Fire in Middle East

Robert P. Blaschke


Israel - Lebanon Conflict:
Hezbollah and the July 12th Cross-Border Raid

On July 12th at 9:05 AM local time, near the northern Israeli village of Zar'it, a team of Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon crossed the border into Israel, capturing two of their soldiers patrolling the area and killing several others during the firefight and armored vehicle pursuit that followed. This brazen incursion, ordered by Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who refers to Israel as "the Zionist entity," was designed, as in the past, to use captured soldiers to bargain for the release of Lebanese terrorists held in Israeli prisons. The chart for this cross-border raid has Virgo 2 rising, and from Charubel we find its degree symbol to be:
A man peeping around a corner at a company of armed men, who are in the act of reconnoitering.

The culminating degree of this war chart, which symbolizes the leader of the Shiite Muslim terrorist organization who ordered the attack, reveals the darkness within this man's soul. From La Volasfera, for Taurus 29, we find:
A powerful man, holding a scourge in his right hand, and driving two slaves in manacles.

It signifies a tyrant, who takes delight in power apart from its uses, and whose opinions are bigoted and selfish. To rule, without regard to qualifications, is the passing ambition of one born under this degree. Death, which frees the slave, will bind the hands of a tyrant in irons forged from his own heart. It is a degree of DESPOTISM.

Mars in 23 Leo on that fateful day applied to a square with Israel's Sun, and Saturn, in 11 Leo, was applying to a conjunction with Israel's Pluto. As a symbol for the intense eruption of extreme violence which has occurred over the last four weeks, Pluto is stationing direct opposite the Israeli Uranus, after having stationed retrograde in square to their progressed Mars. It is also of interest that this war started on the very day of a progressed solar return (transit Sun conjunct secondary progressed Sun), and that Israel had a progressed Moon-Mars conjunction, exact to 06' of arc, at the commencement of hostilities.

Israel's military has retaliated forcefully with a massive aerial bombing of Lebanese infrastructure, precision commando raids on Hezbollah cells, and a ground invasion of 10,000 troops into southern Lebanon. At least 600 Lebanese have died in the bombings and artillery shelling so far, because Hezbollah fighters hide among the civilian population. In turn, Hezbollah has fired thousands of Iranian and Syrian made rockets and missiles deep into Israel, killing or injuring hundreds of civilians and forcing almost a million people into underground bomb shelters. What was Hezbollah thinking when it launched this raid, and what has been the reason for Israel's massive counterattack to defend its citizens against these Muslim guerillas?
As this correspondent wrote in his previous newsletter, Israel has its progressed Mars applying to a square with Jupiter, a symbol if there ever was one for a large-scale military operation. The debate in both the Western and Muslim press is over "ethical military proportionality," a Mars-Jupiter issue for certain. Israel began the war overconfidently, bragging how they would crush Hezbollah in just two weeks, yet their bitter enemy has proven to be a difficult adversary to defeat. This Mars-Jupiter square also resulted in poor judgment and an overly optimistic military strategy, with too much of an emphasis initially being placed on prosecuting the war from the air. Pluto is transiting 26-27 of Sagittarius in 2006 and 2007, and will not form the final conjunction to Israel's Jupiter, or the last square to their progressed Mars, until 20 November 2007 when both volatile transits occur on the exact same day. It is the opinion of this writer that a lasting cease fire will not hold.

Hezbollah was officially founded on 16 February 1985 in Beirut, after evolving since 1982 as an amalgam of various Muslim resistance groups trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, when Israel invaded Lebanon to drive out Yasser Arafat and his PLO. Their suicide car bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks, and of French troops in 1983 that killed over 300 total soldiers, makes them rank second only to al Qaeda as America's most despised enemy. Hezbollah has even struck South American Jewish targets in Argentina. They were the first Islamist militant group to reintroduce the guerilla tactic of suicide bombings, and the warlike Venus-Mars conjunction in Aries shows that this organization is tough, aggressive and fearless of death.

