For the first time in decades, the US is officially talking to Iran. Moreover, an agreement has been worked out between Iran and six world powers, including the US, to begin easing some of the economic sanctions in exchange for a 6-month freeze on Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiations for a more lasting accord will continue in the meantime. Given the acrimonious history, each of the two sides is apprehensive and extremely cautious about trusting the other.
In the US, this distrust is manifesting in a broad bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass further debilitating sanctions on Iran as a declaration of America’s punitive intentions should the current process fail. President Obama is adamantly opposed to this measure, fearing it will sabotage the entire effort. Indeed, Iran has as much as promised the deal will end should further sanctions be added to the mix.
Using diplomacy, invigorated by crippling sanctions, in order to shift the dangerous trajectory toward war between Iran and the US is probably the biggest foreign policy goal of the Obama administration. In large measure, due to the success of this program, Iran has come to the table for the first time. The president is extremely invested in the continuation of this delicate process and unwilling to let an interfering Congress disrupt it. The intensifying power struggle between Obama and the Congress on how to go forward is the result.
The astrological elements active at present are indicative of the unfolding drama. On the one hand, transiting Jupiter is now conjunct the US Sun (13Cancer19), from January 14 through January 22. This time-frame includes the build-up to January 20, the date when the agreement with Iran goes into effect. On the whole, Americans are cautiously optimistic (Jupiter) that this plan will yield positive results and prevent war. That the US can still lead an international coalition in effective diplomacy is also a source of national pride, another Jupiter attribute. Additionally, this uplifting Jupiter transit has brought a relatively crisis-free bipartisan budget deal that will ease many of the negative consequences of the ill-conceived sequester, the beginning of the much-heralded process of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons, and signs of a significantly improved economy. Moreover, this Jupiter transit will continue for another week and may still include a dramatic declaration of US power somewhere in the world before it is done.
Unfortunately, bubbling under the surface of these various successes is the growing tension between the president and Congress. Transiting Pluto is currently quincunx President Obama’s Sun (12Leo33) from January 9 through February 8, returning from April 13 to June 23, and again November 9 through December 14, 2014. One element of this is likely to be the president deciding to more fully exercise his executive powers in order for his goals not to be suffocated by those who would thwart him.
In what will probably bring a further escalation of this building conflict between the executive and legislative branches of our government, as well as possibly a more dramatic power struggle emerging from some as yet undefined struggle, transiting Pluto is about to move into an opposition with the US Sun (13Cancer19), from February 1 through May 19, while simultaneously moving to conjunct the Congress Sun (13Capricorn29) from February 8 through May 16. The existent issues we are witnessing in January are likely to only be a prelude to a much more fierce battle that will run from February through May 2014 and return from December 7 through January 8, 2015.
With Pluto opposite the US Sun, each side in the perceived clash will feel its survival threatened in some way, leading to a vigilant, relentless endeavor against a recognized foe. The underlying experience will be one of tremendous anxiety combined with herculean effort. It is not impossible that events during the Jupiter/Pluto opposition from January 23 to January 31 may in some way precipitate the stresses that will begin to emerge in February. Moreover, as Jupiter, Mars and Uranus all join this Pluto transit to the US Sun in April, they will create the enormous, clashing energy of a cardinal cross, and the profound struggles of the Sun/Pluto opposition are likely to mushroom into an as-yet-unknown, high-stakes drama.