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WORLD PREDICTIONS 2016

GLOBAL ASTROLOGY FORECAST

FROM CARDINAL CRISIS TO MUTABLE MOMENTUM

In 2016, the outer giants Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune are transiting mutable signs, modifying their expression and effect on global conditions. The lunar nodes and both solar eclipses will also highlight mutable signs. This is a significant modality shift from the platform set across the past five years when the outer planets spotlighted cardinal signs. It was a time dubbed the ‘cardinal crisis’.

Mutability requires flexibility. One must ‘bend like the bamboo’ rather than remain rusted into intractable attitudes. Effective leadership will need to do the same. Yet all change works from the platform of the past. It pays to first examine what the departing cardinal crisis invoked. Cardinal is initiating – it fires the engine and starts the process. It also frequently produces a ‘divide and conquer’ mentality.

The remnants of cardinality are still in play as rebellious Uranus nears its square to extremist Pluto to begin 2016. A potent reminder was North Korea’s detonation of another nuclear bomb at 10 am January 6, precisely as the Sun came to meet Pluto and square ‘shock factor’ Uranus all in cardinal signs. Or the sudden plunge in global markets as China closed theirs. Looking back a century reveals the consistent themes of the cardinal crisis patterns.

CARDINAL CRISIS PATTERNS

The cardinal crisis of the early 1930’s, starring Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto hard angled to each other, exquisitely timed the onset of the Great Depression. The aftermath was a rise in nationalistic fervor, led by a series of dictatorships as fascism v socialism divided Europe and planted the seeds for what would grow into WWII.

The succeeding cardinal crisis of the early to mid 1950’s, featuring Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, all hard angled, timed the Cold War. It wasn’t only played out along the 38th parallel of Korea, but via an insane weapons race of mutually assured destruction. It may be hard to conceive today but the ‘duck and cover’ campaign to of this cardinal crisis, was common fare to US school children from 1951. It had its effect on adults too.

The same cardinal crisis featured propaganda paranoia of ‘reds under the beds’ that characterized a Draconian suppression of liberal politicians, writers and artists – known as McCarthyism. Europe split into eastern and western blocs. Then at the following cardinal crisis of 1989/90 involving the exact same planets of the 50’s, the Soviet Union imploded ending the Cold War. In its place came Middle East energy wars in the guise of ideological religious battles.

The cardinal crisis we are currently emerging from, involved identical planets as that of the 1930’s and began along similar lines, starting with a global economic crisis. The aftermath of which has produced deep geopolitical divisions, exaggerated nationalistic tendencies and a rise in right wing politics across the western world very similar to the 1930’s.

The cardinal crisis climaxed with the Grand Cross of April 2014, which produced the seismic geopolitical shift. It precisely timed the beginning of US led sanctions on Russia, following the Ukraine revolution and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula. A new Cold War materialized with breakaway geopolitical and financial amalgamations, poised to challenge the domination of western economic and political power.

All of this occurred with Pluto opposing the USA’s Cancerian birth Sun and revolutionary Uranus squaring the same point. It’s far from over. 2016 will produce another Grand Cross perfecting on June 4 2016, at 11 pm Washington time and perhaps this is a good starting point for analysis. The upcoming Grand Cross sees Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune all impacting on the Ascendant of the horoscope of the USA.

SATURN AND THE USA

Multiple planets to the USA Ascendant have always coincided with pivotal political events. The Saturn Pluto opposition across the Ascendant/Descendant timed the September 11 2001 attacks. The same planets, in the opposite positions, coincided with the Spanish American War of 1898. But it was 911 that set the tone for the security conscious world we inhabit today. At that point Saturn was transiting the US Descendant. It is now opposite.

During 2016 Saturn will make three passes across the US Ascendant. The Ascendant represents national projection and global positioning, and establishment Saturn suggests a conservative outlook ahead. If we trace back to 2001, when Saturn first entered the upper hemisphere of the US chart and follow its progress, there is a revealing timeline of its function. Following 911, and with Saturn still the US seventh house of allies and enemies, the invasion of Iraq was launched.

When Saturn reached the USA’s seventh house Sun, the Abu Ghraib prison torture story broke worldwide. Violent insurgencies tore across Iraq and the casualties on both side rose exponentially. The previous time Saturn had moved across the US Sun, President Richard Nixon resigned. With the reality brick Saturn on the US Sun, the populace began to question the whole Iraq operation. On the eve of the election, a timely Osama bin Laden video advised Americans not to vote for George W. Bush. The Republicans couldn’t have hoped for a better advertising campaign.

Come 2011 and the USA was experiencing a triple Saturn return. A NATO blitzkrieg led to regime change in Libya and the US began openly supporting anti-government rebel groups in Syria. The same year the final combat forces withdrew from Baghdad. On December 15 2011 President Obama congratulated his troops for leaving behind a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant” Iraq. But as responsible Saturn reaches the US Ascendant, such is clearly not the case.

SATURN AT THE US ASCENDANT

Saturn reaching the US Ascendant means it opposes the position it held during 911. The question is, will it also produce the reflective wisdom born of experience that Saturn represents. Is it time to rethink foreign policy? Or will its potential negativity exacerbate fear driven politics that dominate an important election year. The last two times that Saturn spent significant time at the US Ascendant – namely 1927 and 1957 - produced two such fear based plans.

