I remember meeting astrologer Alexander Ruperti (Note 1) when he gave a lecture at a congress in Prague , 84 years and still completely fresh and uncompromisingly original in his ideas. He seemed in perfect health, but died shortly after, his life a testimony to that planet most commonly associated with astrology, Uranus.The life of pope John Paul II – born Karol Wojtyla – was similarly encapsulated by an 84-year Uranus cycle, and he was a man who played an extremely powerful role in the revolutionary changes affecting the world in the second half of the twentieth century. His encouragement of Solidarity in his native Poland accelerated changes that were the beginning of the end for that arch enemy of Christianity – Communism. Pope John Paul was born at an eclipse, and buried on an eclipse, and his shadow stretched far over the countries of the world. As the most travelled pope in history, he was instrumental in converting millions of people in Asia , Africa and South America to the catholic faith.

Pope John Paul II: 18.05.1920 17.00 Wadowice, Poland AS 21.53 LI

(Note 2)

Though there is some disagreement about the exact time of his birth, the pope said on several occasions that is was at about 5 p.m. , which places Mars retrograde in Libra exactly on the Ascendant, and the eclipse on the cusp of the 8th house, strongly emphasizing struggle and transformation – and also putting the focus on sexuality. It is possible that the fact that Mars is in exile and retrograde, is not unrelated to pope John Paul II’s message of sexual restraint. He certainly raised some eyebrows when a couple of years after becoming pope he remarked in St Peter’s Square that a man would commit: “adultery in the heart” if he looked at his wife lustfully. (Note 2) Obviously even men would now have to close their eyes and think of England . The pope later qualified his remark – after an outcry of public opinion – by saying that sexual arousal could be ethical. Whew!

Progressed Mars went retrograde during the first 12 years of his life, and basically conjoined his Ascendant within a degree for over 30 years. This was not a pope who just preached peace and harmony – this was a fighter, and a man who was willing to struggle for justice and was quite comfortable with confrontation. In those first 30 years he saw the Nazi occupation of Poland , and subsequently the Soviet occupation. His mother died at the age of 8 and his father during World War II. Violence and trauma became a part of his life. Initially, as a priest in Poland, the communist rulers did not see Karol Wojtyla as a threat to their system, and with Mars in Libra he probably kept a low profile. Just after his progressed Mars moved into Scorpio, he became pope, and his true power became evident.

There are a number of key factors in Karol Wojtyla’s chart, which show the potential for him to become powerful, apart from the position of Mars. Firstly he is born at the time of the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. These two planets meet every 13 years, and represent the start of a cycle, where the highest human aspirations are propagated. Pope John Paul II died when Jupiter in Libra was exactly trine Neptune in Aquarius, an apt expression of the outpouring of religious devotion at his death. The 1920 conjunction in Leo is a perfect expression for the pomp and glory of the Catholic Church and the Vatican , which became his home for the last 26 years of his life.

Jupiter/Neptune constellates by square with Pope John Paul II’s Venus in Taurus exactly conjunct the lunar nodes, and this is the key to his mission and nature. A Taurus himself, and with ruling planet Venus in Taurus, it is obvious that the role of this pope was the guardianship of the traditional values of the church. There is no doubt too that with Venus conjoining the South Node – and exactly on the “avatar” degree of 15° of fixed signs – his message was also one of love. True to his Taurean nature, though, he never budged on major issues like the unacceptability of contraception, gay relationships, and female ordination. In the last years of his life dissident Catholic theologians were dismissed or excommunicated and liberal cardinals and bishops were replaced.

This was his job, and he did it well. As birth control unleashed a wave of promiscuity in the last half of the 20th century, the moral authority of the church went into decline. Pope John Paul II actually reversed this, at least in the Third World , and actually managed to attract many young people through his uncompromising stance.

Another major theme in his chart is the exact opposition between Saturn and Uranus, which is squared by the Moon in Gemini. This T-square suggest the country he was born in, torn by the implacable forces of East and West, just as it also symbolizes the capacity to unify opposites and build a bridge from the old to the new. It is the enormous forces of this opposition that appeared to coincide with both great pain and great change in Karol Wojtyla’s life. At his mother’s death when he was 8, his Sun progressed to square both planets. Later, when his ruler Venus reached 5° Gemini and squared the opposition, the Nazi invasion of Poland meant his university was closed, and he had to work in a stone quarry. If the 5 p.m. birth time is correct, he became bishop in Kracow when his progressed MC conjoined Saturn in 1958, and he was shot when his progressed Ascendant squared Saturn and Uranus in 1981.

As head of the Catholic Church, the opposition between Saturn and Uranus showed the enormous stresses between the old and new… the need to modernize and the need to preserve. As could be expected with a Gemini Moon, pope John Paul II was a prolific writer – he was the author of a least six best-sellers, and hundreds of articles and essays. Saturn in Virgo demands an attention to detail and dogma. Where is was necessary the pope created transformation – Pluto is both trine Uranus and sextile Saturn – and where necessary he resisted change. He was prepared to make radical moves, being the first pope to worship in a mosque and a synagogue. He met with Arafat eight times, causing political uproar, and at the same time he mended relations with Israel , re-establishing diplomatic ties with the Vatican in 1994.

The movement of progressed Mercury can be seen as the trigger for many of the key developments in Karol Wojtyla’s life. It conjoined the progressed sun age 8 at the time of his mother’s death. During World War II when Mercury conjoined Pluto, he secretly studied to be a priest. At this time he had two near fatal accidents, one involving a tram and the other a runaway truck, which left him with a damaged shoulder for life. By the 1970’s Mercury began to slow up, preparing to retrograde, and just 43 minutes of arc from Jupiter it stops – and it is at this time he becomes pope. The years 1971-1982 are characterized by the progressed conjunction of Mercury with Neptune, the sublime meeting of the rational with the irrational, of man with God. In a sense this can be seen as the time when God speaks through his agent on Earth – the pope.

God’s message was rather heavy at the start, and as retrograde Mercury conjoined Neptune for the second time, Pope John Paul II was shot in St Peter’s Square on May 13th 1981 (when Pluto transit conjoined his Mars/Ascendant) – he nearly became a martyr. The pope visited his assassin in jail two years later and forgave him.

Mercury retrograded through Leo, entering Cancer in 1997, where it turned direct in 2000, which was the time when the pope made a public confession of the sins of the Catholic Church over the previous 2000 years, which included such things as the Inquisition, forced conversions to Christianity etc. When Mercury, now direct, entered Leo again, the pope passed away.

The pope died just prior to the eclipse in Aries, when the Sun and Venus were in precise conjunction at 13° Aries. With the light and love of Venus subsumed by the greater power of God, Pope John Paul II passed into another sphere. The Moon’s South Node was now at 22 degrees Libra, precisely on the pope’s Mars/Ascendant, whilst Saturn in Cancer was square the Ascendant/Descendant axis. A few days later – when hundreds of thousands of people congregated in St Peter’s square for the funeral – the Moon joined the Sun and Venus, and as they travelled through the heavens and encountered the North Node of the Moon, the light of the Sun flickered and was extinguished… just as it did at his birth.


The eclipse chart for the burial of the pope could also be considered as the start horoscope for the conclave of cardinals, and may therefore provide a clue to the future pope. Eclipse chart for Rome : 8.04.2005 22.33 Rome AS 22.52 SC

Most notable in this chart is the emphasis in Aries, with Mars disposing of all planets in the chart. Mars in Aquarius shows the international nature of the papal funeral, with vast TV screens both in Rome and in major Catholic centres in the world. The conjunction of Mars with Neptune , and its strong trine to Jupiter should indicate the next pope, who with this astrological signature could hardly be European. Interestingly the shadow of the eclipse raced across the surface of the Earth from New Zealand and ended in Venezuela , after passing through Costa Rica , Panama and Columbia . The most prominent Cardinal from that area is Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos from Colombia . Hoyos, born on 4th July 1929 , has, interestingly, an exact Mars/Neptune conjunction on the fixed star Regulus at 29 Leo. However, at age 75 he is getting on. It would not be so good for the Catholic Church to repeat the disaster of Pope John Paul I, who died just one month after coming into office, thus paving the way for John Paul II immediately after.

Adrian Ross Duncan 14th April 2005

  • 1. Alexander Ruperti believed that planetary movements gave the possibility of spiritual growth. See for example his book “Cycles of Becoming”
  • 2. There are disagreements about the actual birth time of the pope. The pope himself said that he was born at 17.00 or between 17.00 and 18.00. According to the notes section of AstroDataBank at astrologer Alois Treindl quotes the German newsgroup de.alt.astrologie for an article by Mag. Andreas Kersting where he writes that he has asked the pope in private audience about his birth time whereupon the pope replied ‘at 17:00 exactly.’ “
  • 3. International Herald Tribune 4.04.2005 (Article by Robert D McFadden).


