Asteroid-World Winter 1998

Zip Dobyns

A recent media flap involved an asteroid sighted by astronomer Jim Scotti on December 6, 1997. Asteroids are given names by their discoverers after their orbits are defined, but initially they are identified by their year of discovery plus letters and numbers. The asteroid which garnered a lot of publicity is still known as 1997XF11. I will call it XF to avoid having to keep typing out its whole title. The original tentative calculations for the orbit of XF suggested that it might come within 30,000 miles of earth on October 26, 2028. Even the time of its possible near-miss was calculated: 13:30 EDT. Scotti sent his observations to Brian Marsden at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University, and Marsden put it on the Harvard Center’s Web site, making it available to other astronomers to check. In early March, 1998, two Japanese amateur astronomers and a Texas scientist sent in their observations which were combined with Scotti’s to produce the 30,000 mile figure announced by Marsden. But, barely a day after the original alarm was sounded, recalculations determined that XF would miss the earth by 600,000 miles. A faint early image of the asteroid was found on a film made in March 1990 which permitted a more accurate calculation of its orbit. Earth was off the hook as far as XF was concerned, though the astronomers hastened to say that there were plenty of other as-yet-undiscovered asteroids which could be a threat to earth, and which could be discovered if additional funding was made available to astronomers.

Given a date and a time, we have the data for a horoscope. Since the original discovery was made in the U.S., the original announcement of the danger was made by a U.S. official, and if XF had actually posed a threat to earth, the U.S. government would certainly have been a leader in an effort to nudge it away from its collision course toward earth, Washington, DC seemed a logical place to locate the possible D-Day chart.

We test the meaning of the new asteroids by putting them into horoscopes and seeing whether they are meaningful. Different asteroids will be relevant and important in different charts, so we do not have to deal with all 5,800 plus with names. We just focus on the theoretically relevant ones that should be prominent, that is, aspecting traditional planets and angles, in the particular horoscope. We look at the asteroids named for any geographic regions that are involved, for mythical figures that match the issues of the chart, for personal names of involved people, etc. For an asteroid theoretically capable of damaging the earth and of concern to the U.S., we will want to check the asteroids associated with death, with extremes, with fate, with our government, and with earth itself—Gaea. But there is a special class of asteroids which are relevant to this potential event

The asteroid Gubbio was named for the town in Italy where a widespread iridium layer was first noted. Iridium is rare on earth but common in space objects. Based on this observation, it was theorized that a large asteroid might have hit earth to disperse this layer over a major area of earth. Tunguska was named for an explosion over Siberia in 1908 which was theoretically caused by a small asteroid or comet hitting earth’s atmosphere. Miles of forest were flattened and burned. Biela was named for a comet observed repeatedly in the 19th century in a 4-year orbit. Biela was observed splitting into two parts, after which astronomers lost sight of the smaller fragment. Though it is not officially accepted by science, there is strong evidence that the smaller part of Biela fragmented in earth’s atmosphere and rained down on earth, causing fires which raged over thousands of miles of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois on the night of October 8, 1871. The so-called Great Chicago Fire on that night is well known, but in the other states, thousands of people were killed on that single night, and many more thousands were left homeless. This was before the days of TV, and news of the multiple disasters in remote areas only slowly trickled out. I only know of one person who has put the evidence together and implicated Biela. Mel Waskin’s book Mrs. O’Leary’s Comet was published in 1985 by Academy Chicago Publishers. Waskin describes simultaneous fires erupting in many areas across three states, walls of fire the height of trees sweeping across the land, fires so hot they melted metal objects.

Two other asteroids have the names of researchers associated with the study of such phenomena. Walter Alvarez originated the theory that the dinosaurs became extinct as a result of climate changes following the impact of a large asteroid on earth. Victor Clube is an English astronomer who is a leader in a group studying the fears of comets and other astrological phenomena which were held by people in the past. Clube and his associates say the ancient fears had a rational basis since objects from space did hit earth and cause damage which was remembered in primitive traditions. At the same time, Clube insists that the theories of modern astrology have no validity, dismissing them as outmoded superstitions.

