Pakistan: Nation in Turmoil by Mark Lerner


DATELINE OCT. 10, 2001 11:31PM PDT Eugene, Oregon.... I am writing Part VIII of our ongoing Attack on America series with the Moon in Leo -- a sign which you will see is so appropriate when discussing the future of Pakistan. It is now just 3 1/2 days since America began the air war over Afghanistan, northern neighbor to moslem-dominated Pakistan, a troubled country of over 140 million people. I reported in the last feature that transiting Uranus in Aquarius -- now moving very slowly -- was just one minute of arc from the precise opposition to the Sun at 21+ Leo for Pakistan. By the next day, with Uranus (revolution; rebellion; shock and surprises) exactly on the other side of the Earth from Pakistan's Sun, massive rioting erupted in major Pakistani cities, culminating in the deaths of at least 5 demonstrators in the past few days and the arrest/detention of hundreds of others. However, when was Pakistan born and under what circumstances?

Many of you probably know that India and Pakistan were once an amalgamated land. This large territory had a dominant Hindu population, but with a large moslem (muslim or Islamic) segment of the population. It was during World War II that the Moslem leader supported the British (the country ruling this region of the world) while the Indian leadership remained neutral. Once the allies were victorious in World War II, the promise of a splitting apart of greater India-Pakistan moved toward reality. Finally, at midnight local time on August 15, 1947, two independent nations were born out of this Britain-controlled, ancient land.

What's so fascinating about this is that you really have the birth of "twin nations." They have the same Sun, Moon, planets and asteroids -- in the zodiac. The only difference is the rising sign and degree, and some of the house placements. Pakistan's chart is calculated for Karachi (the capital at that time) and has 17+ Taurus rising. Further to the East, India's chart is calculated for Delhi and has 0+ Gemini. As we will see, this shift of about 13 degrees on the Ascendant is important and gives each country a different demeanor, manner of expression in the world. One more point: On January 26, 1950 and March 23, 1956, India and Pakistan, respectively, proclaimed themselves as republics. These charts are also meaningful and may also have been timed astrologically! I do feel they have a validity and ought to be analyzed. However, from years of research and investigation, it is clear that the explosive twin-birth of India-Pakistan on August 15, 1947 is still the most prominent astrological source of energy.

Now, before getting into the astrology of this volatile country, let's set the stage by adding some facts. The military has had a much greater role in the development of Pakistan than in India. Since 1947, there have been 8 military coups, 4 successful and 4 unsuccessful. After all, India is considered the world's largest democracy, a teeming land of over 1 billion people. Once the two nations were partitioned on August 15, 1947, millions of moslems fled Indian territory to become a part of Pakistan. Pakistan itself had two sections -- the much larger Western region and East Pakistan, nearly a thousand miles away on the other side of India! This was a bizarre situation to say the least The split within Pakistan itself became so great that East Pakistan revolted from control by the larger West Pakistan and declared itself to be Bangladesh (March 1971). This led to fighting in Pakistan and between West Pakistan and India. That war in 1971 ended in a victory by India, a pullback by West Pakistan and the eventual recognition of East Pakistan as Bangladesh. As 2001 began, it was one full Saturn cycle (fate and karma) since the greatest crisis to face Pakistan occurred in 1971-72.

Pakistan and India have not only been rival nations because of their religious differences, but they have been battling over the disputed region of Kashmir and fought major battles over this region in 1949, 1965, 1971, and 1999. This has always been a "flash point" between them -- stirring up extreme emotions and ancient hatreds on both sides. In 1998, India -- long known as having nuclear weapons -- finally detonated a couple of explosions to the horror of world leaders, particularly in Europe and America. On May 28-30, 1998, Pakistan conducted two nuclear tests, further alarming the world. In fact, as Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test, it was the one day of the year when the Sun opposed Pluto (the underworld; death; extremes; terrorist and nuclear fears).