The Fourties

Men and women in their twenties or thirties do not really think they are going to die. They are aware that there are old people, and that at some point they disappear. Maybe they have even attended a funeral. But actually, this fate is not going to happen to them. There is so much to do, so much to achieve… death is a distant and vague prospect. Time stretches out into infinity, everything can still be achieved.This luxury is not available to those entering their forties. Time is finite. If there is a feeling that major goals have not been achieved, then time is becoming short. The doors are rapidly closing on women who have not yet had children. Bachelors are beginning to feel the emptiness of the bachelor life and wondering just how alone they might be as they get older. Those who have not found their mission in life feel mortality breathing down their neck. Blessed are they who made the necessary adjustments turning thirty at the Saturn Return, because for them entering the forties seems like rounding a corner at speed, whilst for those who did not the forties present daunting realities.Normally the second return of the Moon’s Nodes at the age of 37 has paved the way for soul-searching and a readjustment of life more in harmony with personal destiny. For most people, there has been professional success, and the establishment of a secure home and family. People’s minds turn to how they can enjoy the fruits, after they have sown all the seeds, and nurtured their growth. Nevertheless, for a large number of people, the early forties are a rude awakening, as the stressful aspects of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto kick in, culminating in the Saturn opposition. For those who have stressful aspects to the outer planets at birth, this is a time of radical change and transformation, which often brings stress and an urge to combat stress through medication, or through psychological and meditative techniques.

Most people in their early forties today have the rare and extreme Pluto/Uranus conjunction in their birth charts, and for them entering the forties is often characterized by a feeling of insecurity, especially concerned with their work, which may need restructuring. Many from this generation are obsessed with job security and constantly retraining and gaining new skills. They are acutely aware of how new technology or outsourcing to developing countries can suddenly rip away what they have worked so hard to build up. In the following section, I will use births in 1967 as a basis for analysis. Those born in 1967 would also have had Saturn in Pisces, the node in Taurus, Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Scorpio, a grand trine which might explain the musical and spiritual revolution that took place at that time. Kurt Cobain (Feb 20th 1967) who formed the appropriately named music group “Nirvana” was one of these – and unfortunately he did not make it into his forties. (He committed suicide at the age of thirty).

The birth positions of the outer planets have a strong influence on a person’s life as they complete the different stages of their cycles. During the 40th year, there are a whole series of predictable planetary influences. As Mercury returns to its exact birth position on the birthday every 20 years, 40 is a year when there is a considerable mental boost. Venus too returns to its birth position in its eight year cycle. For most people this is also a time when the Uranus opposition is starting, as is the Neptune square. And for people born in the last half of the 20th century, Pluto also makes a square at this time. A lot is going on, and the following could be said to a person turning 40:

– As you enter your forties and commence a new decade, you feel a sense of urgency about the future, and realize that a number of readjustments will be inevitable. This is a time when you review your mental skills – your education and communication – and take steps to optimize your intellectual capacity. (Mercury) There is extra focus on your comfort level – both economically and in relationships – and you will need to work harder on your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths in these areas. (Venus) More importantly, there are a number of factors that seem beyond your control, that threaten to derail the train. This is why this is a good time to step back from more concrete goals and consider your overall mission in the second half of your life. How can you get out of the rut at work and innovate and change? (Pluto/Uranus in Virgo). How can you get more emotional depth and meaning into your intimate relationships? (Neptune in Scorpio). Opportunities for change and transformation should be welcomed rather than resisted.

For most people, the age of 41 is when the Uranus opposition is at its peak, and Pluto and Neptune are still powerful in the first square aspect to the birth position. Furthermore, with Jupiter now opposing itself and the node also squaring its natal position, the changes that commenced at 40 are still in full swing:

– During your 41st year you are still in the middle of a number of unfinished processes that require a review of the direction of your life. On the one hand powerful material forces give the opportunity for growth and expansion, whilst on the other you are required to expand your spiritual life. (Jupiter) Crucial experiences with people and groups that you have been involved with force you to revalue who you want to be with in the next phase of your life. (Node) An expansion of your horizons now can bring long journeys of exploration, and they can bring separation from people and circumstances that you feel have been restricting you. These changes can be accompanied by a spiritual and psychological crisis, that despite upheaval bring catharsis and renewal. If you have anything unique you feel you can offer the world, this is the time to go for it.

By the time we reach 42, the Uranus opposition and Neptune and Pluto squares are finally wearing off, but now Saturn is moving up to make its second opposition, which will grown stronger during the following year:

– As you enter your 42nd year, things are beginning to fall into place after a fairly radical transformation, which has seen you take risks and make what is for you some revolutionary changes. You have confronted many inner demons in this process, and gained psychological insight. (Pluto) You have weighed up the pros and cons of freedom versus commitment. (Uranus). Much has changed in your working environment. (Virgo) There have been times of confusion and helplessness, but somehow life is richer and has more meaningful, and intimacy is more rewarding. (Neptune in Scorpio). You have gained a higher degree of independence, and as you have done so, the focus now moves onto the important relationships in your life. This is the time to set limits, and to maintain your individuality, whilst considering just how much responsibility you are ready to take on.

The age of 43 is the year when the Saturn opposition is just beginning to kick in, whilst both Jupiter and the Node trine their natal position, and these influences tend to be stabilizing factors after an unsettled few years, so:

– Your 43rd year is a time when you are aware that major challenges are looming in the future, particularly in relation to authorities and partnership. Whilst this is a time when you feel that relationships bring limitations, this is also a time when you are willing to rise to the challenge and accept more responsibility. This is a year when you learn to create order out of chaos by making sure that all the details in your life function efficiently. (Saturn/Pisces) With confidence rising as the year progresses, you have a vision about how you would like the year ahead to develop, and you can achieve the goals you set yourself through hard work, good luck, and through help from people who support you on your path. (Saturn/Jupiter/Node)

By the age of 44, the Saturn opposition is all-dominant, whilst Jupiter, making the closing square to its natal position, increases tensions connected with growth and consolidation…

– Your 44th year is characterized by a strong awareness of the limitations imposed by both your personal and professional relationships. You meet resistance to your plans, and this leads you to consider making structural adjustments in your goals. There can be changes in your career, and serious re-evaluations of your emotional commitments. Setbacks are liable to occur, and a patient attitude is essential to overcome the challenges that arise. You need in particular to work on a fatalistic tendency to give up and allow things to dissolve – a kind of existential lethargy. (Saturn/Pisces). This is a year when you gain considerable insight, but can make hasty judgments. This can affect decisions connected with home and family. (Jupiter in Cancer).

The age of 45 is a something of a hiatus in the mid-forties, reflecting as it does the period of consolidation after the hectic years of the early forties and the final Saturn opposition to itself. However, once every 15 years, Mars comes very close to its birth position on the birthday, so it is an industrious time…

– After the many changes in the early forties, and the successful resolution of challenges in professional and personal partnerships last year, you are now in a position to consolidate the structures that have been established, and build upon them. There is a realization that you have a duty to give back to society as well as receive, and you may feel you have the surplus energy to do something for the community. This is a year when your energy peaks, and – as you now have a clear idea what goals you want to achieve – there can be considerable achievement. With this new forcefulness and maturity the way is paved for promotion and success.

At the age of 46 the Moons Nodes exchange positions, just as they did at the age of 27. According to Indian tradition the nodes are rather nervous about each other’s presence, so it is not a comfortable time, existentially speaking. The age of 46 is not the early forties anymore, but the approaching fifties…

– During your 46th year there is a growing sense that professional ambition and family security is not necessarily the answer to all your needs. There is also the matter of your personal destiny, and questions arise now as to whether the path you are treading conforms to your inner evolutionary needs. The time has long gone when you could afford to chop and change as regards work and partnership, you need to focus on what has meaning for you as an evolving soul. Generally speaking, this mean being honest about who you want to spend time with and be influenced by, and this year you may wish to move away from some people, and towards others who are more in tune with your spiritual needs. (Nodes) Specifically for you this is connected with establishing stability where there has been chaos, and finding inner peace where there has been soul-searching and confusion. (Node in Taurus)

The age of 47 tends to be a year of growth and confidence because Jupiter returns for the fourth time to its birth position…

– During your 47th year you experience a surge of personal confidence and a renewed vision of just what you are aiming for in life. Insight and understanding come easily to you, and you are drawn to deeper study and an urge to widen your horizons through travel. Your opinions and convictions become more pronounced, and you are not prepare to allow intellectual and spiritual authorities to browbeat you. Whilst you are willing to receive instruction from the truly wise, you have no time for self-appointed gurus. Enjoying life is a question of attitude, and this year your natural optimism ensures that you attract good fortune and success. (Jupiter) You receive a particular boost in your family life, and you can expect happy family events and perhaps a move or enlargement of your living space. (Cancer)

At the age of 48, with the fifties rapidly approaching the major planetary influence is the return of Venus to its original position on the birthday…

– The age of 48 is a key year for your relationships and economic security. This is a time when your love life is a key issue, and your basic needs and tastes come strongly to the fore. There are increasing demands on existing relationships that they be meaningful and authentic, rather than a soft cushion to sleep on. There is a need for more intimacy, and a re-examination of the role of sexuality in the relationship. New relationships can be formed that are based on higher values than the material. On the economic front new sources of income can be found, and new investments made.