So, in the chart drawn for October 26, 2028 at 13:30 EDT in Washington, DC, where are our potentially relevant asteroids? Within one degree of the MC we find Biela, Tunguska, the south node of Mars, Icarus (overreach and a crash), and California, the location of JPL, where astronomers revised the likely distance of XF from earth in 2028. Pallas, our most political asteroid, is connected by being within one degree of 3 of these asteroids, and the whole cluster is octile Venus and Moira (fate) in the 8th house. Gubbio in 21 Cancer misses the Descendant by 5 minutes of longitude over my standard one-degree orb, but it is connected by holding a quincunx to the Moon in 20 Aquarius. The Moon also squares Bellona, a war goddess, in the 4th house. Hela (death) is octile the Ascendant from 4 Sagittarius. Clube is conjunct Mars within 2 minutes of longitude and they square Siva (destruction) and Fama in 1 to 2 Sagittarius and Phaethon (overreach and a crash) in 1 Gemini. Washingtonia (for the locale of the government and the chart) is in 0 Sagittarius, connected by being in a one-degree orb opposition to Phaethon, and it is quincunx Libitina (death) in 0 Cancer. Alvarez in 0 Leo is on the midpoint of Mars-Clube/Libitina, sextile Phaethon, and trine Washingtonia. It has the most harmonious aspects of any factor in the chart. Is that suggesting that XF hitting the earth would provide evidence for the accuracy of the Alvarez theory? Other aspects include the Arabic Part of Death in 3 Leo square the Sun which opposes Columbia for the District of Columbia, and they are connected by octile/trioctiles to a massive opposition of the north node of Mars in 17 Gemini and a stellium in 17 Sagittarius including the midpoint of Ascendant/MC, and the asteroids Hiroshima, Photographica, and Ptolemaeus. The latter was named for the most famous astrologer of the ancient world. Urania, the ancient goddess of astrology, is in 16 Sagittarius and connected to the network of aspects by overlapping orbs. Nemesis is on the 8th house cusp, a potential key to endings, and it is octile Mercury and the south lunar node. Mercury also squares the south nodes of Saturn and Pluto, which are just above the Ascendant, and it is quincunx America in 18 Taurus, while Belisana, a war goddess, is conjunct the south lunar node and opposite the north node to complete a T-square to Mercury. The other traditional planets are also appropriately aspected. Pluto is rising in the 1st house exactly square Chiron and just over 2 degrees from the East Point, which exactly squares Saturn. We can, of course, allow slightly wider orbs for the traditional planets and the chart angles. Gaea, the earth, participates in a mutable sign cross in fixed houses. It opposes the midpoint of Saturn/north lunar node which squares the Saturn/south node and Uranus. Marsden, named for the primary source of asteroid data as Director of the Minor Planet Center at Harvard University, is in 10 Pisces 31. Though over 2 degrees from the Saturn/node midpoints, Marsden is square Ceres, a goddess devoted to protecting plants and domestic animals, and Ceres in turn squares Gaea to produce the mutable cross with overlapping orbs. Jupiter, our key to scientific knowledge as well as to faith, is on the cusp of its own house with a close trine to Uranus, an appropriate aspect for intense study of the situation, searching for new technological insights to deal with it. Jupiter’s semisextile to the MC would fit success in such an effort while its quincunx to the IC could indicate changes in knowledge which affected the homeland and earth in general.

It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate chart to describe an asteroid actually hitting the earth! Yet this event is clearly not going to happen unless the laws of gravity change dramatically in the next 30 years. This chart shows the MENTAL STATE of humans when they anticipated such a possibility!!! Mental states may produce events which CAN be produced by humans, or they may just show human responses to events that are outside of their control, including events that are consequences from past actions which are past the point of no return, when it is too late to change them. Our current technology could conceivably nudge an asteroid into or out of an orbit headed toward a collision with the earth, but this chart obviously pictures a mental state, the idea of such a collision.

