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Deceptive Land Grab

When someone is actively deceiving us, we are never quite sure about what is actually happening or if we can believe our perceptions. Trust in our own sense of reality is often being subtly undermined by a conflicting explanation of the facts. “The Devil works with a grain of truth,” is an old saying that describes how this process works. Buried in the web of lies, there is usually one small kernel of truth, just enough to cause doubt in any alternative understanding of the facts and consequently hobble effective, focused opposition. Confusion and weakness are the result.

In astrological terms, Neptune is the planet of dishonesty, self-deception, and confusion. When it is active, it becomes difficult to discern fact from fiction and easy to get carried away with an unrealistic and sometimes grandiose understanding of events. Getting a clear grasp on the situation, a necessary prelude to determining appropriate action, becomes nearly impossible.russia

In today’s situation with a newly aggressive Russia, one piece of the puzzle is the extraordinary activation of Neptune in Russia’s chart. Not only is the progressed Russian Sun barely a month past the exact opposition to natal Neptune (13Capricorn48), but the four points in the emerging cardinal cross are all in a hard aspect or conjunction to this point. Specifically, Uranus is square to natal Neptune from April 6 through April 26; Jupiter is opposite natal Neptune from April 14 through April 22; Pluto has been close but not quite conjunct natal Neptune from mid-February to mid-April; and Mars will be square to natal Neptune from April 19 through April 22.

Many threads of the current crisis can be connected back to this overstimulated Neptune in Russia’s chart. Vladimir Putin’s repeated appeals to Russian patriotism and to a grandiose and aggrieved national identity can be traced to the 4th house Neptune in the national chart, which points to an idealized yearning for and an unrealistic understanding of Mother Russia.  In addition, the deceptive narrative Putin has been using to describe events in Ukraine – denying Russia’s participation, describing any Ukrainian response to insurrection as an attack on ethnic Russians, framing any Russian involvement as a humanitarian rescue operation – serves to cloak Russia’s active masterminding of the entire operation or at least confuse the issue enough to weaken critics.

And finally, the fog surrounding the unfolding drama makes it nearly impossible to discern what is exactly happening. Were the negotiations in Geneva a manipulative distraction or will Putin actually comply with the signed agreement? As Russia continues to deny it is seeking to absorb more of Ukraine, will it keep stoking events that will lead in that direction? Nothing is clear, rendering a coherent response difficult. As in Crimea, clarity may not come until it is too late and the deed is done.

The increased tension engendered by the planet Pluto is another important piece in understanding the currently building conflict that centers on Ukraine. From early springequinox14moscowFebruary through mid-May 2014, transiting Pluto is making a protracted opposition to the US Sun (13Cancer19). In the Spring chart drawn for Russia, Pluto is square the Ascendant (13Libra28) from March 20 through mid-May 2014. In addition, the Pluto station of mid-April reached just 22 minutes shy of a square to Putin’s Sun (13Libra56), thus also impacting him from late February through mid-April.  These configurations, taken together, suggest a building confrontation or struggle, where each side feels it must stay vigilant and strong or it will be overwhelmed, if not literally than measured by significant loss of respect and effectiveness on the world stage.

Pluto will continue to be in hard aspect to the US Sun and Putin’s Sun through October 2015, suggesting this struggle for dominance will continue to play out through that time. putinAt present, the transits of Uranus, Jupiter, and Mars may be seen as a huge stimulant to this underlying tension during most of the month of April. In particular, the combination of Jupiter and Uranus in hard aspect to Putin’s Sun point to significant confidence and success (Jupiter) through April 23, as well as a willingness to defy established norms (Uranus) through the month. Both of these planets are also in hard aspect to the Ascendant of the Moscow Spring chart, thereby reiterating these same themes. The addition of Mars to this combination from April 20 to April 24 only adds fuel to the fire and suggests a greater willingness for violence and aggression.

Jupiter and Uranus have also been impacting the US Sun in April, through the 19th and then dissipating. During the last days of this Jupiter/Uranus period there was someUSchart optimism (Jupiter) over an agreement made in Geneva to deescalate the situation. In addition, the US has increasingly exercised its power (Jupiter conjunct US Sun) through threats of progressively onerous sanctions against Russia should it continue on this course of aggression, while also moving to increase NATO’s military footprint along Russia’s East European borders. The addition of Mars from the 19th through the 24th seems likely to further escalate the anger and confrontational tone of the US in this conflict, as well as pointing to a greater potential for explosions, violence, and accidents in other areas.

