War and Peace

Note: Events have rather overtaken this article, written two days before the actual invasion of Ukraine. Clearly Putin has gone further than I expected with his attempt to conquer the whole country and particularly the capital Kiev. Read further, and you’ll see that I expected Putin to be more patient and settle for the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. However, the basic conclusions in this article are, I think, still correct. In fact, the demise of Putin is hastened by his recent actions.

In these February days of 2022, Mars and Venus are performing an extraordinary dance, with a long and protracted conjunction in Capricorn, first with Mars overtaking Venus in Capricorn and in early March with Venus overtaking Mars as they both enter Aquarius. So will there be war, or will there be peace? Putin, a Libra and judo expert, knows how to keep the world off balance. Perhaps he is represented by Venus. Biden, a Scorpio, knows how to play tough. Mars, perhaps.

Leo Tolstoy said of one of his characters in the novel War and Peace, “No one could tell whether what he said was very clever or very stupid”. Vladimir Putin can obviously be both. What really riles him is that Eastern European countries wanted to be part of a democratic Europe. He refers to the dissolution of the Soviet Union 30 years ago as the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century. But you can’t force someone to love you, which is why he is stupid. After Ukraine, along with other Soviet vassal states, declared independence in 1991, and since Putin came to power in August 1999, he has done everything he can to undermine democracy and establish pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine. But Ukraine wants to be part of Europe, preferably in the EU and as a member of NATO. They don’t want to be embraced by the Russian bear, which murders its journalists and opposition politicians, and crushes independent media.

First Moves on Ukraine
Putin is also very clever. His bloodless annexation of Crimea in 2014 shows how land can be occupied by subterfuge. Whatever the outcome of recent events, he will now occupy separatist areas of Eastern Ukraine – the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic (DPR and LPR) – which broke off from Ukraine with Russian military support at the same time as the occupation of Crimea. Russia has now recognized these “republics” as independent and at the time of writing (February 22, 2022) is poised to occupy these areas to “protect” the population. This annexation is designed not provoke war, so Putin has done it again. He would be clever, if his immediate ambitions are limited. Unfortunately he has recognized the whole of the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine as independent – including a large amount of territory not occupied by Russian separatists. Attempting to annex that territory will be his next move. [Yep. Overtaken by events]


Vladimir Putin. October 7th 1952. 9.30 am. St Petersburg (AS 3.10 SC)

The Art of Lying
Putin was trained as a KGB operative and worked for many years in East Germany. His chart has all the hallmarks of secrecy, misinformation and duplicity. He has Scorpio rising and the Moon in Gemini in the 8th house. Mercury conjoins Neptune (and Saturn) in the 12th house. The Moon constellates with Uranus and Saturn-Neptune by semi and sesquisquare. He enjoys creating confusion. Lying is his preferred communication style – it is a historical tradition in Russia called vranjo to lie in this way, almost a sport. If you fall for it, more fool you.

Dreams of Greatness
To understand what is going on now in Putin’s head, there is no need to look further than his Pluto conjoining the South Node in Leo and the Midheaven. He dreams of the past greatness of the Russian empire and feel compelled to recreate it. His Ascendant co-ruler Mars is in Sagittarius on the Galactic Center and trine Pluto. He is a man – a dictator – with a mission. He wants to expand. His Mercury is sextile Pluto with an orb of 27 minutes of arc – there’s that secrecy and manipulation again. Currently his Sun progressed is 23.36 Sagittarius. It has just been trine Pluto – no fears there – and sextile Mercury. The disinformation machine is working to perfection. If foreign leaders have gotten wise to him, the Russian people had not – until now perhaps. Most still love him, but the love is wearing thin.

More Conflict Ahead
In 2025 Putin’s progressed Sun will conjoin his Mars. He will be getting stronger and stronger. He will be emboldened. He will get rash. He will still be looking for a fight. Imagine that he stops here in 2022 with a Russian annexation of parts of Ukraine. The world condemns him, but secretly breathes a sign of relief. Sanctions will be imposed, but those Russian gas pipelines may well start pumping to Europe in the not-too-distant future. Gas prices will be high, and Russia will accumulate even more cash reserves than it already has. Will he stop there? He will not.