The age of 49 gently rounds off the roller coaster forties, with a supportive Saturn moving in to trine its natal position, whilst Jupiter makes its first sextile after the 4th return…

– Your 49th year is a year of achievement, growth and consolidation during which you build on established foundations and generally feel comfortable with the path you have carved out for yourself. There is a sense that you have been accepted by society and have an important role to play, and the need to prove yourself makes way for a sense of satisfaction as regards your achievements during the forties. (Saturn) You have a profound understanding of the trials and tribulations that people go through during their lives, and you have learned to see your own struggles in this universal light. (Pisces) With a strong personal foundation, you are able to start a new phase of personal expansion and already this year you will reap the economical and social benefits of the efforts you have put in.

There are those who say that life begins at forty – but they may just be trying to cheer us up. Yet the forties are probably the very best years for success in all areas of life. For most people there is an assured income, a loving partner, children who are beginning to get independent… all the ingredients for happiness. But rounding fifty is another matter altogether. Women have reached menopause, and men have their own struggles with potency. For all women and most men there will be no new children. It’s getting too late for gaining new qualifications. Youth has certainly gone. Nevertheless, some of the greatest successes have been made after the age of fifty. This is the age of most presidents and prime ministers, and huge economic empires are created by older men and women. Most people in the west have both the freedom and the finances to pursue their dreams, and with the increased life span in the 21st century it some people are starting to get away with saying: Life begins at fifty.

Adrian Ross Duncan 20.10.2005

Russia – A Painful Transition

It has been three years since 9/11, and during this time there no significant terrorist attack has occurred on American territory. Whether this is because of the effectiveness of the security system in the USA , the difficulty of operating under cover in America , or the fact that people like it so much in the States that terror cannot get a foothold, is difficult to say.

The same cannot be said for Russia , which in a comparable period has lost hundreds of lives to terrorist attacks. In 1999 two housing blocks in Moscow were reduced to rubble leaving 213 dead, and prompting an uncompromising repression in Chechnya . During the Moscow theatre siege in October 2002 129 hostages died. Two female suicide bombers detonated themselves at a Moscow rock concert in July 2003 killing 15. After elections in December 2003 a female suicide bomber killed 6 in central Moscow . 40 people were killed on February 6, 2004 when a suicide bomber detonated himself in a subway car. But in recent months, things have gone from bad to worse. On August 24, 2004 , terrorist suicide bombers brought down two passenger planes, killing all 90 passengers. One week later a suicide bomber killed 10 outside a crowded Moscow subway station.

And, at the time of writing, the disaster at Beslan school led to the death of more than 300 people, half of them children. A litany of disaster and sorrow for the Russian people. This string of disasters is unusual for any country, so what is going on in Russia ? On Christmas day 1991, at the time of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, which takes place just once every 172 years, the Russian flag was raised over the Kremlin, symbolically marking its rebirth after 74 years of communism.

See chart for Russia Flag-up: 25.12.1991 20.45 Moscow AS 25.16 Leo

This chart marks a strong departure from the 1917 Revolution chart (Note 1), which has a powerful and secretive T-square from Sun/Mercury in Scorpio to Saturn/Neptune in Leo and Uranus in Aquarius. However one major similarity between the two charts is the position of Flag-up Moon at 3.13 Virgo, on Revolution Mars at 2.58 Virgo. Transiting Uranus in Pisces from 2003 to 2004 has of course powerfully activated this Virgo position. In itself this indicates explosive and violent developments for the Russian people. The 1991 chart also has Mars at 19.12 Sagittarius, which has been activated by transit Pluto over the last two years.

Terrorism is the act of extremely small minorities using extremely brutal methods to attain results out of all proportion to their size, and these elements are very much part of the Pluto dynamic, which becomes exceedingly violent when aligned with Mars. The natural result of this is the transformation of a nation’s military arm, so that it becomes more secretive and more repressive to cope with the threat. To some extent this is also happening in America , whose Mars at 21 Gemini is currently being opposed by Pluto. But it is most definitely happening in Russia , as Putin’s latent autocratic nature begins to assert itself, and indeed is welcomed by the majority of the Russian people, who want a strong leader like Stalin, not a “good” leader like Gorbatchev.

It is an extraordinary thing – the chances are one in a million – but the US progressed Mars and the Russian (Revolution) progressed Mars BOTH move retrograde by progression in 2005, at 18.42 Libra and 3.04 Libra respectively. What does that mean? Two similarities that spring to mind are: the USA has overextended itself by invading Iraq , and its army is getting mired in an increasingly violent “terrorist” backlash in that country, and Russia has overextended itself in Chechnya and is suffering from its own “terrorist” backlash. Putin declared that the insurrection in Chechnya was over around the same time that Bush famously announce “mission accomplished” at his aircraft carrier photoshoot after the fall of Baghdad .

Logic would indicate that when Mars is stationary retrograde – a process that lasts many years – it shows an impossibility of making progress. It is brought to a halt. Only one direction is possible, and that is backwards. Whilst the planet is stationary, it is mired; later it can withdraw. Therefore we will see America locked in Iraq and Russia locked in Chechnya for a number of years, with a withdrawal likely probably around 2010 – 2011, when the Pluto/Uranus square hits the 1991 Russian Sun (and US Venus/Jupiter).

This is a time that will bring other forms of upheaval worldwide because of the number of countries with important planets activated by the coming grand cross between Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. Looking at the progressions in the 1991 chart for Russia , it can be seen that the progressed sun reaches Uranus in 2001 and Neptune in 2004, so clearly this period is a time of upheaval, change and confusion for the newly reborn country. The awful outcome of the theater siege in 2002 eerily reflects the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in 1991 Russia ‘s 5th house – an explosive terrorist action at a place of entertainment ending in 150 deaths by gas poisoning. On September 11th, 2001 that the Sun conjoined Russia ‘s Uranus to the minute of arc! With Uranus ruling Russia ‘s Descendant, it probably shows the US as Russia ‘s main partner and adversary, but the progressed conjunction showed them joined in mutual shock.

With Putin’s support for Bush’s war on terror, Russia was freed of international criticism to escalate its own oppression in Chechnya. Whatever plans Putin had for the subjugation of Chechnya , the escalation of terror in Russia has increased with the passage of the Sun over the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. The unfathomable tragedy of the school siege at Beslan took place as the Sun progressed conjoined Neptune (and progressed Neptune… within 6 minutes of arc). This was a pinnacle of despair for Russia… a sense that terrorism was unbeatable and that no measures could conquer it.

See chart for Beslan School siege1.09.2004 9.00 (approx) Beslan 43N12 44E33 AS 7.56 Libra Source: The Guardian

This siege took place just after the downing of two Russian airliners, amongst other virulent terrorist attacks, and this is reflected by the applying Sun/Mars conjunction of August/September 2004, earlier opposing Uranus, and soon to square Pluto. In fact the siege Sun activates the Uranus/Pluto midpoint, showing the potential for insane destruction. This is the time when Venus in Cancer reaches Saturn, a conjunction that vividly illustrates the grieving families.

The nodal axis at 3 degrees Taurus/Scorpio of this chart is on Putin’s Ascendant/Descendant axis and Russia ‘s Sun/Moon midpoint, and indeed, when the transiting Moon conjoined the South Node, the siege disintegrated into mayhem and murder. The trigger for the series of explosions that reduced the school’s gymnasium – where the hostages were crowded together in the summer heat – to ruins, was the passage of the MC over the Sun/Mars conjunction at 13.05 on September 3rd. As the explosive charges were detonated, the roof collapsed.

It is interesting to note that Putin’s Moon is at 2.55 Gemini, exactly square 1917 Mars (3 minutes of arc) and 1991 Moon. This too has been triggered by transiting Uranus in Pisces, and the fact that schoolchildren were in the firing line is perhaps reflected by the Moon’s position in Gemini and the 8th. Chiron stands exactly on the 3rd house cusp of education. The reaction of Putin to this tragedy was typical. His point was that he had allowed a referendum in Chechnya in 2001, and the people of Chechnya voted to stay with Russia . The attack in Beslan had nothing to do with Chechnya , it was the work of international terrorism. He refused a public enquiry into the siege, promising only an internal enquiry behind closed doors. And looking a Putin’s chart (Note 2) one can see why.

See chart for Vladimir Putin7 Oct 1952 9.30 St Petersburg AS 3.10 SC

I have previously commented on Putin’s chart (Note 3) which, with Scorpio rising, Pluto/South Node on MC and the Moon in Gemini in the 8th, shows the information-gathering spy, which Putin once was. He spent his early years rising through the ranks of the KGB stationed in East Germany , before becoming vice mayor of St. Petersburg after the disintegration of the Soviet Union . Putin has a sixth degree black belt in judo, and has been training since he was 14, so – if world domination was decided by single combat – Russia would undoubtedly come out on top. The only other premier that might have compared was President Roosevelt, who achieved a rank of brown belt. What this means is that Putin is a fighter, and he is dedicated to winning. For the samurai, failure is not an option.

Mars in his horoscope is on the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, suggesting a masculinity elevated to the divine. (Note 4) The Mars/Pluto trine shows a person able to mobilize extreme willpower to achieve victory. His Mercury/Neptune conjunction constellates strongly with this trine, showing a subtle, secretive and ingenious mind. Putin says what is necessary to say under the circumstances – truth is a relative concept subservient to achieving supremacy.