With the dissipation of several of these planetary aspects after April 25, we may see some of the intensity of this situation drain away. However, it should be noted that the first of three transits of Uranus opposite US Saturn (14Libra48) begins on April 26 running through May 16, concurrent with the last part of the Pluto transit opposite US Sun.  The Uranus transit to US Saturn will return in September 2014 and February and March 2015. Moreover, transiting Pluto will move to square US Saturn during much of 2015. Using the Sagittarius rising chart for the US, Saturn sits in the 10th house, pointing to the focus on world power and the many painful lessons (Saturn) that come to the US in this area. With both Uranus and Pluto coming to hard aspects with US Saturn from late April 2014 through December 2015, it seems likely the US will experience a multi-pronged awakening (Uranus) of the limitations (Saturn) and difficulties inherent in its global influence. 

As mentioned, the Pluto transit opposite the US Sun and square to Putin’s Sun also continues through most of 2015, suggesting this conflict between Russia and the US in the global chess game will extend through next year, with the US finding it has less and ability to shape events than expected (Pluto and Uranus aspecting US Saturn).  Moreover, the Uranus and Pluto aspects to Russia’s Neptune through much of the same period, suggest Russia will continue with its uber-nationalism and its idealization of the Russian homeland and the grievances it has experienced.  In addition, Uranus will oppose Putin’s Sun again in October 2014 and from late December 2014 through much of February 2015, suggesting he will be willing to defy international norms and take a strong stand for his version of reality at that time. This latter period, from December 2014 through February 2015, will include the final crossings of the Uranus/Pluto square, with both planets aspecting the US Sun, Putin’s Sun and Russia’s Neptune almost simultaneously and likely bring about another dramatic confrontation at that time.

The Cardinal Cross Begins to Emerge

The pieces are moving into place. All three corners of the Uranus, Pluto, and Jupiter T-square are now within the extremely potent zone of a waxing one-degree orb and building to an exact configuration at 13 degrees 34 minutes of the cardinal signs as of April 20 and April 21. Mars is within four degrees of the fourth corner of the square where it will move into its most potent zone from April 19 through April 23. Thus, as we move further into April, even the slightest nudge can act as a spark to ignite this flammable mix.

Already we have seen minor aspects from the Moon stimulate this uber-agitated combination. When the Moon crossed 13 Leo, a 16-year-old knife-wielding student went on a slashing rampage in Pennsylvania. When the Moon reached 13 Virgo, a Fed-Ex truck crashed into a bus, causing a disastrous conflagration on California’s Highway 5 and killing ten people, including 5 high school students.

As of today, Sunday, April 13, the Moon has reached Libra, and is beginning to impact the very volatile fourth corner of the cardinal square. By 00 AM Monday, April 14, it will strongly activate this incendiary configuration through about 6 AM EDT, followed within a few hours by a conjunction with Mars. Moreover, Mercury will simultaneously move into a one-degree orb of this volatile combination for the entire day, where it is likely to dangerously stimulate the explosive Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto T-square.

It is very hard not to expect dangerous and uncontrollable events unfolding rapidly over the next 36 hours, followed by a highly-charged drama that continues this high-stakes situation over the next ten days. It seems likely a part of this story will take place in Ukraine, where a confrontation is already beginning to escalate between “pro-Russian military forces” and the Ukrainian military. In Vladimir Putin’s chart, Uranus putinis now in orb of an opposition to his Sun (13Libra56), while Jupiter is now in a square to it, suggesting the potential for reckless and precipitous action, as well as sudden and unanticipated events impacting him.

