Tragedy in India
Gorbachev’s rejection of the U.S.S.R.’s control over Eastern Europe is not responsible for all the nationalist-ethnic-religious movements which are splintering one country after another. But I think it has contributed to the speeding up of a process which was already underway but repressed by the iron hand of communism. Federation is the new (perhaps the only) hope in many areas. Ethnic-religious groups within formerly united countries may be able to function with more autonomy but still cooperate economically. However, the conflicts between different groups within many countries have deep roots of bitterness and hatred, especially when religious fanaticism is added to the picture. Peace may only be attained by massive resettling of small enclaves which exist in many areas surrounded by hostile neighbors. Examples include Armenian and Azerbaijani settlements within each others’ territories, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Serbians within Croatia, Russians in the Baltic Republics, Hindus and Moslems in Kashmir and Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab, the Eritreans and Tigreans in Ethiopia, etc.
India is a country with a long tradition of religious tolerance which has eroded over the past decades. A relatively new political party, the Bharatiya Janata (BJP), has been gaining members. It preaches ultranationalist, right-wing, Hindu revivalist principles, especially attacking Moslems and vowing to keep India for Hindu believers. A special rallying cause has been the effort to tear down a Moslem Mosque which was built on the site of a former Hindu Temple dedicated to Rama. Many innocent bystanders have been killed in the struggles and every new atrocity feeds the flames of anger and the desire for revenge. The world needs faith in a more inclusive, non-parochial God and it desperately needs love.
India gained its independence from Great Britain at 0 A.M. on August 15, 1947. The chart for the country would be calculated for its capital city, New Delhi. Members of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty have led the country from its pre-independence days; initially Nehru, then his daughter Indira Gandhi, and most recently her son, Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv was an airline pilot who married an Italian woman and became a reluctant politician after the accidental death of his brother Sanjay. Rajiv was elected Prime Minister after his mother was shot by her Sikh bodyguards in November 1984. Now he has been assassinated by a young woman suicide bomber. We can see in the chart for the country a clear indication of the current crisis. In the natal chart, Pluto and Saturn were exactly conjunct on the IC with Mercury, Venus, and the Sun more widely involved. The major emphasis is in fixed signs with many squares between the factors in Leo, Taurus and Scorpio; a strong indication of power struggles and problems with flexibility and compromise. Remember, the keynote of the fixed quality is “enduring self-will.” This does not mean unchanging. Strong-willed people change when they choose to change. No one else is allowed to push them into it without a struggle. Since most people project some of their conflicted desires, though the conflict is actually inside, it will tend to manifest as conflict between different people or groups of people.
Additional tension is shown in the chart for India by the Mars-Vesta conjunction with Vesta forming octiles and trioctiles to the fixed factors and a square to Neptune. Vesta can be as uncompromising as the fixed quality in its determination to “do the job right.” Mars tends to operate with the conviction that “my way is the only way.” The combination can be ruthless, especially when mixed with partly unconscious religious convictions when Neptune is added to the brew.
Some years ago, P Saturn moved into a square to natal East Point and natal Jupiter while P Jupiter moved into a quincunx to natal Uranus, aspects which remain in effect for many years and which warn of continuing problems around faith. Jupiter symbolizes our conscious belief system which largely determines our value hierarchy, our goals, our ethics, what we trust, where we look for meaning, etc. Neptune indicates our more unconscious faith. To emphasize the message in spades, natal Winchester, our asteroid that seems constantly involved with guns, is 18 Aquarius, completing the grand cross in fixed signs and partly cardinal houses (which reinforce the power struggle) and partly mutable houses (which repeat the issues around faith and ethics).
Recently, there has been increased violence by members of different religious groups as well as political instability after Rajiv was defeated as Prime Minister and no one else was able to stay in the position for more than a few months. The emotional turbulence and violence of the people was partly signaled by P Mars on natal Moon for the last couple of years. Then, less than a year ago, P Sun reached the midpoint of P Saturn and natal Jupiter, forming an octile to both and a trioctile to the East Point and Winchester. P Venus has been on natal and then P Neptune with both planets octile P Jupiter and P south lunar node, and P Jupiter had just reached the permissible one-degree orb of a conjunction with P south lunar node when Rajiv was assassinated. There could not be a clearer indication of urgent lessons involving beliefs (Jupiter) and the need to share power and to respect the rights of others (the south node in Scorpio).