‘War Plan Red’ was concocted following the 1927 Geneva Naval Conference. It was a detailed strategy for fighting the British Empire, starting with an invasion of Canada. When it became declassified information, in 1974, it created diplomatic waves north of the border. The 1957 Saturn Ascendant transit coincided with ‘Operation Dropshot’, a US plan for a possible WWIII. This one involved using hundreds of nuclear bombs to dismantle Russia’s industrial potential, should Western Europe fall to communism.

Neither eventuated, but both of these extreme strategies give an idea of the fear factor that intractable Saturn in self-righteous Sagittarius can produce. It’s back! Note too that Neptune the planet of spin will square the US Ascendant and religious Jupiter will do the same in 2016. So don’t be surprised if the national narrative features a focus on national security and trade protectionism.

THE US PRESIDENTIAL RACE

The first thing to appreciate, before any analysis of the 2016 presidential race is that in an oligarchy the financial system dictates the choices. Apart from a genuine people’s revolution, unless a candidate fits the ‘system’, they are not in the race. This is not Iceland. The money spent on the 2016 presidential campaigns could top $4 billion, something that has become the pattern since the US Supreme Court gave SUPERPACS the green light.

Perfect fits for the establishment are Democrat Hillary Clinton or a Republican like Jeb Bush. But under the current planetary mutable emphasis it’s two other candidates, each with mutable Suns and strong mutability in their birth horoscopes, who are creating all the waves – Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. And in this time of a mutable Grand Cross, people with mutable placements will ride a wave.

THE SANDERS STORM

Bernie Sanders was born on Monday, September 8 1941, in Brooklyn New York. A time of 12.27 pm has been bandied with no verification. He has something going for him that few of his political opponents possess. People actually trust him but few believe he will be President. Despite that the 74-year-old political veteran, is pulling the biggest open-air crowds and notably getting the least mainstream media coverage. That tells a story all by itself.

Bernie was born with a questioning Virgo Sun in wide conjunction to Neptune, the planet of social idealism. His campaign is tapping into the two divisive issues threatening America today – social and economic inequality. Bernie isn’t backed by the Super PACS. He claims they amount to legalized bribery. He’s an outlier from the oligarchs, but with a credible voting record, ahead of its time.

Sanders was critical of the Federal Reserve and Alan Greenspan's economic policies years before the global meltdown. He voted 'against' the invasion of Iraq. At an age when most people are retiring, Bernie is battling to make a difference. And he will have kingmaker Jupiter, now in Virgo and mass movement Pluto trining his Sun from Capricorn to buoy his campaign in the early part of the year.

Although Sanders does not weigh up as strongly when analyzed with astrological birth charts of thirty-seven other Presidents who have won an election, he can still make an impact on the tone of the campaign and the main issues. It may be much easier for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton to adopt some of Sander’s ideologies, or bring him onside, than engage him as a rival.

DONALD TRUMP

Donald Trump was born on the lunar eclipse of June 14 1946 @ 10.54 hours in New York. A lunar eclipse is a very public aspect. Trump’s life has forever been in that spotlight. It attracts him like a moth to a flame. Trump’s voluble Gemini Sun joins uninhibited Uranus, meaning he delights in the unexpected and loves to shock. This brusqueness is his appeal; rambunctious Mars is sitting at his Ascendant in self-important Leo

Trump’s wilful Sun and Uranus are positioned in a supportive trine to entrepreneurial Jupiter, and have delivered enough vision to make him a billionaire. Jupiter and Uranus, well aligned, are considered planets of extreme luck and rapid advance. Born into money, Trump is quoted as saying ‘everything in life is luck’. The rebellious Uranus is working in a supportive manner to both his communicative Gemini Sun and Sagittarian Moon in 2016.

Trump’s presidential bid was launched at 11.21 am June 16 2015, with a Gemini New Moon joined to incitory Mars, and could scarcely be more descriptive. Even Trump labeled his campaign ‘war’ and it will continue to be. Explosive issues, impulsiveness reactions, a focus on guns, community anger and foot in mouth disease are all the manifestations of Mars. Publicity hound Trump is a media dream, even if a Republican nightmare.

It doesn’t stop there as the Donald has his Gemini Sun right upon the USA’s Mars. It can hardly be more volatile for the country than that. Trump’s concern is his progressed Jupiter squaring establishment Saturn, although it has also been very successfully whilst trining his Sun. His progressed Moon conjunct his birth Venus and transiting Jupiter in trine to his Sun in January 2017 are positive aspects for Trump.

He claims he will not run as an independent but his campaign is just that. The irony of it all being that Trump is one of the universally disliked ‘one per centers’, who have grown even richer since the global economic collapse. But such is the measure of US political polarity. Cynics see Trump as riding one big publicity campaign, deflecting attention from Sander’s message, dividing Republicans and aiding the Democrats.

THE DYNASTIES

Hillary Clinton was born October 26 1947 in Chicago, with an unconfirmed time of 8.02 am. Her birth horoscope ticks plenty of boxes when compared with previously elected presidents. Her Scorpio Sun is the equal top sun sign, her Mercury in Scorpio and Mars in Leo have been a factor with nine other Presidents. Although no US President shares her Pisces Moon, Hillary ’s astrological signature rates well above average for the position.