You have been hearing of millions of Afghan refugees fleeing over the border into Pakistan since the Sept. 11th Attack on America. The refugee problem also occurred in December 1979 and the following months and years when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Over 3 million refugees entered Pakistan from 1979 onward and nearly 1.5 million of them stayed in Pakistan. Pakistan is now the only country still recognizing the Taliban government of Afghanistan. And there are hundreds of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of young, mostly college-age Pakistanis who are ardent supporters of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, stretching from Africa to Indonesia.

The present leader of Pakistan -- General Pervez Musharraf (born Aug. 1, 1943 according to Current Biography) -- has been in power since Oct. 12-15, 1999 when he overthrew Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup, declared martial law and a state of emergency, and suspended the constitution. While constantly suggesting he would be a reformer of the nation, he has primarily ruled with an iron hand (he has an enormous number of celestial bodies in Leo!) and is now a very important figure because his strong militaristic presence serves as a counter-balance to a growing fervor of Islamic Fundamentalism within the country. This is one of those times in history when America is so thankful that the leader of a nation in this part of the world is the top general/leader of the army! We (in America) don't want -- at this point -- a wide-open, democratically-oriented Pakistan. That would be too frightening to contemplate as it might become an easy pushover for Islamic militants to take over the nation. What is needed is exactly what has happened: A leader who controls the population to prevent one more Islamic Fundamentalist takeover -- similar to what happened in Iran in February 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini gave birth to Islamic Fundamentalism (worldwide) with his religious control of the government of Iran. More on all this later.

Here is the big reason why the August 15, 1947 birth of Pakistan is so significant and crucial to understand right now. Saturn was conjunct Pluto at that time (13+ Leo) and the union of these two heavy-duty planets occurred just 4 days before the Independence of Pakistan and India. This is the main cosmic signature energizing the modern incarnation of these two nations. However, in 2001-2002, the world is reeling from three oppositions of the same two planets, Saturn and Pluto! They clashed in a precise opposition on August 5 and their polarity repeats on November 1 and then eventually on May 26, 2002. When an entity (whether person, business or nation) is born with two key planetary bodies united and then these planetary bodies form an opposition, there is a palpable feeling of stress, strain, disarray, and mounting pressures. Because of the serious, profound, fateful and extreme natures of Saturn/Pluto, we can clearly see why the potential for disaster in Pakistan is so high in the next few months. Keep in mind that Saturn-Pluto unions and oppositions only occur every 35-36 years. The more rare the occurrence, the greater the possibility of major transformation.

As indicated in the last feature, revolutionary Uranus in Aquarius is opposing Pakistan's Sun in Leo. This was not only exact as the air war began on Oct. 7, but it stays virtually exact for the rest of this month, November and part of December! Remember -- this Uranus placement is also stirring up problems in India, which has the same Sun degree. The difference is that India is primarily a Hindu nation, not in the immediate zone of the battle. However, anything could still happen between these two major nations. As I have written in several places in these stories, the potent Total Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999, had a "path of totality" that swept through Pakistan and into Western India. It was that Total Eclipse which may have led to the successful coup by General Musharraf just two months later. In addition, India supports the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan (fighting against the Taliban) while the government of Pakistan opposes that Northern Alliance. This all connects eventually to the disputed region of Kashmir. The bottom line here is that the present Uranus polarity to the Suns of Pakistan and India is creating instability, uncertainty and revolutionary activity (all Uranus themes) on a vast scale.

