Iraq War Begins!

By Mark Lerner

Dateline: March 21, 2003, 6:33AM PST, Eugene, OR -- I am writing this preliminary article on the start of hostilities in the Iraq War literally about 36 hours after the beginning. Now according to TV coverage (that I watched as the war began) and the newspaper reports since then, the first attack (on a bunker where Saddam Hussein and his sons were possibly located) happened at 5:33AM (Baghdad Time) on Thursday, March 20, 2003. This was 9:33PM EST on Wednesday March 19, 2003 in Washington, D.C.

In a moment I will present three charts for your study and analysis. [Note: It is important for you to read Parts XIII, XIV and XV of this series; they have many key charts and information you need to understand.] What's most amazing is that the USA decided to shift the timing and focus of its initial strike in order to "decapitate" (as they put it) the Iraqi leadership. Instead of the "shock and awe" campaign -- of dozens of strikes over Baghdad, etc -- they have altered their plans and may have already removed Saddam Hussein (and/or his sons) from power. Even though Hussein appeared on Iraqi TV after the strike, this was almost definitely a taped broadcast from before the battle started. It remains to be seen if Saddam Hussein was killed or injured in this first attack.

This article is really an offering to the astrological community of essential charts so you can work with them now. Later on, the analysis of these horoscope maps will prove useful and I will follow up with a report on this web page.

To View the Iraq War chart (calculated for Washington. D.C.), click on the following link:

To View the Iraq War chart (calculated for Baghdad), click on the following link:

To View the Saddam Hussein In Power chart, click on this link:

Here's what I want to share about the first two maps. From the USA perspective (chart one), the Fixed Cross (containing Scorpio rising and Taurus setting, Leo above and Aquarius below) is prominent because the four signs making up this cross are on the angles as the war began. From Baghdad's perspective (chart two), the Mutable Cross (containing Pisces rising and Virgo setting, Sagittarius above and Gemini below) is prominent because the four signs making up this cross are on the angles as the war began. Now, in esoteric astrology, the three crosses (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable) are discussed because they represent the Spiritual, Soul and Personality dimensions of consciousness. In particular, Esoteric Astrology (by Alice A. Bailey, in concert with her teacher, the Tibetan Master D.K.) is filled with references to the importance of these three crosses for humanity and astrology students to understand. Esoteric Astrology came out in the early 1950s and is published by the Lucis Publishing Company (New York, NY) -- in case you want to order it from a major bookstore. It can probably be ordered directly from Lucis Publishing Company at 120 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005. It is a gold mine on spiritual astrology.

Furthermore, it is clearly noticeable that as the war began in Washington, D.C., Jupiter is elevated in Leo (having just crossed the Midheaven and in the 9th house of international relations, sky-air-fire power from the heights). This is important as America (born on July 4, 1776; 4:47:09PM EST; Philadelphia, PA) has Sagittarius rising and is ruled by Jupiter. Thus, it is not surprising that our key ruling planet would be UP and a dominant influence. However, it is also retrograde and opposing Neptune (shadow side of confusion and nebulosity) in Aquarius -- close to the bottom of the chart (roots; foundations; depths of consciousness). Therefore, the feeling we get in looking at the USA orientation to the war is one of Jupiterian superiority (negatively arrogance, pride and control) -- with the vast Neptunian fogginess and illusions as a polarity to our national belief that we are always right, democratic, compassionate, supportive, etc. Remember that in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Zeus or Jupiter was the "King of the Gods" and ruled the skies. America is like this in the modern world. [Note: The fact that Jupiter almost exactly squares the rising degree in the Washington, D.C. based chart is crucial. We may get what we want in Iraq, but at what human, social, political, moral, and global cost?]

