Veil of Kashmir

The story was nowhere near the top tier of the news leads during Equinox Week at the United Nations. The leads were Greta Thunberg’s Scandinavian Capricornian scolding — “How dare you?!” — of world “leaders” for their inaction on the climate chaos, and secondarily — thank the goddess — the Madman Who Must Not Be Named.
Somewhere beyond that, faintly heard, were the warnings of Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, beseeching the world body for attention to the tension between his country and India over the situation in Kashmir.
As so often, Gaia expressed the region’s tension in another form: a significant earthquake on 24 September, just two days before Khan spoke at the United Nations.
Khan was reminding the rest of the world that both countries possess nuclear weapons and a long history of mutual animosity. Harsh rhetoric and military maneuvering have been the norm for Kashmir at least since the British withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent in 1947. That occasion was marked by a political division into India and Pakistan (then into western and eastern sections, the latter separate as Bangladesh since 1971) and social conflict costing millions of lives.
The dire situation was reflected, astrologically, in the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto, the same combination that accompanied the start of the Great War in Europe in 1914.
Thus, it is no surprise that the recurrence of that conjunction in 2019-20 has been witnessed by a major ratcheting of tensions, particularly since Valentine’s Day. The date was 14 February when a twenty-something Pakistani rammed a car laden with explosives into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary troops near the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar. The explosion was heard for miles around, and at least forty soldiers were killed: the highest death toll from a single attack in the history of the insurgency.
In subsequent military reconnaissance and bombing by India — the first time in fifty years — one of its own planes was shot down, but the return of the pilot did little to reduce tension. India moved thousands of troops to the region and arrested thousands of Pakistanis, and India’s resolve to control the bulk of Kashmir (China also claims and occupies a smaller part) was emphasized by India’s revocation of semi-autonomous status. The newly nationalistic India has been riled up under prime minister Najendra Modi’s regime.
Not a trend that would promote peace prospects.
Plenty of heavy life-and-death sentiments among the Pakistani populace at the time of the Valentine’s Day event are represented by the Saturn-Pluto combination in opposition to Luna in the independence chart. A severe challenge is even more strongly indicated by the particular timing on that day: Saturn and Pluto on the western horizon: the place associated with open enemies. (One can see this by observing the circle-with-horizontal-line symbol in the outer ring of the chart, representing the eastern horizon at the moment, close to the crescent symbol for Luna in the inner ring. Saturn and Pluto, as well as Venus, were opposite that point.)

Also at that moment, Mars, the warrior planet, was at the very end of its domicile zoidion (sign) of Aries, with Uranus the surprise disruptor very close by.
Uranus in the Pakistan chart indicates a perennially precarious state of the government: It is placed exactly on the upper meridian. And Mars . . . well, Mars at zero degrees of Cancer indicates a very insecure nation whose instability can readily draw in the involvement of nations afar.
On 4 October 2019, Mars crosses the zero degrees of Libra place: another trigger moment, likely reflected in significant military developments, and perhaps tumult among Pakistani legislators.
Of greater concern is the period beginning 16 February 2020, when Mars reaches zero degrees of Capricorn — opposite zero degrees of Cancer — joining Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Such a massing of planetary bodies in that zoidion surely portends political developments of far-reaching magnitude and significance.
At the most recent NCGR conference, several astrologers voiced grave concerns about political developments in reference to the month-and-a-half period beginning mid-February 2020. Bill Meridian, for one, identified the India – Pakistan flash point, along with Saudi Arabia, as a region of likely upheaval for 2020 overall.
Actually, much of the southern and eastern rim of Asia is in states of great ferment, if not open violence: from Yemen and Saudi Arabia (the latter’s oil-processing facilities recently hit by drone strikes) through India – Pakistan to Hong Kong to the border between the two Koreas. All are thrumming to the quickening vibrations of the great conglomeration of planets in Capricorn.
“Interesting times,” indeed.

Note on Pakistan independence chart: I have heeded the statement in Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes: “Pakistani astrologers use a chart for 9.15 am, August 14, when Lord Mountbatten, the [British] viceroy, addressed the Constituent Assembly.”