Still other aspects in the progressed chart for the country include P MC which has been square Uranus for almost three years and was still within orb to P Uranus at the assassination. Simultaneously, P East Point was conjunct natal and then P Uranus for three years as another signal of the need to manifest the positive potential of Uranus, tolerance and acceptance of everyone’s right be be themselves. If the positive potential of Uranus is not expressed, its negative expression can be a demand for personal freedom potentially as violent as Mars. To further emphasize the association, currently P East Point conjuncts and P MC squares the midpoint of Mars/Uranus which is 27 Gemini 53. P Mars will continue its square to the Antivertex (an auxiliary Ascendant) until November 1993, an aspect with the same meaning as Mars square Mars which can manifest as self-blocking or as conflicts with others symbolized by the “other end” of the angle axes; in this case, by Mars square the Vertex. P Chiron also started its long trioctile to Uranus at almost the same time as the angle aspects reached Uranus, between two and three years ago. If Chiron is similar in meaning to Jupiter, symbolizing our beliefs, values and goals, it basically repeats the message of Jupiter’s quincunx to Uranus; tension over religion which can erupt in rebellion and anarchy if people are unwilling to compromise and cooperate. The aspect network with a high focus on Uranus, Mars, Jupiter-Chiron, and chart angles is not very encouraging for an early solution to the tensions.
To further compound the coming challenges, P MC will reach a trioctile to Pluto in early August 1991, and the close Pluto-Saturn-IC conjunction means that when one is stimulated by an aspect, all are involved. The country and its people clearly face a crisis and have to move back toward their traditional religious tolerance or they will face a worse blood bath than we have already seen. The one hopeful aspect combination this summer will be a grand trine from the P Moon to Chiron and Vesta, but sometimes trines just add to the feeling of people that they have the right to what they want, so they are encouraged to use whatever means are available to attain their desires. P Mercury trine Uranus is a positive aspect which could indicate the use of intelligence and logic and the air capacity for understanding and acceptance of others. But natally, Mercury is widely octile Uranus, so the progressions may just show the timing while the natal aspect indicates the form of the relationship between the two principles. Unfortunately, the fact that the aspect started just over a month before the assassination suggests that the country’s capacity for intelligent detachment is tending more toward Leo (we will do it my way) than Gemini (we will communicate, understand and accept each other).
There are many interesting asteroids in the chart of India. Winchester has been mentioned. The prominent aspects between Mars and Winchester in the horoscopes of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi when Indira was shot prompted my first theoretical association of Winchester with guns. P Winchester is slowly retrograding at 10 Aquarius, holding a long trioctile to Uranus. P Ascendant had reached a quincunx to P Winchester a few months before the assassination, a clue to the widespread and increasing violence in the country. It is also part of a grand trine during May and June 1991, aspecting P Neptune-P Venus in Libra and P Part of Death in Gemini. As indicated previously, trines encourage us to feel that since we are in a state of inner harmony about what we want, we should have it.
Other asteroids included P Atlantis which is so often associated with the abuse of power conjunct the natal Part of Death at zero Scorpio. P Aten, an Egyptian Sun god, was on the P Sun (as well as on Amun, another Sun god and Anubis, an Egyptian god of the dead) to further emphasize fame and power. P Ascendant was on natal Italia and P Italia on natal Moon as the leaders and many of the people turned in desperation to Rajiv’s Italian-born wife to take power and save the country. I was also impressed by the asteroids named for mythical figures who were dismembered. The explosion tore apart a number of people including Rajiv and the suicide bomber. P Dionysius was conjunct natal Sun. P Venus and P Neptune were conjunct natal Orpheus, P Orpheus was on Jupiter to join the fixed cross, and P Osiris was square natal Mercury and Dionysius. The patterns could equally signify an approaching dismemberment of the country along with many others which seem to be facing the same fate.
[Note: AstroDatabank has a different time.]