It is noteworthy that when the Sept. 11th Attack on America occurred, Mars at 1+ Capricorn had just opposed its own placement (0+ Cancer) in Pakistan's chart. Mars connects with bloodshed and war. That a major war would soon be descending in the environment close to Pakistan may have been foreseen during the Total Solar Eclipse and Summer Solstice at 0 Cancer on June 21, 2001. That Total Solar Eclipse ignited Pakistan's natal Mars (war) by exact conjunction. Neptune has also been a major cosmic player in Pakistan's chaotic journey during the past few years. It had been crisscrossing Pakistan's Midheaven (governmental power and executive authority) in 1999-2000. This first happened in 1999 when Gen. Pervez Musharraf took over the government and, in effect, dissolved (Neptune often acts as an acid) the constitution and legal foundations of the nation. This was so extreme that Great Britain suspended Pakistan's presence within the Commonwealth of Nations just three days after he declared himself Pakistan's new leader. Transiting Neptune (confusion; religious fanaticism; battle of ideologies) at 6+ Aquarius is now exactly opposing Pakistan's natal Mercury (communications; business as usual; trade; transportation; freedom of speech, assembly, etc) at 6+ Leo. This has much to do with the mental and emotional fog (Neptune) settling in over Pakistan, as millions of militant followers of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden stir up trouble, causing Musharraf's armed forces (Mars) to crack down on dissenters. In Esoteric Astrology put forward by the Tibetan Master D.K. (in the Alice A. Bailey books), both Mars and Neptune are considered channels for the 6th Ray of Religious Devotion. Zeal and Idealism. It is this ray which has been so dominant in the 2,160-year Piscean Age and which is said to be "passing out of existence," being replaced by the power of the 7th Ray of Synthesis and Ceremonial Order (ruled by Uranus, also in charge of the incoming Aquarian Age).

Earlier I indicated that a major difference between Pakistan and India (chart-wise) is their Ascendants -- 17+ Taurus for Pakistan and 0+ Gemini for India. Perhaps it is the 0+ Gemini Ascendant for India (ruled by Mercury) which has oriented that country toward democracy as Mercury is in a productive, nurturing 60-degree pattern with both the Ascendant and Neptune. On the other hand, Pakistan's Ascendant is in a fixed, power sign (Taurus) often known for obstinacy and resistance to change. Furthermore, Venus -- which rules Pakistan's chart -- squares the Ascendant quite closely from Leo and also squares Jupiter, which connects strongly to social forces. The intense and hard-to-change, fixed T-Square triangle for Pakistan -- composed of Ascendant-Venus-Jupiter -- may be why the country is so prone to military takeovers as compared to its sister nation of India. Pakistan has also been the major financial backer (Taurus Ascendant, ruled by Venus) for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now with the war happening and Pakistan needing to choose sides and picking America over Afghanistan, the Pakistani government has turned its back on the Taliban (Venus ruling Pakistan's chart, but square the Ascendant and square to Jupiter). Clearly, Pakistan's General Musharraf hopes to court favor with America and the West, have various suspensions dropped, so that Pakistan may eventually receive favorable treatment by international economic organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In Secondary Progressions (where each day after birth is equal to a year of life), we find several unsettling conditions mostly affecting the next 16 years for Pakistan. Progressed Mars (war) is closing in on an exact square to Pakistan's Chiron (wounds; pains; twilight zones of strange time). Progressed Mars will also conjunct Pakistan's natal Mercury (communications; freedoms) for the first time ever at the end of 2006. This doesn't look favorable at all. By the Spring/Summer of 2007, Pakistan's ruling planet Venus will enter Scorpio (death-rebirth; deep-seated emotions; underworlds). This may tip the scales in Pakistan from peace, balance and harmony (Venus) to volatility and bloodshed (Scorpio is traditionally ruled by Mars). Early in 2008, Pakistan will experience a Progressed New Moon at 20+ Libra. While this begins a new 29+ year cycle of psychic and spiritual evolution for Pakistan, it also ends the previous 29+ year cycle! This points to 2006-2007 as a very dangerous period (internal dissent and increasing disturbances) for Pakistan. Amazingly, when we look at the transits, what do we find? Saturn making its once-in-30-years crossing of Pakistan's Sun in Leo (2006-2007) and Neptune making an extremely rare (once-in-164-years) opposition to Pakistan's Sun (2007-2008). This transit of Neptune opposing Pakistan's Sun rekindles the current Uranus multiple oppositions from 2001. Eventually, in 2016-2017, slow-moving Saturn by secondary progression reaches Pakistan's Sun (and India's!) for the first time ever. Saturn links to focus, structure, form, time, but also fears, karma, limits, depression and potential demise from chronic problems.