Hillary ’s third quarter progressed Moon phase is the equal top for elected presidents as is her birth Moon phase. The major problem appears her progressed Sun and Mercury both moving into square with Neptune. This may place a fog of uncertainty at a critical juncture. Neptune can play a deceptive undermining role. She also began her campaign on April 12 2015, with the Sun semisquare Neptune.

Neptune is the planet aligned to sacrifice, charities and socialism. Does it mean that Hillary is ‘feeling the Bern’? Quite possibly so! It also connects with rumor and scandal; Neptune is the cloud of unknowing. If…and that is the operative word…she was born close to 8 am, then the Neptune factor will be strong in August of 2016 as her secondary progressed Moon comes to join.

If she was an evening birth – around 8 pm - then it will hit earlier, around February March 2016 and may coincide with earlier setbacks. For mine the Neptune challenge is concerns about her connections with the big end of town. She has to jump that hurdle to win, but has the current advantage of dominating the female vote. She has also picked the right time to run according to both her Jupiter and Venus cycles.

Jupiter was in Virgo when Hillary wrote her Senior Thesis in 1968 and in May 1969 when she delivered a speech that would later land her in 'Life' magazine. Jupiter was in Virgo when she gave birth to her only child Chelsea in 1980 and returned when she became US First Lady in 1993. She was urged to run in 2004, the last time it was here, but delayed, preferring 2008. Now Jupiter is back to Virgo.

Venus will return to the same position it had when she was sworn in as Secretary of State as husband Bill first become POTUS. It's not only astrological cycles, but from the bookmaker’s perspective, Hillary is odds on favorite and there is no-one else seriously in the race.

JEB BUSH

Jeb Bush is an Aquarian, born Feb 11 1953 @ 8.50 pm in Midland Texas. Aquarius ties with Scorpio as the most popular Sun sign for US Presidents. Bush’s Capricorn Moon is also the most popular Moon sign for US Presidents. For natal placements of planets in signs of past presidents, Jeb can match Hillary . Yet powerbroker Pluto natally opposing his Sun presents a real challenge.

Jeb Bush’s horoscope has a remarkable bond with his father’s chart. Both have overlaying Grand Air Trines. And both connect back to George Herbert Walker, the St Louis entrepreneur and financier, Jeb’s great-grandfather. The family theme is one of money and power. Jeb is hoping to be the third Bush in the oval office since 1988.

The Sun opposition to Pluto suggests that he often feels coerced by forces outside his own control. In some ways it describes the difficult legacy of the Bush surname. And during 2016 his progressing Midheaven will be moving over Pluto the powerbroker. It is a make or break aspect and indicative of a total career transformation.

Jeb’s Midheaven – the career point of the horoscope – is 23 degrees of Gemini – right on the USA Mars. For his campaign launch both the Sun and Mars were positioned at his Midheaven. For mine that would make Jeb a favorite of the military industrial complex and NRA, along with Trump. And also like Trump this is a very dangerous combination.

REPUBLICAN REFORMATION

The meeting that led to the foundation of the Republican Party took place on February 28 1854, in a small school hall in Ripon, Wisconsin. A second meeting on March 20 from 6.30 pm confirmed the formation of the new party. Both charts are useful when mapping the future of the current Republic Party.

The February 28 horoscope shows a compassionate Piscean Sun and Venus with empathetic Neptune in opposition to angry Mars. It is descriptive of the anti-slavery breakaway movement initially proposed by former Whig Party member Alvan Bovay. But from June 2015 – when the Bush and Trump campaigns began almost simultaneously – obfuscating Neptune has been moving across the Republican Sun.

Since then the Republican platform has been thrown into disarray with ‘too many cooks spoiling the broth’. True to Neptune’s mystical epiphanies, House Speaker John Boehner resigned following a meeting with Pope Francis. His replacement was a corporate politician born with Neptune rising – Paul Ryan. The Neptune message is obvious. Forget the spin, empathize with the public and get back to the party’s spiritual roots.

If we take the second meeting, which confirmed the party, of March 20 1854, the Sun is positioned just entering Aries. This was subject to a Solar Eclipse on March 19 of last year, again suggesting a rebirth of sorts. By 2025 both Saturn and Neptune will unite on this Sun position. The choice being a complete reformation of the GOP or a new breakaway group forming from the remnants.

House Speaker Paul Ryan was born January 29 1970 @ 02.37 in Janesville, Wisconsin. His elevation to that role is understandable with his progressed Midheaven coming to opportune Jupiter in 2015. During 2016 it will join Saturn and his progressed Sun will oppose Pluto. The Sun Pluto opposition shows the power struggle Ryan sees himself in. Saturn shows increased responsibility along with his conservative agenda. Fate steps in. It’s the most important career year of his life.

The Republican Convention begins on Monday July 18 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. On that morning, the Sun will be positioned sesquisquare to both Saturn and Neptune. This aspect is called the quadriform, but perhaps the name Thor’s Hammer given by astrologer Linda Reid, is more descriptive. Needless to say it’s a difficult one, especially as the Sun implies the leader.