We also have good birth data on Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi; Rajiv from his grandfather’s journals and Sonia from her birth certificate which is in the possession of Marion March. Rajiv was born in Bombay, India on August 20, 1944 at 8:11 A.M. India War Time (6.5 hours later than UT). Sonia was born in Lusiana, Italy on December 9, 1946 at 9:30 P.M., one hour later than UT. Rajiv’s chart is strongly mutable, despite Sun, Pluto, Vesta and Ceres in Leo. His Virgo stellium includes Ascendant, East Point, Jupiter, Moon, Chiron, Mercury and Mars. MC, Uranus and Juno are in Gemini. Six factors are in the mutable twelfth house (natural house of Pisces). The mutable planets Neptune and Mercury are in the first house with Jupiter, out third mutable planet, just above the Ascendant and closely conjunct it. But the destiny of his family to lead India could not be denied, and he reluctantly left his job as pilot (Uranus in the tenth house) to become Prime Minister (Saturn in the tenth house). The placement of Mercury and Moon, rulers of the signs in the tenth house, in the first house also points to the potential of personal power over the executive branch of the government or some other organization or institution. The placement of the south lunar node in Capricorn in the Leo (fifth) house indicates a lesson connected to power. Rajiv had been accused of being distant from the people, a frequent inclination with strong Virgo and loaded twelfth and first houses which all tend toward introversion. He was trying to get close to the people, to change this impression, and stopped his bodyguards from keeping people at a distance, thus permitting the approach of the woman carrying a bomb strapped to her body.
The progressions for Rajiv’s death included P Vesta on the Ascendant and square the MC, his work being the cause of his death. He also had P Jupiter on the local Ascendant where he died, and square the local MC. The turmoil in the country, as discussed above, includes strong religious components. Jupiter is also usually involved in death as a key to a journey to another level of life and as a test of faith, whether of the dying person or the associates who remain behind. P MC was barely still in orb of an octile to the Ascendant but more closely octile P Vesta, conjunct the north lunar node and opposite the south node. P Uranus had held a lifetime octile to the north node. P Chiron was maintaining a long octile to Pluto and a conjunction with natal Mars while P Ascendant had reached a conjunction with P Mars and squares to the P lunar nodes. P Mars was also octile natal Moon. P East Point (an auxiliary Ascendant—the life force—like Mars) was trioctile Uranus.
Many more aspects could be listed, showing the danger of this period, but I want to also mention some of the asteroids. The horoscope angles, including the local angles for Rajiv’s death place, were strongly connected to the mythical figures who were dismembered. L (local) P MC was conjunct Orpheus. L P Antivertex was conjunct Osiris. P Dionysius was conjunct natal East Point and Jupiter as well as P Helio (another Sun god). P Bacchus (the Roman variant for Dionysius) was conjunct P Neptune and opposite the natal Part of Death. P Pluto stayed on natal Amun and Bacchus. P Osiris was square natal Jupiter and trioctile natal Antivertex. P Orpheus had a theoretically harmonious semisextile to natal Sun and a trine to the south node, but that meant that it triggered the natal quincunx between the Sun and the south node. Other aspects included P Venus conjunct Atlantis and octile Mars and P Chiron and P Moon conjunct Hephaistos, the metal smith who made the weapons for the gods of Olympus. And there was a eerie parallel involving natal and local angles. Natal Medea (who killed her children) was on Rajiv’s Bombay MC square the Ascendant. P Medea was on the MC square the Ascendant at his place of death.
Sonia Gandhi is reported to be very shy and retiring, devoted to her home and family which fits the major emphasis in her chart in the fourth house. The twelfth, another water house, is also strongly occupied with East Point, Saturn and Pluto there. Her Ascendant is closely conjunct Rajiv’s Sun, and they are reported to have fallen in love “at first sight.” They married, despite the great differences in cultural background and religion, and despite resistance from both sets of parents. Sonia gave up her Italian citizenship to show her commitment to her new country, but she is currently resisting the pressure to elect her as President. The Congress I Party had hoped to win a sympathy vote and to return to power with a Gandhi at the helm, even though she was only one by marriage. They may well turn in time to Rajul Gandhi, Rajiv’s son, who is 20 years old. But for the moment, the dynasty has ended and the country is deeply divided.
