Power to the People! Pluto, Jupiter, and the New Iranian Revolution


June 25, 2009

by Terry Lamb

When I wrote about Iran last week, it was before we knew how both people and government would react and interact as millions of Iranians began to rebel against four more years of Ahmadinejad in the presidency. In that article, I considered only the chart for the formation of the republic, rather than the revolution, for that shows the viability of the government.

However, the conscience of the people may be seated more reliably in the chart of the revolution two months before. I say this because the current revolt clearly peaked as we reached the culmination of the yearly Pluto cycle — the opposition to the Sun which occurred on Tuesday (June 23). Pluto does not strongly impact the chart of the Iranian government, but it does the chart of the revolution! (Chart shown below.)

Pluto Is a Primary Timer.
On the weekend of the election, Jupiter was making its retrograde station, and the people responded with Jupiterian confidence. The following weekend, however, Pluto became the dominant planet, and Grand Ayatollah Khamenei assumed absolute power in violently quashing the peaceful demonstrations. Neda Agha-Soltan, a quiet bystander, was shot dead in a random act of violence by the basij militia. She has become a symbol of the new revolution and the Plutonian power of the people.

In the chart for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pluto whispers. However, in the chart of the revolution, it shouts. If we are looking to see what the people will do and when they will do it, observation teaches that the timing will come from the chart for the Islamic Revolution. The primary timer in that chart is Pluto, which is sitting at the top and proclaiming, “Power to the people!”

Where Does It Go From Here?
In the aftermath of the crackdown, the demonstrations seem to be morphing into a general strike. This is how the previous government was brought down. Protests continue, but with telecommunications in a stranglehold the movement may be having difficulty organizing. We on the outside are having difficulty finding out what’s going on, but what we are hearing is not good: Detentions, disappearances, and deaths are becoming more frequent.

If it were only Pluto, there would be a lull in the action, but there are many other planetary events involved. Many of these I covered in my first article on the subject. Key dates to watch in the near future are (+/- a few days):
July 1(Uranus stationary retrograde): conjunct potentially volatile Mars/Mercury in the chart of the republic

July 21 (Solar Eclipse): This Sun-Moon conjunction (New Moon) in an incredibly intense total eclipse. It makes contacts in both charts for Iran. In the chart of the republic, it is conjunct 12th-house Jupiter, suggesting an increased level of sick, injured, and incarcerated people. The prisons are swelling with dissidents.

In the chart of the people (the revolution), the eclipse contacts progressed Jupiter (Cancer) and Venus (Capricorn), which are in an exact opposition to each other. This speaks to the plight of women in Iran (symbolized by the shooting death of Neda Agha-Soltan). These fall in houses 5 and 11 respectively, symbolizing a shift in public sentiment, loss of playfulness, and strictures on legislative forms of government.

August 5 (Lunar Eclipse): This Full Moon (Sun-Moon opposition) is a weak Lunar Eclipse. The Moon conjuncts the Sun of the revolution chart. This can create overt action on the part of the people as they attempt to assert their freedoms against an oppressive government. This is the general time frame for Ahmadinejad to be sworn in for his new term as president.
The Pressure Is on the Religious Leadership.
Jupiter — natal, progressed, and transiting — features prominently in the coming weeks. It was at the Jupiter station (in freedom-loving Aquarius) that the new revolution began. Among other things, Jupiter connotes religious leaders, law and the judiciary. It also represents the honor of a nation. Venus opposing Jupiter by progression indicates an active drive to become a true res publica, a republic or government motivated by the wants and needs of the people, instead of those of the theocracy.

It has become increasingly obvious that, whatever the appearances, Iran’s true rulers are the Imams of the Governing Council. They and the puppet president of the hard right are currently running Iran under martial law, against their constitution.