The only event that comes to mind featuring the rare Thor’s Hammer aspect with the Sun as the apex planet to both Saturn and Neptune in square was the ill-fated ‘Operation Eagle Claw’, the aborted attempt to rescue Iranian hostages during the Carter presidency. It crashed and burned, damaging the national image and costing Carter his position. Watch this year’s Republican convention! It may be the unexpected start of the party's reformation.

INDUSTRIAL UNREST

The global economic model changed dramatically from the early 1980's. All of the outer planets crowded at one stage into one sixth of the zodiac. This extreme clustering of outers is very rare and plays out as a one-track view. Economically it was a period of unfettered deregulation and accelerated investment. Public utilities were privatised to fund government debt, the average citizen became an investor. It was the materialistic decade of the 'yuppy'.

This coincided with the economic collapse of the Soviet states by 1989, a disintegration that began as Saturn and Neptune met in Capricorn. What has followed is a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and a marked inequality even in the bastions of capitalism. However, the planetary patterns of 2016 clearly indicate a reaction against this unfair concentration and control.

Governments that seem little more than puppets of their financial masters will feel this reaction the most. The outer planets are returning the formations they held during the Great UK Strike of 1926 or the Remington Rand strike of 1936 in the USA. Expect increased industrial unrest in developing nations across 2016. There will be a return to union action and a call of people to be united against overly oppressive legislations.

CHINA

In World Predictions for 2014 I anticipated a tightening of the Chinese economy in 2015 and an expanding potential for international incidents. This was partly based on the progressing Sun of the People’s Republic of China horoscope (October 1 1949 @ 15.01 hours Beijing) squaring contracting Saturn. The tightening is necessary as Saturn also represents responsible – and necessary – restraint.

China’s economic restructuring continues through 2016, although one also must keep in mind that their progressing Venus also is yet to meet progressed Jupiter, so all is not lost. As for the ringed planet representing structure, China's construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea is triggering international concern. There are historical and planetary parallels to what may lie ahead in 2016 in the maritime realm.

Little known in the west, one of the greatest naval battles of all time took place on China’s largest freshwater lake, from the morning of August 30 1363. All told over 850,000 combatants were involved and over a thousand wooden vessels. This decisive conflict led to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty being displaced by the rising Ming Dynasty, who governed for the next three centuries.

The epic naval encounter occurred as expansive Jupiter in Virgo opposed king of the seas Neptune in Pisces and Mars moved through Scorpio. It’s a planetary pattern that recurs this year. In late May 2016, the T-Square of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune will overlay the Jupiter/Neptune positioning of the Battle of Poyang. The early June Grand Cross will also highlight the same degrees – which may mirror the mood of those times.

POWER IN THE CHINA SEA

The US, for starters, is claiming Chinese island construction threatens established trade routes. Interestingly, the first US commercial boat to the then exclusive trade port of Canton, was the Empress of China. It berthed on August 30 1784, the same calendar date that the Battle of Poyang began. Venus and Mars were then occupying the middle degrees of Virgo, where this year's mutable T-Square will return from late May.

The Chinese say they are just reclaiming old ancestral territory, stolen during the Sino-Japanese Wars and fortifying national defenses. Over 2016, combative Mars in Scorpio will duplicate its movement of 1937, the beginning year of the Second Sino-Japanese war. The imperialist Japanese army had already staged a false flag bombing, known as the Manchurian Incident at 10 am on September 18 1931 as a pretext for earlier invasion, again with Mars in Scorpio.

The modern economic juggernaut China is no longer divided, impoverished, or economically exploited. They are beginning to reassert and reverse historical roles. Beginning at 10.09 am on September 3 2015, China held a display of military might with a Victory Day parade through Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has now declared Victory over Japan Day, a national holiday.

XI JINGPING

Xi Jinping, was born June 15 1953, in Beijing with militant Mars at the Vernal Point. His Gemini Sun at 24 degrees falls right upon the Mars of the horoscope of the USA. Last year the President’s birthday horoscope – his solar return – arrived as a New Moon joined to Mars. Coincidentally, this was the same time period that both Donald Trump and Jeb Bush launched their presidential campaigns. China will feature strongly in their policy dictates.

Xi is quoted as saying that any major confrontation with the USA, “would surely spell disaster for both countries". Last years military parade coincided with the Mars return in the horoscope of the People’s Republic of China. The planet of war lies in their seventh house of allies and enemies together with lethal Pluto. It was at their Mars return of October 16 1964 @ 7 am that they detonated their first nuclear weapon.

All of this suggests the battle for the South China seas is getting closer to producing an international incident. This may tie in with the lead up to the Grand Cross New Moon but other dates when Mars is active are early to mid February, around the end of June and also in mid-September. Whether or not this results in naval encounters, the mood is being set via these important transits.

THE UKRAINE

The modern Ukraine declared independence from the former Soviet states at 17.31 hours on August 24 1991 in Kiev. In 2012, as reformative Pluto came to the Ascendant of the national horoscope, jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko began a hunger strike. National tensions bubbled over and European leaders criticized the incarceration of Tymoshenko. She had become the poster girl for the west, who had backed her role in the 2004 Orange Revolution.