Casting a noon horoscope for this violent organization, one finds a Sun-Saturn square in 27 degrees of the fixed signs, attesting to the renowned discipline and rigid military training that their fighters have received from Iran. The Aquarian Sun is opposite Israel's Mars, and the Saturn in Scorpio is opposite the Israeli Sun, and square that Mars. On the positive side, this group, with the Sun in Aquarius, has built hospitals and schools, as well as providing social services for the mostly poor Shiite Muslims in the south of Lebanon. However, to Israel's chagrin, they hide weapons inside those hospitals and schools.

The violent and genocidal philosophy of hatred against Jews espoused by this radical group is seen in their Jupiter-Pluto square. That Jupiter at 2 degrees of Aquarius is exactly conjunct the IC of Israel. The 20th degree of Gemini is rising in this noon horoscope, and we find its ruler, Mercury, in 25 Aquarius. The Saturn retrograde station at 25 Leo in early December opposing the Hezbollah Mercury does not bode well for these Islamic radicals, and much of the blame for the destruction of Lebanon will fall squarely on their shoulders. This correspondent thinks that Hezbollah will become even more radicalized next year, as in 2007 Uranus will square this group's Uranus in 17 degrees of mutable. The North Node of Hezbollah is in the exact degree of the May 2000 Jupiter-Saturn Grand Conjunction, Taurus 23, and its degree symbol from La Volasfera starkly depicts the dark forces in Tehran that are pulling the puppet strings of Mr Nasrallah:
A king sits upon a throne; behind him stands a figure veiled in black.
It signifies one who will suffer misfortune in the height of his career and whose fall will be dangerous in proportion to the height he has attained. The native will be too apt to depend on his own powers and will essay feats which will be beyond his natural powers. Ambition will lead him into dangerous positions, and at a weak moment he will fall. Let this be taken as equally affecting his physical, moral, and social welfare. It is a degree of COLLAPSE.

Israel's Second Saturn Return:
A Sobering Redefinition of National Security

On August 19th, Israel will have its second Saturn return since statehood was established in 1948. This Saturn return has become, in a such a short time, an extremely painful lesson in just how vulnerable the country is to violent aggressors beyond its borders using sophisticated and imported weaponry. Since 2000, when Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon after an 18-year occupation, Syria and Iran have been covertly arming the Hezbollah militia with an arsenal of thousands of Katyusha rockets and Zelzal missiles. These latter warheads have a range of 209 kilometers (about 125 miles) and if launched from just south of Beirut, have the capacity to target Tel Aviv, the commercial capital of Israel. Hezbollah possesses the most advanced anti-tank missiles in the world, and has cutting edge technology and communication systems that allowed the group to intercept Israeli military transmissions. At this second Saturn return, Israel's security equation has been radically altered by Hezbollah directly, and indirectly by Syrian and Iranian complicity in this conflict in Lebanon.

To put this into an American perspective, the scenario that Israel now faces would be like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela secretly funneling missiles and laser guided weapons technology through Guatemala to anti-American radical groups in Mexico, and these groups would then launch rocket attacks on Los Angeles and San Diego from deep within the slums of Tijuana, Baja California. The U.S. military would have no option, in order to protect American citizens, other than to flatten Tijuana into a parking lot, regardless of civilian casualties, and to tell Mr Chavez that if he doesn't quit his trouble making, he's in the cross hairs of our cruise missile submarines in the Caribbean.

