November Stress

There is an anxious, edgy feeling in the US these days. It is not so much an overt, active fear, as it is a jumpy, cautious agitation and distrust. Some of this relates to concerns about the African Ebola epidemic spreading across the Atlantic. Some of it centers on simmering fears of “lone wolf” terrorists unleashing murder and mayhem in random acts of violence that could erupt, literally, anywhere. And some of it may be the slow burn of anger and suspicion over suppressed voting rights or police misconduct.

In the US chart, Pluto is in its final crossing of a semisquare to the US Moon USchart(27Aquarius12), from October 22 through December 3, an aspect that describes a state of tension and wariness held in check only by the ongoing vigilance necessary to prevent some kind of overwhelming harm. Interestingly, it was on October 22 that the Canadian Parliament was attacked by an unstable “lone wolf” with a criminal history who was a recent convert to Islam. The US terror threat level was raised shortly after that attack and remains elevated.

As this Pluto transit to the US Moon unfolds, there are some periods during which the tension it describes is likely to be intensified. When transiting Mars joins Pluto from November 9 through November 10, we may see an upsurge of aggression and anger that moves the simmering agitation from back burner to full boil. Of greater concern is the Saturn transit square to the US Moon, from November 20 through November 29, which will join the Pluto transit semisquare the US Moon as it enters its most potent phase. This seems likely to be a very stressful period for the US, bringing some kind of sorrow, anxiety, and trauma somewhere in the country. The transiting Mercury conjunction to Saturn on November 25, joined by the transiting Moon conjunct Pluto, may be a significant trigger for upsetting events.

Also occurring now in the US chart, transiting Uranus is square to the US Sun (13Cancer19), from October 12 to November 8. This transit brings with it sudden, explosive, unexpected, and shattering events. In the past few weeks, we have seen the collision of an airplane and a helicopter near Frederick, Maryland, on October 23, and a plane crash into a building in Wichita, Kansas, on October 30, as well as the explosion of the unmanned resupply rocket for the International Space Station on October 28 and the explosion of the Virgin Galactic shuttle on October 31. There was also a school shooting in Washington State on October 24. By any standard, this is an unprecedented number of incendiary events in such a brief period and seems likely to be connected to the current Uranus transit.

In the next few days, the transiting Sun will be quincunx transiting Uranus on November 5 as the election results become more clearly known, signaling a sudden and unexpected transformation that impacts the country. Although many expect the Republicans to take the Senate, should this actually happen, it will still send shockwaves through the country. On the other hand, Democrats keeping the Senate would also be unexpected and shocking to many, so this transit alone cannot be seen as determinative. Nonetheless, there will be a lot of agitation on November 5 one way or the other.

Just as Uranus begins to separate from its still-active square to the US Sun, transiting Mars will square Uranus and oppose US Sun, from November 11 to November 12. This suggests violent or very disruptive circumstances of some kind with significant consequences. Severe and dangerous weather is always a possibility during such Mars transits, but we should also be concerned about other kinds of dramatic and dangerous situations, especially with the back-to-back transit of Mars conjunct Pluto (11Capricorn37) followed by Mars square Uranus (13Aries10) from November 9 through November 12. A serious increase in violent confrontations in Iraq and Syria is likely during this configuration, as well as the potential for random acts of aggression domestically. Moreover, should the grand jury refuse to indict Darren Wilson, the killer of Michael Brown, at this time, a very angry and widespread reaction is quite possible.

We are now in the opening act of the final phase of the Uranus/Pluto square, from November 2014 through mid-March 2015. During November, both the US Moon and the US Sun are caught up in this transit, thereby bringing situations that involve the US both domestically and abroad as a part of the equation. The addition of Saturn during the last 10 days of November is likely to be especially indicative of difficulty. Whether we are talking about Ebola, the war against ISIS, domestic terrorism, or racial tensions in the country, the developing events of this period will be transformative and stressful and their impact will reverberate for a long time.

Election Musings

It has always been difficult for me to predict congressional elections. There are too many variables involved. A candidate may win, but his party may lose. A candidate may lose, but he may be getting married the next day (this actually happened) or he may go on a vacation after a long, grueling campaign. The president’s party may win, but his administration may be involved in other very stressful events. All of these factors can cloud the astrological picture of an election outcome. Moreover, I almost never have accurate birth data for candidates other than in presidential campaigns, which adds another enormous handicap. The following are some musings I do have on the coming election, but the many caveats should be kept in mind.

