A whirlwind of violence is consuming the Middle East, voraciously devouring more and more territory in its insatiable maw. What began as a civil war in Syria has spilled over the border into Lebanon and now Iraq, with refugee camps and/or border incidents also impacting Turkey, Jordan and Israel. As of the past week, the US is sending military advisors to help Iraq’s government stave off the destructive and engulfing swarm of Sunni militants, while Iran is also sending help in the form of Republican Guard members to shore up the Shiite defenders. And, of course, Russia and Iran have been sending weapons to the Assad government of Syria for years.
One narrative of the worsening disaster is that it is really a regional Sunni/Shiite confrontation. Another description of the escalating conflict, only partially overlapping the first, focuses on the moderate versus extremist split. Related to the latter conception of the struggle is that the extremist Sunni side of the equation wants to create an Islamic Caliphate from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran. The goal of expanding across borders as an expression of fanatical religious or ideological fervor, coupled with a ruthless willingness to viciously slaughter any who are not a part of the exalted crusade, is reminiscent of the some of the most relentless and brutal movements in history. The question that arises is how much bigger the consuming tornado will become before this wild force can be stopped.
As described in my previous article, The Red Planet, we are currently in the most dangerous Mars translation of the entire multi-year Uranus/Pluto square. While this historical and transformative configuration, which runs roughly from 2011 through 2015, has been bringing a multitude of power struggles and clashes worldwide, the addition of a slow-moving Mars to the mix from June 10 through June 26 has essentially poured gasoline on the already-spreading flames. Thus far, during this Mars transit, the extremist Sunni militant group ISIS has invaded and taken over the Sunni majority areas of Iraq and is now threatening Baghdad. In response, the most dangerous Shiite militias in Iraq are reconstituting in order to oppose this threat. As of June 22, the last, increasingly potent phase of this Mars transit will begin, as Mars moves within a one-degree orb of its opposition to Uranus through June 25. In other words, we can expect extremely explosive and dangerous events over the next few days.
The birth of the current government of Iraq is given as June 28, 2004, at 10:26 AM. Although it seems likely that earlier charts for Iraq are still quite valid, this one, no doubt, is strongly linked to the Maliki leadership. In it, we find trouble building over the past few years for the Iraqi government and closing in on it during 2014. In this 2004 chart, the Sun (6Cancer54) and Mercury (17Cancer53) are conjunct Saturn (15Cancer29). By progression, the Sun moved inexorably into an exact conjunction with natal Saturn by June 2013, and is now reaching the culmination of its conjunction with progressed Saturn (16Cancer51) as of December 2014. Moreover, from June 8 through July 30, the transiting Uranus station is square to the progressed Sun/progressed Saturn aspect, and is about to be further inflamed by a square from Mars from June 22 through June 26.
These configurations point to the importance of Prime Minister Maliki learning the lessons of Saturn: discipline, compromise, respect for others, and self-restraint. In his purge of the Sunnis in his government and in the leadership of the military, he has failed in these Saturnian necessities, inflaming the entire Sunni population against his leadership and to some extent driving them into the arms of the militants. The Uranus transit in June and July is bringing a sudden and swift transformation of the status quo, and a painful awaking as to the depths of the problem created by a heedless and undisciplined Maliki. The Mars transit of the next few days is likely to further intensify the situation. It is not impossible to imagine Maliki thrust out of his position over the coming days or coming month, or perhaps between now and early 2015. Transiting Saturn and again transiting Uranus will activate the beginning-to-separate progressed Sun/progressed Saturn aspect between January and April 2015, suggesting another period of enormous strain for the Iraqi government.
Where all of this will go is not clear. The Uranus/Pluto square is fomenting tremendous upheaval throughout the world, in some cases rewriting boundaries between nations and shifting alliances in unexpected ways. April through June 2014 has seen this process amplified, both in the Ukraine and in Iraq. The final, protracted chapter of this Uranus/Pluto transit will come from November 2014 through March 2015 when the square reasserts its dominance. Transiting Mars passing through a cardinal sign is likely to further exacerbate any tensions for a few days in November and again for a few days in March. But compared to the current slow-moving Mars escalation, the coming transits will be brief and less likely to cause such an incendiary mess. Nonetheless, we can expect the Uranus/Pluto square in its final phase to continue to intensify the multitude of confrontations in the world leading to significant transformation of the status quo.