It is also clear that in viewing the war chart for Baghdad that Pluto is the dominant force (being right at the Midheaven) -- with Saturn at the bottom of the chart. Of course, Pluto relates to extremism, terrorism, underworlds, death-rebirth, mass carnage, nuclear fears/threats, bombings and weapons of mass destruction while Saturn can equate (negatively) with fears, worries, doubts, limits, frustrations, blocks. Pluto is very prominent in Saddam Hussein's natal chart for April 28, 1937 in Tikrit, Iraq (time unknown). His Pluto at 26+ Cancer is exactly opposite Jupiter at 26+ Capricorn! I have discussed this polarity for him since the 1980s in the pages of Welcome to Planet Earth astrology journal and his links to Secretary of State Colin Powell (born April 5, 1937, with the same Jupiter-Pluto opposition). Hence, the amazing symbolism of Jupiter UP for the USA chart and Pluto UP for the Baghdad chart! This is truly astonishing and another confirmation of the power of astrology at work in the real world. [Saturn is also a powerhouse at Saddam Hussein's birth -- being at 0+ Aries (the Vernal Equinox point). The transiting Sun in the war charts is at 29+ Pisces -- within 1 degree of a conjunction to Saddam Hussein's natal Saturn! It's the time of the year when the Sun always crosses his Saturn and he is vulnerable to attack and in a weakened position. Saturn -- while linked to one's niche in the world and power in the heights -- is also the personal Achilles' heel and a point representing chronic disability.]

I will examine these charts in a more thorough manner later on, but be aware that the 8th houses of both maps show great significance. In the USA-based map, Saturn is located in this house while in the Baghdad-based map the transiting Moon at 22+ Libra is almost exactly on the 8th house cusp. Traditionally, the 8th house refers to death, rebirth, secrets, espionage, metamorphosis, transformation and mysterious forces at work that are difficult to understand. We all hope that there will be a minimal loss of life in this war, but the focus on the 8th house is disturbing.

The third chart presented in this article has not been explored much in the astrological community. It is a solar chart for the day when Saddam Hussein officially took charge in Iraq. It is a very important astrology map to keep in mind during this battle. For instance, note that the transiting Moon as the first strike was launched reached 22+ Libra. The Sun on July 16, 1979 was placed at 22+ Cancer. Thus, Saddam Hussein became entrenched as the Iraqi leader on a day when the Sun was in Cancer (ruled by the Moon). As the Iraq war begins, the Moon exactly squares that Sun! This reveals the conflict, pressure and tension directly on him as the leader of Iraq and we now know that the initial Tomahawk missile attack was directed right at Saddam Hussein, his sons and top leadership. Notice as well that Jupiter was in Leo in July 1979 -- right where it is now in 2003. Jupiter was also in Leo in January 1991 when the Persian Gulf War began! It is clearly a common denominator in this entire scenario. You may also see that transiting Pluto in 2003 is crisscrossing the Neptune placement (18+ Sagittarius) from July 16, 1979. This is part of the destruction and dissolution of Saddam Hussein's 23-year dictatorial control over his nation. In addition, the fateful North Node of the Moon at 9+ Virgo is conjunct Saturn (10+ Virgo) in the July 16, 1979 horoscope. This is exactly where President Bush has his natal Mars (warfare; strife; violence). Remember how I said that the Mutable Cross (composed of Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius and Gemini) is at the four angles for the start of the war in Baghdad? When you look at the July 16, 1979 chart, you will see a potent T-Square triangle in mutable signs from Mars in Gemini opposing Neptune in Sagittarius, and Saturn in Virgo at the fulcrum. Mars and Saturn are the traditional malefics while Neptune brings in mass confusion, nebulosity and emotional-mental fog (on negative levels). It is a good example of how a dictator can control and manipulate his population through fear (Saturn), death-pain (Mars) and illusion/obfuscation (Neptune), particularly through the media, television and graphic reinforcement.

There is much more to be studied with all these charts. In closing this time, I want you to be aware of the power of three midpoints at the start of this war. The Mercury/Saturn, Jupiter/Neptune and Sun-Saturn midpoints are all focused at 10+ Taurus. Why is this significant? President Bush is born with a powerful Mercury-Pluto union (rising) at 10 Leo -- with Ceres (the largest asteroid) setting at 10 Aquarius. This extremely potent polarity at the President's birth is being triggered very strongly as the war begins and not in the easiest fashion. It remains to be seen how all this will develop in the weeks ahead -- whether this will be a short or long war. Even if the warfare ends relatively soon, there will still be the need to "keep the peace" in Iraq, restore order, find weapons of mass destruction, eliminate extremists, and so on. All three of these charts -- plus those for America and Iraq, President Bush and Saddam Hussein (presented in previous parts to this series) -- will be crucial to review in the future. Keep tuned to this web channel for further developments and major articles that will appear on President Bush and Saddam Hussein.

© 2003 by Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd and Mark Lerner. All rights reserved.

[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth. Please reach him at PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440 or via e-mail at You can also utilize the following link in order to visit the Index Page of our astrology web site.]