There are many dramatic progressed aspects in Sonia’s chart when it is calculated for Rajiv’s death and for her residence in New Delhi. P Neptune holds a lifetime conjunction to her local Ascendant and a long square to the local MC and natal Antivertex. Natal Sita, the prototype of the loyal, self-sacrificial wife in the Hindu epic the Ramayana, is also on Sonia’s local Ascendant and Neptune. P Sita was octile P south lunar node when Rajiv was killed. Another dramatic confirmation of Sonia’s birth time was P Saturn just reaching one minute into a one-degree orb conjunction to the natal East Point, and the local (New Delhi) Part of Death within one degree of the East Point. Other aspects included P Moon opposite Pluto, P Mercury conjunct P Sun and both quincunx natal Moon and octile natal Sun. Though Sonia is two years younger than Rajiv, his summer birth and her winter birth made enough difference in the speed of the progressed Sun so that both had the octile of P to natal Sun. In solar arc directions, a common astrological technique which is a good indicator of major events in the life, the two years of P Sun octile natal Sun mark a period when every P planet is octile its natal position. Psychology has noted the mid-40s as a time of mid-life crisis and change for many people, and solar arc directions certainly confirm the importance of the period.
Other aspects in Sonia’s chart included P MC opposite natal Mars and P Mars square the natal Part of Death. I tend to neglect parallels but they are part of the picture. P Mars was also parallel the progressed declination positions of the Moon, Mercury, and the south node of the Moon. It also participated in a grand cross, square P Iphigenia (who was sacrificed by her father), opposite P Pandora (who opened the famous box), square P Makover (a personal name which seems to work—as if the cosmos can pun), and conjunct Tisiphone (one of the revenging Furies) and Nephthys, sister of Isis, Set, and Osiris. She was also the wife of Set who dismembered Osiris, husband of Isis, in the perennial battle between light and darkness. Nephthys and Set represented darkness, decay and death. But in one myth, Nephthys also helped Isis gather up the parts of Osiris to permit his perennial resurrection.
The other dismemberment asteroids were also prominent. P Pluto stays octile Osiris. P Osiris is octile local Antivertex. P Moon and P Aten were on Orpheus. P Orpheus is conjunct the eighth house cusp, one of the keys to death along with the IC. It was also quincunx the local Ascendant, Neptune and Sita. The local MC was octile Dionysius and the local natal MC and Ascendant, at the midpoint of the two angles.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Rajiv was killed at 10:20 P.M. in the small village of Sriperumbudur, India, about 24 to 25 miles SW of Madras. We have estimated the L & L as 12 N 47, 79 E 59. Medea, the asteroid on Rajiv’s natal and local MCs, was on Pluto in the tenth house. Mars was just setting, opposite the midpoint of Ascendant/East Point. The preceding angle midpoint was also trioctile the Moon in the eighth house and the Antivertex was opposite Pallas, our most political asteroid, just two degrees from the Moon. The rest of the listed aspects were exact within one degree. The Sun was on the Ascendant of India’s natal chart. The south node of Mars was on the local MC in New Delhi, exactly quincunx the Sun. Saturn, rising in the first house, was square Mercury and opposite Jupiter. Venus in the sixth house opposed Uranus in the twelfth house, and they fell exactly on the Ascendant-Descendant in New Delhi. Chiron opposed the Ascendant in the death town. Vesta was octile both Osiris and Dionysius and conjunct the asteroid Mason-Dixon which was named for the famous dividing line in the U.S. between states permitting and prohibiting slavery. The line is thus a reminder of the deep racial tensions which are still a challenge in the U.S. As India seethes with its antagonisms, Bush prepares to veto another civil rights bill here in the U.S. Vesta also opposed Union, the goal which seems so far away in many places in the world. Orpheus was quincunx Pluto. The south lunar node was square Bacchus. Just as these dismemberment asteroids accurately showed the potential of Iraq’s de facto split to provide a “safe” zone for the Kurds, these charts offer the same warning to India. Only mutual tolerance and cooperation can heal the deadly rifts between religious and ethnic groups.
For the sake of Sonia and her children, I think she was wise to reject the request of the Party to be their titular head. She still has many difficult aspects which could threaten her own or her children’s lives. I have always been attracted to some of the principles of Indian philosophy though I have found their astrology inadequate. But unless the people of this huge and growing country are able to return to the tolerance expressed by such current leaders as Sai Baba and traditional Buddhism, there will be much suffering in the future.