This progressed opposition also indicates that there is dissent among those on the Governing Council, and this we have seen as Khamenei has said one thing and the more moderate Ayatollah Montazeri something else. When the Solar Eclipse hits this opposition (and the Jupiter of the Republic), can the religious leadership hold to its current position and structure? Almost certainly not. Something will change.

Since this is a Solar Eclipse (a New Moon), the shift will be profound but it is likely to be internal to the Governing Council and not evident to those outside at first. We may have to wait for other contacts to Iran’s charts to ripen over the next year.

It’s Not Over.
If Jupiter has the megaphone right now, Pluto will take center stage next year. This is when Pluto makes its two stations in contact with the angles in the chart of the revolution. Its retrograde station on April 7, 2010 (5̊ Capricorn) is exactly square the Ascendant, while the direct station on September 14, 2010 will be exactly on the MC. These are dates of maximum intensity on points of maximum sensitivity. They will define the boundaries of a period of extreme tension in Iran, if not unrest that leads to the formation of a new government. It is also possible that Iran will enter a new dark period of plutocratic control, with no guise of democracy, in the coming 18 months.

The Third Path
There is a third possibility. If the change is internalized, a quiet and gradual shift could take place that gives the people what they want and need over time. So much of the current response from the government is about face-saving. Gradual change permits the mullahs to save face and could lead to the best outcome, resulting in a freer society and preventing Iran from fragmenting into a number of small warring tribal regions.

© Terry Lamb

Time for Change in Iran? An Astrologer Looks at the Possibilities


June 19, 2009

by Terry Lamb

The Islamic Republic of Iran has seen protests unprecedented in its brief history. Around the world, we watch in horror of the violence and awe at the courage of those who are standing up for their rights. What can astrology say about this moment in Iranian history? Will it be a footnote or a turning point?

Iran was born in violence, and it shows in its chart. From the Sun opposition Pluto to the Moon opposition Neptune to the unaspected Uranus in the 4th (the people’s) house — the chart for the current republic is full of challenge. Now those points are being triggered as the latest election reveals suppressed conflict and the desire for greater freedom.

The People Want to Expand. (Jupiter SRx with Chiron-Neptune in Aquarius)
When the election results announced a win for incumbent president Ahmadinejad on Saturday, June 13, the strongest planet in the astrological heavens was Jupiter — nearly at a standstill to its retrograde. This is the planet of expansion, and the fact that it is highlighted right now tells us that the Iranian people are chafing at the suppression of their freedoms.

Jupiter, if you will recall, is in a triple conjunction with Chiron and Neptune in freedom-seeking Aquarius, so we have to consider the impact of these three planets on Iran’s chart. Ironically, they do not make strong connections to the chart of the nation, and this speaks volumes. It tells me that, although the people seek freedom, they have no connection to the processes that leads to reform in government. Their movement, their wishes, will be disregarded, at least initially.

The People Want to Be Free. (Saturn-Uranus, Uranus SRx)
Saturn and Uranus, which have been opposing each other, are also central to the events in Iraq. Uranus is also near its station, getting ready to turn retrograde on July 1. This strikes at the real heart of the Iran chart, falling at the midpoint of its excitable Mars-Mercury conjunction. Between now and July 1, the volatile energy of Uranus will intensify, making people more prone to take up a cause, regardless of the danger.

Saturn is on the North Node of Iran’s chart, reminding the people (including its leaders) of its original purpose for being — its responsibilities to the citizens. There are very pragmatic (Virgo) reasons for a moderation of policy back from the extreme expressed by Ahmadinejad.

As Saturn and Uranus continue to interact, a long-term process of adjusting power in the Iranian republic will take place, but the change will take place as a series of eruptions. It will not be complete until next summer.

The Essentials of the Situation will Unfold in July and August.
July and August bring contacts to Iran’s chart that will reveal how the current government will deal with the crisis in the short run. July and August brings several events of note, but there are others in the fall as well:

The Essentials of the Situation will Unfold in July and August. (Eclipses)
July and August bring contacts to Iran’s chart that will reveal how the current government will deal with the crisis in the short run. July and August brings several events of note, but there are others in the fall as well:

• The solar eclipse of July 21 (July 22 in Iran) is exactly conjunct Iran’s Jupiter (29̊ Cancer).