President Obama’s chart and the Inaugural chart suggest a very difficult month through mid-November 2014. We have already seen this manifesting in the recent complications and setbacks in the conflict with the Islamic State. It seems possible that these same aspects do not bode well for the November 4 election, suggesting a loss of the Senate for the Democrats. For a year, through April 2015, the president is under a solar arc Moon opposition to natal Saturn (25Capricorn20) which will be triggered by transiting Saturn (25 Scorpio) from November 4 through 13, and further activated by transiting Mercury (25 Libra) on November 5. In addition, the Inaugural progressed Moon is currently quincunx natal Saturn (10Scorpio48), while tertiary Inaugural Venus is square natal Saturn, with both of these intensifying through November 8. It may be that there are other pressing and stressful events the administration is dealing with during these early November days, but the November 4 election seems a likely source of disappointment.obama

Most of the Senate races I have been looking at give very mixed indications. The Kentucky race between Allison Lundigren Grimes and Senator Mitch McConnell is one example. With transiting Jupiter square to McConnell’s Mars from November 1 through November 10, it is possible he will manage to win, but, if he does, it seems likely to be a pyrrhic victory. The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind should McConnell win the Majority Leader position, with progressed Mercury conjunct progressed Saturn and progressed Uranus (29 Taurus), a difficult and frustrating aspect that will continue to intensify through April 2015 and will be triggered numerous times by transits of Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto over the coming months, as well as by transiting Mercury on November 7 and 8.

It is the latter aspect, transiting Mercury quincunx this Mercury/Saturn/Uranus progression on November 7 and 8, followed by transiting Saturn opposite natal Uranus from November 14 to 23 that also suggests immediate difficulties for McConnell and may point to a ray of hope for the Democrats. Saturn will also make its first crossing square McConnell’s Sun (1Pisces26) from December 27 through January 8, suggesting significant complications, disappointment and frustrations as Congress opens. It is certainly possible he may lose his election or the Republicans will not win the Senate with these planetary indicators. His best hope is the “herding cats” scenario which comes under the theme of “be careful what you wish for.” We shall see.

Allison Grimes’ chart is much more upbeat in November and December, which could indicate either a win or maybe just a post-election vacation to the Caribbean. I think we can hold onto some small hope for this race despite the polls. Transiting Jupiter will be trine to her natal Mercury (21Sagittarius15) from November 1 through November 9 and again from December 26 through January 7. In addition, the Jupiter station will light up her progressed Venus (22Scorpio) semisquare to progressed Sun (7Capricorn) from November 10 through December 12. In other words, she seems pretty happy in November and December, indicating either a win for her or just relief that it is over and she did reasonably well. The Saturn transit conjunct her Sun from December 24 through January 2, coming before the new Congress begins, could easily point to the chore of her move to Washington.

There are a few other races that offer some cautious possibility for prediction despite the lack of comprehensive birth data and the other numerous caveats already discussed. Rick Wieland (D) may manage to beat Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota. Greg Orman (I) may oust Pat Roberts (R) in Kansas. Kay Hagen (D) looks like a possible win against Tom Tillis (R) in North Carolina. On the other hand, David Purdue (R) may well defeat Michelle Nunn (D) in Georgia, and Dan Sullivan may pick up Alaska for the GOP against Mark Begich (D). I also think Mary Landrieu (D) may lose to Bill Cassidy (R) in Louisiana.

Should the GOP manage to take the Senate, it is hard to see how much more obstruction of the president’s agenda they will manage. Perhaps we will see an increase in their usual extortion tactics, especially if Americans continue to sleep walk through the political realities of our time. Let us hope that Harry Reid will be able to push through a significant number of appointments in the lame duck period before the coming storm. The Mars translation of the Uranus/Pluto square from November 9 through November 14 is likely to bring some kind of dramatic political brawl, as well as the usual uptick in explosive conflict, violence, and severe weather conditions. There is always the slim possibility that the Democrats will keep the Senate, especially after some delayed election results. This story is yet to be told.

Inaugural Issues

Every four years, Americans hold a presidential election. The swearing-in for the new term takes place on the following January 20, at noon, by Constitutional decree. It is the chart drawn for this moment that then becomes the astrological imprint for the next presidential term.

If Mars, the planet of aggressive action, confrontation, and war is particularly potent in the Inaugural chart, it will most often be the case that military action becomes a prominent theme during the following four years. This is especially true when we find a tight configuration of several planets that includes Mars.