With Jupiter now conjunct the US Sun (13Cancer19) and Uranus in a square to it, it seems likely the US will stake out a bolder, broader, and potentially over-confident stance in relation to the rapidly escalating events over the next several days. As of April 14, Uranus will also move into a square with the Ascendant of the Spring Equinox chart drawn for Washington, DC, (14Cancer07) suggesting the additional possibility of unexpected and intense events that directly impact the nation, such as a major geological or weather event. Moreover, with the building strength of the T-square, joined by Mars as of April 19 and becoming a grand cardinal cross, disruptive and incendiary situations are likely to occur in many parts of the globe. USchart

Standing out in President Obama’s chart as he navigates these stressful days are two significant aspects. The first is the Full Moon eclipse on April 15 at 25Libra16 in a tight square to Obama’s natal Saturn (25Capricorn20). This points to a highly stressful couple of days on April 14 and April 15, and additionally to a difficult month during which his tendency to feel the sufferings and struggles of others (12th house Saturn) will be accentuated. obama

The second aspect in the president’s chart worth noting is the transit of Pluto returning to a quincunx of his Sun (12Leo33), from April 13 through June 23. This suggests the feeling of a power struggle that demands constant vigilance and focus to maintain a strong position against a determined foe or overwhelming situation.  Moreover, by late May through August, the president will be under a series of Saturn transits that springequinox14dcsuggest onerous emotional burdens and may point to one of the more difficult periods of his presidency (Saturn square the Ascendant and stationary sesquiquadrate his Venus).

I have been writing for a long time about the likely strain the coming weeks may bring to the US in one form or another. Although I often prepare charts in order to discuss other issues, I inevitably get drawn back into writing about the turmoil surrounding the cardinal cross. I am sorry if this seems repetitious, but, to me, these once-in-a-lifetime aspects describe where the world’s attention is most likely to be and so I persevere.

Instability

People like stability. They like to know what to expect. But under today’s historical configuration of volatile planetary alignments, with Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter and soon Mars moving relentlessly into a Cardinal Grand Cross, the world is experiencing an unusual amount of instability and unpredictability. The recent New Moon on March 30 followed by the Sun crossing Uranus, while also aspecting both Jupiter and Pluto through April 3, has brought a wave of shifting sands and unexpected circumstances in many areas, often changing the anticipated trajectory of events.

Much has happened in the past week since the Aries New Moon. The once-promising Middle East peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are suddenly in shambles, with Israel balking at a promised prisoner release and the Palestinians returning to the UN for increased recognition and protection. Both actions are essentially deal breakers, and the negotiations are barely hanging by a thread.

The chill between Russia and the West is increasing by the day, with almost all cooperation on a number of fronts effectively cancelled. In direct defiance of the US, Putin declared on April 2 that he will arm President Assad of Syria with deadlier and more effective weapons, seemingly throwing down the gauntlet for a proxy war with the US and its allies.

Moreover, there is growing concern that the infamous Ring of Fire, which surrounds the Pacific Ocean with dangerously shifting tectonic plates and latent volcanic eruptions, is suddenly becoming active. There have been a series of earthquakes in and near Los Angeles in recent weeks, the most potent being a 5.1 on March 28, with some milder seismic events following over the next few days. In Iquique, Chile, an 8.2 quake caused extensive damage on April 1, just as the Sun/Uranus conjunction moved very close to exact.

In the political realm, the Supreme Court on April 2nd, unexpectedly aimed another debilitating blow to the vestiges of campaign finance law, further opening the floodgates to the nefarious corruption of big money into the political process. The Roberts Court has determined that money is equivalent to speech, and campaign money should be largely unregulated as a way of protecting freedom of speech. To my mind, this is a false flag operation, since the only real winners are the oligarchs who increasingly control most of the wealth in the US. If freedom of speech were truly at issue, the new McCutcheon ruling, as well as the Citizens United ruling that preceded it, would not have virtually wiped out the so-called free speech of 99% of the population by drowning it under the deluge of cash from the few hundred fat cats that now control the process. Those who support this ruling can talk about free speech all they want, but most of us will never be heard among the cacophonous clanging of the billionaires’ chump change.

A further manifestation of the activation of this incendiary Uranus,/Pluto/Jupiter configuration arrived with yet another deadly shooting at an American military base. The Fort Hood shootings, which took place on April 2, shocked and upset  Americans, once again bringing gun issues to the forefront.

On a more positive note, another unexpected circumstance of recent days was the surprising success of Obamacare enrollment: 7.1 million signed up for the exchanges and an additional 3 million were added to the Medicaid rolls. This was a huge, unanticipated boost for the president and enabled over 10 million people to gain health insurance who otherwise would have been been unable to do so.