• The two lunar eclipses of the summer square Iran’s Pluto (July 7) and contact all of Iran’s angles (August 6).

• The opposition of the Sun to Jupiter is also significant (August 14). Jupiter retrogrades back until it connects with Iran’s Descendant. This will occur on October 12 and occurs near to the time of other planetary peaks happening in the fall.

This is clearly a turning point in Iran’s history. With Jupiter and the eclipses involved, a change in leadership seems likely. There is a rift among the clerics of the Assembly of Experts as to what direction to take with this situation. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, called the shots on the events related to the election so far. The real shift in power may come when a new Ayatollah is chosen that indicates a shift in the philosophy of the ruling council of clerics.

A Peaceful Transition Is the Only Good Solution.
Many commentators have speculated that internal changes are due. One DailyKos reporter states,

My theory, for what it's worth, is that Mousavi’s victory was originally acceptable to Khamenei, not really being THAT drastic a change considering the Supreme Leader is still the one in charge; however, it WAS a drastic change to have the kind of pro-democratic fervor in the streets leading up the the election, and (if numbers leaked from the Interior Ministry are correct) to have 3/4 of the Iranian electorate vote for the two reformist candidates, leaving Ahmadinejad and the other conservative candidate in the dust. Khamenei saw this coming, panicked, and a fraud was hastily assembled.

Regarding a potential outcome, he comments that the Supreme Leader will string out the election investigation process to diffuse the protests. It is unlikely that the protests will continue at this level, but if they do, they will be put down violently, Tiananmen-style. But he says that Khamanei and the theocracy will fall together.

If Iran falls suddenly, a blood bath could ensue, resulting in the fracturing of the country into smaller tribal units. He says that, “Change must happen very slowly and peacefully for the theocracy to be overthrown.” With so many planets involved in the process, it bodes well for Iran's leaders to make a slower, if not more graceful, transition to a government that takes individual needs and the urge for freedom into account.

In the short run, there will be continued unrest and volatility at least through July 1. The eclipses and other events could be reflected in continued popular activism through mid-August. It is hard to imagine that the population could sustain their show of peaceful solidarity for long periods; short outbursts are more likely. However, many dedicated Iranians feel that now is the time for change, and they are not likely to give up any time soon.

© Terry Lamb

Get Ready, Mr. Franken! An Astrological Update on When He’ll Be Called “Senator”


June 9, 2009

by Terry Lamb

On the first day of business after Mercury returned to forward motion (following a 24-day retrograde), the dragon of the Franken-Coleman court battle emerged from the deep. In this, the final throes of the battle over the Minnesota (US) Senate seat, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides, principally from Coleman, who filed the suit. Here’s what Talking Points Memo reporter Eric Kleefeld said following the day’s events:
It's always a tricky business to read clues into the questions that judges ask the lawyers during these proceedings -- despite some basic assumptions about how this works, judges can surprise you. But if we just go by the basic assumptions, it didn't look good for Coleman, with the judges asking pointed questions of [Coleman’s attorney Joe] Friedberg that at certain points amounted to ridicule of him for putting on a shoddy case.
The four judges quoted by Kleefeld, three of them conservatives appointed by current Republican governor Pawlenty, all expressed deep concerns and doubts about the viability of the Coleman case.

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
On the 4th, it was reported that Coleman will not take the case beyond the Minnesota Supreme Court according to insiders. However, there is no speculation at this point as to when the Minnesota Supremes will rule on the case.