Bearing in mind that a nation undergoing its Saturn return is extremely sensitive to the security of its citizens, and to the sovereignty of its national borders, one can then understand the intense and ferocious Israeli military response against the Muslim terrorists of Hezbollah. It is realistic to say that the political equation in the Middle East has just been turned upside down, and that a completely new diplomatic and military reality for Israel is now in place. Can the astrologer return to the first Israeli Saturn return between November 1976 and July 1977 and see if history is repeating itself?
In 1976, turmoil also existed in Lebanon. Syrian troops and Lebanese Christians battled Palestinian guerillas and Lebanese Muslims in southern Lebanon. The Syrian army took control of Beirut, Tripoli, Sarda and the highways that ran between these cities. A Christian leader, Elias Sarkis, was elected President by the Lebanese parliament. In 1977, the Palestine National Council called for "an independent national state" on "national soil." Also that year, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat arrived in Israel for the first visit by an Arab head of state since the Jewish state was founded in 1948. Can any of these events from the last Saturn return for Israel in 1976-77 provide insight into the current instability in the region?
Yes, they can. If one stands back and presumes that the strategic aim of Shiite Iran is to control the post-Saddam Middle East, and if one takes seriously their declared threat to "wipe Israel off the map", then one can begin to understand the existential threat that Israel now faces. Israel has peace treaties with the Sunni Muslim nations of Egypt and Jordan, and has a relatively non-confrontational relationship with Sunni Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is being used by Iran and Syria to indirectly attack Israel through the Shiite Muslim guerillas of Hezbollah. What Israel's previous Saturn return teaches us is that a political wedge must now be driven straight into the heart of Lebanese politics by the government in Jerusalem, and by the UN Security Council. This wedge will have to marginalize and disarm the Hezbollah radicals and create a political coalition free of Syrian influence, consisting of secular Sunni Muslims, the Druze leadership, and Lebanon's Maronite Christians.

Today, as the United States and France work together in the UN Security Council to cobble together a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, there is a once-a-year Sun-Saturn conjunction, beginning a new synodic cycle for the planet of stability and order. The symbol from La Volasfera for the conjunction degree, Leo 15, is rather revealing:
A figure like the angel of the Sun (Michael), standing erect, and striking the earth with the point of a dazzling sword.

It indicates a person of very superior ability in some special direction; one in whom the power of government will reside; a mind somewhat ambitious, but conscious of its own powers—which are of no common order—so that no unjust advantage is taken. In some sphere of life the native will be an imposing figure, or may do something which may call for wide recognition. Fame and power attend this degree. It is one of SUPERIORITY

In a bog in the Irish midlands the week of July 17-21, shortly after the Israel-Hezbollah war broke out, a man in a bulldozer dug up an ancient manuscript buried and preserved in the muddy soil. It contained about 20 pages of Scriptural commentary written in Latin, and has been dated to the 9th or 10th century. When found, it was open to Psalm 83:
1 O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.
2 See how your enemies are astir,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.
4 "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation,
that the name of Israel be remembered no more." 

Hassan Nasrallah's Progressed Mars-Saturn Opposition:
His Impending Assassination by Israel

The head of the Shiite Muslim terror organization, Hezbollah, is Hassan Nasrallah. He was born on 31 August 1960 in Beirut, and his violent ways and thinking are seen in a Sun-Mercury-Pluto triple conjunction in Virgo. Casting a noon chart for this man, one finds his IC in the very degree of the USA Moon, lending credence to the FBI's concerns that Hezbollah terror cells may indeed already exist inside the United States. His perverse hatred of Israel is seen in natal Uranus in 22 Leo, the exact midpoint of both the Israeli Mars/Saturn and Venus/Neptune. Whether Israel offers peace to him (Venus/Neptune), or if they threaten to kill him (Mars/Saturn), it makes no difference to this willful extremist (Uranus), as his violent group has the sole aim of destroying Israel. It is also of interest that Mr Nasrallah's Chiron, the shamanic comet, is in the degree of the Hezbollah Midheaven. The Sabian Symbol for this degree, Aquarius 30, as rewritten by Dane Rudhyar, is:
Deeply rooted in the past of a very ancient culture, a spiritual brotherhood in which many individual minds are merged into the glowing light of a unanimous consciousness is revealed to one who has emerged successfully from his metamorphosis.
In pondering this symbolism, it leaves one wondering if these Muslim extremists of Hezbollah are practicing some sort of sorcery in their pursuit of the destruction of Israel. Mr Nasrallah's ability to lead a radical political group is seen in his Jupiter-Uranus trine, and it is of interest that the Israeli progressed Moon was conjunct his natal Venus right on the transiting South Node when this war broke out. If the Israeli Air Force cannot kill Mr Nasrallah in his underground bunker with a massive aerial bombardment, as they tried to do early on in this war, the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, is determined to assassinate him. Will they be successful?
Examining the Hezbollah leader's progressed horoscope, it appears that his funeral is near at hand. Besides his progressed Moon conjoining the rising degree in the July 12th outbreak of war chart, he has progressed Mars applying to an opposition with Saturn, along with transit Saturn about to form three conjunctions with his natal Uranus. Without his birth time being known, astrologers can only calculate a range of dates within which his progressed Mars will perfect that opposition. This is accomplished by first casting his chart for 12:01 AM on 31 August 1960, and then calculating when the Mars-Saturn opposition perfects. Second, we have to cast his nativity for 11:59 PM on that day, run the progressed calculations, thereby determining the earliest possible date when this aspect could become exact. If one's violent ways were to be curtailed, the progression of Mars into opposition with Saturn is certainly the aspect to bring this about.
The 12:01 AM nativity produces a natal Mars in 18 Gemini 07, with the progressed Mars opposition to Saturn perfecting on 3 January 2009. The 11:59 PM horoscope has Mars in 18 Gemini 43; the progression becoming exact on 11 December 2007. In either case, his progressed Mars has already entered its one degree applying orb to the opposition with Saturn. Employing C.E.O. Carter's Law of Excitation, wherein the transit of Mars or Saturn making a hard aspect to this forming progressed opposition will "excite the direction into immediate operation", one finds that Mars will pass through 11 degrees of Libra on September 25th-26th. The first transit of Saturn over his natal Uranus will take place on October 12th of this year.  

