“It was not a movement. It was a feeling. A feeling that drove wave after wave of people in a great river that began to flow through London before noon and was still in full flood long after nightfall”. Sometimes journalists – here Richard Williams for The Guardian – capture the astrology of an event better than astrologers. And if anyone is in doubt, here is a perfect description of one of the better manifestations of the current Jupiter/Neptune oppositions from Leo to Aquarius. Jupiter/Neptune aspects often unite people who have a dream of a better world, and the opposition aspect typically unites people from many different parts of the human spectrum. Going back to the last opposition series 14 years ago from Cancer to Capricorn, at the time of the dissolution of Soviet power, over one million people from the Baltic lands joined hands over their borders to signify unity in the face of Soviet occupation. This opposition series reached its euphoric conclusion across the dividing line of the Berlin Wall, which in November 1989 was physically removed by the bare hands of German inhabitants, East and West, who joined in an outflow of emotion that electrified the whole world.

The Desire for Peace

See horoscope for Peace March in London

The London march began at noon, with Gemini rising, and Mercury in the 9th house, conjoining the Jupiter/Neptune opposition, appropriate enough for a peace march. The enemy of peace is war, and it could hardly be symbolized better than the Mars/Pluto opposition, the evil machinery of international power and expansion. Marches took place all over the world that day, from Baghdad to Washington, in the largest demonstration for peace the world has seen since the Vietnam war. The overall feeling of marchers in Britain was of a generalized dismay directed at Britain’s leadership, and a huge dissatisfaction with a previously idealized leader, Tony Blair. With his Sun at 15 Taurus square the Moon at 11 Aquarius he will now enter a period during which his power and popularity will be dissipated, as Neptune activates this square.

As he puts it: “I ask the marchers to understand this: I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honor. But sometimes it is the price of leadership. And it is the cost of conviction.” What Blair needs to know, is that with his Sun in Taurus in the 12th square Pluto, his convictions can be both obsessive and self-destructive.

Disillusion and Sorrow

It is this complete disillusion with the trappings of prestige and power, which the Jupiter/Neptune opposition channels. The first opposition actually took place on September 11th – one year after the destruction of the World Trade Center. What has happened since that tragedy is that George Bush has squandered the huge sympathy for America, which every single country in the world felt deeply. It has been replaced with a violent distaste for what other countries see as a cynical manipulation and bullying of world opinion by a power-hungry and oil-greedy American elite. The real reason for America’s desire for war with Iraq is difficult to work out – at least for non-Americans. Everyone knows the arguments against – Iraq has a depleted arsenal, and after 10 years of sanctions is no longer a threat to anyone at all, even its neighbors (who are all against a war). There are many other countries with weapons of mass-destruction. Other countries, Israel for one, ignore UN resolutions. North Korea, with both nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them to the US mainland, is quite obviously a far-greater threat, and – with embarrassing timing – has shown the vacuity of the US arguments against Iraq. (And incidentally proved a point: if you develop nuclear weapons, you can negate American threats.)

North Korea

The North Korean nuclear threat is bound to be a feature of Kim Jong II’s foreign policy as long as he governs the country. An Aquarius with the Sun at 26 degrees exactly square natal Uranus at 26 Taurus, nuclear power is obviously close to his heart. And with Uranus conjoining Saturn and Mars in Taurus, he is liable to be completely unfazed by pressure. It’s an extremely uncomfortable position for the American government. Just as it was for the Clinton administration in 1993 – when transiting Pluto in Scorpio activated Kim’s Sun/Uranus square. It was during this year that USA discovered how close North Korea was to producing the bomb and entered into negotiations.

