Near East Confrontation

Zip Dobyns

As indicated in the article on Psyche in our Virgo 1982 issue, it was in the charts of Israel and Lebanon that I was first impressed with the potential of this little asteroid. As is common in mundane (world) astrology, we are not certain of the precise time of important events or of leading figures. We have two possible charts for Lebanon: one for the end of the French mandate, and one for full independence. It is customary for a mandate to legally end at midnight, and both of these horoscopes have been drawn for this time: 0 A.M. of the day of new independence. But it remains possible that another chart might be valid if Lebanon had a formal ceremony or issued a decree of which I have no knowledge. The dates were approximately two years apart, so the house cusps of the two charts are very close.

Israel presents a different picture. A single date marks the official beginning of the modern country, but the mandate ended at 0 A.M. making that chart an option, and Israel issued a proclamation in the afternoon of the preceding day for which several different times are offered; 4 P.M. daylight time, 4:20 P.M. daylight, 4 P.M. standard time, 4:06 P.M. standard, or 4:37:30 P.M. standard time. Judith Gee of London, who writes a column of predictions for Israel, insists that the 4 P.M. daylight chart with Neptune exactly on the Ascendant is the right one. All charts are calculated for two hours east of Greenwich. I have not had time to study all of the charts, so must reserve judgment for the moment. A number of letters printed in the Mercury Hour published by Edie Custer have offered additional information on the matter. The New York Times stated that Israel was not on daylight time during the period; that the ceremony was scheduled for 4 P.M. but was late in getting started. The newspaper gives 4:06 P.M. standard time at the official moment. A description of the ceremony by someone who was present gives the 4:37:30 P.M. time as the crucial moment, presumably selecting the second of an official pronouncement on Israel as an independent country.

One of the most fascinating items in the charts for Lebanon’s two stages of movement toward independence is the closeness of their house cusps to those of the U.S. chart I am now using. The serious current involvement of the U.S. in Lebanon’s affairs would fit such close contacts between the charts. The Ascendant I chose last March is actually the exact midpoint of the two Lebanese Ascendants; the latter being four degrees apart. The U.S. has Dembowska exactly opposite its Ascendant if my time is accurate. The 1943 chart for Lebanon (when their independence was finalized), has Dembowska exactly on the U.S. Ascendant (at the midpoint of their own two Ascendants) and exactly opposite the U.S. Dembowska. If Dembowska is another Saturn, as I suspect, the pattern is highly appropriate. At the time of the Declaration of Independence, we were fighting what had been a power figure to us: England, so Dembowska on the cusp of the seventh house showed the power as an open enemy though later we became close allies, thus fulfilling two different seventh house manifestations. When Lebanon became fully independent, it took the executive power into its own hands with Dembowska on the Ascendant. At present, we are seeking to help them restore personal control over their own land and people.

Contrasts between the two charts for Lebanon are also quite appropriate. When the French mandate ended and they took their first step toward freedom, the Lebanese chart showed high hopes with an emphasis on letters nine and twelve. Jupiter was in the tenth house; the Sun was in Sagittarius; the Moon was in Pisces; Neptune was rising and Saturn with Uranus was in the ninth house. The chart for full independence put Uranus exactly on the MC (the same pattern in the U.S. chart). Mars and Saturn were both in the tenth house (with our tenth house Mars at their midpoint). The Moon had shifted to the first house in Virgo, and the Sun was in late Scorpio. The chart fits the actual achievement of power over their own laws, with increased responsibility as an inevitable companion, plus increased awareness of the need to be practical about money and intelligent about power.

The idealism is still there in the second chart, but muted with Neptune barely still in the first house (really more concerned with financial needs as it has progressed conjunct the second house cusp) and with Jupiter in the twelfth house (a natural co-rulership) but square the Sun suggesting the conflict between ideals and the actual world around us which includes our neighbors. For Lebanon, neighbors are Israel and Syria in addition to the PLO who became the uninvited guests. Mercury, ruler of the first and tenth houses (personal power and executive power and role in the world) is opposite and square the angles it rules, showing the potential for problems in achieving the desired power. As Mercury crossed from the third to the fourth house, the neighbors (PLO) moved into Lebanon, and there has been tension ever since, with more serious outbreaks from time to time. 1975-6 marked a time of especially serious civil war between the Christians and the PLO and between the Christians and the Lebanese Moslems.