The 1997 Capricorn Ingress chart provides another interesting recent example of the way in which astrology shows psychological states that may produce physical events or may remain on the mental-emotional level. In mundane astrology, which seeks to understand and forecast the world situation, charts for the entry of the Sun into the 4 cardinal signs are commonly used tools to try to forecast the following 3 months, at the end of which a new ingress chart takes over. Some astrologers use the Aries Ingress chart for a full year, though they limit the time frame of the other 3 to the shorter periods. The signs and aspects of the planets are the same for the whole earth, but the houses of the chart have to be calculated for a specific place on earth. Since we will be evaluating the relationship between the U.S. and the Near East, we will check the ingress charts for Washington, DC and for Baghdad, Iraq.

The Sun reached 0 Capricorn on December 21, 1997 at 20:08:05 UT. That put Pluto on the Descendant in Washington within 1 degree and 6 minutes of longitude. The south node of Mars was on the Descendant within 15 minutes of longitude. The Moon was closely square the Sun from 29 Virgo with Chiron closely conjunct the Sun/Moon midpoint in 14 Scorpio A Saturn-Vesta conjunction in Aries warned of the potential for ruthless action, and it was quincunx Chiron, a Jupiterian key to beliefs and goals, with associations including foreign countries, legal matters, and healing issues with its Piscean side. At the same time, there were many harmonious aspects including a stellium in Aquarius in the 9th house trine the Ascendant and sextile Pluto, and Jupiter in the 10th house sextile Mercury in Sagittarius. The potential for war was there, but also the potential for a lot of talk and possible compromise. Some competent mundane astrologers expected war, but with the help of Kofi Anan, a compromise was reached with Saddam Hussein and the UN team was allowed to inspect his palaces.

When the same ingress chart is calculated for Baghdad, the MC is sextile Vesta, trine Jupiter, and opposite Mercury. The Ascendant squares Mercury and holds a yod (double quincunx) to Vesta and Jupiter to symbolize a major turning point in the local action. There is no guarantee that the new direction will be positive, and, indeed, we still do not know whether the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in the palaces simply means that Hussein was successful in hiding them prior to the inspections. In both locations, the chart emphasizes air and mutables which point to mostly mental action, but that Saturn with Vesta in Aries could have been pretty nasty.

The 1998 Aries Ingress was on March 20, 1998 at 19:55:35 UT. In Baghdad, Jupiter and the south lunar node are exactly conjunct the IC, square a 1st house Pluto with 29 Scorpio rising. There may be a little relief for the suffering people of Iraq, but a stellium in Aries in the Leo house suggests that Hussein will still be throwing his weight around The strong fire with factors in fire signs in fire houses is a sign of arrogance, not compromise. Shifting the chart to Washington, DC only moves most of the fire signs to different fire houses, putting the Aries in the 9th house and Leo on the Ascendant. Chiron is closely square the Ascendant and quincunx Mercury and Saturn. This is also an “all or nothing” chart that does not bode well for compromise in the world as we watch the fight between Congress and the big tobacco companies, the near breakdown in the Irish peace talks, the continuing violence in Israel, and Ken Starr’s continued state of war with Bill Clinton. But it does not look like a shooting war for the U.S.

Though I have calculated the ingress charts through 1999, it takes more hours than I have been able to spare to put the extra asteroids in all of them, so I looked for one with danger signs from the traditional planets, and decided to look more closely at the 1999 Aries Ingress for March 21 at 1:46:53 UT. In Baghdad, Pluto and Juno are closely conjunct the MC with Ceres on the IC. Indications of arrogance are strongly present with Jupiter in Aries and Vesta in Leo forming a grand fire trine to the MC group that includes Chiron in an earlier degree in Sagittarius. A Saturn-Venus conjunction in early Taurus squares Neptune in its own house and is quincunx Chiron. The Moon is exactly square Uranus and the Sun at their midpoint is octile both. Mars in the sign and house of Scorpio is more widely opposite the Moon, square Uranus, and closely trioctile Mercury. The Ascendant in 29 Aquarius is sextile the north node of Mars in 29 Sagittarius and the south node of Mars in 29 Aries. The fire and fixed emphasis could signal defiant risk-taking. This is not a pretty chart!

