New Kings in the Near East
In my January 1999 lecture in Santa Monica titled “Astrology looks at 1999,” I listed the ages and illnesses of many of the rulers of the Moslem countries in the Near East, suggesting that a turn-over of power could happen in several countries. We have already had two. Just before King Hussein of Jordan died from cancer, he appointed his oldest son, Abdullah, as his replacement. Even more recently, the Emir of Bahrain died of a sudden heart attack on March 6, and was immediate replaced by his eldest son, who had been the Crown Prince since 1964. In these cases, the two sons were educated in England (and Abdullah also in the U.S.), and they are friendly to the western world. They are expected to continue the policies of their fathers, who mostly maintained good relationships with Britain and the United States.
I have no birth data for the new Sheik Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, but thanks to Marion March, we have birth data for the new King Abdullah of Jordan. Reportedly he was born on January 30, 1962 at 3 A.M. in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Two different news sources gave his birth date as January 30, but the astrologers, including an Israeli astrologer contacted by a friend, said that the date was January 31. Finally, an astrologer in the Netherlands was able to confirm the date as January 30, with information from the Royal Jordanian Commercial Department in Holland. I have not been able to get the time that he was sworn in as king, but reports suggested that it was soon after his father was pronounced dead at 11:43 A.M. on February 7, 1999. If anyone knows the coronation time, I would love to have it as a chart for the country under the reign of Abdullah.
A primary feature of the chart of the new Jordanian ruler is a stellium in Aquarius, which is in the Taurus house if the 3 A.M. birth time is accurate. The Antivertex is exactly conjunct Saturn in early Aquarius and more widely is conjunct Mars in late Capricorn. These are “one-ten” aspects, which fit his assuming a power role; “my will is law.” Prior to being chosen by his father to be the future king, replacing his uncle who had been Crown Prince for years, Abdullah was a leader in Jordan’s armed forces. His mother is British and he is married to a Palestinian wife. They have a son and a daughter. He is described as loving guns, fast cars, flying and skydiving, and riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with his wife along. He is also bright and sometimes blunt, all of which sounds like his Aquarian stellium and Sagittarius Ascendant. He is also described as warm and kind, which fits his close Sun-Venus conjunction.
In addition to the Antivertex and Saturn in Aquarius, the Sun, Venus, Jupiter, the south lunar node, and Mercury are also in Aquarius in the Taurus house. Adding to the fixed emphasis, Abdullah has Ceres and Vesta in Taurus in the Leo house, the north lunar node and Uranus in Leo, though Uranus is over the line in the ninth (mutable) house, and Neptune and the Moon are in Scorpio in the Aquarius house. Chiron and Pallas in Pisces add to the idealism of a Sagittarius Ascendant, along with Uranus in the ninth house, with Pluto there in Virgo. Juno in Aries forms a grand fire trine to his Ascendant and north lunar node. In summary, Abdullah’s chart shows enormous strength of will, intelligence, and the potential for taking risks.
Abdullah’s wife, Princess Rania (who will be Queen after the official mourning period for Hussein’s death), is described as beautiful, intelligent, and family-oriented. She took child-psychology courses in school and was an honors student in business administration at the American University in Cairo. She likes to hang out at Amman’s first Internet café, and to ride with Abdullah on his Harley-Davidson. She supports Jordanian charities and causes like child-abuse awareness, and has been described as similar to Princess Diana except she gets along very well with both her husband’s mother and her father-in-law’s most recent wife, Queen Noor.
The media descriptions of the new Jordanian King and Queen (to-be) sound very encouraging for the future of peace in the Near East. Abdullah has developed personal friendships with several of the young princes of other Moslem states who will presumably be replacing their elderly and ailing relatives in time. This does not mean there will not be problems. Abdullah, in almost his first public comments after becoming King, said that Iraq and Iran could pose threats to the stability and peace of the region. One other hopeful development in the region involves the designated successor to Assad, who was just re-elected to a fifth term as president of Syria. Assad has refused to make peace with Israel unless the Golan Heights are returned to Syria. His eldest son, Basil, was groomed to take over the power in Syria, but he liked fast cars and was killed in an accident in 1994. Assad then commandeered his son Bashar, who was an ophthalmologist living in London, speaking English and surfing the Internet. Presumably the younger, internationally savvy generation of Arab leaders may be willing to compromise, provided their less educated subjects permit this.
It would be ironic if Israel’s most intractable problem in the end turned out to be their own internal conflict between the ultra-orthodox who want a theocracy and the more liberal Jews who want a democracy with personal freedoms. I have discussed the horoscope of Israel repeatedly in the past, since they have a known birth date and time when the British Mandate ended and the country became legally free. I was dismayed when an asteroid was finally named for the country to find that it progressed on the midpoint of P Mars and P Saturn well past the middle of the next century. I interpreted this as indicating continuing power struggles with the country’s Islamic neighbors. In light of the current internal struggles between orthodox and liberal Jews, I now realize that the aspect is equally appropriate for that situation. Mars symbolizes personal power and action. Saturn signifies the Law and those who enforce it, and, on the inner level, one’s conscience. The internal struggle between the belief that the Old Testament Bible is the Word of God and must be literally obeyed in every detail versus the potential for a more metaphorical or symbolic interpretation with room for tolerance may be as intense and long-lasting as the struggle between fundamentalist Jews, Moslems, and Christians, each committed to making their personal conscience the law of the land.