The October 28 2012 Ukrainian election further widened the country’s political divide. The old Communist Party doubled their vote to 13%. The ultra-right nationalist party of Svoboda, multiplied theirs tenfold, jumping from 1% to 10%. Svoboda had registered as a political entity on October 16 1995, when warlike Mars was meeting lethal Pluto in extreme Scorpio. Their birth Sun squared rebellious Uranus and dissolving Neptune.

It was the Ukraine unity that was ultimately dissolving – torn between historic cultural ties and European capital. Tymoshenko was a proponent for the Ukraine’s inclusion in both the NATO alliance and the European Union. The Pluto transit would correlate with a revolution. In the opening months of 2014, just preceding the Cardinal Grand Cross of April that same year, the inevitable revolution exploded, with the streets of Kiev becoming a fiery battlefield.

POROSHENKO'S WARLIKE CHART

In the opening week of 2016 – as I write this article – the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has released a photoshopped cover of the ‘The Economist 2016’ with his face replacing Russian President Vladimir Putin on the cover. Poroshenko has now banned the Communist party and removed historical ties to Russia. The Odessa statue of Vladimir Lenin has been symbolically remodeled into Darth Vader.

On December 7 2015, Petro Poroshenko met with the US Vice President Joe Biden already on his fifth trip to the Ukraine. Biden’s son, Hunter, sits on the board of the Ukraine’s largest private energy company. On the same day in Washington, the Ukraine embassy dedicated a day to their armed forces. Speakers from both nations pledged military allegiance, with the US supplying close to $700 million through foreign aid in 2016.

In 2016, the horoscope of Ukrainian Independence has the progressed Sun coming to meet Mars, fitting for heightened military activity. Jupiter will also transit across the Ukraine Mars in August. But perhaps it’s Poroshenko’s connection with his country’s horoscope that is even more inflammatory – warrior Mars and extremist Pluto swap places in the overlay of both charts.

Petro Poroshenko was born September 26 1965 in Bolhrad, Odessa Blast. An oligarch billionaire, he is the sixth richest person in the Ukraine. As the owner of the popular television news Channel 5, he became the key media player in the Euromaidan protest movement leading to the overthrow of the government. In 2016 Poroshenko’s progressed Sun is also coming to meet his birth Mars, as his progressed Mars also moves to square his Mercury and Sun. This is a volatile war combination.

JUPITER SATURN AND THE MIDDLE EAST

The twenty-year cycle of the solar system heavyweights of Jupiter and Saturn, has for centuries been used as the barometer of the political big picture. The current cycle began with the conjunction of May 2000. Earlier that month the May 5 New Moon produced an extraordinary combination of the Sun, Moon and all of the visible planets to Saturn in the territorial sign of Taurus.

Year 2000 was a critical juncture for ending one millennium and beginning another. An examination of what was happening in that period provides real insight on who, and what, will dominate the headlines as the Jupiter and Saturn come into their closing square again between late March and early June this year. For starters will see greater attention paid to the Israel/Palestine situation between March and June.

The Jupiter Saturn conjunction of 2000 fell exactly on the Sun of the formation of Israel and opposed the Sun position of the Palestinian Independence Proclamation. The Israel Palestine divide goes to the very heart of political dissent in the Middle East and core issues such as Arab autonomy in their homelands. The cycle has proved a potent timer on all of these issues. It also brings Syria into the mix.

Long time Syrian President Hafez al-Assad died on June 10 2000 and was replaced by son Bashar, following a national referendum. Hopes of a territorial agreement between Israel and Palestine faded as the Camp David Peace Accord stalled in July. By late September 2000, a provocative visit to the Temple Mount by Israel’s hawkish Ariel Sharon scuttled all hope of mediation and led to the Second Palestinian Uprising.

THE OPENING SQUARE AND OPPOSITION

The next turning point of the Jupiter Saturn cycle came at the opening square from late June 2006 to the end of October 2006. It uniquely timed the Israel-Lebanon war, the bombing of Beirut and displacement of over one million Lebanese. During this square the Bush administration canvassed a covert plan to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Palestinian elections of 2006 placed the para-military organization of Hamas in power.

The opposition of the two planets brought the Israel Palestine issue back to world headlines. In the early hours of May 31 2010, Israeli commandos raided an international flotilla bringing aid to Gaza. Ships were detained, all media information confiscated and nine protestors killed. The incident brought Israel international condemnation, and brought the living conditions of Gaza to global awareness.

The opposition point of any cycle is a revelation point. But who could expect the revelations of the online publisher WikiLeaks, releasing covert and classified material of over 90,000 internal reports concerning the US led involvement in the Afghanistan War. It happened as the two planets passed the opposition point for the second time in July 2010.

On December 18 2010, the so-called Arab Spring officially began in Tunisia, spreading through Egypt to the Middle East. It would lead to targeted regime change. By the final pass of the Jupiter Saturn opposition, in March 2011, France and the US would begin bombing raids over Libya and rebel groups would begin anti-government movement Syria. All would have repercussive events on France and all of Europe, by the closing square beginning August 2015 and lasting to the middle of the 2016.

