Since Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014 and its subsequent thinly-veiled military incursion into Eastern Ukraine, a new mini-Cold War has been brewing between the Kremlin and the West. In punishment for this brazen expansionism, the US, Canada, and Western Europe have slapped increasingly onerous sanctions on Russian economic interests. Moreover, with Russia’s heavy reliance on oil revenues, the recent collapse in the price of oil has caused severe economic damage and a swift and devastating devaluation of the ruble. President Vladimir Putin is scrambling to deal with this multi-pronged crisis, refusing to be intimidated over his actions in Ukraine, and blaming the US and Europe for his troubles.
The story of Russia in 2014, as told through astrology, is one of increased aggression and expansionism coupled with self-delusion and unexpected and transformative losses. This is due to the combination of intensified Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune aspects in Russia’s chart during the year, as well as the transit of Uranus opposite the Ascendant of the Moscow 2014 Spring Equinox chart (13Libra28).
In Russia’s chart, converse progressed Mars has been square to the natal Sun (21Gemini10), exact in July 2014, while both solar arc Pluto and solar arc Jupiter have been trine to natal Mars (8Aries49) throughout the year, with the Jupiter trine to natal Mars continuing through March 2015. In addition, progressed Mars is quincunx the natal Ascendant (26Virgo12) through early February 2015. This combination is indicative of the increase in belligerence and aggression, both in attitude and military activity, that has been apparent in Russia’s dealings with Ukraine during 2014.
In addition, the progressed Russian Sun is now conjunct natal Jupiter (15Cancer09), the planet of expansion and success, from August 2014 through September 2015. This configuration has enabled the successful takeover of Crimea and likely a portion of Eastern Ukraine, and points to the possibility of further successful and potentially reckless expansionism in the future when Pluto and Uranus trigger and intensify this progression from February through May 2015.
The transit of Uranus opposite the Ascendant of Russia’s Spring Equinox chart began in April and returned in October 2014 for a long station through early February 2015. This aspect brings unexpected and powerful changes in its wake, further described by the other aspects present at the time. In April 2014, this Uranus transit was accompanied by Pluto square the Spring Ascendant and the very potent converse Mars waxing in its square to Russia’s Sun. During this period, we saw the unilateral, domineering, and my-way-or-the-highway side of Uranus in full form.
More recently, however, and continuing into 2015, Russia’s Neptune has been intensified, and the sudden, shifting, and transformative reality of Uranus has been defined by loss and confusion, the hallmarks of Neptune.
Not only has the first part of the Uranus station opposing the Spring Ascendant (13Libra28) also been square to natal Neptune (13Capricorn48), from October through February 1, 2015, but transiting Saturn made its first semisquare to natal Neptune, exact on December 12, just as the ruble’s value plunged to unexpected depths. Here we see the suddenness and transformation of the Uranus transit combined with the Neptunian feel of a once-certain reality dissipating into confusing loss.
The coming year in Russia will be greatly colored by the combination of Uranus, Pluto, and, at times, Saturn that will impact Russia’s Neptune (13Capricorn48), Putin’s Sun (13Libra56) and, for the first three months of the year, the Ascendant in the Spring Equinox chart (13Libra28). In addition, the progressed Sun conjunction to natal Jupiter, highlighted by Uranus and Pluto from February through May, will also be significant.
From late December 2014 through mid-February 2015, the Uranus/Pluto square will be in direct aspect with Vladimir Putin’s Sun, suggesting he is in the power struggle of his life against overwhelmingly powerful forces (Pluto). In addition, events will be sudden and unexpected, with circumstances shifting quickly (Uranus). With this period overlapping with Uranus and Pluto aspecting Russia’s Neptune throughout January, there may be unrealistic expectations, deception and self-delusion, significant losses, and a difficulty getting a clear hold on reality.
As the Neptune activation diminishes for a few months, and Pluto stations opposite Russia’s Jupiter (15Cancer13) from February through May 2015, a more reckless and overoptimistic attitude may well take hold. Perhaps oil prices will rise along with the ruble around that time.
The danger period for Russia will come with the protracted station of transiting Pluto semisquare transiting Saturn, both in aspect to Russia’s Neptune and Putin’s Sun from mid-June through August 2015. This will be a very difficult period, as unrealistic expectations get cut off at the knees by the painful, anxiety provoking real-world lessons of Saturn combined with Pluto in aspect to Neptune. Moreover, the Russian progressed Sun will move into a conjunction with natal 10th house Chiron (15Cancer45) as of March 2015 for a year. It seems likely that economic factors will be very problematic during this time, while the earlier military expansionism will be but a vague memory.