12th Aug, 2008

The Bear Growls

Unquestionably on the move again, the brutish Russian Bear has struck hard and fast, alarming the world with its vicious and relentless attack on a smaller and weaker Democratic state to the south. Despite Russian propaganda claiming it is responding to “genocide”, many pundits believe that Mikheil Saakashvilli, president of Georgia, fell into a trap sprung by President-turned-Prime Minister Putin when Georgia responded militarily to the increased pressure of Moscow-supported South Ossetian rebels. Indeed, it seems likely that a far greater drama is being played out by the cunning Putin than the supposed “rescue” of this tiny, break-away province. Unwittingly (as usual), George Bush bears his own measure of responsibility for encouraging Saakashevili in being more aggressive than was prudent. Many feel that the Russians were only waiting for an opportunity to take a swing at this “uppity”, democratically-elected president to the south.

Whether the Bear is merely demonstrating a revanchist hunger to increase its sphere of influence or feels threatened by a growing geopolitical and ideological encirclement by western-leaning nations, the situation is dire, with all the cards in Putin’s hands. Not only will the US, still frightened by terrorism above all else, need Russian cooperation to deal with the issue of a nuclear Iran and with the loose nukes that still dot the Russian countryside, but, even more problematic, Russia controls a great deal of the oil and gas that keeps Europe, South Asia, and Israel humming along. Putin has already shown an inclination to wield this as a very effective weapon. As a result, none of the Western nations that have encouraged and befriended Georgia and the Ukraine in their recent reach toward democracy and NATO membership will give any meaningful military support in the face of Russian aggression and risk throwing world energy markets into a devastating turmoil. Probably grinning like the cat that stole the canary, Putin has made his move with little fear of reprisal.

As we have seen, the past few years have yielded a slew of daring, unilateral, and largely unchallenged moves by Russia on the world stage, including its protest in Kosovo, its outcry over a few defensive interceptors in Poland, as well as its willingness to manipulate oil and gas supplies, unleash cyber attacks, sponsor assassinations of enemies abroad, and, finally, its ominous invasion into the heart of Georgia. This growing autocratic and aggressive tone can clearly be seen in the astrological chart for Russia. As suggested by astrologer Lynn Hayes, the Russian Federation’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union of June12, 1990, at 1:45 PM in Moscow, seems to make the most sense as the birth moment of the modern Russia. In this chart, the two tightest aspects are the Mars/Uranus square (8 Aries/8Capricorn), which denotes a very daring, aggressive, brutal and willful tendency, and the Venus/Pluto opposition (15 Taurus/15Scorpio), which indicates a fanatical streak with an obsessive need for control, as well as a deeply rooted sense of distrust or even paranoia. Both of these natal aspects are in play at present and are part of a larger development in Russia witnessed by the world over the past several years.

The transformation of Russia from nascent democracy to renewed autocracy as Putin consolidated his power and crushed any alternative centers of strength began in earnest during Pluto’s transit opposite the Russian Sun (21Gemini10) and conjunct the Russian IC (24Sagittarius46) from 2004 through 2006. Then, by late 2006, the progressed Sun moved into an opposition with progressed and then natal Uranus, indicating an ever-increasing daring and willingness to act unilaterally by the countryy’s ruler (the Sun). By late 2007, not only was the progressed Sun opposite natal Uranus (8Capricorn17), but it had begun to move into a square with natal Mars (8Aries49) indicating the fierce aggressiveness that we are seeing today in Georgia. This Sun/Mars square will peak around December 1 and then slowly dissipate in its power indicating a lessening of the recently dramatic increase in militancy as we move into the spring of 2009.

While the general mood in Russia from April to December 2008 is somewhat intensified, emotionally charged, nationalistic, and more prone to distrust due to the Pluto station (00 Capricorn) activating the Venus/Pluto opposition (15 Taurus/Scorpio), the addition of the transit of Uranus square the Russian Sun (21Gemini10) during an already volatile year prone to militancy and unilateral action (progressed Sun square Mars and opposite Uranus) seems to have been the real trigger for the current crisis. Transiting Uranus has been square the Russian Sun since April 2008, but it is within one degree and waxing during all of August, exerting its most potent impact. (This aspect will return briefly in late January and early February 2009.) Thus, the most willful, unexpected, and tension-producing actions by Putin (or Medvedev, depending on who really has the power) are likely in August, possibly spilling into the first few days of September when Mars transits opposite Russian natal Mars, thereby activating the progressed Sun square Mars (8/31 to 9/2). It is noteworthy that from late November 2008 through January 2009, Saturn will station square the Russian Sun, suggesting significant difficulties for the leadership and the nation at that time. This fits into my prediction of some world-wide troubles during that period by which, it seems, Russia will also be affected.

One final chart of note that offers insight into the current hostilities is that of Mikheil Saakashvili (12/21/67, Tbilisi, Georgia). His natal Sun/Uranus square at 29 Sagittarius/29Virgo, is being crossed by Pluto at present, signifying the intense power struggle in which he feels embroiled, a struggle over the very survival of his government and perhaps his nation. This aspect will continue through roughly October 2008, suggesting this saga is not yet over. There have been rumblings that Russia’s real aim in this confrontation was regime change in Georgia. Saakashvilli certainly feels threatened with Pluto pressing upon his Sun, likely amplified from August 14 to August 18 by Mars, and the political ramifications for his recent ill-conceived attack on South Ossetia are yet to be determined.

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