JUPITER SATURN – CURRENT CLOSING SQUARE

In July 2015, Turkey allowed US to begin drone strikes into Syria from Turkish soil. This would dramatically escalate of the Syrian civil war. At noon, on July 20 the Suruc bombing in Turkey became the precursor for Turkey to also begin bombing Syria. Turkey makes no secret of its wish to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Al-Assad came to leadership at the beginning of the current Jupiter-Saturn cycle. Another leader, sworn in only two days after the rare May 2000 planetary line up in Taurus, was Russian President Vladimir Putin. The closing square lured Russia further into the cauldron, in direct support of the Syrian government. It also saw the first NATO (Turkish) plane shoot down a Russian plane after Russia shared their flight information.

A month after Russia began their aerial missions a Russian passenger plane was downed over the Egyptian Sinai in mysterious circumstances. The departing square of Jupiter and Saturn is the next development in the Syrian regime change planned from the first square and brought into reality at the opposition phase. The March through to early June period of 2016 is pivotal to all of these operations.

The closing square began from the start of August 2015. Along with it came a rapidly rising tide of refugees flooding into Europe as the Syrian war worsened. On September 3, a widely circulated photo of a deceased child washed up on a Turkish beach simultaneously brought the horrors of the refugee into perspective, while countering nationalistic opposition to the migration problem.

Much of what is happening now can also be attributed back to one important event that took place at the closing of the first Jupiter Saturn square in October of 2006 – the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq.

ISLAMIC STATE

The call for a Sunni state in northern Iraq, following the US led invasion, led to the public declaration of the Islamic State of Iraq on October 15 2006. This was a full governmental body operating under sharia law and comprised of six Anbar tribes and three smaller insurgent groups. On that day the Libran Sun was tightly wedged between peacemaker Venus and warlord Mars. But Mars was at the potent midpoint of Saturn and Pluto.

The same group would expand by April 8/9 2013 to become the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Again the Sun would be positioned with Venus and Mars, but this time via the opposite sign of Aries. The fact that these three planets stood in such close opposition creates an axis from which to forecast potential developments.

Both charts are active in 2016. The ISI progressed Sun is meeting progressed Mars. The red planet being the lord of the battle, this would indicate an increase in warlike activities. A similar progression unfolds in the ISIL horoscope, where the progressing Sun meets the birth Mars. The meaning is much the same.

Insurgent Uranus will also move across the Sun and Mars of the ISIL chart pointing to around March 20 initially and spotlighting the ISIL Mars late April and early May. The charts are also quite active in the warlike sense in the August of 2016. Much of the funding for the Sunni jihadists operations has been traced back to Saudi Arabia.

SAUDI ARABIA

While the world’s leading nations talk of peace, the reality is that they will sell over billions dollars worth of arms to a powder keg Middle East this year. The hypocrisy of talking peace and fuelling division throughout the Arab world could not be more obvious. The biggest buyers by far are the Saudis. Their total expenditure exceeds 10% of their national budget GDP.

This year Saudi Arabia is expected to shell out $80 billion dollars on ‘security’, an amount that even exceeds the Russian military budget. The Saudi military expenditure since the pro-democracy demonstrations of the Arab spring has snowballed. Saudi armies helped fellow monarchies such as Bahrain quell civilian uprisings, when it would have been embarrassing had their western backers intervened to protect financial interests.

The House of Saud welcomed in the New Year of 2016 with 47 beheadings. They have an unenviable human rights record, in a country where women are still not permitted to drive. Despite all of this, Britain traded votes to ensure that Saudi Arabia was appointed to head United Nations Human Rights Council. Due to their oil partnerships the monarchal autocracy is protected species.

The Western allies love affair with the Sauds began on May 4 1938, when oil began flowing from Dammam Well No. 7 in commercial quantities. By 1943 it would have Franklin D Roosevelt proclaiming, "defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States". On February 14 1945, Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud and formalized the US-Saudi bond. The horoscope of that meeting will be rigorously tested - along with their relationship with the USA - in the coming years.

The horoscope of the opening of the oil fields is also under severe pressure from the middle of 2016. This may react adversely on oil prices or mean that the fields are subject to an attack, or that the flow is interrupted by the geopolitical situation. The horoscope of King Salman, born December 21 1935, also suggests a more aggressive approach as his progressed Sun moves from Pisces to assertive Aries.

The Capricorn Sun in the birth chart of Saudi Arabia, timed at 03.45 am January 15 1902 in Riyadh, is also squared by insurgent Uranus and semisquared by Saturn in August. The opposition of the Sun around July 16 may trigger ongoing events. The September 1 Solar Eclipse is also in hard angle here. Throughout the year dissipating Neptune will semisquare the same Sun. This can bring great challenge to the leadership.

Possibly the most worrying aspect of the Saudi Arabia horoscope is how it fits in with critical nuclear horoscopes, such as the first ever US nuclear bomb test in Almogordo, New Mexico, the first Russian nuclear bomb and the largest weapon of all time – the Tsar Bomb, equal to all the explosives used in WWII. The worry is that the Saudis want a bomb. And with that chart they may get it.

FRANCE

The definitive political transformation of France remains the moment of the First Republic of September 21 1792 @ 3.30 pm, when the monarchy changed to a republic. It must be remembered that those revolutionary days have frequently been written about as a ‘reign of terror’. The horoscope of the First Republic shows Mars in vengeful Scorpio at the Midheaven, as the strongest planet in the chart. Mars is also in a testing square to both rebellious Uranus and lethal Pluto, in what is a very descriptive horoscope of the times.

