19th Mar, 2014

Russian Land Grab

The theft of Crimea is well underway, with the rigged referendum and subsequent Russian annexation now history. In what at first seemed a spiteful temper tantrum from Vladimir Putin after his frightened puppet, Victor Yanukovych, ran away from the ruins of a failing autocratic regime, is now morphing into an escalating clash between Russia and the West.  The first shot across the bow in response to Putin’s aggression came with the announcement of US and European sanctions against several prominent Russians and Ukrainians involved in the Crimean situation.  More sanctions are now likely with Russia’s move to annex Crimea into the Russian Federation. And hovering over the entire situation are the Russian troops lined up along the Ukrainian eastern and southern border, as well as the Russian provocateurs that are actively engaged in sowing violence and dissent in eastern Ukraine.  Should Putin decide to further enlarge his land grab, a full-scale economic war seems likely, with military confrontation within Ukraine also increasingly possible.

Astrologically, we have been in a high tension period since mid-February 2014 with the advent of the protracted Jupiter/Uranus square, which runs through late April 2014 and is the first extended Jupiter/Uranus hard aspect since the Cuban Missile crisis in the final months of 1962. Moreover, the US has been in a building power struggle since early February and continuing through most of May 2014, due to the Pluto station opposite USchartthe US Sun. As these aspects tighten and others join in, as of March 20, we enter a “red zone”, astrologically speaking, that will extend through April, and, to some degree, into May.

On March 20, the 2014 Spring Equinox will become the birth chart for the astrological year. Strong aspects to the angles of this chart, when drawn for the capital city of a country, imply potent and often transformative events in that country during the course of the year. Situations are often made manifest when a forceful planet actually crosses the degree of the angle. In Kiev, for example, the Spring chart has Uranus (11Aries48) square to the MC (12Cancer07), completing the exact square by transit as of March 27, then beginning to wane but likely still strong enough to be triggered by the Sun/Uranus conjunction from March 31 to April 2. This configuration suggests fast-paced and transformative events impacting the country (MC) from March 20 through April 2, with the final few days likely to be quite explosive. springequinox14kiev

Also noteworthy, are transits to the Ukrainian birth chart, which show Saturn currently square to the natal Moon (22Aquarius09) from March 16 through April 9, suggesting grief and anxiety experienced by the people. Interestingly, it is May that may bring rebellion or renewed violence against the newly created status quo. In the Ukraine chart, progressed Mars is square to natal Uranus (10Capricorn06) through 2014. This will be strongly activated by the Mars station through most of May. Moreover, in the Spring chart for Kiev, the same Mars station will essentially sit on the Ascendant (9Libra24) for the entire month. ukraine

In the US, the protracted Pluto opposition to the US Sun (13Cancer19), building in intensity from early February through late May 2014, at present seems to describe the emerging power struggle with Russia. This confrontation is likely to go into overdrive with the transit of Uranus square to the US Sun from March 31 through April 16, bringing precipitous, disruptive and potent circumstances that demand action. The transiting Sun conjunction to Uranus and square to Pluto will likely trigger this volatile configuration from March 31 to April 2, as will the transit of Mercury on April 14. In addition, this process will be further exacerbated by the strong push toward a much bigger US footprint, described by Jupiter conjunct the US Sun, from April 9 through April 19. Transiting Mars will square the US Sun from April 20 to April 24, as it also make hard aspects to Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto, signifying a wave of explosive and disruptive events in many parts of the world.

In the Spring chart drawn for Washington, DC, we find further evidence of developments that directly impact the US and her citizens, causing disruption and swiftly unfolding springequinox14dcand transformative situations during the second half of April. Transiting Uranus will square the Ascendant of this chart (14Cancer07) from April 13 through May 1, and will be further strengthened by the bold and expansive Jupiter in conjunction to the Spring Ascendant from April 18 to April 26, as well as by the likely violence of Mars from April 19 to April 22. Whether these planetary combinations point to a sharp escalation in the conflict with Russia, to some kind of massive storm or geophysical event, or some other unexpected and transformative circumstance is unknown.

In the chart for the Russian Federation, we find natal Neptune at 13Capricorn48 and progressed Neptune at 13Capricorn11, with the progressed Sun just past the exact opposition to natal Neptune, exact on March 1. From mid-February through mid-April we find transiting Pluto reaching within 14 minutes of a conjunction to natal Neptune. Moreover, during April, transiting Uranus (April 6 to April 26) will square natal Neptune and transiting Jupiter will oppose it (April 14 to April 22). This over-stimulated Neptune in Russia’s chart suggests hyperbolic and delusional sentiment impacting the Russian people and Russian government from mid-February through most of April 2014. Putin’s appeals to uber-nationalism, his claims of Russian victimhood, his lies about attacks on ethnic Russians, as well as the Russian people’s susceptibility to this manipulation of their emotions, are all a part of this multi-pronged stimulation of natal Neptune. That these transits continue through April 22, suggests that this mood of intense nationalistic fervor and this largely distorted understanding of events will continue and increase for another month. russia

The Spring chart drawn for Moscow has the Ascendant at 13Libra28. It will be opposed by transiting Uranus from April 2 to April 20, suggesting unexpected and dramatic events that impact the Russian people in some way.  Perhaps the intensified sanctions will cause a sharp disruption in the Russian economy at this time. From April 13 through April 29, Uranus will move to oppose Putin’s Sun (13Libra56) while Jupiter simultaneously will square his Sun, from April 12 through April 23. Mars will conjunct his Sun from April 20 to April 24. It is very hard not to see this as Putin acting precipitously (Uranus), with exaggerated confidence and possibly recklessness (Jupiter) and ultimately potent aggression (Mars) during this period. Although Pluto does not quite reach the square to Putin’s Sun when it stations mid-month at 13Capricorn34, its potential to magnify this entire configuration into some kind of megalomaniacal power grab cannot be ignored. Although Putin claims that he will stop with Crimea, it is really hard to not see this entire situation escalating further in April, with him becoming overconfident (Jupiter) and willing to break with accepted behavior (Uranus), while messaging his countrymen with platitudes about reclaiming Russia’s greatness and power (Neptune).

Much of the energy from these situations will dissipate as we move into May, but no one will be very happy with the outcome, and, to some extent, the issues will remain unresolved. It also seems Ukraine will continue its struggle through May, but again without a very satisfying result. Both Uranus and Pluto will return to 13 degrees of the cardinal signs from roughly October 2014 through February 2015, likely reigniting some of the stress and confrontation that began this winter. That period in late 2014 and early 2015 will bring the final clash of the Uranus/Pluto square that has been reshaping the world, fomenting grass-roots rebellions and profound clashes against the various entrenched power structures, since 2011.

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