In the current Inaugural chart, Mars (20Aquarius13) is in an extremely close square with the Moon (19Taurus36), an exact semisquare with Uranus (5Aries14), and a square with the North Node (23Scorpio44). In addition, Mars is in a wide square with the Ascendant (12Tauurs43) and a wider square with Saturn (10Scorpio48). It is this powerful mix that points to aggressive confrontations, violence, and anger (Mars/Moon), often sparked by sudden and transformative events (Uranus), and involving partnerships, as well as open enemies (7th house North Node) during this presidential term. Following the transits and progressions to these points in the Inaugural chart can therefore help us to understand the ebb and flow of the Obama administration’s evolving confrontation with ISIS in the Middle East, the primary manifestation of this forceful Moon, Mars, Uranus, Node combination.inaugural13

During the past year through September 2014, transiting Saturn was crossing the opposition to the Moon and the square to Mars, for the most part bringing restraint, caution, and focus, as well as a great deal of criticism to the administration. These limiting and difficult energies are the signature of a Saturn transit. Added to the mix in August 2014, however, was the tertiary progressed Sun conjunction to Inaugural Mars and semisquare Inaugural Uranus. This ignited the latent impulse to confrontation contained in the Inaugural chart, sparked by swift-moving and transformational events that clearly signaled a new and dangerous situation. President Obama at this time declared his intention to build a strong coalition to go after ISIS and thwart their violent and extremist agenda.

October is now bringing complications and hindrances in implementing this war effectively. Again Saturn is becoming prominent and, with it, renewed criticism of administration policy, significant military setbacks, and a very problematic and uncooperative ally, Turkey. Not only is transiting Saturn moving into a conjunction with natal Node from October 18 through October 23, but Inaugural progressed Moon is now quincunx natal Saturn and progressed Saturn from October 8 through November 10, and tertiary Inaugural Venus is square to natal and tertiary Saturn from September 25 through November 8. The strain and hindrance implied by this combination of aspects may also point to some disappointments in the coming election, but that is very difficult to determine.

What is particularly interesting in the Inaugural chart is how much the Node square to Mars comes into full fruition for the next two years. From November 2014 through November 2015, the tertiary progressed Node will move into a square with natal Mars and semisquare natal Uranus. This will be significantly activated by the transit of Uranus (20 Aries), from June through August 2015.  By 2016, and continuing until the next presidential term begins, progressed Inaugural Mars will move into an exact square with natal and progressed Node, again triggered by transiting Uranus (now at 23 Aries), covering from mid-May through mid-September 2016, and further intensified by a Mars station at 23 Scorpio from mid-June to mid-July 2016.

It seems, therefore, very likely that the administration will be actively and aggressively engaged in its war on ISIS during these two years. After ironing out a lot of the difficulties and hesitations during the 2014 Saturn transits and progressions through early November, the administration’s focus and energy seems likely to sharpen and become more effective from mid-November 2014 onward. As mentioned in previous articles, there will be some very stressful periods within the larger frame of this war, especially from April to August 2015, but the administration nonetheless seems to find its stride in this confrontation after some initial stumbles.

The Burden of Leadership

One element found in the multiple crises of 2014 is the increased focus on American leadership in the world. With the Russian incursion into Ukraine in the winter and spring, it is the US that has pushed for and organized increasingly stringent sanctions against Putin to pressure him to cease and desist. With the sudden and swift sweep of the terrorist group ISIS across Iraq in the spring and summer, it is again the US that is organizing and leading the global coalition to resist this increasingly dangerous foe. And finally, with the alarming spread of Ebola in Africa in the spring and summer, and now in the fall tricking into other nations including the US, it is the US that is sending troops to upgrade the medical infrastructure in Africa to help stem the frightening tide. One can argue as to whether or not any of these activities has been sufficient, soon enough, or ultimately effective, but the point here is simply that it keeps being the US role to take up the reins and lead the fight.

There have been times when this “leadership” role has seemed arrogant and even reckless, and the country has heedlessly overextended itself, stirring up extraordinary difficulties and tremendous losses. Certainly, the wars in Vietnam and Iraq are prime examples of this unfortunate tendency. There are other times when the burdens of leadership are shouldered to aid in a time of trouble, such as a natural disaster or during extreme violence or oppression. The aid offered to rescue the Yazidis under siege on the mountaintop in Iraq is a recent example.