Recurring Neptune-Pluto Septiles 2001-2011:
Late 1930s Nazism and Modern Day Islamist Fascism

As your correspondent has written in previous newsletters, a total of twenty Neptune-Pluto septiles are forming in the heavens between December 2001 and February 2011. Due to the orbital eccentricity of Pluto, which speeds up and comes inside the orbit of Neptune for 20 years during its 248-year sojourn around the Sun, these are recurring aspects and previously formed seven times between December 1937 and September 1940. During this period, the rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism culminated in the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, and the outbreak of World War II. With Neptune and Pluto once again in septile aspect since shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the U.S. declared war on Islamist terrorism, is an equivalent escalation of irrational fascist extremism again taking place on Earth, similar to the late 1930s?

After contemplating the meaning of the 51 3/7 degree septile, one conclusion is that planet Earth is in serious trouble, yet help is on the way. In Sabian Aspect Orbs, this author equated the septile aspect with the Sabian Symbol for Taurus 22:

White dove flying over troubled waters.
Sounds a little bit like the Holy Ghost, eh? In that book, this writer also stated:
Dane Rudhyar wrote that the seventh harmonic aspects are equated with the fulfillment of a process, and also with the seeding of the following cycle. Chaldean mathematicians found that six consecutive circles of the exact same size could be set within a larger circumference, with an identical seventh circle placed in the center. In symbolic geometry, the seventh circle represents the hidden seed which is to germinate the following cycle once the current one is concluded. In the Book of Genesis, this symbolism is evident in the Creation story, with God resting on the seventh day.

From this perspective, a cycle of world history is now ending and a hidden seed is emerging to germinate the new era. The crucial question is, "What exactly is this hidden seed?" For Christians, it will be the second coming of Jesus Christ. Israel is the land where it is prophesied that this will take place. The forming of the State of Israel in 1948, to many Western believers, was the necessary harbinger for this spiritual event to come about. This is a creative and devotional belief, open to all humans regardless of one's religion, and thus inclusionary. It can be theorized that this force comes under the rulership of Neptune.

In Shiite Islam, their believers also await the return of a Messiah, the Mystical 12th Imam. According to their religion, to the best of this correspondent's understanding, in 941 A.D. this Imam entered a cave hidden by a mystical doorway called the Gate of Occultation. This doctrine teaches that Allah (God) cloaked this hidden Imam from human view so as to preserve him until his return. Shiites also believe that this 12th Imam, the Mahdi, will return to Earth to lead the final jihadist battle between good and evil when the world has reached a point of sufficient negativity and degradation.

