Outrage over the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria sparked a determined and animated reaction from the Obama administration and a contentious dialogue in the US over how to respond. While the president insisted a US military strike was called for, with or without international backing, the American public proved increasingly resistant to any use of military force in another country’s civil war. On August 31, the president suddenly pivoted, asking Congress to debate the issue and pass a resolution to support a strike.
This unfolding drama shifted yet again earlier this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Assad agreed to have Syria join the Chemical Weapons Convention and put its stockpile under international control. Negotiations over the details of such an agreement are currently underway, and American military intervention is on hold, for now.
There are several astrological configurations that describe the underlying themes of the present situation. In President Obama’s chart, two aspects stand out. The first is the final Saturn transit across Obama’s Neptune (8Scorpio36), from September 6 through September 18. This is a high-anxiety configuration that brings enormous tension and concern. The uncertainty over the enormously high-stakes negotiations with Syria and Russia regarding the fate of Syria’s chemical weapons, as well as the obsessive Republican threat to defund Obamacare or shutdown the government, contribute to the significant stress suggested in this aspect. Moreover, with another 5 days to go, this Saturn/Neptune transit is likely to bring further upset to the president before it is done.
The second aspect of significance in the president’s chart is the Neptune transit square to his Moon (3Gemini21), which runs from August 11 through September 20. Neptune transits can inspire a time of great expectation and idealism, but they also can bring an aura of weakness, vacillation and incoherence, which pretty much characterizes the criticism of Obama in his somewhat muddled and changing response to the Syrian situation. Neptune can also describe disappointment after raised expectations, especially when combined with a Saturn transit, as the president is now experiencing through September 18. Although this Neptune transit square Obama’s Moon diminishes after September 20, it will return from November 12 through January 7, 2014, during which the president will again be vulnerable to unrealistic expectations and charges of weakness and even incoherence in his policies.
The third significant configuration impacting the current situation is the combined energy animating US Uranus (8Gemini55) this month. US progressed Sun (8Pisces55) has been square to natal Uranus since the Benghazi attack in September 2012 and will culminate in power as of September 19, 2013. This progressed Sun/Uranus square is being strengthened by transiting Pluto (8Capricorn59), stationary most of the month, and transiting Saturn (8Scorpio55) from September 9 through September 20.
Uranus is associated with sudden, unexpected events that rapidly transform a situation, often impelling action in a different direction. It can wake people up to new realities or important, hitherto ignored, issues. The president’s surprise shift in asking Congress to support him with a military resolution and Putin’s unanticipated offer to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons can both be considered Uranian (unexpected and transformative) in nature. So too can sudden and powerful storms, accidents and fires, such as this past week’s events in Colorado and New Jersey.
But Uranus also has to do with rebellion and the desire to resist the status quo and be free from the restrictions or attitudes of the past. The surprisingly bipartisan and pervasive national resistance to an American military attack in Syria may therefore also be seen as a manifestation of this rebellious Uranian attitude. The country has unabashedly realized that it does not want to go to war or even have “targeted strikes” without a real, demonstrable and imminent threat. The cost of over a decade of war – in lives, treasure, and chronic, disabling health issues – as well as a still-fragile economy, has left citizens with very little appetite to get involved anywhere unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, we may also be beginning to see the impact of progressed US Mars moving retrograde, which strongly impels directed energy to be focused inward, while very carefully first deliberating any action or aggression aimed out into the world.
Despite the tense realities that the president is now grappling with on the national and world stage, there is likely to be a noteworthy shift in dynamic after September 20, as several of the above-noted aspects diminish. Moreover, after September 22, several new configurations come into play. Transiting Jupiter will be quincunx Obama’s Ascendant (18Aquairus03) and semisquare his Moon (3Gemini21) from September 20 to October 1. These aspects are likely to bring considerably more optimism and an aura of success. In addition, converse progressed Moon will be conjunct natal Venus (1Cancer47) beginning on September 22 and waxing through October 22, bringing back some public support that may have been lost recently.
Moreover, Obama’s progressed Moon will square natal Jupiter (00Aquarius52) from October 21 through November 16, extending some of this more positive, successful energy, despite one very difficult week. From October 15 through October 23, Saturn will square Obama’s Sun (12Leo33) and conjunct the Inaugural chart Descendant (12Scorpio43) suggesting an extremely stressful and frustrating 8 days for his administration. This may well be when the debt ceiling fight reaches its climax. Currently, the government is expected to run out of money between October 17 and November 5 if the debt ceiling is not raised. Obama’s progressed Moon square to Jupiter following this brief Saturn period suggests some kind of reasonable resolution to the crisis after a very brutal few days.