Pakistan - The Grand Eclipse

On August 11 1999 we had an eclipse that astrologers had feared for decades. It was believed to be the one Nostradamus was referring to when he announced 'the King of Terror'. All sorts of dire prophecies surrounded the eclipse, which saw the Sun and Moon form a Grand Cross with Mars, Saturn, and Uranus.

At the time nothing much happened except a relatively unknown KGB chief named Vladimir Putin suddenly became the new Prime Minister of Russia. But August 11 certainly wasn't just another date! General Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, back in 1943. A former commando he assumed control over Pakistan in a military coup on October 12, shortly after the eclipse.

President Nawaz had refused landing permission to the General in Pakistan and his plane eventually touched down with only seven minutes of fuel left in the tanks. The army, loyal to their General, arrested the President and Musharraf took the reins of Pakistan. A few days later the General addressed the nation. It may be appropriate to recall portions of that speech.

Musharraf Confronts Reality
He opened, 'Pakistan today stands at the crossroads of its destiny- a destiny which is in our hands to make or break. Fifty-two years ago, we started with a beacon of hope and today that beacon is no more and we stand in darkness. There is despondency, and hopelessness surrounding us with no light visible anywhere around. Today, we have reached a stage where our economy has crumbled, our credibility is lost, state institutions lie demolished; provincial disharmony has caused cracks in the federation, and people who were once brothers are now at each other's throat. In sum, we have lost our honour, our dignity, our respect in the comity of nations...Is this the way to enter the new millennium?' Clearly Musharraf was addressing serious problems that had rapidly escalated in recent years.

General Musharraf with his Leo Sun and Sagittarius Moon both in fire signs is a man of action rather than words. His Leo combination of Jupiter and Pluto together give him great power and put him on a mission. The Solar Eclipse of August '99 ignited this as well as putting his life in danger. Eclipses that fall right upon a subject's lifeline of the Sun either make or break. In Musharraf's case they propelled him toward his destiny. It hasn't been easy.

Newborn Nation
Pakistan was born as a nation on August 15 1947. It grew from the Indian independence movement championed by Ghandi and Nehru. The northern area of India was almost exclusively Moslem and they demanded their own state. On May 23 1947 the British Cabinet agreed to a partition of India, and the Indian Congress ratified this the following June 15. When the Sun set on the British Raj for the last time at midnight August 15 India became independent of English rule, and Pakistan became the world's newest nation. What followed was the largest migration in history as eight and a half million refugees; half Hindu and half Moslem crossed boundaries to their respective countries. Not all of them made it. Over 400,000 died in the tribal wars that followed the division of India. Their deaths were a testimony to the consequence of murderous religion above race or humanity.

A cursory look at the Pakistan chart set for midnight August 15 1947 demonstrates the warlike nature of the country. A combination of Mars and Uranus suggests the likelihood of sudden unpredictable violence. The harsh combination of Saturn and Pluto are exactly together with the Sun and all square to the Ascendant. This makes it difficult to find stability and a leader that can be both trusted and obeyed. Military regimes would seem the norm. If we progress this chart to the current times we see quite plainly the possibility of civil war. The progressed Midheaven is about to square natal Mars, and the progressed Mars is slowly making its way to oppose the Midheaven. To add to that transiting Uranus is opposing the birth Sun all November, and between the 13th to 21st will be activated by the squaring Sun and opposing Mars. Mind you India, reborn on the same day, does share some of this difficult planetary energy too, but there are differences in the two charts that suggest Pakistan is the main player.

As millions of Afghani's head over the Pakistan border pressure mounts on General Musharraf to quell the tide, and stop the US raids. Only time will tell how he can handle that pressure, or whether he'll stay loyal to the USA.

Referring back to his takeover speech back in October 1999, he claimed, 'We shall continue our efforts to achieve a just and peaceful solution in Afghanistan. We wish to see a truly representative government in Kabul. We will maintain and further reinforce our traditional and time-tested friendship and co-operation with China. We attach the highest importance to our friendly relations with all major powers, especially the United States.' The emphasis is mine but so far Musharraf has been true to his word on this.

The General Sworn In
To determine the fate of a government we refer to the swearing in chart of the President's government. Although Musharraf took over Pakistan on October 12 1999 he wasn't officially sworn in as President until 4pm on June 20 2001 in the capital Islamabad. As inaugaration charts go this one is promising - but promising all the wrong things. Mars is in opposition to the Sun and Jupiter for starters, so it's not as if he doesn't have powerful enemies. More importantly Uranus the planet of revolution lies at the very foundation of the chart within 3 minutes of exactly opposing the Midheaven. The problem here is that the Midheaven represents the ruling party. That would imply the instability of a man on balsa wood stilts. It's a perilous position to be in.

If we progress the Inauguration chart we get the Moon opposing Mars throughout November. The solar eclipse of December 15 2001 falls on the swearing in Mars. Uranus continues to haunt the Midheaven in February of 2002, and more critically the chart is heading for a New Moon in June and July of next year. The government of Musharraf is unstable by all these astrological indicators. It can be overthrown. At the very least there is danger of civil war. For the US to rely too much on Pakistan could be a major mistake. It may not be a question of Musharraf's loyalty to the United States, but Pakistan's loyalty to Musharraf. As the August eclipse promised the General is caught between a rock and a hard place.

In closing, let me add that astrology is frequently a matter of techniques employed and personal interpretation. Therefore it shows potentials more than certainties. Possibly the signs we are already seeing are evidence enough of the planets influence.

Pakistan, as I write, is obviously deeply divided. The challenge now is in containing that division, in light of the global circumstances that country finds itself in.

Ed Tamplin - November 1 2001

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