Terror returned to France in 2015. This first happened at with the January 7 attacks on the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ magazine from Islamic extremists for satirizing the Prophet Mohammad. The attacks happened as transiting Mars squared itself, opposed insurgent Uranus and was passing deadly Pluto. Worse was to follow on November 13 from 21.20 hours. A series of co-ordinated attacks throughout Paris claimed one hundred and thirty lives. This came with fiery Mars exactly on the Sun of the Republic horoscope and the Sun moving to its Mars.

France’s challenging 2015 may also be connected with the March 2015 Solar Eclipse exactly opposing the France’s Sun position of the final degree of Virgo. Sombre Saturn was also transiting France’s Sagittarian Moon, the final pass being in November 2015. Saturn can also represent restriction and control and the Moon is an indicator of the public. The capital being in lockdown is a Saturn/Moon in the authoritative tenth house phenomena.

The horoscope of France is fielding three Mars returns in 2016. They are affecting the late February, early June and mid to late July periods. The planet is connected with military and police activities and the June period, featuring the Mars retrograde may be the strongest period in the above connections.

Historically the Scorpio Mars Midheaven has been a valuable measuring point for French insurrection. The general strikes, student and civil unrest that characterized France in May 1968 occurred with socialistic Neptune precisely on the Mars. So along with its military focus, the Mars emphasis may point to industrial conditions and equality issues challenging the legacy of Francois Hollande’s presidency.

AUSTRALIA - SOMETHING ABOUT SEPTEMBER?

In last year's World Predictions article I wrote that the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott would no longer be the Australian PM by the final quarter of 2015. He was replaced without an election, following a challenge by former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull. This continued the remarkable pattern of mid-September leadership change in Australian politics.

Malcolm Turnbull challenges Brendon Nelson to win Liberal leadership.
September 16 2008

Julia Gillard sworn in as first elected female PM after gaining support from independents
September 14 2010

Tony Abbott decisively wins the 2014 federal election replacing Gillard.
September 13 2013

Labor seeks new leader following the resignation of Kevin Rudd
September 16 2013

Malcolm Turnbull replaces Tony Abbott as Liberal leader and PM in party coup.
September 15 2015.

When questioned on the timing of the next Federal election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, suggested September of 2016. On past evidence, would that really be such a smart idea, or is he foxing?

MALCOLM TURNBULL

Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was born in Sydney October 24 1954. He has assured me that he does not know the exact time, having both parents deceased. Turnbull’s cuspal Libra/Scorpio Sun displays characteristics of both signs. He exudes a Libran charm and balanced perspective, yet with a scheming Scorpio intensity underneath. Adding to the political intrigue – he replaced a fellow Scorpio in Tony Abbott.

It was Abbott who had earlier challenged and defeated Turnbull to grab the Liberal leadership in December 2009. But it was Turnbull who reminded Abbott of the Scorpio maxim, ‘revenge is a dish served, best served cold’ come September 13 2015. All of this makes for an interesting year ahead in Liberal ranks.

Turnbull’s Sun squares the fortunate combination of Jupiter/Uranus, whilst also squaring warrior Mars. He is the richest businessman ever to lead Australia. The Sun at this Mars/Jupiter/Uranus midpoint gives a modernistic outlook and love of technology but also a hair-trigger temper when encountering delays and frustrations. Russell Crowe is one famous Australian who shares the Sun at Mars/Jupiter midpoint and Kevin Rudd had a Sun Mars union with Jupiter nearby.

THE SWEARING IN CHART

The one precise time available on Turnbull is his official swearing in moment. He came to power within twenty-four hours of a solar eclipse and was sworn in as Australian Prime Minister at 13.34 hours (AEST) at Canberra on September 15 2015. The swearing in horoscope shows the final degree of Capricorn rising. The changeover from Capricorn toward Aquarius, promised by this horoscope, shifts the government from right wing conservative Capricorn to liberal progressive Aquarius.

Establishment Capricorn moving to the more egalitarian Aquarius may also be a sign of Australia moving from a traditional monarchy to a future republic, something Turnbull has always championed. Uranus also opposed the Midheaven in his swearing in horoscope, is either pointing to an early election, or confirming the sudden shocks and reshuffles ahead on his watch.

The Uranus connection not only describes the sudden change of national leadership, but also actually implies further surprises in store during Turnbull’s term. The best-laid plans can go awry under this aspect. The partile square of the Moon to regenerative Pluto in the twelfth and it’s semisquare to Saturn, plus wider opposition to Uranus supports this conclusion. It may also place greater burdens on the Australian people (Moon).

In connection with this swearing in horoscope watch the New Moon of April 7. It will occur at the IC and activate the Uranus. That should give a clearer picture on developments. Pluto will also square the Midheaven in April and the eclipsing nodal axis moves across the Sun position of the swearing in chart. Eclipses have also played a fateful role in Australian politics.

Abbott and Turnbull assumed the national leadership position within twelve months of having a Solar Eclipse on their birth Suns. Two giants of the Australian political stage also passed on at eclipses. Four days prior to the October 24 2014 Solar Eclipse, Gough Whitlam died, just two years short of his centenary. His political nemesis and successor Malcolm Fraser died at the following March eclipse of 2015.