Uranus is now transiting Kim Jong II’s Sun so these are clearly explosive times on the Korean peninsular. Soon Uranus will go over his Moon in Pisces also, suggesting a lot of unrest in the country. As North Korea was given independence by the Soviet Union on or around September 10 1948, transiting Pluto is squaring the North Korean Sun in Virgo (at 17 Virgo) and conjoining Jupiter (at 20 Sagittarius). There is a lot to suggest that the position is also uncomfortable for Kim Jong II, as Pluto transiting a country’s Sun can result in the removal of the figurehead. Still, Kim Jong II has survived three Uranus conjunctions to his Sun, and succeeding in shaking the foundations of neighboring Japan and South Korean.

American Trauma

Notwithstanding anxiety about North Korean, it’s very likely that the main reason for Bush and his advisers’ desire to neutralize Iraq is a genuine desire to set an example to other countries that they should not even think of threatening America in the future. No one who is not American can imagine the trauma of September 11, which came close to decapitating America. And as Bush shares the same position of the Sun as the USA – 13 degrees Cancer – he has taken the threat very personally indeed. We all know in which direction the passenger plane that went down in Pennsylvania was heading. (Another Cancer – Donald Rumsfeldt, has a Sun/Pluto conjunction square Uranus – his inner terrors have found ample outer enemies to project upon.) For a Cancerian country like America, protection of its citizens is a high priority, whilst a sense of vulnerability is ever-present, exacerbated by a rapacious media, which has discovered that high anxiety features give high ratings.

Unexpected Resistance

Whatever the arguments, the Bush government has simply not managed to convince anyone apart from, apparently, Tony Blair, and a (dwindling) proportion of its own population of the need to remove Saddam Hussein. In an article last September, forecasting war between February and May 2003, I mentioned that Saturn, going direct on USA’s Mars on February 22nd 2003, would herald a time when their military preparations would be complete. What I had not realized was the resistance that the USA would meet from people all over the world, and specifically from Germany, France, Russia and China. As Saturn is transiting USA’s 7th house, it obviously represents a political voice from outside, which dampens the bulldozer effect of Pluto transiting USA’s 1st house, which Mars joins in the last two weeks of February. Bearing in mind that the UN has its Moon at 22 Gemini – just where the USA has its Mars – the Saturn transit shows widespread resistance to military force.

A Spirit of Compassion

Here in February 2003 the middle game is being played out. The end game comes with the final Jupiter/Neptune opposition on June 3rd at 13.06 Leo/Aquarius, less than 24 hours before Saturn moves into Cancer. The Neptune theme will by this time be even more powerful, considering the entry of Uranus into Pisces on March 11th. With this transition of mighty Saturn and Uranus from air to water, it is rather unlikely that we will allow ourselves to be fascinated by high-tech pictures from a high-tech war, which show buildings being destroyed and planes taking off and landing, but not what really happens – people getting blown to pieces, children being orphaned. Nobody will be fooled by the term “collateral damage” at this time. They will be thinking of people and their suffering. That’s why the largest demonstrations in the world took place this February. People are concerned about the real suffering of war. Uranus in Pisces brings up some interesting images. One possibility is of Bush “shooting himself in the foot”. Another image is of exploding oil wells. But the main theme is 7 years of awareness of suffering.

Saturn in Cancer may not be very good for America, and for the rest of the 2003 Americans can look forward to a long transit by Saturn of their Venus/Jupiter conjunction from 3 – 5 degrees Cancer, which could indicate an economic depression. Going back to the last Saturn transit to Venus/Jupiter takes us to the period of protests over the Vietnam War in the final two years of the Nixon presidency… it was not a time when the American government felt either secure or popular, either within their borders, or outside them. The likely scenario is that Bush and his oil-hungry friends will attack Iraq, and that they will win quite rapidly. But that the subsequent responsibility for “restoring democracy” in Iraq is more than they can handle. The way to handle Saturn conjoining Venus/Jupiter is restraint of expansion and consolidation of the economy. This can be difficult to do when you have shot yourself in the foot, and Bush will be limping for the rest of his presidency, until its denouement as Saturn conjoins his – and the USA’s Sun.

Adrian Ross Duncan 28.02.2003