Mercury Rules!
If you recall, in my article of April 23, “Please Be Seated, Senator Franken: An Astrologer Looks at When It Will Happen”, I gave a time line for when we might see a shift of fortunes for Mr. Franken. I suggested that key dates in the process would tie to Mercury’s retrograde, which started on (Senator-Elect?) Franken’s Sun-Mars in Gemini. Here’s what I said then:
It is possible that, during the three weeks of Mercury’s retrograde, the race will be below the radar.
This is in fact what happened. However, in the subsequent list of significant dates, I overlooked that a planetary station is also a time when related events can occur. I should have added May 30-June 1 as a period when we might see progress in the case, which we did.

To cut to the chase, this was perfect timing astrologically — perfect in that it fits the Mercury time line and perfect in that it bodes well for Franken. Not only were the judges openly skeptical of Coleman’s case, but the fact that Mercury (ruling thought and communication) had just changed direction bodes well. It suggests that the judges will be “thinking straight” when they make their ruling.

So, When Will It Be?
The next date that comes up in the Mercury time line is June 14. This is when the planet makes its third and final contact with Franken’s planets. (Since the 14th is a Sunday, we might expect an announcement on Monday, June 15.) While this chart does not particularly favor Franken, the overall pattern is worse for Coleman.

If this date slips by, new planetary cycles seize the spotlight, principally Jupiter, which begins its four-month retrograde period on the 15th, followed by a series of three eclipses. While Jupiter’s imprint on Franken’s chart might get him to move house (like, going to Washington?), in Coleman’s chart it is more like the death knell for hope. Jupiter joins with Chiron and Neptune in opposing Coleman’s Leo Sun. This is the same cluster that undermined Sarah Palin’s hopes in November (well, that and her unique unfitness for the job).

Do We Have to Wait for the Eclipses?
The eclipses should seal the deal. They trigger Franken’s and Coleman’s charts with equal vigor, and ironically show slightly more pleasant contacts to Coleman’s chart. However, they are the contacts one might associate with retirement or taking a vacation (e.g., Sun sextile/Moon trine Neptune), not leaping into the fray in the nation’s capital. In Franken’s chart, they show a sudden change (Sun conjunct Franken’s Venus-Uranus in Cancer) around July 7, like the kind when you suddenly start doing something completely different. The third eclipse, another lunar eclipse is also conjunction Franken’s Midheaven, the point of public recognition. This is precisely the kind of contact we would expect in a major change in public statute, such has having the title “Senator” in front of your name.

The third eclipse does not occur until August 6. This is during Congress’s summer recess, and common sense suggests that he’ll be seated before this time. However, it gives undeniable support to Franken’s eventual ascent to his new position of service to his state.

Governor Pawlenty, to his credit, has said repeatedly that he will sign the document certifying the election when told to do so by the courts. This does not appear to be an impediment to the swift resolution of the situation once the court announcement is made.

© Terry Lamb

Will the Real Barack Obama Please Stand Up? Our President, One Mercury Cycle Later


June 5, 2009

It’s one Mercury cycle into the first term of President Obama, and not surprisingly the media have responded unconsciously by issuing several reports on what our new president is REALLY like. In particular, the feature section of May 25th issue of Newsweek was devoted completely to such assessments from several commentators and news analysts.

This gives us a chance to reevaluate him in light of his birth chart. Most of the reports describe him as being “harder” than he portrayed himself during the campaign, but I wonder if that's just the surprised response of those without the enlightened perspective that his birth chart provides.

He Is a True (Sun in) Leo.
“He has learned that he enjoys power — the capacity to shape reality in his image and by his lights.” (Jon Meacham, What He’s Like Now, Newsweek 5/25/09) The Sun outshines all other bodies in our heavens when it is above the horizon. Even in the night sky, it directs the movement of the planets with its unseen hand. The Sun rules Leo, which is the placement of Obama’s Sun. It the sign of the sovereign, the one in whose presence all other light pales. This does not mean that Obama presumes to take this royal role, but he does have that air about him. Other words or phrases that are used to describe him are (except where noted, from Meacham):

• moving as he wishes to move, the world bending itself to him
• shapes policy, even in sub-policy areas (e.g., auto maker restructuring plans)
• prefers to stand alone, not using others as policy authorities
• catlike (Christopher Hitchens, Jacob Weisberg) = Leo the LION
• He sticks out his chin when challenged, his eyes flashing, and wants the upper hand. (I saw this petulance in one of the debates with Hillary Clinton.)