Moving the chart to Washington, DC produces an MC in 5 Leo and an Ascendant in 0 Scorpio. Their midpoint in 17 Virgo is trioctile Saturn, Venus, and Neptune, which is equivalent in meaning to conflict aspects between both major angles and the planets. Vesta conjuncts the MC within 2 degrees, so they are part of the grand fire trine which includes the Jupiter in Aries and Chiron, the Antivertex, Pluto, and Juno in Sagittarius. The Washington East Point is in 10 Scorpio, close to Mars.

Adding some of the extra asteroids was not very encouraging. In Washington, the Part of Death in 13 Scorpio 37 is not quite within the one-degree orb used with Arabic Parts to reach a conjunction with Mars. However, when we add Libitina in 11 and Phaethon in 13 Taurus , Atropos (one of the Fates) in 11 and Arachne (who was punished for hubris) in 12 Leo, plus Winchester (guns) and Damocles in 13 Aquarius, we produce a massive cross with overlapping orbs in fixed signs and cardinal houses—the hallmark of a power struggle. The Part of Death in Baghdad is in 26 Cancer 0, putting it exactly octile/trioctile Pluto, Ceres, and the MC axis. Urania is on Juno, which is on the MC, while a cluster on the IC includes Astraea (human justice), Megaira (one of the Furies who punished evil-doers), Sisyphus (who kept rolling the rock up hill), and the north node of Uranus. Xanthus, another name for the sun god, Apollo, is in 12 Pisces for a T square with the asteroids on the angles. The Part of Death is also square Williams in 25 Aries 52 and opposite Asmodeus, the demon of lust. The weapon-maker Hephaistos is on the Moon square the Winchester-Damocles conjunction. Saturn is in a T-square to two war goddesses, Belisana and Bellona. We have two asteroids for ancient Near East kingdoms in what is now modern Iran and Iraq: Sumeria and Chaldaea. The asteroid named for the 1st is connected to the Saturn T-square since Sumeria is on Venus, square Neptune, and quincunx Chiron. Chaldaea in 5 Cancer opposes Ate, the goddess considered uniquely evil by the ancient Greeks, and they are octile/trioctile the mean lunar nodes while Gaea squares the nodes from 21 Scorpio. The asteroid named for Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, is on the north node of Mars in 29 Aries, sextile the Ascendant and square Psyche in 0 Aquarius. As I have written before, Psyche can be manifested as a savior or as a very self-absorbed victim. It is important to remember that harmony aspects do not guarantee positive results. They can encourage excesses, especially when fire factors are involved.

There is always more, but enough has been said to show the potential for a major confrontation in the Near East in 1999 which could already be underway at the beginning of the Aries Ingress. You have to wonder whether some of the millennial fanatics are going to try to bring on Armageddon. The “true believers” look forward to God coming to destroy their enemies and give them power over earth where they hope to live forever without any problems. The same wishful thinking can be found among the extremists in all three of the major western religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—as well as in some popular “new age” psychics.

I have not mentioned one of our newest asteroids, Israel. Also, after the media uproar over weapons of mass destruction, I went looking for asteroids which might be relevant for germ and chemical weapons. Duponta for the famous chemical company was already on my default list. I added Pasteur who advanced the theory that germs caused illness and Leewenhoek who first let people actually see bacteria with a microscope. The valuable book compiled by Jacob Schwartz on the sources of asteroid names suggested several which might be connected to poison. Circe, Dejanira, Stateira, and Parysatis. Circe had a knowledge of venomous herbs. Dejanira was the second wife of Hercules who killed him unintentionally by sending him a garment steeped in poisoned blood. Parysatis was the wife of the Persian king Darius II and mother of Artaxerxes II whose wife, Stateira, was poisoned by Parysatis, her mother-in-law. If the asteroids are appropriately named, we should find some or all of these featured in our Near Eastern charts. But it is important to remember that even if this proves to be the case, it will not guarantee an event. Astrology shows states of mind.