Nobody in their right mind would fight against Putin. Still, there are times when even the most skilled samurai runs into trouble. Pluto, which has crossed 1991 Russia ‘s Mars during 2003 and 2004, will reach Putin’s Mars during 2006-2007, casting him into a struggle for survival against formidable odds. People are not weakened by Pluto transits, but rather called upon to exhibit superhuman strength. At the same time, it can also be wise to cut your losses. Putin will fight power with power at this time. He may take losses, but he will survive. The danger is that the losses, bearable for him, will not be bearable for others.

If his birth time is correct, 2006-2007 is the period of the Saturn/Neptune opposition from 19-22 Leo/Aquarius, right on Putin’s Pluto, Nodes and MC/IC axis. This suggests that he will be ruling a country that is dissolving into a morass. Bearing in mind that Russia has always been sensitive to Neptune/Saturn cycles (Note 5), and that Putin himself was born during one, this is obviously going to be a difficult and testing time for both him and the country. The prognosis is that the extreme manifestation of terrorism in Russia will continue until 2007, but will die off as the Sun progresses away from the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, and Pluto moves away from Russia’s and Putin’s Mars in Sagittarius. These terrorist atrocities are a reflection of the extreme transits and progressions of the last few years. Putin will achieve a measure of success in “winning the war on terrorism”.

On the other hand, there is no denying that the 1991 chart, with its Sun/Uranus/Neptune conjoining the nodal axis reflects a constant struggle to govern the ungovernable. As the Russian Uranus at 13.19 Capricorn is exactly square Putin’s Sun at 13. 56 Libra, much of Putin’s time as president will be spent coping with the unpredictable, and when Pluto conjoins this point in 2015, whist Uranus squares it (opposing Putin’s Sun), Putin will leave the Russian stage.

Adrian Ross Duncan 17.09.2004

1. Russian Revolution (Storming of the Winter Palace ) 8.11.1917
2.12 St Petersburg 59N55 30E15 2. Theoretically Putin’s data come from his birth certificate. There is however controversy about this, with some Russian astrologers pointing out that there were no birth certificates in Russia at the time of Putin’s birth. His birth time should therefore be treated with caution. One argument for this time is that his Ascendant at 3 degrees Scorpio in exactly at 1991 Russia ‘s Sun/Moon midpoint.
3. See
4. The Galactic Centre is a black hole around which the Solar System revolves once every 2.25 million years. Those who think that Brad Pitt is a god will be interested to learn that his Sun is at 26 Sagittarius.
5. The Russian revolution, Stalin’s death, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union all took place during at Saturn/Neptune conjunctions.

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Love & Romance on the Mediterranean

When summer comes to the Northern Europe, holidaymakers flock to countries where the sun is guaranteed to shine, and cross-cultural encounters take place that can be both puzzling and disturbing. If you are young, blond – and male – you can forget it, if you are thinking of seducing a Greek, Spanish or Italian female. It could be more than your life is worth, even in the unlikely case that you succeeded. But if you are young, blond – and female – there is nothing like a visit to a Mediterranean beach if you want to learn about the local men. Take Sicily for example. Women from the north, with cool blood running through theirs veins, are fair game to young Italian studs who are fully convinced that they can offer an experience in romance and passion that cannot be match by their pale rivals in the north. There will be no escape from the relentless pursuit of these persistent Romeos. Advice: Find a boyfriend from a Mafia family, and the harassment will stop.If you travel even further afield, then far stranger things can happen. Hitching to India with my girlfriend at the tender age of 19, we came aboard a long-distance lorry bound for Teheran. When we stopped for the night, the driver made a little love nest in his cabin. I prepared to defend the honor of my girlfriend, but it turned out the driver wanted me to join him. Only when I declined the flattering offer did he then make a (vain) attempt at luring my girlfriend. Travelling east I found again and again that it was the young man who was the object of desire.

Although it cannot be quantified scientifically, national stereotypes, which arise for the deepest cultural roots of a particular land, are widely seen as being more or less accurate. To some extent these gender stereotypes can be clearly seen in the country’s horoscope, and Italy is a classic case. A country can be represented by a series of horoscopes for political events, and these charts can both show an evolution in gender roles, as well as confirm historical roles that persist through history. The most recent chart is likely to show the current cultural trends, which both sexes will respond to.

See chart for Republic of Italy10 Jun 1946 18.00 Rome

The 1946 chart for Italy has Scorpio rising with Mars in Leo in the 9th conjoining the Midheaven. This Mars, which configures (rather weakly) with a Jupiter/Uranus trine, clearly indicates a man confidant of his own worth and sexuality. The blond Swede sunbathing near Palermo is going to have her work cut out fighting off this Mars. Mars in Leo can scarcely imagine anyone truly wanting the rebuff his advances. This is complicated by the controlled and moralistic Venus/Saturn conjunction on the 9th house cusp squaring Jupiter in Libra. The Italian woman is bent on marriage and a relationship for life. Mars can hardly believe his luck when he sees the blonde on the beach. Resistance is only to be expected – he gets it every day from Italian women. Actually Mars in Leo is probably just having a bit of fun… the sextiles to Jupiter and Uranus just want to talk. (Unlike French men, who really mean business). Let the Italian man celebrate his freedom while he has it. As soon as he is married, he will be bound into the controlling web of the family.

Looking at two other significant, but older, charts for Italy in 1861 and 1871, the first chart (Note 1) shows Mars sandwiched between Moon and Pluto in Taurus. This Mars in exile is square Jupiter in Leo, so it is probably a very naughty Mars, eager for sexual satiation, but it is firmly under the sway of Mother. Even here Venus is in trouble, exalted in Pisces but opposing Saturn – the woman as self-denying saint. The later chart (Note 2), which is also a very significant horoscope for Italy has Venus at 24 Leo (square Pluto trine Neptune ) exactly where Mars is in the 1946 chart. So there should also be room for the Venus in Leo woman in Italy – proud, sexy and imperious. This Venus sextiles Mercury in Gemini, which brings to mind an attractive woman on her motor scooter. In this later chart, Mars is weak (but amorous) in exile in Libra.

If our northern blonde wants to sunbathe undisturbed (though this may not be her goal) then the place to go to is Spain . Statistics show that 27% of Spanish males visit a prostitute in their lives (Note 3) – the highest proportion in Europe . They are more reserved, and more frustrated. In the 1975 chart for the establishment of democracy in Spain , Mars is as weak as it can be.

See chart for Inauguration of King Juan Carlos22nd Nov 1975 12.45 Madrid

In fall in Cancer and retrograde, Mars is retreating from a trine to Uranus in Scorpio (those prostitutes?). Perhaps Mars still has memories of the bloody civil war during the 1930s. Mars is under the sway of the Moon in Cancer, and indeed it has been shown that it is Spanish men who stay longest in the home, often living under their mother’s wing into the 30’s, if a suitable partner has not been found.

Spanish women on the other hand appear deeply aware of their femininity and sexuality. Slim, poised and bejeweled you will see them walking proudly on the streets… obviously quite a handful for that weak Mars in Cancer. The Venus/Pluto conjunction in the 8th house seems to speak of the fatal allure of Carmen and the passionate flamenco dancers with their swishing red and black skirts. The sexual power of Spanish women is one thing, but the exact square to the Moon in Cancer is another. Once the flamboyance of youth has faded, then motherhood rules supreme. Talking to a womanizing Dutchman who had been resident in Spain for over a decade, he complained bitterly of how Spanish women tended to let themselves go once a relationship had become stable. Apparently, as he ruefully explained, they even stopped shaving their legs.

Whilst the women of Spain are blessed by a dignified Venus and Moon, the women of Greece have the misfortune of having the reverse placement. The chart for the establishment of democracy in Greece , after the overthrow of the military government in 1974, shows Venus conjoining Mercury and Saturn in the chart’s 12th house, and in close square to a Moon/Pluto conjunction in the 4th. That’s a very heavy combination. It reminds of the circumstances of the widow who has an affair in the iconic film Zorba the Greek , who is ritually murdered by a jealous mob of older women in black. You can forget about falling in love again in old Greece if your husband dies.

See chart for Greek Democracy24 Jul 1974 4.00 Athens

Other significant horoscopes for Greece were created when they gained independence from Turkey in 1822, (Note 4) and the subsequent kingdom in 1830. Both charts show Venus in Pisces in either square or opposition to Mars, which seems to suggest that men and women are at odds with each other and lead separate lives. In Ancient Greece, o nce a woman was married her husband controlled all her property including any she might have inherited. Any respectable woman would not be seen in public. Without political rights women were controlled by men at all stages of their lives, but they in turn ruled a plentiful supply of female slaves. It is said that even in modern Greece , women have very little power and influence, though they rule the home and the sexual favors they give with an iron hand. Certainly the Venus/Saturn in Cancer in the 12th square Moon/Pluto in Libra in the 4th show them as the power in a shadowy home, with sex and love released in controlled doses to achieve an agenda.