From their teachings, it appears that humanity has no control over just when this Mystical Imam will return, but a sect within Shiite Islam called the Hojjatieh, to which the current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is said to belong, believes the return of the Mahdi can be hastened by the implementation of chaos and destruction on Earth. Mr Ahmadinejad even made references to this theology during his speech at the United Nations. Apparently, it is through this logic that Iran wishes to destroy Israel and bring on Armageddon, thereby causing the return of the Hidden Imam. This is a destructive approach, not open to all humans, and exclusionary. It can be theorized that this force is under the rulership of Pluto.
Thus, in this mind-boggling spiritual scenario, Pluto in the sign of religion, Sagittarius, forms septiles with Neptune in the sign of the Brotherhood of Man, Aquarius, therefore causing a vast struggle on the astral and causal planes over what collective belief system will prevail on Earth. Metaphysically, if one billion Christians and one billion Muslims are sending thought forms containing the mass magnetics of their respective, yet competing, belief systems into the ethers, one can only imagine the epic tug of war taking place in the Angelic Realms at the present time. A key question arises when looking at reality in this way: When, within the nine years, one month and 13 days between the first and last septiles, would something big happen?

Your correspondent has a theory: Of the twenty septiles between Neptune and Pluto, one will occur with Pluto having just entered the powerful cardinal ingress degree of 0 Capricorn. This septile occurs on 22 February 2008 with Neptune in 22 Aquarius 10 and Pluto in 00 Capricorn 44. It appears that at this time, a global religious experience of some kind will occur.

Sober and practical astrologers, who may wish to shun these esoteric speculations, justifiably would want to know when the Judeo-Christian world would have to put an end to Iran's intentions to destroy Israel. By researching the upcoming secondary progressions for this Islamic regime, one finds that a progressed Sun-Saturn opposition will perfect on 24 July 2007. At that time, the Iranian Venus has also progressed to the exact degree of the USA Pluto in 27 Capricorn. With these aspects, it is safe to assume that we are about a year away from a major military confrontation. The Islamic Republic of Iran will then experience its first Saturn return in September 2008. It is doubtful that the present theocratic regime can stay in power beyond this date. It is also no small coincidence that the USA progressed Mars stationed retrograde in the very same degree of the Iranian progressed Pluto, exact to 06' of arc. 

Saturn Inconjunct Uranus:
The Indirect War Between the United States, Israel, Syria and Iran

Watching the Israel-Lebanon conflict unfold over the past few weeks, it has struck your correspondent just how indirectly this war is being fought. Hezbollah is being armed and financed by both Syria and Iran, with some reports stating that the Shiite Muslim guerilla group receives $100 million from the Iranians each year. The Israeli government in Jerusalem has said that it doesn't want to go to war with Damascus, all the while bombing the highways and bridges from Syria into Lebanon in order to prevent Hezbollah from being resupplied with weaponry. Israel has not confronted Tehran directly, even though it has become obvious that this war was started as a diversion by the Iranians to take world attention away from their uranium enrichment program. In fact, this conflict started the day after the EU foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, had gone to Tehran to press the Iranians to suspend their nuclear fuel program or else be referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions.
This correspondent has written in several previous newsletters about the current Saturn-Uranus cycle, and how it underpins the War on Islamist Terrorism. During this war between Israel and Hezbollah, Saturn has formed its 3rd and final inconjunct with Uranus, this aspect having just perfected on August 1st. Casting this chart for Jerusalem, its MC/IC axis are in the exact degrees of Hassan Nasrallah's noon chart horizon, and its Mars is in the same degree as his Pluto.
To gain a clearer perspective about the turmoil in the Middle East, one must step back and look at this entire 44-year cycle, which started with the conjunction of these two heavenly bodies in February 1988 at 29 Sagittarius 55. Two additional Saturn-Uranus conjunctions also occurred that year, the middle retrograde conjunction in June 1988, and the final one took place in October. From Charubel, for Sagittarius 30, we find:
A man standing alone in a dark and gloomy valley,
and a ray of brilliant light coming direct from the heavens on the crown of his head.
Denotes one who will have a mission to execute; a cyclic man, not a time man;
one who lives a life beyond his day; not always understood, he suffers accordingly.