Among other continuing progressed aspects in the 1943 chart of full independence, Mars moved retrograde over the MC from 1971 to late 1978. Vesta reached the MC before Mars left it and just ended the conjunction in 1981. Both Mars and Vesta remain conjunct Uranus for many years, with all of them also opposite Mercury, ruler of the MC and Ascendant. During this traumatic year of 1982, progressed Mercury and Venus are forming a yod to Saturn in the tenth house, showing the challenge to Lebanon’s power over their own destiny, and the likelihood of a major shift in action or direction as well as changes in leadership. Also, for over three years, the progressed Sun has been quincunx the Uranus-Mars-Vesta-MC combination, repeating the same theme; upsets in the handling of power. When Israel invaded Lebanon on June 6, 1982, the quotidian (moving about one degree a day) MC was conjunct progressed Mercury, quincunx natal Saturn. Progressed Mercury is also trioctile the Ascendant it rules from 1979 to 1986, making a station and turning retrograde in the one degree orb of the aspect to Ascendant and Saturn. At the time of Bashir’s murder and the massacres in the PLO camps, the progressed Moon was opposite Jupiter, octile natal Venus, leaving the square to progressed Venus and approaching the square to natal Sun which will be in effect through a good bit of the fall. We can hope that the action will be mostly mental; inquiry into the PLO massacre and continued media coverage of the developments, but more violence is certainly possible.

We have hardly touched the interesting facets of the two charts. In the 1943 chart (which I think is the more important one), three new asteroids which are possible Plutos all fall in the tenth house, two on MC-Uranus (Lilith and Pittsburghia) and one on Mars (Dudu). Four of the new asteroids turned up in Sagittarius, opposing the tenth house Gemini stellium and squaring the Ascendant and first house Virgo. The issue of religion has been central in the battles in Lebanon, pitting Moslem against Christian. Eros conjunct Mercury and sextile Neptune shows the capacity to develop love and tolerance with neighbors, but the conflict aspects show the actuality to date: a conspicuous lack of love. Psyche on Icarus is also clearly overdoing its negative potential of emotion without reason. It is now moving into a conjunction with Hidalgo, emphasizing an urgent need to use power with intelligence. Progressed Sun is also moving to conjunct progressed Icarus in 1983; a clear warning about some form of excessive overreach, with the position of Icarus on the fifth cusp a further repitition of the same message. The leaders of Lebanon (and its patrons including the U.S.) will need all the intelligence, moderation, and empathy that they can muster in the days ahead.

The preceding material was written in September, but we ran out of space in the Virgo issue, so Lebanon and Israel are back in a single article. Wonder if that is significant? Since I have still not had time to check out all the various times for the Israeli ceremony, but a snap judgment would favor the last one since in that chart, Jupiter is moved back into the second house and Capricorn is on the third house cusp. Israel’s relationships with their neighbors have hardly been Jupiterian, from the first day of independence when Egypt sent a plane over to drop a few bombs. The Saturn rulership of the third house and its position in Leo in the tenth house (in this chart) along with all the fixed squares and oppositions make the chart for 4:37:30 look more plausible. It is quite possible that both charts (afternoon and midnight) are valid and valuable, but since the chart for the end of the British Mandate does seem to be working, for the moment, I am going to emphasize that chart. It certainly fits the stormy history of the country, with the Moon-Pluto-Saturn conjunction opposite the Ascendant and the nodes of the Moon square the Ascendant: a powerful, fixed grand cross for power struggles with the world, including three rulers of the first house in the seventh or eighth houses. Mars, the natural ruler of the first, and Saturn, co-ruler of the Aquarius Ascendant are both in the seventh house while Neptune, ruling the Pisces in the first house, is in the eighth house. As our readers know, such combinations are experienced as a kind of vulnerability: “My power is in someone else’s hands.” We can give in, fight, or run (retreat into some kind of isolationism in the case of countries), or we can learn to cooperate, maintain healthy competition (game playing but not life and death), and help others to reassure ourselves of our strength. With the last three options, the potentially positive ones, we still have to know when to do which. There are no easy, automatic solutions.

Additional indications of tension in the natal chart include Mars square the MC closely, and in a T-square to the Sun-Chiron opposition more widely. The progressed chart accentuates these fixed sign conflicts with Pluto remaining opposite the Ascendant for years, and with the natal Sun square the midpoint of progressed Saturn and natal Mars. During this period of the invasion into and occupation of Lebanon, progressed Mars is also quincunx the natal Ascendant, semisextile Pluto, and sextile-trine the nodes of the Moon, while the progressed Moon was conjunct its south node and square the Ascendant at the time of the invasion, June 6, 1982. By the time of the controversial massacre in Beirut, September 16-18, 1982, the progressed Moon had moved to square Saturn, octile the progressed MC and trioctile progressed East Point. As the international storm over the affair continued, and forced an official inquiry by an appointed commission, the progressed Moon reached the trioctile to the progressed Ascendant, and to natal Venus. Of course, the progressed Ascendant (and Antivertex and East Point) were trioctile natal or progressed Saturn, and the progressed Ascendant was square natal Venus with the progressed MC trioctile Saturn.