He Is, According to His Chart, Designed for Power.
If there is a theme in Mr. Obama’s chart, it is the (right) use of power. Although there are checks and balances there that create caution and have at times slapped him down (his wife is one), he is built for the redirection and management of power. Key power points in his chart include:

• Sun in Leo (its rulership)
• Jupiter conjunct Saturn: This is a well-known traditional placement of great leaders. It was in the heavens when Jesus was born (by the most reliable records), which is why the three magi (read: astrologers) went searching for him. Martin Sheen (who played President Bartlet in The West Wing) has this conjunction, as does Dick Cheney.
• Mars in Virgo: This placement makes him efficient and dedicated, good with details and hard-working. It also contributes a note of humility (one of those checks and balances).
• Uranus conjunct North Node (Pluto not far away): The deep desire (and perhaps destiny) to be an agent of change.

Some of the writers’ phrases that speak to these contacts are:

• He revels in his power (in an understated way).
• He loves that all of what he’s doing matters.
• He feels his authority and effectiveness.
• little small talk, no smarminess
• wholly businesslike, “time is valuable”
• He finds crisis [to be] defining, bracing, and useful.
• He exhibits pragmatism and a willingness to change his mind when presented with new info.
• He is realistic about his decisions and the possibility of making mistakes.
• He takes “A Highly Logical Approach” (Meacham).

He Plays Well With Others.
Mr. Obama is the ultimate balancer. With the Sun opposing his Ascendant, he often seeks reconciliation as an end in itself, whether with Congress, foreign powers, or Republicans (often to the dismay of his supporters). Jacob Weisberg (Getting to Know Obama, Newsweek 5/25/09) complains about the moral hollowness of this approach, making the following points in unwitting support of this part of his chart:

• For Obama, the middle ground is the high ground.
• He seeks true reconciliation of opposite factions.
• He enjoys engaging opponents.
• He lacks a moral stance - what does he believe? Examples: He repudiates but won’t investigate torture. He supports gay equality but won’t take action (marriage or military).

He Is a Cool Cat.
We already see the feline in the lion, but that coolness comes from his Aquarius Ascendant (rising sign). But how cool is he? Aquarius, a winter sign in the northern hemisphere, can be downright cold. He also has Jupiter and South Node in Aquarius.

• He is cool in crisis.
• His economic policy is self-described as “ruthless pragmatism” (His Jupiter-Saturn also fits this characterization.)
• He cuts off meetings when it covers familiar ground
• His habit of confidence and self-reliance (coming from his fatherless childhood, says Meacham) “creates the impression of iciness”.

He is not willing to sacrifice principle for political loyalty, even though his principles may still be difficult to see in his actions at this early stage. This can be linked to his Moon squaring Pluto.

A Bushel Full of Subtlety, Ambiguity, and Contradiction
His chart is full of subtle planetary interrelationships — with contradictory energies that he is constantly forced to (attempt to) blend. With such inner challenges, it is no surprise to hear him described as embracing complexity with the sophisticated intelligence of a well-developed mind. Obama says,
“The American people, I think, not only have a toleration but also a hunger for explanation and complexity, and a willingness to acknowledge hard problems. I think one of the biggest mistakes that is made in Washington is this notion you have to dumb down things for the public.”
As a person with strong Neptune contacts — and elected under its beams — public perception has been idealistic, even verging on idolatry. Now that Mercury has completed a revelatory retrograde past Neptune, we can see more of the real man, and the media are dutifully providing a sobering reflection of our new leader.

© Terry Lamb