Syria: Now and Then


Installment 1: August 4, 2013

Most people who use astrology apply its principles to themselves, either as a way to “know what will happen” or to give themselves some insight into their own behavior and inner workings, seeking what Carl Jung (in “The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man”) called the “effective forces and determinants of my fate beyond the reach of my conscious intention.” Yet people ask astrologers all sorts of questions about matters having collective import: Who will win the coming election? Will Iran attack Israel or vice versa? Will the stock market collapse? Could one have predicted the collapse of the Eastern Bloc? Such questions take us beyond the realm of personal capacity, wisdom, and neurosis, and into the larger patterns that influence every person on the planet.
The onset of global warming, along with the deterioration of the eco-system generally, no doubt prompts many people to seek some perspective on current developments beyond the meager insights on offer from the political class. Thus the importance of Mundane Astrology, a study of the development and/or deteriorations of nations, collectivities, organizations, and world leaders – and the subject of this blog.

In this practice, the astrologer applies astrological methodology to the horoscopes of various nations, organizations, and “world leaders.” The astrologer also looks at the long-term patterns indicated by inter-planetary cycles (e.g. the Jupiter-Saturn cycle), usually of the planets beyond Mars, particularly the outermost known planets or planet-like bodies. In this initial installment, we will adopt the first method, using the horoscope of Syria as an example. In later installments, we will look at the larger historical patterns traced by the various aspects among the outer planets (e.g. the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, the Neptune-Pluto cycle, etc.). We will also look carefully at the horoscope of the United States, clearly a major player – perhaps the major player – in many decisions affecting people not only in this country, but all over the world.

I have posted the horoscope (click the image to enlarge it) for the transfer of Syria from the control of France, which had gained protectorate control of the area after World War I. We can consider this the birth-moment for the modern nation as an independent entity. In looking at this horoscope, tough, we should distinguish between Syria as a political entity, an entity that we can examine and for which we can cast a horoscope, and “the Syrian people,” for which or whom we cannot cast a horoscope (for “the Syrian people” have no birthdate). I have used the birth-data from Nicholas Campion (The Book of World Horoscopes, 1995 edition): Mr. Campion casts the horoscope for midnight “in the absence of accurate information,” though he points out that such a time “would be consistent with the time for the transfer of mandate powers in other states” (357). Thus though the time may seem arbitrary, it reflects general practices in the transfer of states, so though we might at first wish to disregard the house positions, derived as they are from a specific time-of-birth, we might have some reason to consider them.

I think we should strongly consider the birth-time as, if not completely accurate, then at least extremely close. I will offer my reasons for this as we proceed. First, though, putting house-positions aside for the moment, we should look at some other matters: the yod to the Sun formed by the Sun, Pluto, and the Mars-Uranus conjunction; the fact that Saturn doesn’t form major aspects to the traditional planets, making only a loose semi-square with Pluto; the connection between that fact and the Capricorn Sun; the Mars-Uranus conjunction.

The yod to the Capricorn Sun surely suggests a rigid authority system under a great deal of pressure, that pressure coming from important revolutionary elements (Mars-Uranus) with a great deal of power. Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, doesn’t receive much restraint in this horoscope, so the hierarchical power of the ruler or ruling group (Sun suggesting the ruler, Capricorn suggesting hierarchy) doesn’t receive much restraint. The restrictive elements in society go unchecked. However, with Mars-Uranus in a loose quincunx with the Sun, we see in Syria an ongoing tension, ritualized (quincunx) into social forms, between the ruling hierarchy (Saturn, Capricorn) and avid revolutionary forces (Mars-Uranus). That we find both Mars and Uranus in retrograde motion (the Rx beside each symbol) suggests, along with the yod, that the revolutionary forces have difficulty acting at first, though they cause constant rumblings. Thus the large number of military (Mars) coups (Uranus as the planet of upheaval) resulting in constant uncertainty. The repression increased with the onset of Emergency Law in 1963. The coups of 2011 brought that to an end.

When yods activate in a nation’s horoscope, the country comes to a fork in the road and must set off in a new direction. Thus Pluto’s approach to the natal Sun has enormous significance starting around 2011, when Pluto at 6+ Capricorn moved within range of the Sun’s position at 9+ Capricorn. Jupiter’s entrance into Aries in (first in June 2010, then in January 2011), the first sign of the zodiac and associated with direct and highly focused action, marked the beginning of the Arab Spring with an emphasis on social expansion and large-scale movements. Uranus’ entrance into the same sign in March 2011 added to the revolutionary fervor. However, anyyone looking at Syria’s horoscope could see that, whatever one might think of the Arab Spring in general, Syria would enter upon a rough time that would last some years, certainly until transiting [TR] Pluto TR Uranus completed their transits to Syria’s natal Sun, and probably until TR Neptune completed its square with Syria’s Mars-Uranus conjunction, an transit that hadn’t even begun back in January 2011.

NEXT: Pluto and its transit of Syria’s Sun.

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