Israel-Palestine on the Attack Again? – Tim Lyons – July 23, 2014
Can we use astrology to shed some light on the so-called Israel-Palestine crisis (noting in passing that the situation in Palestine doesn’t seem very much like a crisis, as crisis originally referred to the turning point of a disease, while in Palestine the “crisis” seems to have developed into a way of life with no turning point in sight)? Perhaps notably, Israel and Palestine-as-Refugee-Nation have the same horoscope, for though the origins of the Palestinian people stretch back into remote antiquity, the Palestinians as refugees came into existence at the same moment as Israel did. Thus the sameness of the horoscopes, and thus the usefulness of seeing the situation in terms of projection-tendencies.
Many years back, Marie Louise von Franz wrote that getting hit by someone else’s projections often feels like getting hit by a projectile. Here, both groups launch projectile after projectile at each other, suggesting a series of projections brought about by a denial of one’s full capacity. And, no doubt, each group sees the other as the reason for that denial. This, too, we should consider a projection.
We know the date on which Israel and Refugee-Palestine came into existence: May 14, 1948. Some astrologers use 4:00 pm as the time, for at that time, according to reports, Jewish leader Ben Gurion acclaimed the independent state of Israel. Others astrologers prefer 4:32 pm, at which time, according to reports, Ben Gurion proclaimed the official existence of the state. Nicholas Campion mentions another time – 4:37 pm – representing the moment when Ben Gurion, having “concluded the two pages of the independence proclamation with the declaration that ‘The State of Israel has arisen!’” (See The Book of World Horoscopes, page 210.) Interestingly, the 4:37 horoscope has 0 Scorpio rising, suggesting psychological complexes appearing in behavior; it also increases the importance of Pluto and Mars (the two rulers of Scorpio) and places them both in the 10th house, suggesting publicly displayed power struggles and violence as well as violence driven by underworld forces, a phrase that characterizes both Israel and Palestine.
The horoscope has the shape of a bowl (one of Marc Edmund Jones’ categories; see Guide to Horoscope Interpretation), but one with the open side facing down, suggesting difficulties holding onto energy with containment. Thus none of the “peace processes” have produced peace, and no “peace agreement” has held. With a Leo Moon at the top of the chart, both Israelis and Palestinians will display public pride and intransigence. The Moon conjoins Pluto and Saturn, albeit loosely, suggesting ongoing difficulties finding security, as Pluto symbolizes power-struggles; in this case, those struggles take place in the public sphere, over questions of government (10th), a suggestion reiterated by Saturn’s conjunction with Pluto, suggesting power-driven ruling-hierarchies, ruling hierarchies concerned with power, constant power-struggles related to rulership, and a tendency for those in power to employ underworld means to get what they want. Such patterns characterize the history of the area over the past several decades.
Most conspicuously, the horoscope has a Sun-Mars square, with the Sun in the 7th suggesting “open enemies” and warfare, and Mars in the public tenth. The aspect surely indicates ongoing conflict (for, again, in examining a nation’s horoscope, we should expect the most unenlightened manifestation of the energy-in-question). The aspect occurs in fixed signs, again suggesting intransigence. Taurus suggests a drive for stability rooted in the fruitfulness of the land; Leo suggests pride, with Mars in Leo suggesting pride in one’s prowess. It also may reflect events around the birthday, as (according to Campion) because of “an invasion by the Arab Legion at dawn on 12 May, the Jewish leaders arranged a meeting to proclaim independence at 4:00 pm on 14 May…pre-empting the legal end of British rule by six hours” (208).
Fixed signs pervade the horoscope, with four planets in Leo, one in Taurus, and one in Scorpio. If you accept the 4:37 birth-time, the horoscope also has a fixed ascendant and both ascendant-rulers (Mars and Pluto) in fixed Leo. Thus stubbornness. Taurus probably qualifies as the most immovable sign of the zodiac, for it emphasizes fixity rooted in the living earth and drawing sustenance from it (whereas Leo, by contrast, manifests a fixity connected to pride and self-identity, qualities existing in the mind, which shifts more readily than does the earth). Taurus’ intransigence manifests without fanfare and because of a long-standing connection to the earth; Leo’s intransigence often manifests with great display, even fanfare, again because of pride.