At its best, the US has been known to offer some of its prodigious resources, including its powerful military, to those in great need who cannot manage by themselves. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” At its worst, the US has been known to be bossy and arrogant when it tries to impose its will on the world.

Although there is disagreement in the astrological world about the birth time for the US chart, many use a version with Sagittarius rising and Saturn in the 10th house, myself among them. I feel that a 10th house Saturn in Libra very aptly describes America’s struggle to manage its global footprint. A 10th house Saturn demands humility, USchartcooperation, and service to the greater good for it to manifest at its best. It may be experienced at times as a drive to take on heavy and burdensome responsibilities. In the sign of Libra, the idea of partnerships and coalitions becomes an added part of the equation.

But a 10th house Saturn can also describe the tendency to become too dominating and too proud, inevitably leading to overreach and painful lessons in the limitations of power (e.g., Vietnam and Iraq). Isabel Hickey described this position as “a rise to the top followed by a fall.”

Additionally found in the US chart is a tight square between the Sun (13Cancer19) and Saturn (14Libra48). The Sun is widely conjunct both Venus (3Cancer06) and Jupiter (5Cancer56), indicative of great wealth and success. With these three positions, as well as Mercury (24Cancer12), in the sign of the Crab, however, there is the tendency to emotionalism and self-protection during times of trouble. The square between the Sun and Saturn points to the difficulty in balancing these self-protective Cancer traits with the burdens of leadership and the importance of a global role inherent in the 10th house Saturn.

In the years 2014 and 2015, as the three crises of ISIS, Ebola, and a newly expansive and aggressive Putin coalesce on the world stage, we find the transiting Uranus/Pluto square in multiple hard aspects to the US Sun/Saturn square. Not only are the US President and the goals of the nation as a whole (the Sun) fully engaged as these situations unfold, but the push for US leadership of a coalition and the struggle to find a carefully-honed balance of effort (10th house Saturn in Libra) are also a central themes.

Transiting Uranus crossed in exact opposition to US Saturn (14Libra48) in late April, the first half of May, and during all of September 2014, and will return for the final crossing from mid-February to early March 2015. Interestingly, these periods closely coincide with transiting Uranus also crossing in a square to the Ascendant of the 2014 Spring Equinox chart (14Cancer07) drawn for Washington, DC. This combination points to the unfolding of swiftly moving, transformative events that demand increased US responsibility, determination, discipline, and leadership. The April/May 2014 period was mostly focused on Russian aggression in Ukraine and the pulling together of punitive sanctions. The September period brought serious and intense effort towards the building of a strong coalition against ISIS, as well as an aggressive bombing campaign against these brutal terrorists in Iraq and later in Syria. It remains to be seen what the final chapter of this transit will bring during the second half of February and the first week of March 2015, but we can again expect fast-paced, problematic, and transformative events that demand attention and disciplined effort by the US and its allies, with the US more than likely steering the coalition.

While the US leadership role is being highlighted during this 2014-2015 period due to a historically potent activation of the 10th house Saturn, it is likely that the most stressful times will come while Pluto transits in square to US Saturn (14Libra48) and opposite US Sun (13Cancer19), taken together covering much of 2015. Pluto inevitably brings with it a feeling of an angst-filled battle against a powerful foe, with the need to stay intensely vigilant to prevent overwhelming and destructive defeat. There is always the need to find that razor’s edge between the danger of pushing too hard, and creating additional problems, and the danger of not pushing hard enough to thwart a very real danger.

Every Pluto crossing in square to US Saturn points to an increase in anxiety, as well as a need for sacrifice and vigilance. The first crossing comes from January 20 through February 22, 2015, and to some degree coincides with the transit of Uranus opposite US Saturn and square the Equinox Ascendant. This combination points to a whirlwind of dangerous events from mid-January through February as the Uranus/Pluto square reaches its final climax.

The second crossing will come from mid-April to mid-June 2015 and will immediately precede the protracted Saturn station sesquiquadrate US Sun (June 27 to August 10) and the Pluto station opposite US Sun (July 7 through November 2, 2015). Although it is very possible that the battle against ISIS may become painful and especially difficult during this period, I am also very concerned that the battle against the spreading Ebola virus in the US may reach its peak in the spring and summer of 2015.

However these potent and challenging planetary combinations manifest, and there is no way at this time to be sure how they will unfold, there will be the need for sacrifice, caution, and intense effort to fully engage against some kind of threatening circumstance. As I have said repeatedly, the year 2016 seems likely to be much less stressful. In the meantime, the country will pull together and handle what Life brings, and grow stronger and more disciplined for the effort.