See also the monthly personal forecast co-written with my partner Aeolea Wendy Burwell.

Red Stars

Two weeks away from the seventieth anniversary of the triumph of the Chinese Communist Party, Hong Kong residents by the thousands continued their three-month-long campaign to preserve some measure of local democratic autonomy against the might of the central government and its local minions. They were energized by the bitter recollection of seeing none of their demands met in the aftermath of the Umbrella Revolution (2014).
Over the summer, masses of opponents had battled police in the streets on a daily basis, shut down the airport and interrupted subway service. Now (15 September), with the anniversary looming, their ferocity took a new and profoundly defiant course: tearing down and setting fire to a red banner proclaiming the glorious observance.
Many observers wonder: When will the Tiananmen-like crackdown come? Few wonder if the planets offer any clue. Alas, they do: especially (of course) Mars.
The background cycles go some way toward describing the situation.
Transiting Neptune has been opposing Saturn in the chart for the Peoples Republic (1 October 1949), reflecting widespread subversion of the bureaucratic structures of the state, as well as the stirrings of a new collective vision: a great threat to the interests of the entrenched Communist Party elite. The latter have been counting on continued economic expansion to maintain their privileges: a state of affairs undermined by China’s worsening trade dispute with the United States.
In spring-summer 2018, and since April 2019, Uranus has been at right angle to the PRC Moon and Ascendant positions, reflecting a rising mood of rebelliousness and pressures toward a break from the general trend of recent decades. That trend of rising economic and political forces, at the expense of personal freedoms, has reached a peak. The Chinese electronic system, now pervasive, of social ranking on the basis of obedience to central-government decrees seems particularly relevant to this astrological combination.Thus, there have been credible reports of a considerable level of “revolutionary tourism”: people arriving from the mainland, checking into hotels and going shopping for clothes and protective gear appropriate for joining the raging protests. Such is the hunger of the human spirit for freedom.
Transiting Saturn, now “stationary” at a point at right angle to PRC Mercury, symbolizes a protracted period of governmental deliberation about how (and when) to respond to the crisis, and redoubled efforts at information suppression.
What can Beijing do without permanently and grievously damaging the nation’s course by ruining the crucial vitality of its appendage, Hong Kong? The state has the momentum of its entire history of brutality, represented by the Mars – Pluto conjunction in regal Leo in the PRC chart. It has deployed violence in any situation deemed to involve “foreign” culture — Mars – Pluto in the seventh place — and that certainly fits the democratic “infection,” as well as Tibet.

The intransigence of the state at the time of the Umbrella Revolution, and the dejection of the people involved, are reflected in the strong links to the PRC chart: Jupiter to the PRC Mars – Pluto, and Moon – Saturn to PRC Venus.
The youth of Hong Kong have evidently adapted the ways employed in 2014 and learned the bitter lessons of the crushed Tiananmen protests — exactly one cycle of Saturn ago — by developing hit-and-run tactics and better preparing to cope with the weapons of the police.
It seems that the Party faithful want to hold back the military option until after the celebrations on 1 October. By then, Mars will be a full ten-degree arc behind Sol in zodiacal distance: the two were conjunct on 2 September, and are gradually separating. By the Full Moon on 13 October (Luna at twenty degrees of Aries / Sol at twenty of Libra), Mars will be at six degrees Libra: closing in on the place of Sol in the PRC chart, representing the premier and his political circle.

Mars will be heliacally rising: emerging before Sol in the morning sky and beginning to be visible again. This marks the start of a period in which the urge to once again unleash the People’s Liberation Army will be very great. With Mars thereafter moving into a right angle to Saturn and Pluto, brutal suppression of the upwelling cleansing forces within the mass of common people becomes more likely. (Saturn’s conjunction with Pluto in January 2020, exactly upon the PRC position of Jupiter, in any case promises great and deep changes to China’s corporate colossus: a grand reorganization.)
China is clearly at a turning point. The Party may already have lost the war, in showing Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial class that for its dynamism to survive, it must undergo an exodus. The most apt place of relocation would be Taiwan.