These factors suggest that Israel will often play the role of the Leo planets and that the Palestinians will often find themselves in the role of Taurus, a matter to which I will return below. We see this pattern in relationships of all sorts (between human beings, between nations), as for whatever reasons due to temperament or circumstances, part of the horoscope will appear through one’s own actions and part will appear as projections onto others. In this case, though the horoscope symbolizes characteristics of both of the involved groups, it seems that Israel usually takes on the role of the Leo planets, with the Palestinians taking on the role of the Sun in Taurus in the 7th. Israel has almost all of the political and public power in this situation, and the nation certainly seems to reslish the role of those Leo planets. Palestine, meanwhile, seems closely connected to the Sun in Taurus, for we can easily see them as people who for centuries have rooted themselves in the local soil and who at present prove very hard to uproot.
At the same time, Israel apparently sees Palestine as controlling the earth (Taurus) that Israel seeks, while Palestinians see Israel as having the public and bureaucratic power, and the security (Moon), that they seek. Thus, according to the Jungian principle that whatever does not appear as part of the self will appear in the world as an event, each group sees the other in the guise of something denied. At the same time, the horoscope suggests that if you want to solve the problem, you would give the Palestinians an equal amount of public bureaucratic power and give Israel the right to root themselves firmly and fruitfully in the land. Of course, due to Israel’s ongoing settlement policy, Israel has achieved at least some of the latter; the former remains unaddressed.
Solar arc (SA) Uranus at 27Leo37 has reached a conjunction with natal (N) Mars at 28Leo16. (See the second wheel of the doubt-wheel horoscope.) The aspect suggests, on the one hand, a sudden expression of stubborn will bent on upsetting the status quo. That interpretation might suggest aggression emerging from Palestine (or, more particularly, the West Bank) as part of an attempt to upset the status quo, for Uranus has no love of stability or ruling group, and the Palestinians surely have no love for any status quo that gives Israel all of the public or bureaucratic power. However, Israel also seems bent on upsetting the status quo, apparently preferring to get rid of the “Palestinian problem” by getting rid of any recalcitrant Palestinians, or at least silencing their refusal to adept the dictates of the increasingly dominant Israeli government. Mars in Leo in the 10th suggests “pride of prowess” coming from those established in authority (the Israelis), so the aspect could arise as aggression from either side.
The aspect from SA Uranus brings us back to the natal horoscope (for one always reads present developments back to the natal chart), where natal (N) Uranus opposes Jupiter. As I explained in the discussion or Iraq a few weeks back, oppositions lend themselves to projection and role-playing. In this case, Jupiter in Sagittarius seems to describe Israel rather nicely, as the placement suggests expansion (Jupiter) based on a set of abstractions (Sagittarius), often without due attention to or at the expense of rebellious (Uranus) ordinary people (Gemini). Considering Jupiter as the “greater benefic,” here very influential in its own sign, we would expect it to represent Israel, for Israel has socialized (Jupiter) its expansive tendencies and had extraordinary good fortune in the years since its birth, augmenting its territory, its defense capacities, and its relationship with the most powerful nation on earth (a nation which has a Sagittarius ascendant, and which also expands based on abstractions, and a well-placed Jupiter). Meanwhile, the Palestinians, with very few effective cards to play politically, find themselves in the role of Uranus, for they rebel (Uranus) against (opposition) the expansion (Jupiter).
Adding to the present “martial” (Mars-related) difficulties, SA Mars has just passed over the Scorpio ascendant (see the second wheel of the two-wheeled chart; distinguish this movement from that of transiting Mars discussed a few paragraphs below), suggesting anger, aggression, and warfare emerging because while Mars passed through the 12th (i.e. roughly the last thirty years), aggression festered in both groups.