I hit paydirt with the first chart I checked, the birth of Israel as an independent country when the British Mandate ended at 0 A.M. on May 15, 194 8 and the British navy sailed out of Tel Aviv harbor. The new asteroid, Israel, turned up in 21 Leo 53 on the midpoint of Saturn/Mars. Moreover, the movement of the progressed planets is keeping P Israel on the progressing midpoint until about 2071 A.D. I was already deeply concerned by the conflict patterns in the country’s chart, and adding its personal name asteroid only confirmed the grim picture. To add still more to the dismal prospects for peace, P Israel started a trioctile to Ra-Shalom in February this year and a square to P Ra-Shalom the next month. Ra-Shalom was named for the Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt which was worked out by President Carter. This was the first agreement between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors. The current conflict fits the breakdown of the peace process which started in Camp David and continued in Oslo, Norway.

In addition to the aspects just listed, Duponta in 21 Taurus squares Israel while P Jupiter holds a long-term trine to it, and the progressed angles which signify personal identity and action form a series of fire sign grand trines over the years. Though they are not very different, I include both the angles in Tel Aviv, the original center for the country, and the current capital, Jerusalem. The P Ascendants are currently trine N Mars and N Jupiter, showing the danger of overreach with fire planets, including the Ascendant as an equivalent to Mars, as well as fire signs. The P Ascendants are also sextile P Uranus and P Venus in an air sign in a fire house to add to the danger of overconfidence, though the air signifies the ability to “know better.” The P East Points just started another grand fire trine to N Israel and P Jupiter. Eventually, the P Antivertexes will form the configuration.

Putting the newly added (though not newly discovered) asteroids in the chart produced one of those “coincidences” that I never get used to. P Pasteur is slowly retrograding over the Israel MC while P Leewenhoek is slowly crossing the IC. Both aspects last for several years. During this past February and March, the P Moon crossed the IC and P Leewenhoek and opposed P Pasteur. The fear of biological warfare was rampant as people in Israel rushed to get gas masks and the U.S. sent warships and planes to the Gulf in preparation for bombing Baghdad if Hussein did not back down. Netanyahu’s leadership role was challenged, but he survived, and the violence between Israelis and Palestinians escalated, finally culminating in the death of a Hamas leader who had been their principal creator of terrorist bombs. Hamas leaders accused the Israelis of killing him while the Israelis said he was killed by a faction within Hamas. Whichever side is guilty, the violence is likely to increase. The P Moon reached a square to N Nobel in time for the death of the Hamas bomber, who had been shot first and then placed in a car which was blown up with a remotely controlled device. P Nobel for the bomb is in 11 Virgo square N Mercury. The original suggestion that he was accidentally killed when the bomb exploded prematurely was demolished when an autopsy found that he was shot. N Winchester, our asteroid for guns, is conjunct N Sun in the country’s chart. P Winchester is slowly moving over N Uranus, adding to its explosive potential. P Hela, a death goddess, opposes the N Sun and Winchester and is quincunx Uranus and P Winchester.

Turning to the asteroids associated with poison, they are repeating the emphasis on fire with its connotation of rash action which could be taken by any or all of the actors in the drama. P Circe is retrograding in 16 Sagittarius trine N Saturn. P Dejanira is also retrograding conjunct N Jupiter, opposite P Venus and P Uranus, and though it recently ended the trine to N Mars, it remains connected to the whole network of aspects. P Stateira in 9 Scorpio is in the Sagittarius house square the N Leo Moon and quincunx N Ceres. These aspects involving the Moon, Ceres, and the 4th house, fit the anxiety felt by the public. P Parysatis in 11 Taurus is on the P mean north lunar node and opposite N Brita (England). It is moving into an octile to P Uranus, a square to Pluto, and an opposition to P Stateira.