In today’s world, the many struggles between entrenched power structures, both economic and political, and those who want to be free of the oppressive constraint of the current reality is a multi-year manifestation of the Uranus/Pluto square, felt primarily from 2011 through 2015. This stress has been exacerbated by the two-month Jupiter/Uranus square from mid-February through late April 2014, sparked by the precipitous and reckless action (Uranus) of Vladimir Putin due to his sudden annexation of Crimea, which in turn has led to a tense confrontation between Russia and the West. A similar protracted Jupiter/Uranus opposition in late 1962 brought us the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unfortunately, the acute phase of the current crisis is not yet resolved, with 40,000 Russian troops still menacingly posted along the border of Eastern Ukraine. As the Uranus/Pluto/Jupiter T-square builds in intensity from now through April 20, and with Mars further inflaming the situation from April 19 through April 23, this and other situations are likely to escalate. As we have seen in recent days, destabilizing situations on many fronts are quite possible.

Some times over the next few weeks when the tensions are most likely to increase, either from sudden, precipitous actions, unexpected weather or other natural events are as follows:

 

Sunday, April 6, afternoon through about 8:30 PM, EDT, when the Moon crosses Jupiter, squares Uranus and opposes Pluto;

Monday, April 7, through around 6 PM, EDT, during the Sun/Mars opposition;

Monday, April 14, midnight to 6 AM with the Moon moving into the opposition of Uranus and square to Jupiter and Pluto, and all day, through 00 AM  (EDT) Tuesday, with Mercury moving to conjunct Uranus. All of this culminates just hours before the Full Moon eclipse, suggesting the possibility of a big storm or heavy flooding, as well as other stressful and incendiary situations suddenly erupting;

From April 15 through April 20, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto will be moving into a tighter and tighter T-square. Mars will join this T-square making it a Grand Cross from April 19 through April 23. This period is likely to be highly inflammatory, bringing a more exaggerated and intensified version of the kind of events we have already seen: acute and violent confrontations; precipitous, transformative actions; explosions; accidents; and dramatic earth and/or weather events.

 

Although the highly unusual and historical Cardinal Cross will be over by late April 2014, the Uranus/Pluto square still has one more protracted period during which it may leave its mark on mankind. This stretch of time will cover from late November 2014 through mid-March 2015. The huge confrontation between deeply entrenched power (Pluto) and the desire for freedom and equality (Uranus), especially insofar the latter are in conflict with the Plutonian power centers, will very much be playing out in many ways as this last phase unfolds.

New Moon Launch

Although spring arrived over a week ago according to the calendar, the sharp bite of chill air in many parts of the country proclaimed a protracted, harsh winter through all but the last day or so of March. Even the much-anticipated bloom celebrated by Washington’s glorious Cherry Blossom Festival is lagging nearly two weeks behind schedule due to a notable lack of any sunshine or warmth. Despite appearances, however, March 20 has come and gone, and with it, the birth of the new astrological year, however cloaked, is upon us.

As mentioned in previous articles, this year’s Spring Equinox birth chart is particularly stressful since it incorporates the building power of the historical cardinal cross. During April, the planets Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter and Mars will be moving into the four corners of a square, portending an enormous amount of tension and potential upheaval in the world. The volatile and transformative Uranus/Pluto square has been with us since 2012; adding to the brewing strain of that aspect, the Jupiter/Uranus square has been within a one-degree orb since mid-February; and through the first three weeks of April, these three planets will move into an exact T-square, followed by Mars reaching the fourth corner of this “grand cross” for a few days from April 19 through April 24, likely sparking a multitude of explosive events at that time. Moreover, it seems likely that these tensions will be particularly strong in the US and Russia, since the Spring Equinox charts drawn for these nations captures one or more elements of the cardinal cross on the angles of the respective charts.

In particular, Uranus, in a very tight, hard aspect to the Ascendant in both charts, suggests sudden, tumultuous and forceful events that are likely to very directly impact the two countries and their citizens. Already we have seen the horror of one of worst natural disasters in recent years with the Oso, Washington mudslide on March 22, which engulfed 30 houses in barely a moment and left scores dead in its wake. Further weather-related or geophysical circumstances seem likely during April 2014, as well as in January and February 2015, when Uranus and Pluto will come back again to aspect the Ascendants in these two Spring charts. springequinox14dc

On March 30, the Aries New Moon will take place at 09Aries59, a little over two degrees from an exact conjunction with Uranus (12Aries20), and therefore quite close to direct involvement in the increasingly active T-square. This New Moon, the birth chart of the month, seems likely to accelerate the building tensions of the already-volatile dynamic involving Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. The Moon will cross Uranus and square Jupiter and Pluto on March 30. The Sun will follow from March 31 through April 3, no doubt bringing forth increasingly explosive events over these few days, the ramifications of which will continue to unfold throughout the month.