Last Century Parallels
The period after the dissolution of the Soviet Union is a bit like the situation with Germany after World War I. Germany was humiliated, but over the next 20 years it regained its confidence and strength. There were Germans in Czechoslovakia, in Austria, in Poland, and they needed “protection”, just like all those Russians in Ukraine and the Baltic states. That’s the excuse. The German Rhineland was occupied by the French, just like former Soviet states like Poland and Rumania have US troops and missiles. Putin’s mission is to reverse this situation. At Munich in 1948, Chamberlain came back with Peace in Our Time… and Czechoslovakia lost Sudetenland. At Munich in February 2022, where Western leaders, along with Vice President Harris and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy once again met, Western leaders promised support… but not enough to prevent Putin attacking Ukraine.

Explosive Trends
There is still the question of a larger war. In view of the fact that Putin feels invincible and unstoppable, tensions will increase whatever happens now. If we look at the Russian revolution horoscope, which probably still has a lot of validity, there is evidence of destabilization.


Russia. (Winter Palace) November 8th, 1917 2.12 am. St Petersburg. (AS 14.20 VI)

We can see that transit Uranus went stationary at 14.47 Taurus in August 2021, and that it makes the exact opposition to the Russian Sun at 14.58 Scorpio in May 2022, moves retrograde and stations at 14.56 (!) in January 2023. Clearly tensions will be extremely high in this period, and as Uranus also opposes Mercury at 17.31 Scorpio, there is very likely to be some kind of cyber war going on for several years. If Ukrainians put up strong resistance, it is likely to continue well into 2023.

The Russian “Flag up” horoscope for the new Russia (25th December 1991 at 8.45 pm Moscow) does not show the same kind of tensions, although Saturn will be on the Descendant at 25 Aquarius also in January 2023, which could show a tough and united front against Russia. This strong Saturn influence is strengthened by the progressed Sun, which conjoins new Russia’s Saturn at 5 Aquarius in 2023. Clearly the pressure on Putin will be considerable. The new Russia horoscope has a close Venus-Pluto conjunction at 22 Scorpio, which resonates with Putin’s Venus in Scorpio and the 1917 Venus-Pluto opposition. This indicates amongst other things that economic collapse is inherent in Russia, and such a collapse could be exacerbated by the coming Uranus opposition in 2023-24.

NATO’s Resolve
If Putin thought that he could exploit a weakened NATO, he seems to have miscalculated. The threat to Ukraine has united the organization as never before. The treaty which formed the basis for the creation of NATO has a very powerful horoscope.


NATO agreement. April 4th 1949. 4.52 pm. Washington DC. (AS 25 PI)

The 30 member states of NATO are shown by the Moon-Uranus conjunction in Gemini – which is directly opposite Putin’s Mars. The sextile to Saturn makes this rather volatile organization more cohesive. Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Sun in Aries can do both war and peace, and the nodal axis from Libra to Aries shows that NATO is prepared to go to war to maintain peace. The exact trine from the exalted Sun in Aries to Pluto makes this a military organization that wins.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that transiting Neptune conjoins the Descendant and squares the Moon in 2022 and 2023, which is an indication that Putin, with his strategy of feints and threats, judo expert that he is, tends to be disorientating for NATO. He is right to assume that he can undermine the organization – even if NATO’s messaging is one of unity. Still, as Jupiter conjoins the Aries stellium in 2022, NATO will definitely be flexing its muscles. But Neptune also moves to square Putin’s Mars – there is a strong likelihood that he’ll get bogged down.

Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine had enjoyed just three years of independent statehood, having been ruled successively by Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Turkey. (Note 1.) During World War 1 it was occupied by Germany, and as the Russian revolution took hold in 1917, the country was torn apart by civil war until it was absorbed into the USSR in 1921. But Ukrainian nationalism and its language is alive and strong.