Many more aspects could be mentioned, but we have to stop sometime before this becomes a book. I will just mention the asteroids for Israel’s neighbors. P Israel and the Mars/Saturn midpoint are both conjunct N Chaldaea in 5 to 6 Virgo. P Chaldaea is on P Washingtonia (for the U.S. involvement) and P Mars will join them since it moves faster than the main-belt asteroids. Mars does not have to signal aggression and war, but it can, especially when dealing with mundane astrology, with masses of people with minimal self-awareness. N Sumeria is just past Israel’s N Sun but within one degree of Winchester, so they are connected. P Sumeria in 16 Gemini is sextile Saturn in Leo, Parysatis and P Atlantis in Aries, opposite P Circe, and octile Libitina, a death goddess in 2 Taurus. The mixed patterns add to the intensity of an issue, in this case Israel’s relationship with its neighbors, but any kind of action is possible. In the natal chart, Sphinx (for Egypt) was on Vesta and Fanatica. P Sphinx and P Vesta are still together and P Vesta has reached P Saturn, which can signify a ruthless combination. They are also quincunx N Hel (a death goddess) and the P MCs will reach Hel before the end of 1998. P Hiroshima is retrograding into the configuration, having already reached a quincunx to P Saturn. This approaching aspect of Hiroshima on Israel’s P MC starting in mid-1999 could signal a nuclear accident or a terrorist bomb or it could stay on the cognitive level, representing the fear of such an event or threats to do it. In light of the small size of the countries involved, only a millennial maniac would carry out such an act, since the radiation would affect all the neighboring countries.

For the past year, Israel’s P MCs have been quincunx N Arabia in 17 Gemini as the two countries have become increasingly estranged. P Arabia is now in 3 Cancer applying to a conjunction with Venus, which might mean an improving relationship, but it is also trioctile Chiron and will move into an octile to P Saturn in 2000. N Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is in 21 Gemini with mixed aspects, including a sextile to N Israel but a square to P Mars. P Sun recently ended a conjunction with P Ankara in 10 Cancer as trade between Turkey and Israel increased (if my memory is accurate, since I can’t find the article about it). P Ankara is also sextile/trine the P lunar nodes for continuing economic cooperation despite the difference in religion shown by P Ankara’s square to Neptune. We will be looking more deeply into the turbulent cross-currents of the Near East and their historical roots as we turn to examine what one of my sources calls “Virtual Iraq.”

The timing of the national horoscope I am using for the modern Republic of Iraq is less reliable than the chart for Israel’s independence, but it seems to be “working.” It is dated for July 14, 1958 at 5 A.M. in Baghdad, Iraq when Saddam Hussein managed a military coup with some help from friends in Russia. According to a brief historical survey by Jack Wheeler in the March 18, 1998 issue of Strategic Investment, Iraq was born from a promise made by Lawrence of Arabia to an obscure desert sheik. In return for helping the British against the Ottoman Turks in World War I, Lawrence promised the Sharif of Mecca that he and his sons, Abdullah and Faisal, would have their own kingdom on the west coast of the Arabian peninsula. But after the war, Ibn Saud conquered the promised area and added it to his territory to become Saudi Arabia. The British responded by making two countries from Ottoman provinces. They called them Trans-Jordan and Syria, and gave them to Abdullah and Faisal. Abdullah’s grandson, Hussein, still runs Jordan, but when the French claimed Syria and kicked out Faisal, the British put together three chunks of formerly Ottoman provinces, called it Iraq, and gave it to Faisal whose family ran it until Saddam took it over.

The problem is that the three regions which were combined to produce “virtual” Iraq are inhabited by people with different ethnic or religious affiliations. The Kurds in the north want to join their fellow Kurds in eastern Turkey and Syria to form their own independent state. Turkey is naturally fighting this goal. The Shiite Moslems in the south want to join their fellow Shiites in Iran, which would bring Iran’s borders to Saudi Arabia and Jordan, terrifying both countries. The Sunnis in Baghdad would be left in the middle as a land-locked state deprived of its oil resources. According to Wheeler, only the ruthless tactics of Saddam Hussein keep Iraq and the rest of the Near East from unraveling. Meanwhile, Saddam’s patron, the Russian Foreign Minister Primakov who helped to engineer the original coup, is credited with encouraging Saddam’s testing of the west so Russia can play the role of protector to the Arab world. The media wizards who call for us to just go in and get rid of Saddam are obviously not looking at the potential consequences.