Still, with Mars in Leo sextile Uranus, why should the men care? Men socialize with men and women with women, even in modern Greece , so they can always go and sip ouzo in a cafe and eye the foreign talent. Women on the other hand are virtually imprisoned in the home, and get together in each other’s houses so share their secret world, or go to church.

If there are any French readers of this article, they are probably trying hard to contain their impatience. We all know who the world’s greatest lovers are, don’t we? Looking at the many charts for France , one has to agree that French women at least have certain charms. The most recent chart for France is the 5th Republic, which was established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958.

See chart for France 5th Republic 5 Oct 1958 0.00 Paris

Here we can see Venus at home in Libra, and in harmonious trine to Mars, suggesting an uncomplicated mutual attraction between the sexes. With Venus, Mercury the Sun and Node in Libra, we have a glimpse of France as the fashion capital of the world. A trip to Paris confirms the image of French women as stylish and fashion-conscious. The French are really proud of their culture and taste. They look with horror at the dumpy English with their stodgy food. Quel horreur! The Mars/Venus trine does suggest a nation of lovers, and it is politically correct for polticians to have affairs. Mitterand certainly had his extra-marital escapades, even fathering children outside his marriage. The finest precedent was set by President Félix Faure who died in a mistress’s bed in 1899. In earlier charts from France – for example the famous establishment of a new government in Day One of Year one (Note 6) Venus was also in Libra.

However there may be grounds to be skeptical about French men. Not their virility of course, that can’t be in doubt, but their male chauvinism. In the 1958 chart Mars in Gemini is square Pluto, in the 4th Republic chart from 1946 Mars is in Scorpio loosely square Pluto, in Day 1, Year 1, Mars is in Scorpio square Pluto (and Uranus) … so these are some complicated men – powerful, secretive and somewhat obsessed with virility. French men may not be the world’s greatest lovers, but they are probably the most fixated. Adverts in France often reflect the fetishist quality of male fantasies, and the depiction of their female counterparts in very sexually explicit situations. The 1958 Mars in Gemini square Pluto also suggests an obsessive secretiveness… perhaps it is the ambition of the average French male to have both wife and mistress. After all, that’s what the President has.

Of course, as an Englishman (Welsh actually – it is said we favor sheep) it can be very comfortable sitting back and writing about other Europeans. But what about the British? Sex amongst the British is hardly something I can bring up in polite company, but perhaps in another article…

Adrian Ross Duncan


1. Kingdom of Italy 17th March 1861 , 0 hrs LMT AS 3.58 SG

2. Italy : King Victor Emmanuel enters Rome : 2 Jul 1871 12.30 Rome AS 13.46 LI

3. Information from The Guardian

4. Declaration of Independence : Jan 13 1822 Noon (Time Unknown) Athens

Kingdom of Greece : 3 Feb 1830 Noon (Time Unknown), Athens

5. France, Day 1 Year 1: 21 Sep 1792 15.20 LMT Paris, AS 25.33 CP

6. France, 4th Republic 28 Oct 1946 0.00 Paris , AS 11.31 LE


John Kerry: Antiwar Warrior

You don’t win a presidential election in the USA through good behavior. Americans like their presidents to be human, with the failings of human beings. And a dose of machismo does not harm either. Presidential candidates may try to portray a squeaky clean moral image, but looking back, we can see that Kennedy was a womanizer, Nixon a mendacious cynic, Reagan a macho star, and Clinton a man addicted to sexual conquests. That’s why they were liked. Jimmy Carter was an embarrassment to the American people – and he was truly a good man.

Massachusetts Man
So what chance does presidential candidate John Kerry have, war (and anti-war) hero, cultured Yale graduate (as indeed Bush also is), brought up in European boarding schools with a French mother and married to cosmopolitan philanthropist Teresa Heinz? As a rather inhibited and intellectual upper class Boston politician he has traditionally hopeless credentials for winning against Bush. Elections in the US are often decided by a population powerfully influenced by a rather right-wing media, and where lack of support for guns and the death penalty (which Kerry is against) will lose key voters.

The Bush campaign is arming itself for a devastating attack on every apparent weakness in the character of Kerry, and judging from the challenger’s chart there will be plenty of material to choose from.

Click here to see John Kerry’s horoscope

Kerry was born just before sunrise with a huge full Moon descending over the Western horizon, sandwiched between the two “malefics” Mars and Saturn. This is a very strong constellation, but it gives Kerry a very dour, controlled and even petty style. His seriousness and lack of spontaneity is a major obstacle in a country where hand shaking and baby-hugging are essential ingredients on the campaign trail. Put bluntly Kerry lacks charm and voter appeal. He thinks too much, is too long-winded and can’t express his emotions. That is not to say that Kerry is not experienced. He came into the Senate in 1982, and prior to that was a key anti-Vietnam war figurehead in the seventies. Few people doubt his integrity, and his personal war record makes Bush seem like a namby-pamby, so the Mars/Saturn connection can work in his favor – if the time is right.

Paradoxically for a man with such a strong Saturn, Kerry likes being the center of attention. His local newspaper the Boston Globe famously commented “Kerry cannot go past a mirror without saying hello”. Newspapers are clever – they certainly captured Kerry’s full moon in Gemini here. He was awarded the nickname “Live Shot” by Massachusetts political insiders for his relentless courting of reporters and TV stations. Obviously this is an expression of the Sun on his Ascendant, which manifests as attention-seeking, just as it does for the notoriously vain Italian premier Sylvio Berlusconi, who has the same Sun position. Kerry is a man deeply unsure of his self-image, but determined to overcome his weaknesses through a driving ambition to succeed. He has every chance of doing this, however. What could be better than Ascendant ruler Jupiter in Leo trine Sun in Sagittarius and in reception with it? Truly this is also a generous and magnanimous man. Jupiter’s sextile to Saturn shows the capacity to soften his dour and clumsy nature, to learn and to improve, and it also shows a consummate politician with a winner mentality, who can support and improve the society in which he is engaged.

Special Interests
Another charge that can be leveled at Kerry is that he is in the pockets of special interests. Republican strategists will not be slow to analyze his voting record over the last 22 years, and it will not be difficult to compromise Kerry as someone influenced by lobbyists of doubtful pedigree. These charges will stick: Kerry has Venus in Scorpio square the Pluto/Node conjunction in the 8th house. This is a strong signature for economic corruption and secret financial machinations. A closer look at this aspect reveals that the Sun is in semisquare to the Venus side of this square, whilst Saturn is in semisquare to the Pluto side. In other words the Venus/Pluto square is tightly integrated with the Saturn-influenced Full Moon. This is a man who has dirtied his hands during the course of his political life, and there will be damaging revelations in the months up to the election.

The Flip-Flopper
The most obvious apparent weakness in Kerry’s chart is the stellium in Gemini opposite the Sun, straddling the Ascendant/Descendant axis. The Bush team is already on to this. Witness the following remark from Bush who called his Democratic challengers:
“an interesting group with diverse opinions – for tax cuts and against them; for NAFTA and against NAFTA; for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act; in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it….and that’s just one senator from Massachusetts”
That’s a very clever remark, and Bush managed to get in the fact that Kerry was a Massachusetts politician – a state associated with remoteness and Protestant aristocracy. It’s a funny remark too, as he also deftly portrays Kerry as a man with multiple personalities – easy to recognize from his horoscope. Full marks to Bush’s handlers on that one.

It doesn’t help that the dispositor of the Gemini stellium, Mercury, is in very strong square to Neptune. Apart for a documented weakness for taking different positions on the same issues over time, the Neptune square may show a Kerry tendency to throw a smokescreen over issues, and even the risk of being exposed as a liar. Democratic strategy on this is to portray Kerry as a man of subtlety who can see shades of gray, but Bush will have little difficulty exposing him as a flip-flopper without strength and conviction. Kerry’s Achilles’ heel is the danger of being exposed from some secret economic deal and subsequently lying about it, as it will destroy his major resource – credibility.

Courting danger
The most extraordinary thing about Kerry’s chart is the journey (progressive) Mars makes during the course of his life. Retrograde at birth it was stationary at 5 degrees from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies, in constant conjunction with Uranus. Vietnam was his battleground and it was with progressed Mars conjoining Uranus that he saw action as a navy captain on the Mekong Delta. He received his first medal for rashly ignoring orders and whilst under fire, bringing his boat to the river bank, pursuing and killing the Vietcong soldier who had fired grenades at the boat. He was wounded in action three times, which meant he had the right to be repatriated, which he chose to do after just four months.

Mars was still conjoining Uranus three years later when, as spokesman for “Vietnam Veterans Against the War” he make his now famous first major political speech at the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Mars Refreshed
2005 is a significant year in Kerry’s life because the journey is over for Mars. At the age of 62 it returns to the very position at 10.36 Gemini that it occupied at Kerry’s birth – mission accomplished. From 2005 onwards Mars enters new territory, but right now it is the story of Mars and it’s journey which is the myth-making factor for Kerry. War was the making of Kerry, and war will be the defining issue during the 2004 election. This is Kerry’s trump card because via his retrograde Mars he is hooked in to the old Vietnam story in the minds of American citizens, and, whilst the body bags are returning from Baghdad, they are remembering.

