Friday, February 26, 2010

Inevitable Civilian Casualties?

Last month we noted that the mid-month time period was once more significant, since we would see the New Moon in conjunction with Neptune and Chiron making strong aspects to the U.S. Moon and Midheaven. Prognostication is tricky with Neptune, being such a slippery planet, but we did in fact witness some interesting mid-February activity, with the first civilian deaths from the U.S. military stepped-up anti-Taliban offensive in Helmand Province.

The following headline and story appeared on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now:

12 Die as U.S. Bombs Wrong House as Part of New Afghan Offensive

Thousands of US and NATO forces have launched one of the largest military offensives of the eight-year war in an attempt to remove the Taliban from the city of Marjah in Helmand province. US officials have described the operation as a success so far, but on Sunday twelve Afghans died when two rockets fired by NATO slammed into the wrong house. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an investigation into the deaths. Ten of those killed were from the same family. The US said the dead included nine civilians and three insurgents. Prior to the errant bombing, Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a goal of the operation was to have no civilian casualties.

Of course there have been many more civilian deaths reported in the weeks following this report from February 15th – as many as three times the original number – but this was the first. The transit of Neptune and Chiron continued, and transiting Mars made a close aspect also to U.S. Midheaven in the weeks following the New Moon.

This report is interesting in the light of the Neptune transit, with the New Moon, to both the Midheaven and Ascendant of the U.S. chart as well as to the U.S. Moon at 27 Aquarius, only a degree away. There is certainly a confused attitude on the part of the public in this country and even within the administration. Is the war in Afghanistan producing inevitable civilian casualties because the U.S is defending its interests and waging a just and necessary war or is there another way to look at this foreign policy objective, begun under President Bush after 9-11 and continued by the Obama administration, as one that has become a quagmire with initial motives other than those officially stated in the beginning? Or even worse is there actual deception that is still ongoing? These questions are murky, as befits a Neptune transit. The U.S. public is definitely beginning to question the war in general.

With Chiron also involved we could even suspect that the American public is more concerned about the morality of this war than might be evident on the surface of public opinion, especially as revealed on the TV screen. If dozens of civilians in this country were killed by a series of bomb attacks directed at a criminal element but targeting “the wrong house” it is safe to assume that there would be a far greater outcry.

In the coming month the New Moon of course conjuncts Uranus and Mercury as Uranus sextiles U.S Pluto and opposes U.S. Neptune, while transiting Neptune conjuncts U.S. Moon exactly. It is also interesting to note that U.S. Uranus makes an inconjunct to U.S. Eris which can be linked to war-like activity just as Mars is. In Greek mythology, Eris was the mythological sister of Ares (Mars).

This combination of transits suggests unexpected events along the same lines as in the previous month, presumably involving the Afghan war but possibly relating to an equivalent issue elsewhere in the world. There will continue to be confusion on the part of the U.S. public and a growing empathy with the citizens of other lands that are directly impacted by military decisions made in Washington.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Chart of Haiti

Last month we noted for January that the mid-month time of the Solar Eclipse and New Moon would be a dicey period, since Saturn was still conjunct the U.S. Midheaven while Pluto squared it. Some kind of test for this country was indicated. Indeed this was the time period of the devastating Haiti Earthquake that left 170,000 dead and more than one million homeless in its wake. Of course the quake was more of an impact on Haiti than on the Western world that was called to rise up in response, and the transits to the chart of Haiti were quite severe also, when examined for the date and time of the original quake, 1/12/2010 at 16:53 EST (for an analysis see below). But the test to the responsive abilities of America was also of great interest given the transits to the U.S. chart for the eclipse date, two days after the quake itself and just when the international response was getting underway. The response of the Western powers has to get poor marks overall, although many people were helped and lives saved by the actions of the international community, lead by the United States. There were many mistakes made while getting food and medical relief to the hundreds of thousands of wounded and refugee population, mostly because it was the U.S. military that was handed this mission. Instead of aid delivery, military presence and security were prioritized.

On Friday, January 15, the U. S. military took over the airport and supervised the eventual deployment of 15,000 troops, mostly to keep order. Meanwhile, of seven hospital planes that attempted to land over the following weekend, only one was allowed to land in Port-au-Prince, the rest being told to land many miles away in the Dominican Republic. As a result, much-needed medicine had a much further route to travel to reach the people who so desperately need it.

Medical Group Faults US Militarization of Haitian Relief

The US, meanwhile, is being accused of prioritizing the delivery of troops and military equipment over direly needed aid. Doctors Without Borders legal director Francoise Saulnier says a plane carrying over twelve tons of aid was turned back from landing three times this week.

Francoise Saulnier: "Now everything has been mixed together, and the urgent and vital attention to the people have been delayed, while military logistic—which is useful, but not on day three, not on day four, but maybe on day eight—this military logistic has really jammed the airport and led to this mismanagement, real mismanagement of vital issues." See Democracy Now!

In responding to the massive earthquake the United States population gave generously. The ten-dollar donations by cell phone to the American Red Cross for Haitian aid rapidly overwhelmed the servers that were set up to handle them. It is interesting in this regard to check the transits for the U.S. chart – with transiting Pluto opposed to the Jupiter-Venus conjunction in the U.S. 7th house, referring to generosity toward other nations. Also transiting Neptune and Chiron were found directly on U.S. Moon, symbolizing the American people. This is consistent with a spiritual impulse of sacrifice and a compassion recognition of others' pain.

This Neptune transit to U.S. Moon is emphasized next month also, most especially once again at the time of the mid-month New Moon, which conjuncts Neptune. Also at that time, transiting Neptune makes a bi-quintile aspect to the U.S. Midheaven, as Pluto and Saturn continue to impact that sensitive point. The Midheaven of the U.S. chart refers to the leadership of the country, most particularly to the Obama administration. So we might see compassion evidenced by the administration at this time, or perhaps only confusion and deception, since Neptune is such a slippery planetary archetype. Time will tell.

A Look at the Transits to the Chart of Haiti

A glance at the chart of modern Haiti's founding, January 1, 1804, as given in Nick Campion's Book of World Horoscopes, p. 193 (see chart) is quite revealing regarding the power of Astrology to lend meaning to the events of our lives. You can see that the current Saturn – Pluto square is all over this chart, since a Saturn conjunction with Haiti's Saturn is underway. Saturn was stationing on Haiti's Saturn at the time of the occurrence. Further, the Moon at the time of the earthquake was at a similar degree to transiting Neptune and Chiron, transiting Sun and Venus, and transiting Uranus, all lined up with Haiti's Neptune and Haiti's Mercury/Venus midpoint. The Solar Eclipse a few days later exactly squared Haiti's Neptune.

These transits point up Neptune the transformer. It is not well-known, but Neptune too can be a transformer, just as Pluto is. Neptune changes you by dissolving the knottiness of the past so that you have the chance to breathe again. In this case, with Neptune involved, it may well be that just as attitudes toward Haiti on the part of the Western world will soften, inevitably, as the world reaches out to help this terribly damaged country to rebuild, so too will the attitudes of Haitians soften in response. And this is part of the transformation that must happen, in this pivotal decade, as we leave behind the mistakes of the past and move forward into a time when we treasure every aspect of our human family rather than one particular tribe (our own) and when as a culture we begin to respect and celebrate all the colors of the rainbow.