The chart for the Iraq Republic fits the preceding scenario, showing a nation born in violence and continuing to strive for power. The P south lunar node, which is a key to a major lesson, holds a long-term conjunction with N Mars in Aries in the 10th house. The one-ten combination (planet Mars and its sign in house 10) shows personal will meeting the limits of personal will. Saddam’s expression of the combination is clearly “My will is Law.” The Ascendant, Sun, and Pallas in Cancer square Mars and the lunar nodes, with Jupiter in Libra and Neptune in early Scorpio joining the north node in the T-square. With its oil wealth and fertile land, Iraq could be a wealthy country if its dictator had not drained its resources to buy and make weapons and to build palaces. The grand trine in fire signs and earth houses is the steamroller signature, showing the potential of a person or a country to roll over anything which gets in the way of personal goals. This theme is repeated by a variety of asteroids in the fire signs, including Russia (Saddam’s patron) in 2 Aries in a yod to N Williams and Neptune. P Mars has been octile N and P Russia for years, but the aspect ended in March 1998. However, P Mars is now quincunx P Saturn and square P Ascendant, aspects which do not augur well for practical judgment.

As in the chart for Israel, the Iraq chart points to continuing power struggles in the years ahead, too many aspects to list. The U.S. is likely to be involved with P Pluto conjunct N Williams for a lot longer than Bill Clinton will remain Commander in Chief of our army. P Mercury is currently on N Pluto and P Sun reaches Pluto in the fall of 1998. Pluto symbolizes the ability to share money, possessions, pleasures and power. Power struggles result when compromise is not achieved. P Russia and P Bellona on N Bellona (a war goddess) are quincunx Pluto for some years, so P Sun will move into that aspect, pointing to tension between the U.S. and Russia over the Iraq problem. The P Moon is often a timer pointing to a peak time of crisis. It set off a major network of aspects in early 1998 when the U.S. came close to bombing Baghdad. It was square Nemesis and Ate in Pisces and Libitina and Urania in Virgo, trioctile Mars and P south node in Aries, and octile Dresden in Libra. The meanings of most of these asteroids have been described previously, so hopefully it is not necessary to repeat them every time they are mentioned. P Moon will aspect another network of factors from late May into the early summer of 1998, and still another collection through the fall of 1998. The patterns look like an additional power play by Saddam in the summer and serious tensions following in the fall. P Moon trines N Mars and is trioctile Uranus in early 1999, aspects which could manifest as rash risk-taking.

In addition to their fear that an uncontrolled Saddam could threaten the west’s oil supplies, the fear of his use of biological and chemical weapons is paramount. The relevant asteroids have appropriate aspects, as expected. N Pasteur is closely conjunct N Mars and P south lunar node to picture the potential of waging war with germs. N Arabia in the same degree fits the involvement of the Saudis in any such showdown. P Pasteur in 4 Taurus is trioctile P and then N Saturn for many years and holds the same aspect for a smaller number of years to P Williams in 18 Virgo, while P Williams is square P Saturn. As with all astrological patterns, these would fit action but might only manifest on the cognitive level in continuing verbal charges and counter-charges. P Ate opposes P Williams. P United Nations with P Anacostia for our nation’s capital conjunct Venus and oppose Saturn to complete a mutable cross.