The degree symbolism for the beginning of this violent and gloomy cycle of history gives one hope that Christ will return soon.
The eminent French mundane astrologer, Andre Barbault, has written about mundane planetary cycles as such:
conjunction = the current is born
sextile = it takes shape
square = becomes a crisis or an internal conflict
trine = asserts itself and takes wing
opposition = fights or is fought, and meets a final challenge, during which it either surpasses itself or regresses
In 1988, at the conjunction of Saturn and Uranus at the beginning of this cycle, the Declaration of Palestinian Independence occurred, and the first Intifada began against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Also that year, P.L.O. military leader, Abu Jihad, was assassinated by Israeli secret agents. In May 1996, at the first sextile, Israel's Operation Grapes of Wrath had just taken place, killing over a hundred Lebanese civilians in Qana at a UN refugee camp in an attempt to target Hezbollah guerillas who were firing from that area on Israeli soldiers. The outrage over this event added further shape to the resistance movements of both the P.L.O. and Hezbollah.
At the Saturn-Uranus square in July 1999, the new Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, offered to conduct peace negotiations with Syria, the Palestinians, and the Lebanese. This Israeli outreach split the resistance movements, and produced internal conflict within their inner circles over their future strategy with Israel. At the Saturn-Uranus trine in August 2002, in a Ha'aretz (Israel) newspaper interview with IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon, he was asked about "the theory of the spider web":
"It is a theory that is attributed to [Hezbollah secretary-general] Hassan Nasrallah, which holds that Israel is a military power, but that its civil society is a pampered consumer society that is no longer willing to fight and struggle. The Israeli army is strong, Israel has technological superiority and is said to have strategic capabilities, but its citizens are unwilling any longer to sacrifice lives in order to defend their national interests and national goals. Therefore, Israel is a spider-web society: It looks strong from the outside, but touch it and it will fall apart."

These comments by the Israeli Lieutenant General reveal that by the trine between Saturn and Uranus, Israel's Muslim enemies and their resistance movements had begun to "assert themselves and take wing", according to Mr Barbault's mundane cycle theory, believing that Israel was in a weakened position, while they themselves were gaining in strength.
Now, at the 150 degree inconjunct between Saturn and Uranus, an aspect not included by Mr Barbault in his mundane cycle analysis, Israel finds itself fighting an "indirect war." Indirectness is a characteristic of the inconjunct. This difficult to handle aspect produces as much conflict as an opposition, but since it is skewed off at 30 degrees, conflict cannot be confronted directly and must be adjusted to internally. This is the tortuous position that Israel now find itself in at her second Saturn return: Hezbollah cannot be defeated militarily without international outrage over massive civilian casualties, and therefore a UN-brokered cease fire will have to be acquiesced to. Another characteristic of an inconjunct is that it can produce surprise events, just beyond one's peripheral vision. This is certainly the case with Hezbollah's weapons arsenal, as Israel had no idea that the Muslim guerillas possessed the land-to-sea laser-guided missiles that struck the Israeli warship in the opening days of this war, or that Hezbollah's fighters would be equipped with night-vision goggles and sophisticated anti-tank missiles.
Looking forward in time, according to Mr Barbault, at the cycle's opposition a movement "fights or is fought, and meets a final challenge, during which it either surpasses itself or regresses." In this cycle analysis, the real showdown between Israel and its enemies is still yet to come. From November 2008 until July 2010, there will be five Saturn-Uranus oppositions, the fifth and final one occurring exactly on the Cardinal Point of 0 Aries-0 Libra. It is difficult not to view this present Israel-Hezbollah conflict as a preview of the Armageddon to come in 2008-2010. Whether the violent Islamist movement "surpasses itself or regresses" during this time is the key global question of modern history.


by Rboert P. Blaschke - All Rights Reserved