The next most notable trigger to this volatile planetary mix will come on April 14, when early in the day, the Moon will fill the fourth corner of the square, while the entire day will bring transiting Mercury to a conjunction with Uranus. As this configuration falls just before a Full Moon eclipse on April 15, the chances of an enormously heavy storm is quite strong. And, as with the Sun/Uranus conjunction early in the month, the Mercury/Uranus conjunction of April 14 may also portend explosive, unexpected and disruptive events in the geopolitical sphere, including in such hot spots as Ukraine and Syria.

At present, President Obama is actively working to put together a coherent strategy with obamahis allies to deal with Russia’s precipitous takeover of Crimea and the threat of a further incursion into eastern Ukraine. In Obama’s natal chart, we find Uranus, Pluto, the North Node, and Mars all in the 7th house. Uranus is the ruler of the Ascendant, and Pluto and Mars co-rule the Midheaven. This multi-planet combination in the 7th house points to the president’s profound imperative to work creatively (Uranus) and in partnership and cooperation (7th house) with others to achieve his goals, both in domestic and foreign affairs.  Moreover, the position of Pluto here further implies an enormous intensity, almost a compulsion, to act in concert with others, through negotiation and compromise, to achieve objectives. As long as we have known Obama, from his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, throughout the 2008 campaign and into his presidency, most notably in his dealings with Republicans and his response to the demands of foreign policy, we have repeatedly seen the president’s primary imperative to negotiate and work cooperatively in partnership with others to accomplish his intentions. There can be no question that this will always be his modus operandi.

Of interest to our current discussion is how much Obama’s inner 7th house directive is being activated during this agitated season of the cardinal cross. From March 13 through March 30, transiting Uranus has been sesquiquadrate Obama’s North Node (27Leo18), while Jupiter will be semisquare the Node from March 30 to April 10. It is here that we see his very active recent work at bringing together a united coalition and coherent strategy to handle the situation in Ukraine, as well as his ongoing discussions with allies in how best to deal with the complicated conditions in Syria.

As of March 28 and continuing through most of April, Obama’s progressed Moon is in a trine with natal Pluto (6Virgo59), setting off the intense emotions of the natal square between these two bodies, as well as the consuming imperative to find a cooperative solution to an issue. The transit of Mars in semisquare will greatly stimulate natal Pluto from March 28 through March 31, just at the time of the Aries New Moon. Moreover, transiting Neptune is presently opposing natal Pluto from March 22 through April 25, bringing inspiration and idealism to the push toward working together but possibly setting the president up for disappointment or disillusion by the end of April.

It seems likely to me that there will be some strong actions taken by the US in April, USchartlikely precipitated by the unexpected and transformative circumstances pointed to by Uranus moving to square the US Sun from March 30 through April 18, and further triggered by the Sun during the first days of the month. When Jupiter crosses the US Sun from April 10 through April 19, boldness and optimism will shape planning and operations. The Mars transit from April 19 through April 24 will complete the cardinal cross and is likely to bring some shatteringly explosive and confrontational events, possibly a kind of climax to the building tensions.

After April 25, however, it may be that the US discovers the limits of its power to shape developments. Not only does Neptune recede from the president’s Pluto signifyinginaugural13 disappointment or disillusion, but Saturn moves into a square with Inaugural Mars (20Aquarius13) through May 7, followed by Saturn opposite Inaugural Moon (19Taurus28) from May 3 through May 16, thus curbing effective action, while frustrating and upsetting the administration during the post-cardinal cross period. Perhaps most significant, transiting Uranus will move into its first of three oppositions with the US 10th house Saturn (14Libra48), from April 26 to May 16. This aspect suggests a building and unanticipated realization (Uranus) of the limits of US world leadership (Saturn in the 10th) despite the whirl of expectation and determination earlier in April.

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.