Ukraine declared independence in August 1991 with the agreement of Russia, which was emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union. When Putin started taking power in August 1999, he has tried to ensure that Russia-friendly politicians held power in Ukraine, but in early 2014  a popular movement unseated President Viktor Yanukovych because, under the influence of Moscow, he tried to prevent a stronger association with the European Union, and the population definitively did not want that. They demonstrated, at Maidan Square, and a hundred demonstrators were shot dead – The Heavenly Hundred.


Ukraine independence. August 24th 1991. 6.00 pm Kiev. (AS 16.34 CP)

Ukraine has quite a strong horoscope, with Ascendant ruler Saturn powerful in Aquarius, and a delightful Jupiter-Mercury-Venus conjunction in Leo. Mercury and Venus are both wrapped up in their respective retrograde cycles, which means that the conjunction with Jupiter is profound. This is a country that wants to have fun, and does not want limitations imposed. It is a country with friends and allies, but, with transit Saturn conjoining and transit Uranus in square to the Moon at 22 Aquarius, 2022 and 2023 is a period when friends are desperately needed.

It can be seen that Pluto has been transiting Ukraine’s Ascendant in recent years, which could be fairly descriptive of the crisis the country has found itself in since 2014 with the slow-burning war in its breakaway provinces., which has claimed 14,000 lives. With Uranus and Neptune conjoining the nodal axis and on its Ascendant, and Pluto on the MC, it is likely that Ukraine will always find itself in a destabilized situation as a buffer state to Russia.

In 2024 transiting Pluto will conjoin Saturn, which could lead to some sort of restructuring under pressure, which in turn could mean a loss of territory. It is at this time that transit Uranus conjoins the IC, which is really going to destabilize the country. (Note 2) However, in 2026, Ukraine’s progressed Venus, which turned direct at 21 Leo, conjoins once again the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction, which could suggest a happy outcome, and perhaps even reunification with lost territory.

Another Russian Revolution
With NATO affected by the Neptune transit, and Putin on a roll, things look bad for Ukraine short term. But there is another possible outcome to all this. As any astrologer following Russia’s history can tell you, the country is uniquely sensitive to Saturn-Neptune conjunctions. The Russian Revolution, Stalin’s death, Soviet dissolution – all taking place every 35 years as these planets conjoin. This conjunction takes place once more in the period from July 2025 to February 2026, and this happens exactly on the cusp between Pisces and Aries. A unique new cycle begins. The Saturn-Neptune conjunction is related to socialism, evoking ideals about new structures in society which bring universal benefit, but what seems to happen is that much suffering results. Russia is a stoic country with a history of great suffering, both in world wars and self-inflicted by tyrannical leaders and their gulags.


By 2026, the Russian people will be tiring. They will want something new. Pluto has entered Aquarius. They will make revolution. The people will take power. Putin will fight. The result will not be pretty for Russia, but the likelihood is that the leadership structure will dissolve again, which means that Putin has a maximum of four more years in power. The nature of the changes taking place in Russia, and the chaotic consequences of leadership dissolution, will give Ukraine an opportunity to reassume control over its borders.

Putin’s progressed Mars, currently at 18.13 Aquarius, is activating his Jupiter square Pluto now and over the next five years. This shows a person driven by a fanatic ideology, using bully-boy tactics and convinced of the justification for his actions. Not a man receptive to reason. He has a destiny to fulfil, but with Pluto on the South Node it very like Catherine the Great – an empress who had her South Node at 19.59 Leo exactly on Putin’s at 19.59 Leo. It’s an ancient ideology of empire and emperors. As Mars progresses over his IC at 21 Aquarius in 2026, and as Uranus conjoins his 8th House Moon, the chances are that he will be trying to control a Russia riven by strife, and that his days are numbered.

Adrian Ross Duncan
February 22nd, 2022.

1. Book of World Horoscopes by Nick Campion
2. Some sources give a time of 17.31, which would mean transit Uranus is on the IC here in 2022.