Let me interject an important idea. In Welcome to Planet Earth journal, back in 2000, we discussed the extremely important Jupiter-Saturn union of May 28, 2000 at 22+ Taurus. Jupiter-Saturn unions occur approximately every 20 years and have been watched and analyzed by astrologers for literally thousands of years. The cycle that began on May 28, 2000 influences all nations and individuals. It affects the financial, governmental, educational, religious and social dimensions of life for two decades. I reported in early 2000 that Israel, Pakistan and India would be major nations to watch in this next 20-year cycle -- ending in December 2020 when Jupiter and Saturn next unite at 0+ Aquarius (a time-period many astrologers see as the true birth of the Aquarian Age). Why those three countries in particular? Israel (born May 14, 1948) has its natal Sun at 23+ Taurus -- within 1 degree of the Jupiter-Saturn union of May 28, 2000. Pakistan and India have their Suns at 21+ Leo -- and they received a difficult, frictional square pattern from the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Remember that Jupiter and Saturn are the two largest planets. Their conjunction is a BIG deal! Even the chart for the Republic of Pakistan (March 23, 1956) shows natal Jupiter at 22+ Leo -- receiving a full and disturbing impact from the Jupiter-Saturn union at 22+ Taurus.

In Tertiary Progressions (where each day after birth is equal to a lunar month), Pakistan's Tertiary Sun and Tertiary Pluto are about to unite. They will do so in mid-November, but will become closer and closer with each passing week until then. This is a union of the center of all life (Sun) with the extremes, underworlds and terrorist realms (Pluto). Such a Tertiary Sun-Pluto union in anyone's chart can only occur once every 28 years (approximately). This coming conjunction is also unnerving because, of all the planets, Pluto is the most affiliated with atomic energy and nuclear weapons. As mentioned earlier, when Pakistan first tested a nuclear weapon (May 28, 1998), the Sun was exactly opposing Pluto in the sky! One of the great fears right now regarding Pakistan is that its nuclear facilities could be raided by a terrorist band and that a weapon might be seized to be used against America or an ally. Uranus for Pakistan, India and also Israel is located on its own discovery point (25 Gemini) from March 13, 1781. Uranus is connected to Uranium, radioactivity, electronics, and high-tech weaponry. When Pakistan became a republic in March 1956, the transiting North Node of the Moon (fate; the masses; the public and future) was at 10+ Sagittarius. This is the exact Sun placement at the First Controlled Nuclear Chain Reaction (Dec. 2, 1942 at 3:25PM CST in Chicago, Illinois). I have reported on this crucial chart in WTPE for the last 20 years!

Pakistan and America have almost always had an uneasy relationship. In recent decades, China (a bitter enemy to India) has become a major ally and military hardware provider to Pakistan. As America and China have developed a rivalry, this has created havoc in our relationship with Pakistan. Right now, we are counting on Pakistan to help us enormously in this war against Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and the terrorism that is mostly centered in Southern Afghanistan. Astrologically, Pakistan's natal Mars-Vesta conjunction (national security and safety themes) is united with America's natal Venus-Jupiter conjunction. This is a deep tie, but also uncomfortable and dangerous because it involves Mars (war; bloodshed; violence) in Pakistan's chart. Our shaky rapport with both Pakistan and India can also be diagnosed by noting that Pakistan-India have their Moon at 27+ Cancer while the USA Moon is at 27 Aquarius. This is an awkward 150-degree pattern that often leads to annoyance, worry and irritability.