All of which makes the next opposing Solar Eclipse of March 9 2016 and that of September 1 2016, worth watching when it comes to looming political change in Australia. At the time of writing Malcolm Turnbull has lifted the Liberal Coalition polling ahead of the Labor/Greens, and opened a wide gap over Labor leader Bill Shorten. This honeymoon popularity may tempt Turnbull into calling an early pre-budget election around the March period.

AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

There are two effective horoscopes for Australia. The first is the 05.23 hours January 26 1788 Australian Settlement chart. This national birthday horoscope pertains to the people and nation overall. It is commemorated each year as Australia Day. The second is the Australian Federation horoscope of January 1 1901, when the first federal ministry was sworn in at 1.36 pm in Sydney. This works well with government policy and affairs.

The Federation horoscope shows instability ahead as solar arcing Saturn squares the Midheaven, solar arcing Uranus squares the Sun by midyear along with solar arcing Moon squaring Pluto and Mars joining Saturn. These multiple aspects imply very difficult decisions and great challenges for the Australian government and PM in 2016. Much of this may be attached to economic conditions.

Contracting Saturn is moving through Australia’s eighth house of debt, taxation and foreign investment. When here in 1986, the then Treasurer Paul Keating made his famous ‘banana republic’ forecast for the country. Australia moved into the recession it had to have. In the coming year the T-Square of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus will impact powerfully on the financial planets in the Federation chart putting pressure on national budgets and commodities.

Taxation can be expected to increase as the country feels the effect of the collapsing commodity prices bubble of the past years. Major mining companies will also feel this squeeze, which will reflect on the ASX index and major banks.

Tightening conditions may also create industrial unrest something that has been rare during Australia’s more prosperous times. The Australian First Settlement chart’s Moon, also in the eighth house of investment and positioned in mid Virgo, will also field the square from contracting Saturn. By September this could bring down real estate prices.

THE DOW IN 2016

After a slowing year in 2014 world markets slumped back in 2015, with notable exceptions being the tech stocks of the NASDAQ up 9% and the German DX up 10% along with the Japanese Nikkei up 9%.

Both the DAX and the Nikkei were consistent risers across the past two years. Major indices such as the DJIA and S & P 500 fell almost 3% mirrored by the Australian All Ords and ASX. The London FTSE fell 5% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng dropped 6%.

The wild card was the Chinese Shanghai Composite. After a wild ride in which it reached an impossible mid year high 50% above the years starting price, it leveled back to a 9% gain over the whole year.

Markets had a rocky start to 2016 as the Sun reactivated the reformatory Uranus-Pluto square. Mercury headed retro in square with Mars and the Dow had it's worst start ever. Doomsday pundits were out in force. But what does the Saturn Neptune square suggest for the world’s largest economy and the Dow across the year?

First thing to remember is that we are now in the closing square of the Saturn Neptune cycle. This cycle began as a time of hope as the Soviet Union collapsed opening venture capital opportunities throughout Eastern Europe and beyond. The first half of the Saturn Neptune cycle – up to the opposition point of 2006-2007 was for the most part, a bull market time.

Saturn Neptune oppositions can represent a turning point when the planet of security faces off with delusory Neptune. Such was the case with the sub-prime mortgage crisis that caused the global meltdown following the last opposition. It’s worthwhile noting that the greatest real estate swindles of all time, the South Sea Bubble and the John Laws’s Mississippi Bubble occurred simultaneously under a Saturn Neptune opposition in 1720.

Therefore it’s natural to be wary of the Saturn Neptune closing square. It has coincided with difficult times for the US economy in 1835 and again in 1873. Yet the record of the last three closing squares has been much more encouraging. April 1909 to February 1910 the Dow was up 7%, July 1944 to May 1945 saw it rise 11% and the last closing square of September 1979 to June 1980 it remained steady, despite a Soviet invasion of Aghanistan.

2016 will also bring a T-Square of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. They have occurred four times across the last one hundred plus years. In 1910 there was little market change, 1926 was a flat year too, 1936 saw a 23% rise from Great Depression lows and the last T-Square of 2006 delivered a 13% rise. So although the US economy is still fragile these planetary groupings are not suggesting immediate economic Armageddon.

The real problem is the need for restructure and the financial establishment's resistance to change. In 1989 the corrupt Soviet Union collapsed with the start of the Saturn Neptune cycle. By 2007 and the opposition point, the unregulated capitalist system was about to do the same. But they failed to restructure. While no-one would dream that the old Soviet system should be revived, traditional capitalists are living in a dream world to think that the present system will endure any longer than the end of this cycle. And now is the time to get flexible and begin the fix.

That’s a start to my take on 2016 at this point. I may add slightly to this before the month is out. To all readers my best for the year ahead and may not only the ‘force’ be with you, but also the compassion.

Ed Tamplin © January 9 2016

For those interested in exploring the predictive potential of political astrology even more, there is a massive page containing over 60,000 words on my weekly summations and predictions on all the events of 2015 as well right here on this website. Here's the link

Copyright – Ed Tamplin January 9 2016

Horoscopes utilising 'The Book of World Horoscopes' by Nicholas Campion - published by The Wessex Astrologer.

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