Note, too, the important square from Venus in Cancer to Neptune in Libra in the 12th. This aspect lies right on top of important planets in the U.S. horoscope, with Venus conjoining the U.S. Venus-Jupiter conjunction, and with Neptune conjoining the U.S. Saturn. Any affliction to Neptune can indicate deception of some sort. Bring the U.S. Saturn into the picture, and we can see the possibility of a highly deceptive or obfuscated influence coming from the U.S. government bureaucracy, for the U.S. Saturn (in Libra in the 10th house) points to the nation’s tendency to see itself as law-giver for the planet and as a law-unto itself not subject to international law. The U.S. Venus-Jupiter conjunction, bringing together the ruler of the U.S. midheaven with the ruler of the U.S. ascendant, points to the great good fortune that has accrued to this country in its search for security brought about by the taking of the resources of others (U.S. 8th house Sun and Mercury, plus Venus-Jupiter on the cusp of the 8th)), a process in which Israel has played an important role.
The Israel-Palestine Venus-Jupiter square also points to the failure (12th) of international law (9th) to bring about any sort of decently-conceived peace. This should hardly surprise us, as the roots of the current difficulties lie back in the period after World War I, when European diplomats, most obviously but certainly not British, went about shaping the so-called modern Middle East, creating nations according to the colonial aspirations but taking scant notice – when they took any notice at all! – of the residents of the Middle East. With the makers of international law seeming so willing to flaunt it any way they saw fit, we shouldn’t find it surprising that international law has little effect on in that area.
TR Mars’ long transit through Libra (since December 7, 2013, about four times its usual duration in a sign, with the difference due to Mars’ retrogradation March 1-May 20) ends on July 26th. Because that long transit took place in Israel-Palestine’s 12th house, we should expect smoldering resentments that would burst forth as Mars emerged from the 12th (a house associated with prisons and tendencies driven by the unconscious). As Mars moves through Scorpio, he will square N Mars and oppose the 7th house Taurus Sun. This suggests, as does the movement of SA Mars discussed a few paragraphs back, that the end has not come into view.
Finally, Saturn. Astrologers have long known him as the “greater malefic” (with Mars as the lesser). As I write this on July 23, transiting (TR) Saturn has just turned stationary-direct at 16+ Scorpio, precisely square N Saturn at 16Leo25. The aspect suggests conflict between authority systems, with one expressing pride (N Saturn in Leo) and one seeming underhanded or even “terrorist” (TR Saturn in Scorpio, a sign associated with the underworld). As noted above, with projection rife, we can expect the two groups to shift from one positon to another, with now one and now the other seeing the other as underhanded (read: “terrorist”) and with both groups serving as a fine hook for the other’s projections.
Transiting Saturn symbolizes the progressive building of structures, whether governmental, psychological, or temporal – and, most often, all three at once. When Saturn squares his natal position, those structures have developed to such an extent that they restrict and constrict everyone involved. The aspect demands structural readjustment. Because of this, I tend to agree with the Palestinians that a cease-fire should include major reassessment of the structures – agreements, borders, settlements, assumptions currently dominating the situation. N Saturn in Leo in the 10th tells us that the structures grow and develop from the structural assumptions of those in power, which in this case probably means the Israeli government (Leo planets in the 10th). If no-one heeds the call for the needed adjustments, and so far no-one has, we can expect even worse problems when Saturn opposes the Sun and squares Mars a few months from now.
A final note about the Moon. In Leo in the 10th, it strongly suggests autocratic, quasi-regal approaches to leadership, with the leaders emotionally invested in a kind of noblesse oblige. The Moon disposits Venus in Cancer (because the Moon rules Cancer) intercepted in the 9th. This suggests hidden (Cancer intercepted) support for the quasi-regal ruling group coming from a foreign power (9th). As noted, Venus, ruler of the 12th (hidden enemies, secrets, back-room deals) closely conjoins the United States Venus-Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, an aspect that has much to do with the United States’ imperialistic drive.