Election Year
The USA is longing for Saturn right now, and Saturn is obliging by making its once every 30-year conjunction with the USA’s natal Sun at 13 Cancer. This is a time of reckoning for Bush too… he has the same Sun degree. America wants structure, not chaos. It wants protection, not vulnerability. That is why, even though the American people traditionally prefer a lighter, folksier type, they will be attracted to the Saturn-dominated Kerry. Advice to Kerry’s handlers – let him capitalize on his Saturn, and avoid making clumsy attempts to change his image.

Of course, Kerry has been through a vast face-lifting operation already. Diagnosed and cured of prostate cancer when Pluto transited his Ascendant and Saturn his Descendant (his own Twin Towers), Pluto has ripped through his Sun/Moon opposition during the grueling Democratic candidate selection process, and he has survived and come through. Like he says, people have no idea how much of a fighter he is. With the Pluto transit Kerry has shed much of his reserve and stiffness, and he is reborn as a potential president. But can he win?

Compatibility with the US
The most important astrological factor for a presidential candidate is the synastry he or she may have with the chart for the United States. The interaspects between these two horoscopes must be marked, and they will subsequently show the actual factors in the USA chart that will be activated during the presidency. John Kerry has a lot going for him:
1. His Sun and Ascendant fall on the US Ascendant, and his Gemini stellium on the US Descendant. This resonates with the foreign roots and disparate languages of Americans, just as he himself has strong bonds to Europe.
2. His Uranus is on the US Uranus, and his North Node is on the US Node – with the same house positions too! This is an extraordinary powerful contact, supercharged by Kerry’s North Node/Pluto and Mars/Uranus conjunctions. It is power signature keying in to the American dream of self-realization and freedom. It is not unconnected with terrorism and foreign adventures, just as for Kerry it represented the bloody initiation of Vietnam.
3. He has Mercury exactly opposite US Jupiter (and Venus), and Venus exactly trine US Venus – which strongly suggests financial growth and favorable business developments for the US should Kerry win the presidency.
4. His Ascendant ruler Jupiter at 27.03 Leo is exactly opposite the US Moon at 27.10 Aquarius. Whilst this may show a perception of him as a man of privilege, it could just as easily give enormous popularity as people project there hopes onto him.
5. He has his Saturn on the US Mars. More of this later.

This is an impressive list of contacts, but he has already had success as a senator. Can he win the presidency? The first thing to catch the eye is that on Election Day there is a Venus/Jupiter conjunction straddling Kerry’s MC, which is a supreme signature of victory. Curiously, his MC at 5 Libra is exactly on Bill Clinton’s Ascendant, so there seems to be a presidential tie-in, maybe through Hillary Clinton. However, Bush himself has a strong Moon/Jupiter conjunction in Libra, and at the time of the inauguration in January 2005, Jupiter is exactly on his natal Jupiter… clearly a favorable influence. On the other hand the activation of Bush’s Jupiter/Uranus trine could show newfound freedom, and surely he must be longing to get away from the crushing presence of Cheney and Rumsfelt, not to mention his father.

Kerry’s chances
The key to Kerry’s success or failure in the November 2nd election may lie in the subtle influence of progressions, and they are looking good. Take a minor factor like the proximity of Kerry’s Sun to his Ascendant. It is curious to see that as his progressed Ascendant increases in speed through the signs of short ascension like Aquarius, it catches up with the progressed Sun, and will actually conjoin it during the next presidential period. Plenty of opportunity to look at mirrors then! More powerfully this Ascendant and Sun conjunction at 20 Aquarius is just two degrees from opposing progressed Jupiter at 22 degrees Leo, and this will become exact during the next presidential period. In fact the Descendant progressed will conjoin radix Jupiter at the 2008 election, which could even indicate a two-term president.

As mentioned before, Kerry’s progressed Mars returns in 2005 to its natal position after a 62-year apprenticeship. A rare Mars return of this nature suggests a radical change and completely new territory. As 4th house ruler, a move to the White House might be appropriate, especially as Mars conjoins the Moon.

Furthermore Kerry’s progressed MC is at 7.01 Sagittarius at the election. There is no reason to think that his birth time is inaccurate either… during the course of 2003 the IC has been exactly on his Uranus, surely reflecting the mad campaigning rush around America. His MC now trines his Leo/Aquarius nodal axis, as it also does the US nodal axis at the same position. This indicates a fated moment of greatness, in which the projections of the masses are fulfilled in the person of Kerry. From 2005 to 2006 his MC trines Pluto, so if there was ever a time when Kerry would be handling power, it is in the coming years.

Military shakeup
Having survived the Pluto transits to his Full Moon, Kerry will experience a long opposition from Pluto to natal Saturn during 2005. Crucially his dominating Saturn is but two degrees from the US Mars. The USA is experiencing a rare Pluto opposition to its Mars at a time when its progressed Mars is poised to move retrograde for the next 80 years, showing a radical repolarization of US military might. Just as Russia got mired in Chechnya when Pluto squared its Mars, the USA will find itself in trouble militarily through its engagement in Iraq. The transit of Pluto to Mars shows military cutbacks, and what better person for the USA than a warrior made famous 30 years ago for his anti-war stance… a man with Sun and Moon placed between Saturn and Mars? The stellium conjoining Kerry’s Descendant shows a potential president who will be committed to international relations and expert at them, involved in just as great a battle trying to extricate the US military from war, as he was at the time of Vietnam.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19th April 2004


Madrid, Europe & the USA

911 is a number with some very fateful qualities. For everyone in the Unites States it has for years been the number to ring in the case of an emergency. It was in fact on February 16th 1968, (when the Moon was exactly between Uranus and Pluto and opposite Mars… certainly an astrological emergency), that the first call was made. As fate would have it, the worst terrorist attack in history then took place on 9/11 2001, creating a state of national emergency and the war on terror. Just 911 days after the destruction of the twin towers, an extreme Islamist group struck again, this time in Madrid. With over 200 dead, and several thousand injured it was an event, as the Spanish newspaper El Mundo wrote: “… like no other in our history. 15,000 people have required psychological help, 100,000 fewer people are travelling on suburban trains, blood donations have doubled and so have the number of newspapers and flowers bought each day”.The Spanish Election
So it was that terror came to Europe, linked to the Spanish support for the US-run coalition in Iraq. Its effect was dramatic: in the subsequent election just 4 days later the pro-Bush José María Aznar’s conservative party lost to the socialist party of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as the people of Spain voiced their discontent. Anger at the manipulation of the post-bombing news, as well as their profound dissatisfaction with the fact that Aznar – just like Blair and Berlusconi – completely ignored popular opposition against the Iraq war, brought a complete reversal.

Zapatero subsequently condemned Bush and his coalition for their conduct of the Iraq war and of the postwar administration, and has promised to bring Spanish troops home. This has enormous repercussions for Europe, and indeed some commentators have been quick to point out, that this is the first time al-Qaida have succeeded in influencing an election. With terrorism duly encouraged, the likelihood of further attacks in Europe seems likely to increase.

Europe has tasted the trauma, which all Americans experienced back in September 2001. The question now is whether the US-Europe anti-terror coalition can hold together, or whether the coalition’s preemptive policies, so doubtfully applied in Iraq, will simply exacerbate confrontation. The balance of power has been changed through what some call Zapatero’s appeasement, and Spain will now align with France and Germany, who are against Middle East intervention. The pressure is now on both Bush and Blair, both of whom face re-election in the not-too-distant future.

Madrid Terror
The attack in Madrid took place on 3/11 – which means that the Sun was exactly opposing the 9/11 Sun position. In fact the awful explosions in Madrid clearly reflect the Sun/Pluto square which was one degree from exactitude.

Click here to see horoscope for terror attack

Pluto and national trauma
Sun/Pluto aspects have a history of unpleasant surprises. For example the space shuttle Challenger exploded on 28th January 1986, with the Sun square Pluto in Scorpio. Three months later the Tjernobyl reactor exploded, as the Sun in Taurus opposed Pluto. Using the same logic, the Sun/Pluto square of March 11th 2004 will repeat as an opposition on 11th June. This is not a very encouraging time for the USA, and it’s worth looking at the horoscope for this opposition:

See Horoscope for Sun/PLuto opposition in June

This occurs with Saturn at 13.22 Cancer extremely close to the US Sun at 13.19 Cancer, and of course George W Bush’s Sun at 13.47 Cancer. The actual opposition at 20.54 Gemini/Sagittarius falls almost exactly on the US Mars at 21.23 Gemini, so it seems almost certain that mid-June will be a time of severe tension for the United States, and obviously a time of high alert for terrorism. Uranus culminates on the MC on USA’s East coast on the April 19 solar eclipse, which could indicate unexpected developments on the Eastern seaboard in the subsequent months.