Now, in a strange twist of fate, a man we and much of the West had rejected and distanced ourselves from -- General Pervez Musharraf -- is on the hot seat in one of the hottest spots on Planet Earth. While this is not the time for an analysis of his natal chart, be aware that his birth occurred on August 1, 1943 (Current Biography). [Note: The 2001 World Almanac lists his birth as Aug. 11, 1943, but that book is more prone to errors than Current Biography.] For this story, it is remarkable that on August 1, 1943, there was an Annular Solar Eclipse (really as powerful as a Total Eclipse) at 8+ Leo. The Sun and Moon were at this degree while Jupiter (success) and Pluto (extremes; brutality; nuclear energy) were conjunct just two degrees away at 6+ Leo (exactly on top of Pakistan's Mercury). Thus, Pervez Musharraf -- incarnating in August 1943 -- came into the Earth plane at an extraordinary moment. If he is truly born on the first, it is a most remarkable day of birth. It was also on that date that the fateful Dragon's Head (North Node of the Moon) was exactly at 15+ Leo -- conjunct Venus for Pakistan, the nation's ruling planet. Furthermore, on Aug. 1, 1943, Mars was located at 16+ Taurus -- within 1 degree of Pakistan's Ascendant. For a man who has become Pakistan's number one military leader (Mars) during the most crucial war period (Mars) possibly in the last 100 years, his Mars conjunction to Pakistan's Ascendant looks very important. He is the personification of Pakistan's subconscious desire for iron-fisted leadership to steer them away from the potential chaos of Islamic Fundamentalism (Neptune). And luckily for him, his natal Venus at 16+ Virgo harmoniously trines his own Mars and also trines Pakistan's Ascendant! In an interview, Gen. Musharraf revealed that he is a strong believer in destiny. He is married with two children, one of whom has been living in the USA. Apparently, he is a rather authoritarian person (in his private life) and a great lover of sports and gymnastics. He could be on the verge of an extreme rendezvous with destiny as from July-September 2002 he will have simultaneous Saturn and Jupiter returns (as he turns 59). He will then have two more Saturn returns in early 2003. Expect to hear much more about this controversial and unusual military man in the months ahead.

Although I have shared a lot about Pakistan in this report, remember that other charts exist for the Republics of Pakistan and India. They are important in any complete analysis. In closing, let us go back to what I discussed in the early Parts in this series. It concerns the birth of Islamic Fundamentalism at the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran on Feb. 11, 1979. While he arrived in Iran on Feb. 1, 1979 (from exile in France) after the departure of the Shah of Iran the previous month, it wasn't until Feb. 11, 1979 that the Iranian caretaker government of Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar gave way to the Ayatollah's power, as the military withdrew all support from the former Shah's regime. While the Shi'ite version of Islam is different from that of the Sunni version (revealing a major strain between, say, Iran and the Taliban), Islamic Fundamentalism as a movement and way of life still began on Feb. 11, 1979. It is a real birth. And on that day the Sun was located at 21+ Aquarius while Uranus was slowing down (and nearing a station) at 20 degrees and 55 minutes of Scorpio. Thus, Islamic Fundamentalism was born at an almost exact Sun-Uranus square in fixed, power signs (extremely revolutionary and unstable). In addition, Uranus is currently conjunct the Sun for Islamic Fundamentalism -- and that can only happen once in 84 years. The most critical happening will occur in the next few weeks. The Uranus station occurring on October 30, 2001 -- but influencing the whole time from the last 10 days of October through the first few weeks of November -- will be at 20 degrees and 55 minutes of Aquarius. Therefore, the current Uranus station will precisely square (no orb at all!) the Uranus placement from Feb. 11, 1979. What will this mean? We can only guess that more extreme convulsions will occur within the strange, radical and unpredictable (Uranus) world of Islamic Fundamentalism. Recall that Uranus rules the high-tech world, aviation, missiles, cyberspace, and shock-waves. While President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair have made great pains to say that this is not a war against all of Islam, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leaders are trying to make it just that -- a renewed crusade of Christianity vs. Islam.

In the next installment in this series, I will take a closer look at the time from October 30 - November 5, 2001 which includes the incredibly powerful Uranus station, a Full Moon, Saturn and Pluto once again exactly opposite, Jupiter stopping and reversing, plus the first Mars-Neptune conjunction in two years. We need to be awake, alert and vigilant -- both on the home front and regarding what is happening on the other side of the globe.

Copyright 2001 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.

[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth. He can be reached through e-mail at or through regular mail at Mark Lerner, The Great Bear, PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440. Please see our "Special Offer to Friends of Planet Earth Astrology" near the top of our Index page.]