Commander-in-Chief

On September 22, the US, with the assistance of several Arab allies, began conducting air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria. And, as is the usual response to President Obama’s leadership, there has been a barrage of second guessing and complaints that he should have done much more, much sooner. We saw this oft-repeated pattern during the 2008 campaign, when people wanted him to be more aggressive with Hillary and then with McCain. He won that election. We saw this in his refusal to do a much-demanded executive order to overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while he insisted on legislation that would make the change permanent. Again, he was ultimately successful. We see this in his waiting until after the election before signing an executive order on immigration, with the final, slim hope that the Congress might pass something more permanent once political considerations are past, as well as with the legitimate attempt to protect Democrats running in red states, given the subsequent impact their loss would have on a number of issues. And we see the same pattern now, as the war against ISIS unfolds.

While many had been chafing at the bit for the bombing inside Iraq to begin, the president waited until a more inclusive and hopefully more effective government was chosen before proceeding. Subsequently, as the clamoring to bomb inside Syria reached a fevered pitch, the president waited until the strong participation of moderate Sunni nations in the coalition was assured before he began. His timing, almost always, is more measured and his consideration of the consequences of his actions more comprehensive than is the general mood of the politicians and the public. Although his success rate tends to be quite good, the somewhat unhinged second guessing almost always continues unabated, at least until success is assured. With the current war, it could take a while before the jury is in.

In the president’s chart, we find Mars (22Virgo34) trine Saturn (25Capricorn20), describing a thoughtful, meticulous, slow, steady, and effective approach to obamaaccomplishing goals. Interestingly, Obama’s Virgo Mars is in a tight square with the US Gemini Mars (21Gemini33), which indicates that the collective US impulse is generally to move at a faster and less considered pace than this president is likely to move. In addition, Obama’s Saturn (25Capricorn20) is in a close conjunction with the US Pluto (27Capricorn33). Thus, he tends to slow down, discipline, and focus (Saturn) the US projection of power (Pluto) in the world. Although, this can ultimately lead to a more permanent and comprehensive result, it may tend to frustrate many during the implementation.

It seems useful at this point to take a closer look at the president’s chart with regard to what indications may be found that help us understand the trajectory of the current conflict. The big caveat is, of course, that other significant developments, especially the coming election, will be difficult to tease out from the indicators of the ongoing confrontation with ISIS.

The good news is that the long and difficult period from late May through about September 1, 2014, during which the president was heavily criticized for just about everything and already being talked about as a lame duck, is now behind us. As this relentless and stressful Saturn station in a sesquiquadrate to his Venus (1Cancer47) and square to his Ascendant (18Aquarius03) waned, the president moved into the first crossing of Jupiter to his Sun (12Leo33) in mid-September. This Jupiter transit to Obama’s Sun in September, following immediately after the August tertiary Sun conjunction to Mars (20Aquarius13) in the Inaugural chart are the indicators of the president’s shift from cautious thoughtfulness to an active war footing. In other words, he moved from the inhibiting and stressful aura of Saturn to the more expansive and effective experience of Jupiter combined with the forceful assertiveness of Mars.

Not only will Jupiter be crossing the president’s Sun again next spring during a month-long station from March 15 to April 11, but it will soon be opposed to his Ascendant (18Aquarius03) and semisquare to his Venus (1Cancer47), as well as opposed to the Ascendant of his solar return (20Leo57). These combine to intermittently cover the period from September 25 to November 5, 2014, and again in parts of January and early February 2015, and finally from late May through June 2015. These will be followed by its crossing of his Uranus (25Leo16) and Node (27Leo18) in the second half of July 2015. These multiple Jupiter transits, taken together, point to several periods of success, expansion of effort, and optimism over the coming year.

In addition, we can see the Commander-in-chief role taking a firmer hold on the president as his tertiary progressed Mars moves to oppose his natal Ascendant (18Aquarius03) from late October 2014 through early January 2015, followed by his tertiary Sun conjunct tertiary Mars (exact around 18Leo53) from mid-January through mid-March 2015. These two tertiary progressions in the president’s chart involving the warrior planet Mars are almost exactly simultaneous to the final protracted chapter of the Uranus/Pluto square from November 2014 to mid-March 2015. Moreover, this inaugural13increase in the more aggressive role of the military commander is also paralleled in the Inaugural chart with the tertiary progressed Node moving into a square with natal Mars (20Aquarius13) from November 2014 to early November 2015. These multiple tertiary Mars progressions are the clearest signifiers of a more military posture of President Obama and his administration over the coming months.