The Madrid explosions – a series of 10 that took place at staggered intervals from 7.39 to 7.46 for maximum impact – started with the Sun exactly rising on the Ascendant, and Pluto culminating in square on the Midheaven. Mercury in Pisces had squared Pluto just days earlier, and by the time the last bomb had exploded was exactly on the Ascendant. This is reminiscent of the World Trade Centre explosion (note 1) which also had Mercury on the Ascendant (at 14 Libra… exactly on the US Saturn). The emphasis on Pisces in the Madrid bombing could reflect the religious aspects of the attack; it certainly reflected the desperate mourning scenes that took place in subsequent days. Whilst the Saturn/Pluto opposition was a central feature of the World Trade center attack in 2001, the opposition is no longer there in 2004. One aspect highly symbolic of terror is though: the ongoing quintile between Pluto and Uranus, which in Madrid is 23′ of arc from exactitude.

Another deadly aspect of the Madrid attack is the position of the Moon in Scorpio conjoining the nodal axis (square Neptune) and opposing Mars and Venus in Taurus. This powerful opposition between a Moon and Mars in fall and detriment from the 8th
to the 2nd houses, shows the death and destruction of the event. The Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis has often a fated significance for Spain: General Franco (note 2) was born with a Venus/Uranus conjunction on the South Node in Scorpio, and with the advent of a new democracy of Spain after Franco’s death, the nodal axis was also in Taurus/Scorpio.

For those interested in midpoints, the all-important Sun/Moon midpoint at the Madrid explosion was at 18.58 Capricorn, semisquare Uranus within 9 minutes of arc.

The Horoscope for Spain
It is difficult to know why, astrologically, Madrid became the location where the destructive power of the Sun/Pluto square was to manifest. In the case of the World Trade Center, New York, the Saturn/Pluto opposition fell right on the US Ascendant, and on significant planets in the chart for New York, so it was not difficult to see USA as a target. The horoscope for Spain should be triggered in some way. This chart is firmly anchored at January 19th, 1479, when the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were joined by marriage.

The horoscope certainly reflects the character of Spain as manifested in the period of the discovery of the New World. The country was created at a rare conjunction of Neptune and Uranus, whose position at 1 degree Sagittarius seems to reflect the distant horizons of America and the sudden sense of world expansion. Pluto, Mercury and the South Node sextiling this conjunction speak of transatlantic commerce and the spread of Spanish to South America. Two Uranus/Neptune conjunctions later a series of revolutions on the southern American continent led to independence in many countries of South America, including Mexico and Brazil.

The 1479 horoscope for Spain shows Jupiter in Taurus exactly trining Venus in Capricorn at 21 degrees (the degree of the March 2004 Sun/Pluto square). This wonderful trine indicates the immense riches available to colonial Spain as it plundered the gold and silver of the New World. Even today Spain is the world’s 8th richest economy. It’s an immensely powerful horoscope, yet there are no clear transit triggers to it from the Madrid attack apart from transiting Uranus in square to the Uranus/Neptune conjunction. However, an examination of the progressions for March 2004 show that progressed Mars is at 1.12 Sagittarius – exactly on the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, and that progressed Moon is 15.42 Pisces – exactly on Spain’s Mars at 15.40 Pisces.

King Juan Carlos
The other main horoscope for Spain is for the inauguration of King Juan Carlos, which marked the restoration of both the monarchy and parliamentary democracy.

Click here to see horoscope for inauguration of Juan Carlos

This is a quite different chart to the 1479 chart, and reflects a quite different Spain. The main connection is once again the nodal axis, which falls exactly on the 1479 Jupiter and continues the theme of a traditionally Catholic country whose old colonial roots and riches have been ripped up by civil war from 1935-1939 – a trauma possibly reflected by the Scorpio North Node. It is interesting to see the two rulers of the Aquarian Ascendant in square to each other, with Saturn straddling the Descendant… the threat of authoritarian rule hung heavily over the new democracy. Mercury in Scorpio falls exactly on the Midheaven, with the Sun and North node in Scorpio on either side. This does not speak of a very transparent democratic government, and it is perhaps no surprise that Aznar’s party fell because of perceived secrecy and manipulation after the Madrid bombings.

The Moon in Cancer is strongly placed in Cancer, showing a loyal and emotional people. Likewise Venus is strongly placed in Libra, and its alignment with the Jupiter/Pluto opposition indicates perhaps a passionate commitment to justice, beauty and the arts.

Astrological signatures for the terror attack
One would expect strong contacts to this chart from the chart for the Madrid explosions, but the transits are not very dramatic. Saturn has been going over Spain’s Cancer Moon, which obviously can evoke sorrow and hardship. Jupiter had been squaring the 1975 chart’s Neptune, which could indicate religious fanaticism. Transiting Mars had just crossed the ever-sensitive nodal axis. It is however the progressions which really tell the story; specifically the position of progressed Mercury at 10.26 Capricorn in exact square to the 1975 Pluto at 10.55 Libra in the 8th. In the birth chart for Spain Mercury and Pluto are exactly semisquare. This graphically tells the story of rush-hour death and destruction.

The 1975 chart for Spain has Mars very weakly placed: retrograde and in fall at 0.46 Cancer. At the time of the Madrid tragedy, Mars had progressed backwards to 20.59 Gemini, whilst Spain’s IC axis had progressed forwards to 22.01 Gemini. This clearly indicates not only Spain’s engagement in the Iraq war, but the danger of attacks on public transport on the home front. And note the position of progressed Mars and IC at 21 to 22 degrees; in an intricate weaving of progressions and transits, they connect to the Sun/Pluto square of the Madrid bombings (as well as to the 1479 Venus/Jupiter trine).

The combination of progressed Mercury and progressed Mars clearly show Spain’s vulnerability at this point in time, although it would have been difficult to make a concrete prediction, at least with the tools I use. It is safe to conclude however, that at times of international tension, Sun/Pluto aspects bring periods of heightened risks from terror. Whether it is possible to predict where these risks may manifest is another question. It would seem that when Spain’s natal Mercury in Scorpio semisquare Pluto became precise by progression 28 years later, some deadly tragedy was unavoidable. However, the basic energy of Mercury/Pluto is control through withheld information. This is why the terrorist attack in Madrid and the fall of Aznar’s government were linked. The Spanish government was not open with its people, and ignored the voice of its people, and paid the price when the people voted.

Adrian Ross Duncan 24.10.2004

Note 1. General Franco: 4 Dec 1892. 0.30 LMT El Ferrol, Spain 43N29/8W14
Note 2. World Trade Center destruction: 11 Sep 2001. 8.48 EDT New York


Making the Most of 2004

From 2001 to 2003 world headlines have been dominated by the Saturn/Pluto opposition, which takes place every 36 years and shows severe upheaval of the Establishment. Pluto tends to be reflected by small organizations that exert a disproportionate power, just as Pluto itself is exceedingly small in comparison with the rest of the planets, yet seen as a very powerful transformative force, astrologically speaking. The Saturn/Pluto opposition was reflected by widespread anxiety due to September 11th, and the subsequent polarization of civilizations through the war on terror. With Pluto in Sagittarius, the repercussions have been religious, and the war on terror has had the hallmarks of a crusade.End of a Trend

With the passing of the Saturn/Pluto opposition the “war on terror” is now an anachronism. Saturn has moved on into Cancer and domestic issues are more likely to dominate the agenda. We are entering a period of consolidation and order.

On a business level the Saturn/Pluto opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius has resulted in a dramatic weeding out of weak players in telecommunications and travel. Prior to this opposition, markets were profoundly affected by a period of euphoria, effectively squashed by the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction in Taurus that took place in May 2000. Earlier that year Jupiter in Taurus had squared Neptune, and it was at this time that Dot Com hysteria peaked, subsequently to crash when Jupiter conjoined Saturn.

Recovery from Dot Com

Huge pessimism and skepticism about technology stocks followed, and many companies were consigned to oblivion by banks trying to salvage what they could. But actually Saturn, travelling in 2002 and 2003 through Gemini, was to trine Uranus in late Gemini/Aquarius, and this showed that those technology and communication stocks that survived the Dot Com crash of mid 2000, and the subsequent World Trade disaster of late 2001, would bounce back in 2003. This has indeed happened. For example in this period Yahoo stock went up from $9 to $44; and Qualcomm from $25 to $59, and there are many more examples.

Uranus in Aquarius and business trends

However, since Uranus makes it final entry into Pisces on the first day of 2004, the rules of the game are bound to change. What we have witnessed in the last seven years, since Uranus entered Aquarius, is the transformation of world consciousness through the accessibility of the web, the ubiquity of Email, and the possession of mobile phones. Information and self-profiling is available to everyone who can reach a computer, and this has had a democratizing effect. Gifted people all over the world can now access business markets anywhere. A world without borders has been created, and in business terms this means that people can combine skills and work together whether they live in India, Japan, Europe or America, and get immediate results. Those who understood this trend early, like developers of search engines, or people who invested in key domain names, have made their money, but that party is now over.

Uranus in Pisces and new business trends

The interesting question could be what is the Uranus in Pisces equivalent to the Internet and the global transformation it carried with it whilst Uranus was in Aquarius. The difference is content, and the content is intuitive. Aquarius has much to do with the rational mind and abstraction, and this manifested in the written word, as experienced through Email, and the mobile phone. Pisces brings pictures and images, which stimulate the imagination. In terms of the Net, this means Flash and far more image-based websites. As far as mobile phones are concerned, then they will all be videophones by the end of the Uranus transit in Pisces. Computers will generally have in-built cameras, with much Email being replaced by video telephoning and conferencing. It will be an interesting world, because there is the possibility of being constantly plugged in both visually and auditorily. This will give a corresponding need to turn off and drop out, so there will probably be a boom in places of retreat, where technology is not allowed. Invest in spas.

