The Bear Growls

With Vladimir Putin getting approval from his rubber-stamp parliament to deploy troops to Crimea, the volatility in Ukraine continues to escalate. The first phase of the crisis, a confrontation between Western-oriented Ukrainian citizens and the Russian-backed President Victor Yanukovych, ended with the thuggish Yanukovych fleeing the country and his political opposition taking control of the government. The second phase, more aggressive involvement of Russia as it effectively takes over Crimea and attempts to destabilize the new Ukrainian government, is in full swing.

The US and its allies in Western Europe are loudly decrying Russian military intervention, but Putin remains unperturbed. Needless to say, no one is suggesting violently confronting his troops, although some possible economic penalties have been mentioned. One small bit of good news in all of this is that Russia cutting gas supplies to Ukraine would be a less potent threat than it once was. The US shale gas boom and other shifting sources of supply have resulted in the decreasing price of this energy source and the shrinking of Ukrainian dependence on Russian gas.

The long Uranus station square to Ukraine’s Ascendant (8Capricorn41), from late October 2013 through early January 2014, combined with the square to Ukraine’s natal Uranus (10Capricorn06), from mid-January to mid-February 2014, provided enough ukrainerevolutionary fervor to ignite the fiery eruption that led to the successful ouster of the brutal kleptocracy of  Victor Yanukovych. The still-active, protracted Jupiter/Uranus square, from mid-February through late April, seems to be the signature aspect in the ongoing confrontation, with the push for independence from tyranny (Uranus) magnified and energized (Jupiter) for a sustained period. The strengthening of Uranus by Jupiter also points to the fast-moving and transformative nature of day-to-day events, as well as describing the willingness of Putin to act in defiance of previous international agreements and largely ignore global condemnation.

As Russian Federation troops move into Crimea and shut down the two airports there, the situation is becoming increasingly unstable.  We know from the Ukrainian chart that the Ukrainian people are energized and angry through the first week of March, due to the progressed Moon square to natal Mars (25Virgo05). We also know that they will go through a three-week period of considerable stress and upset from March 16 through April 9, when Saturn transits square to the natal Moon (22Aquarius09). Progressed Ukrainian Mars will remain in a square with natal Uranus (10Capricorn06) through 2014, suggesting that feelings of anger and rebellion continue through the year, though without the intensified drama of January and February.

The Russian chart is also quite revealing. Here we find that converse progressed Mars has moved to a square with the natal Sun (21Gemini10), waxing to exact around mid-July. russiaThis aspect points to the goals of the country (the Sun) becoming more aggressive and potentially militarized (Mars) in late 2013 through the summer of 2014. Moreover, the converse progressed Russian Moon is currently conjunct converse Mars (21Pisces), exact around mid-March, strongly activating the already aggressive Sun/Mars combination from mid-February to mid to late March. Any transit to 21 degrees, especially of a mutable sign, will tend to set this potent combination off: the Moon on March 1, 8, and 16; Mercury (trine the Sun) on March 8; the Sun conjunct the converse Moon/Mars on March11; and Mars trine the Russian Sun from March 30 through April 2.

It should also be noted that transiting Saturn will be quincunx the Russian Sun from April 6 through April 26. This suggests some opposition or frustration in Russia in the implementation of its goals. April is also when the US chart lights up with Uranus, Mars, and Jupiter joining Pluto in hard aspect to the US Sun. it is not impossible to imagine some kind of global action that pushes back against Russia at this time, possibly having some short-term impact. USchart

But there may be a greater, long-term consequence found in the transit of Pluto opposite the US Sun (13Cancer19), now in its first phase, from February through late May 2014. This aspect will return in December 2014 and early January 2015, and then again from July to early November 2015. It describes a sense of anxiety in a power struggle that demands attention and vigilance. The battle can be with the elements as a result of fierce storms, with financial conditions, or with an actually perceived enemy whose power seems relentless and difficult to deal with. As Putin continues to oppose the US on several significant policy issues, and as he wields a very big stick in Ukraine which no one has any realistic capacity to truly thwart, it seems that a two-year sense of struggle with Vladimir Putin may be part of what this Pluto transit is about. As Rachel Maddow recently described on her show, “It is not the Cold War anymore, but there is a chill wind in the air.”

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