Some of these aspects (MC, Antivertex, East Point trioctile Saturn) continue for another two years. By the early spring of 1983, the progressed Moon will oppose the natal Sun and progressed Saturn will reach the octile to natal Venus, the latter a long-term aspect. In the summer of 1983, the progressed Moon will square natal Mars and go over the natal MC. Such aspects might mean loss of face in the world community, or (with the cardinality of Mars and MC) new overt struggles. Or, if the potentials are handled well, Israel might gain legal status and greater acceptance from nations that have resisted its right to exist. To achieve such acceptance, Begin might have to do more compromising than seems likely at the moment.

Other important aspects in effect for the last few years have been progressed Sun conjunct Uranus and opposite Jupiter while these planets in mutable signs were octile or trioctile the nodes of the Moon. Natally, the Mars opposition to Antivertex, forms a sextile-trine to the Uranus-Jupiter opposition. The fire-air emphasis of these patterns (planets, signs, and houses) encourages over- confidence and over-reach, so the progressed Sun joining the combination added to the danger. Naturally, any of our readers will immediately want to know the location of Icarus. Your expectation that it should be prominent is accurate. It is natally in Aquarius, closely conjunct the Antivertex in the first house, with progressed Jupiter holding a long sextile to it. Progressed Hidalgo, a potential Saturn power drive, is in Aries, trine progressed Jupiter and sextile natal Icarus. Natal Dembowska, another potential Saturn, is conjunct Venus so included in the cardinal squares and oppositions to the progressed angles. Many of the other new asteroids are also prominent, including natal Urania on the MC in Jerusalem. It also seems appropriate that a basically religious state should have a Sagittarius MC in the official capital, as well as Pisces in the first house. The Urania on the MC marks the actual change of government as the British sailed away at the stroke of midnight in 1948, as well as the continued changes in the land base (IC opposite MC) over the years. Urania, like Uranus, seeks democracy and freedom and equalitarian principles, but does not promise stability. And, if you want more emphasis on the potential of power struggles with others, our three potential Plutos, Dudu, Pittsburghia, and Lilith, are all conjunct each other and Mercury-Ceres in Gemini. Naturally, each hassle is duly reported in the world press.

[Note: data is dirty. AstroDatabank has data for 15th & 16th.]

For those who like to experiment with rectification, I am also including a speculative chart for Menachem Begin. His date and place of birth are known, but the time is a guess, based on a very limited number of events in his life. It fits what information I have, but that does not mean that it is right. As you can see, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in early November fell right on the speculative seventh house cusp, and his wife’s death just a few days later might be taken as a support for this time of birth. The Aries rising fits his combative life; the Sun in Leo in the fifth house his leadership roles; the Jupiter conjunct the MC and moving into the tenth house also suggests a high value placed on a power role in the world. The Mars-Saturn conjunction is another indication of the fire-earth power-drive. If this time is accurate, Icarus is in the sixth house opposite the Ascendant, sextile the Sun and trine the Moon (and Saturn-Mars more widely). Progressed Mercury and Moon were setting off this pattern at the time of the invasion of Lebanon, with Moon conjunct Sun and Mercury square natal Sun-Moon. Progressed Ascendant was conjunct progressed Mars (one reason for picking this time), while progressed MC squared progressed Icarus. Progressed Urania had moved from its natal position conjunct Mars and Saturn to conjunct the IC and oppose the MC. The progressed Sun had recently entered Scorpio, after crossing into the seventh house (assuming the time is accurate) and the Sun was trioctile Saturn and trine Pluto. The progressed Sun is moving toward the opposition to the local Ascendant and the square to Uranus in the next two to three years. Begin is also headed for a new lunation cycle in the early summer of 1987, about the time I’m expecting the U.S. to be coping with some serious financial issues. Guessing details is not my forte, but we can assume there will be continued challenges and changes, and we don’t really need astrology to guess that.

For those who would like to experiment with Begin’s time, the events I used to try to rectify the chart included marriage in 1939, confinement in a Russian concentration camp in 1940-1, to Palestine in May 1942 where he fought the British occupation troops and the Arabs as a guerrilla, position as Minister without portfolio in the Israeli government from 1967 to 1970, his party won the majority in May 1970, became Prime Minister on June 21, 1977, invited Sadat to Jerusalem Nov. 1977 and began the talks which led to the treaty with Egypt. If any of our readers have more data on Begin’s life events, I would appreciate your sending it. For the moment, we can use the two charts for Lebanon and the two for Israel as we watch the volatile situation in the Near East and wonder about Armageddon.

Copyright © 1982 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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