Business as Dreaming

For those interested in investment, it is probably a good idea to drop traditional technology stocks, and try and get in early on technology which twins with the imagination. In the film world, the ability to create worlds with virtual reality, and the marriage of people and cartoon images (as for example seen in Kill Bill, Lord of the Rings and recent children’s movies) will experience growth. Studios like DreamWorks and Disney may be well-worth investing in, as Uranus in Pisces shakes up the world of cinema, but outsider producers and studios may produce some of the most lucrative films. Companies making display screens are obvious choices for growth.

Liquid Light

New liquid technologies will be of interest. For example, when Neptune entered Capricorn, the first liquid crystal displays appeared displaying digits (in calculators etc). With Neptune in Aquarius, there is more of a sense of “liquid electricity or light” – laptop screens for example – and there are certain developments with minute switches, which work on the principle of metals that melt at room temperature to create mirrors, enabling non-mechanical switches. With the reception of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius, there could be some interesting interactions of this nature.

Selling with Images

The manifestation of Uranus in Pisces will not be obvious at first glance, but the boom period will probably come through after the middle part of the 7 years phase. There will be a dramatic fall off at the end – for example when Saturn squares Uranus in 2008-9. But early surges of growth in new technologies can perhaps be seen with Jupiter in Scorpio trine Uranus from November 2005 to August 2006, and later with Jupiter in Capricorn sextiling Uranus from April to November 2008. The water trine from Scorpio to Pisces is obviously rather good for the expansion of the sex industry, especially when the ability to deliver films in real time becomes generally available. Generally speaking the established film world will be just as much under threat in this period through free sharing of films, as the music industry has been. This certainly brings a risk element into investment in this area, but those who earlier invested in bandwidth should get their payoff during the course of this decade.

Consolidation Trends

Looking more specifically at 2004, the year is dominated by just a few major planetary cycles, none of them very threatening. The main business cycle is the Jupiter/Saturn sextile, which is very close for a long period during April, May, June, July and August. The first sextile actually took place at 13 degrees Virgo/Cancer in early November 2003, and the next two take place on April 30th at 8.55 degrees (just as Jupiter goes stationary direct, and the 18th August at 21.53 degrees. It is difficult to assess just how beneficial this sextile is going to be, as Jupiter is in detriment in Virgo, and Saturn is in detriment in Cancer. Still, seeing this sextile as the first important aspect between the two planets since the 2000 conjunction, it should signal a sensible expansion and growth. With the entry of Saturn into Cancer, many astrologers had expected a dip in the property market, but generally property prices have continued to rise, fuelled by record low interest rates. Continued investment in this area up to August 2004 will probably bring modest gains.

2004 for the US Economy

The Saturn/Jupiter sextile will likely bring greater stability to the American economy, especially as the first sextile activated the US’s and Bush’s Sun positions in Cancer. Stability, but not expansion. The record low value of the dollar will hardly be stimulated by this weak sextile, so perhaps the very weakness of these planets actually reflect the concrete benefits a weak dollar brings, in the form of stimulated exports and tourism. If this is so, then the low point for the dollar will be the April to August period, after which time it will go up, with a dramatic change as Jupiter hits the square to Pluto on August 6th. By the time Jupiter reaches 0 Libra and is joined by Mars exactly on the US (Sibley) Midheaven at the end of September, there could be a great boost to America’s position.

Love and money in 2004

The planet Venus is up to extraordinary tricks in 2004, and this will bring the role of women to the fore. And of course, in our personal lives, we can expect major developments if Venus is strong. Taureans will see major economic transformation, and Libras very significant development connected with travel and education. Geminis will also be affected, as Venus enters Gemini on April 3rd, goes stationary retrograde on May 17th, stationary direct at 9 Gemini on June 29th, finally leaving Gemini on August 7th – four long months in the sign. 2004 is one of those rare years, when Venus in its retrograde motion actually passes across the disk of the Sun, and it will be clearly visible (with suitable eye protection) for a few hours on June 8th.

There are a number of key issues connected to this retrograde cycle of Venus. These cycles take place every eight years, each time two degrees earlier in the sign. As Pluto will be from 22 to 20 degrees Sagittarius during the 2004 cycle, Venus will make an opposition to it three times. Clearly this shows crisis and transformation in relationships. For some this will be an economic crisis, for others, relationship crisis. Politically it shows women-power, and economically an ongoing transformation in the communication and education sector. In Iraq this period straddles the expected transition to a provisional government at the end of June, and it is worth noting that in the 1958 Iraq Republic horoscope, there is a Moon/Venus conjunction at 19 and 20 degrees Gemini. Let’s hope women get some electoral power at this time. It will certainly bring a dramatic transformation of the electoral process.

A Royal Marriage

see chart for the Royal Wedding

Venus enters Gemini with Mars already at 8 degrees Gemini, so during a long period Venus gains on Mars… but she slows down to go retrograde, never quite reaching conjugal bliss.
This is likely to be reflected by a planned liaison that never quite makes it. Considering the double nature of Gemini, one possibility is that there are several candidates for the lovebirds’ affections, of which only one (if any) survives in the last analysis. However, there is a least one famous marriage planned for this time: that of Mary Donaldson (born 5.02.1972) to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. Here the marriage is planned just days before Venus goes retrograde. It’s probable that the Venus/Pluto opposition here more reflects “Down Under” – Frederik found his future queen in Tasmania.

It’s an odd choice of time, what with Mars in Cancer right on the MC conjoining Saturn, strongly indicating that the professional duties of the royal couple will be rather heavy, and bound by tradition. It’s no easy job being a foreign princess in a patriotic country that expects new arrivals to immediately learn the rather difficult language of Danish. The wedding takes place with transit Neptune just minutes of arc away from her Sun at 15 Aquarius. So much for the dream of royalty.

Still, it is interesting to see that the Moon is both in reception with Mars, and also in reception by exaltation with the Sun. As Mary Donaldson has Mars in Aries trine Jupiter in Sagittarius, it clearly suits her to find a prince (who is also an elite soldier) in a distant foreign land. But if she tries to assert her own will, there is sure to be considerable tension. If the Moon in Aries can be received by the Sun in exaltation (giving up personal initiatives and fulfilling a queen-like role) then things may work out well. With her Venus exalted in Pisces, and her Moon in Libra (albeit in conjunction with Uranus), she should have no difficulty being a female icon. As Venus is soon to go retrograde here in the 9th house, Mary will obviously want to return periodically to her native land, most notably three years after the wedding.
The Mars/Venus interplay

After going direct, Venus finally catches up with Mars at 16 degrees Scorpio, square Neptune on December 6th, repeating the previous Venus/Mars conjunction of December 2002. For those receptive to the movement of Venus there will be echoes of this earlier conjunction – as Venus is in exile and Mars disposes of her, the woman is in an extremely weak position in love affairs at this time. Mind you, the situation is the reverse in the first 10 days of November, when Venus in Libra disposes of Mars. There could therefore be a reversal of power in love as the year draws to a close.

Jupiter and Pluto

Another major influence in 2004 is the final square between Pluto and Jupiter. This was almost exact in November 2003 (a crisis month for those ruled by Jupiter), and unfinished business from this time will be resolved when the square forms in early August. Jupiter in Virgo has had a lot to do with humanitarian organizations. For example just as it entered Virgo and opposed Uranus (and Mars retrograde) in August 2003 the UN had to withdraw their mission from Baghdad because of a devastating bomb attack. The Jupiter/Pluto square will again place humanitarian organizations at risk from terror, but will also signal major restructuring within these organizations. The ethics of the death penalty will also surface at this time – this could of course be a time when Saddam Hussein’s fate is decided in this respect.

Peace and the US election

When Jupiter moves from exile in Virgo into Libra, things will brighten up. The October eclipse takes place with five planets in Libra, so this sign will be in the headlines in some way. On November 5th, Venus conjoins Jupiter at 8 Libra, which is surely a happy period, and a great time for relationships in general. Jupiter/Venus combinations are often related to peace, so we can expect a lot of successful international diplomacy at this time. Of course it occurs immediately after the US election which – in contrast to the 2000 election – promises to be just and fair. Saturn stations at 27 Cancer at this time exactly opposite US Pluto, so perhaps this means a time of reckoning for secret powers that manipulate behind the scenes.

2004 begins with a businesslike atmosphere as the establishment tries to create stability and order in the wake of the Jupiter/Saturn sextile. It ends with a Jupiter/Neptune trine, which takes place on November 29th 2004, and repeats in the following year in March and August, with Neptune from 13 to 17 Aquarius. Enjoy the dreams, inflate the balloons and celebrate the euphoria. It could last a long time… but when the Saturn/Neptune opposition takes place from Leo to Aquarius in 2006, then make sure you have parachuted to safety.

Adrian Ross Duncan 19.01.2004