The other asteroid I chose as a key to germs is part of a T-square in fixed signs and houses. N Leewenhoek, Aletheia, America, and P Psyche are in 14 to 16 Scorpio square Mercury, Sumeria, Juno, and Washingtonia in 14 to 15 Leo, and opposite P MC and P Belisana in 14 to 15 Taurus. America is looking for the truth (Aletheia) about germs (Leewenhoek) and concerned about potential victims (Psyche). Our government in Washington is prepared to struggle if cooperation is not achieved (Juno) with Sumeria (modern Iraq) in the midst of a lot of talk and travel and media attention (Mercury). Iraq’s executive (MC) could use power in such a way as to produce or invite war (Belisana). N Parysatis, one of the poison asteroids, turned up in 13 Leo within one degree of Sumeria to connect the country to action involving poison, and P Uranus, symbolizing new technology and resistance to limits, is conjunct Parysatis within one degree. These additions brought P Dionysus in 13 Aquarius into the configuration: religious excesses which can involve drugs. Factors in 15 to 16 degrees of the fixed signs are octile/trioctile factors in 0 to 1 degrees of the cardinal signs, so P Russia and Bellona (war) in 1 Aries and P Libitina (death) and P Astraea (human justice) in 1 Libra are added to the network. The other two “poison” asteroids are also featured with P Sun square N Dejanira in 28 Taurus and P Stateira in 28 Scorpio. There are many more relevant aspects, but based on what has been listed, could the country symbolized by this chart use biological poisons in war? We would have to say “yes.” Will this happen? Mundane astrology cannot answer that question. We can only pick out the times when the issue is highlighted and the action is possible. If we had the accurate horoscopes of many citizens of Iraq and its neighboring countries, we might be able to answer.

We do not have a birth time for Saddam Hussein, and cannot even be sure of his birth day. He is said to have been born in Tikrit, Iraq on April 28, 1937. I have worked with several different times for him, but have no confidence in any of them. One report put his birth soon after midnight. Sometimes a noon chart can be helpful, even though the individual was not born then. At the moment, I am experimenting with a chart set for 4:03 P.M. to put P Saturn on the Descendant, but it is totally speculative. I will mostly just mention the newer asteroids which can be used even without a birth time, since few move over a half degree in a day. They include some dramatic examples, as usual, starting with the P south lunar node on N Pasteur—the same aspect we found in the chart for the country. P Pasteur in 9 Cancer is sextile Uranus for applying technology to work with germs. IF the afternoon time is close to accurate, P Pasteur is also quincunx the N Moon. At the human level, Saturn symbolizes executive power and power people. Saddam’s N Saturn in Aries is similar to his country’s Mars in Aries in the 10th house—a potential for making one’s personal will into Law. P Saturn has been conjunct N Dejanira, square N Stateira and trioctile N Leewenhoek for years. Depending on Saddam’s birth time, the latter aspect might have ended recently, but P Stateira remains trine P Saturn and P Leewenhoek has been trine Uranus. N Parysatis is opposite Uranus and P Vesta holds a T-square to them. P Parysatis holds a long octile to Neptune, which is traditionally associated with drugs and poisons as a key to saviors and victims. P Parysatis is also square N Pallas and octile/trioctile the lunar nodes.

Could this man be involved with poisons? We know that he used poison gas against the Kurds in his own country and the Iranians, his neighbors. Could he use it again? Certainly. Will he? At this point, I think his primary goal is to maintain his personal power. If he can continue to create and hide the biological weapons, he will certainly do so. He can keep them as a threat or he can send them into the world with hired mercenaries which he is reportedly buying in Eastern Europe. But I think he will only use them at home if he is trapped like a cornered rat. He is well aware of the ability of Israel to retaliate. His P Sun has ended a square to his P Saturn while P Saturn continues to trine N Mars and trioctile P Mars for years. He could continue walking a tightrope for years. I wish we knew his time of birth! His N Israel is in 28 Cancer with P Dejanira square it and P Pluto headed into a conjunction. But without a time of birth, we can’t put a date on the latter aspect, which is likely to mark a crisis and which might be his final crisis. The aspect would come sooner if Saddam was born soon after midnight. P Israel will also move into a square to P Mars and then a trioctile to P Saturn, but without a birth time, we can only estimate that they will come within 2 to 6 years. A challenging P Moon on Saturn is coming sometime in the next 3 to 4 years. Regardless of the timing, his passing will not end the challenges in the Near East powder keg.

Copyright © 1998 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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