Returning to Abdullah’s horoscope, its progressed aspects do fit the death of his father and his unexpected selection to become King. P MC in 7 Scorpio had been square P Saturn for nearly a year, an appropriate aspect for his father’s long struggle with cancer. P MC squared N Saturn 3 to 5 years earlier for his father’s previous bout with cancer. P East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant for personal action, was conjunct N Saturn for the acquisition of his power role as the new father of his country. P MC on the Ascendant/MC midpoint was a strong key to a major change in status or the handling of power, similar to a conjunction with both of these major angles. The message was reinforced by P MC’s trine to P Chiron and by P Vesta’s trine to the MC. P Antivertex, another Ascendant, squared P Ceres for a change in work and/or the parental scene, and it was octile P Moon, repeating the potential for a change of home and family situation. P Venus was semisextile P Mars and approaching a sextile to N Mars. P Mars was conjunct P Jupiter. P Sun was semisextile N Jupiter and the P south lunar node. P Mercury squared Vesta, to repeat the change in work. Many of these aspects would fit positive events and media attention with the third house strongly involved. Saturn shows the consequences of our past actions, and when these actions have been constructive, we get positive consequences. An increase in status and power is one of many possibilities, though the loss of a parent is also possible.
Other aspects which fit the sudden change in Abdullah’s life and the potential for the separation from his father or other changes in the parental picture include P eighth house cusp on Uranus, P Sun quincunx the P lunar node in the eighth house, P Antivertex square P Ceres, with the Moon at their midpoint, octile both as well as Jupiter. The most dramatic pattern for a separation and new direction in one’s life is a double quincunx, a yod. P Moon in 10 Aries formed a yod to Pluto and the midpoint of Saturn/north lunar node. P Vesta was square Uranus and quincunx the East Point to reinforce the message.
Among his relevant asteroids, America was conjunct Abdullah’s Ascendant at birth and P Columbia (which can stand for our capital area, the District of Columbia) recently reached the angle. The U.S. is being very supportive, pledging financial help which is very needed by the country. Jordan is a small and poor country with few natural resources and burdened with many Palestinian refugees. I was amused to note that P Venus was conjunct the asteroid P King and P Reuter, named for the famous news company, and they were all on N Themis, divine justice. They were also semisextile P Jupiter and P Mars and quincunx the P eighth house cusp which was conjunct P Uranus. N Israel on Abdullah’s Vertex, equivalent to a Descendant, as well as opposite Saturn, emphasizes the importance of Jordan’s neighbor. Hussein, the previous king of Jordan, shifted from joining his Arab neighbors in a war with Israel to signing a peace treaty. The Descendant, West Point, and Vertex can be manifested as partners or competitors; open enemies to use the traditional phrase. Abdullah has said he will continue his father’s more recent commitment to peace with Israel.
Still, Abdullah’s close relationship with the Jordanian army is likely to be a needed asset in a turbulent part of the earth. He has an interesting collection of three asteroids in 4 Pisces conjunct Chiron: Washingtonia for our capital, Orpheus associated with love, music, and death, and Belisana, who was a war goddess. Atlantis was in 3 Pisces, connected by overlapping orbs. It is often prominent in power struggles and the abuse of power. Winchester, the asteroid for guns, was in 28 Sagittarius, within the one-degree orb for a conjunction with the East Point and a square to the MC, as well as in the first house and trine Uranus to fit Abdullah’s love of weapons. P America and P Nemesis were conjunct his East Point and square his MC when he became king, and the U.S. provided financial help which was targeted partly to provide military aid. P Nemesis was still conjunct Winchester and P America had reached Abdullah's Sun/Moon midpoint. The U.S. wields immense power in the world, but not always for the good of ordinary citizens. P Winchester in 8 Capricorn was trine P Pluto when Abdullah took control of his country’s military system, and it squared P Themis, divine justice, in 7 Aries. P Themis was obviously another clue to the sudden and major change in Abdullah’s life, forming a yod (double quincunx) to P MC and P Pluto, and an opposition to P Urania, an alternate Uranus. As mentioned previously, yods are typical of important turning points, when we move in new directions and let go of the past.
Another interesting configuration in Abdullah’s chart is a grand cross in fixed signs and houses with P Arabia in 16 Scorpio 13 square the P mean lunar nodes in 16 Leo-Aquarius, and opposite P Chaldaea 15 Taurus 23. P Potomac was within one degree of P Chaldaea to connect to the rest of the configuration. Chaldaea was named for an ancient region that covered parts of modern Iraq and Iran. The Potomac River runs through our capital. Arabia can refer to Jordan’s neighboring country and, more widely, to the people who live in much of the Near East. Abdullah is likely to have his hands full trying to protect his mostly poor citizens in the midst of the power plays of his neighbors and the U.S. Sumeria, another asteroid named for the region of modern Iraq-Iran, is in 21 Aries conjunct Gaea, the earth. P Chiron repeats the preceding message of regional tension with an octile to both Sumeria and Gaea. Chiron is an alternate Jupiter, so it can symbolize foreign countries, while its position in the third house can signify neighbors, but the primary Jupiter principle represents our faith and the ethics based on our beliefs. A lot of blood has been spilled in the name of warring religions.
As would be expected of someone whose early life was spent in the military and who is now controlling a country in a warring region, the death asteroids are also featured in Abdullah’s chart. Atropos was conjunct Uranus. Hela in 2 Taurus squared Israel as well as Saturn and the Antivertex axis in 2 Leo/Aquarius. P Hela squared the lunar nodes, but was trine P Ascendant when Abdullah became king. Natal Hel was retrograding opposite the Sun/Moon midpoint and approaching the West Point and a square to the MC/IC axis. It had returned to its natal degree when Abdullah became ruler, but was a few minutes earlier than the birth position to be in orb of the West Point and MC, to form a T-square. Libitina was natally in 6 Cancer and it had also returned to within one degree of its natal position. P Pallas squared it and P Mercury was trioctile it. Abdullah will need his intelligence and his strength to handle his new job.