This morning tanks rolled into a small village in northern Syria and started shooting at villagers randomly. How can a government turn its guns on its own people?
Modern Syria is an invention of 20th century mapmakers and politicians. The political boundaries of the country may be firmly defined now but it could just as easily have been an entirely different shape, or part of a much larger country – “Greater Syria” – that included Lebanon and Iraq, or even Jordan and Israel.
|Alawite Women at the beginning of the 20th century.
They are a fascinating group with
beliefs that synthesise ideas from several faiths.
Syria is tribal: Druze, Sunnis of various persuasions, several brands of Shi’ite, several of the oldest Christian sects in the world and Catholics, Kurds, Armenians and, in the old days, Jews, all lived together, sometimes in harmony and sometimes in hatred. That makes it a very different kind of place from, say, Egypt, which is astonishingly homogeneous.
It can be easy to start a civil war in a tribal country.
Especially when members of one particular tribe have been ruling the place for the last 40 years – as is the case with the Alawites in Syria since 1970.
I’ve chosen to look at two charts for Syria, one for the independence of the state from France in 1944 and one for this regime, which came to power under Hafiz al Assad in 1970 after years of political turmoil.
The 1944 chart
|January 1, 1944, 12;01 AM. Syrian Indpendence from France|
The independence chart shows us immediately that this is a country with a difficult row to hoe: Pluto conjuncts the North node and quincunxes the Capricorn Sun. Worse, the Moon which represents the people in a mundane chart is closely opposed by the asteroid of sadness and pain Chiron. The Moon is in Pisces which suggests victimisation but also the ability to rise again. Pisces is the sign of sacrifice but also of resurrection.
But what is the closest conjunction in this chart? Revolutionary Uranus and violent Mars (just a squeak apart) in speedy Gemini, no wonder there was coup after coup for the first 20 years or so. And that is in neat sextile to Pluto and the North Node.
And the transits for now? I just need to tell you about just one and you’ll see how serious the situation in Syria is. Pluto (transformation) is conjuncting Syria’s Sun and activating the natal Pluto-North Node-Uranus-Mars set up. This is nasty, it’s not going to be over quickly and with Pluto involved things could be brutal.
Mars is also about to return to Gemini and will activate the natal Uranus-Mars on and around June 28. This is revolutionary. Mars returns to this spot every two years or so, but Pluto not usually with Pluto as part of the mix. As a matter of fact, right now Venus is sitting on Mars and she may be keeping a lid on things.
It’s interesting also that Syria has stern Saturn in communications Gemini, so good at keeping secrets, a secret state in fact. But right now the Sun and Mercury are shining a light on that Saturn, and some of the truth about Syria is being revealed.
The 1970 coup d’etat
|Assad’s Coup, Nov 13, 1970. 6:08 AM|
The second chart is for this regime: Scorpio Sun, Scorpio rising, Jupiter in Scorpio, Venus (in fall) in Scorpio. Just a bit Scorpio then. Hafiz al Assad, father of this president Bashar, came to power in a brutally efficient coup which he called the “Corrective Revolution”.
And look there’s our favourite pairing Uranus-Mars, this time moved on to cardinal Libra. So the revolution again but this time, with the fixedness of this chart, the revolution has lasted since 1970.
And look where the people are. The Moon (in the house of servants) is opposed by the Sun and firmly under the jackboot of Saturn. Poor Syrians. The government has no problem turning it’s guns because the people are the enemy. If the timing is right for this chart (which I have thanks to Michael Wolfstar), then the difference between the 6th and 7th houses is crucial. Moon is the 7th/Sun in the 1st would mean a partnership. Moon in the 6th/Sun in the 12 is not a relationship of equals.
The Sun on the Ascendant in this chart makes the regime extremely powerful. Also I believe those 12th house planets tell of hidden sources of wealth and very big secrets.
|Pazuzu, the Assyrian
King of the Demons
So what of the transits? Well, I hope that Neptune sweeping across the IC and North Node means the Assad regime will find the ground beneath its feet swept away.
But the most obvious transit brings in our old friends Uranus-Mars again. They are being conjuncted by transiting Saturn (exalted) in Libra. Saturn transits are often about chickens coming home to roost, sowing what you have reaped. This is about reaping the rewards of previous violent revolution. It could go either way. The reward for effective tyranny is being allowed more tyranny; the reward for ineffective tyranny is being toppled by another tyrant.
There is a helping hand for the opposition to the government though – and that is in the shape of Jupiter transiting the 6th house this year. Opposition is growing, but can they organise? They are up against a highly organised government.
In the natal chart of this regime Venus is in Scorpio, which I am afraid I associate with vengeance, an eye for an eye. If you cross the Assads, you are finished. Both transiting Jupiter and transiting Saturn are in Venus-ruled signs, so perhaps they will make her behave more reasonably than usual. But I think the reality is that revenge will be wreaked from both sides.
The Saturn transit will carry on for the rest of this year, so I don’t think this will be over any time soon. Transiting Pluto is close to squaring that Uranus-Mars but it won’t do so exactly until 2013. Things could get a whole lot worse.
And the history of this region is as old as history itself – Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Rome, Byzantium, the Islamic empires, the Mongols, the Ottomans, the French – rulers and conquerors have rolled in and out since the beginning of recorded time. This was the final, crucial leg of the Silk Road from China to Europe where Aleppo and Damascus grew up as great trading entrepot. These were cities when Cairo, London and Paris were collections of huts.
The lesson of history is written for the Moon in Pisces: regimes come and go, but the people endure.