In the more immediate future, the final three months of 2014 seem likely to be filled with drama, some of which will be political confrontations and election issues, some will relate to the war against ISIS, and some seems likely to be some kind of random act of violence or weather/natural event. Given the overlapping situations, it is difficult to predict the coming elections. There are a few aspects, however, that point to some significant strain for the president and his administration right around the election that lead me to see a strong chance of a loss of the Senate. Transiting Saturn will be sextile Obama’s natal Saturn (25Capricorn20) from November 4 through 13, triggering the year-long solar arc Moon opposition to his natal Saturn that will culminate in April 2015. This suggests some sadness and frustration for him during those days. Moreover, transiting Saturn will also be square to his natal Uranus (25Leo16) from November 2 to November 13, pointing to some limitations on his ability to act as freely as he would like.

Transiting Pluto on November 9 through mid-December 2014 will be moving into its final quincunx with President Obama’s Sun (12Leo33), pointing to some very stressful power struggles during that month, which seem likely to be both with the Congress as well as with our foreign terrorist foe. That will no doubt be the period when Congress finally votes on the war. In addition, if Congress continues to refuse to act on immigration after the election, the president will sign an executive order on the issue, potentially lighting up another firestorm. The powerful Mars translation of the Uranus/Pluto square from November 10 to November 13 could indicate some severe political confrontations in the aftermath of the election, as well as the usual increase in storms, accidents, aggressive confrontations, and random violence.

It should be noted that in addition to Pluto quincunx the president’s Sun in November and December, transiting Uranus will be in a station in a trine to his Sun at the same time. This Uranus/Pluto combination in the president’s chart points to him being at the epicenter of the transformation presently taking hold of the world in the form of the historical Uranus/Pluto square. Clearly, he is central to the push for a grand coalition to confront and degrade the extremists, as well as assuming leadership of the form of the confrontation itself. Both planets were also aspecting his Sun when he worked to build a coalition of sanctions against Russia last spring over its interference and aggression in Ukraine. USchart

Needless to say, this magnified role on the world stage for both the president and the nation does not come without a cost, not only to America but to all who have joined her. Already, the terrorists have responded with several choreographed videos of beheadings, as well as sent instructions worldwide to their cohorts to attack Westerners and kill them. Any who oppose these deranged criminals are in the line of fire. It may be that the most likely times when these acts of retaliation harm Americans directly will come when Saturn adversely impacts both the president’s chart and the US chart. Again, this is always with the caveat that these indicators may point to a more random stressful event, such as a major storm or significant accident, which is upsetting and takes over the news cycle for a few days.

As was mentioned in my previous article, one such period of heightened strain or upset in the US is likely during the last 10 days of November when Saturn makes a square to the US Moon (27Aquarius12), coincidental with Pluto in a semisquare to the same degree. These same two planets will also be in aspect to President Obama’s North Node (27Leo18) pointing to the added level of stress and responsibility that he will feel during the events signified.

Beginning in the second half of January 2015, transiting Saturn will move to oppose the president’s Moon (3Gemini21), nearly simultaneous to its quincunx to the US Venus (3Cancer06). This double transit will come again during the second half of April and the second half of October 2015. The first of these two crossing are somewhat coincidental with transiting Pluto square to the US Saturn (14Libra48), while the third comes during the anxiety and stress indicated by the final crossing of Pluto opposite the US Sun. These three periods seem to me to be the most likely times when painful events, potentially but not exclusively, stemming from this war may erupt into the national awareness. By 2016, the issue seems greatly reduced.

The Obama administration has warned repeatedly that the newly unleashed war against the extremist group ISIS will take some time, clearly contrasting itself with the Bush administration’s glib promise of victory within a few easy weeks. Unfortunately, the painful memory of the past twelve years of devastating cost in lives and treasure continues to haunt Americans, and many fear that the current situation will become an endless quagmire. Astrologically, the most dramatic period of this conflict seems likely to extend from the present through March 2015, with a continuing confrontation extending through most of 2015. After that, the key indications in the US chart that point to a heightened power struggle and a magnified role of the US on the world stage – the transiting Uranus/Pluto square in hard aspect to the US Sun and the US Saturn – will be behind us, suggesting calmer waters ultimately will prevail.