Air War Over Afghanistan by Mark Lerner


DATELINE OCT. 7, 2001 5:10PM PDT Eugene, Oregon... I write this story -- Part VII of an ongoing series -- about 8 hours after America's first air strikes against Kabul, Kandahar and other strategic offensive/defensive facilities of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's terrorist bases in Afghanistan. The long-awaited American, British and allied response to the Sept. 11th Attack on America is a reality. This will be a preliminary report -- to give you the basics and set the stage for further articles on Pakistan's chart, the fears of biological or chemical threats on American soil, the unusual time-period around Oct. 30 - Nov. 5, and other pertinent subjects.

The most amazing placement of our new war over Afghanistan is the Sun at 14+ Libra. This is exactly (1) the Ascendant from the first plane crash into the WTC on Sept. 11, (2) Mercury's degree on Sept. 11 and (3) the USA Saturn position from July 4, 1776. What an extraordinary proof of active astrology at work! The Sun is strength, power, radiance and unlimited energy. Striking Mercury from Sept. 11 precisely is to illuminate the issues of global transportation, trade, communications, even the subtle movements of the enemy. The annual crossing of the Sun on America's Saturn as this war begins symbolizes our celestial answer to fear, national weakness, vulnerability, our Achilles' heel (all Saturn themes).

It is astounding to see the power of Saturn in this war horoscope. Not only is this the one day of the year when the Sun crosses America's natal Saturn, but it is the one time of the lunar month when the Moon is united with Saturn in the sky! The Moon-Saturn conjunction in Gemini is exact within 1+ degrees of orb -- very close. In addition, the Moon (the public; mass consciousness and emotions; celestial body ruling our homeland and psyche as a people) has just united with Vesta (national safety and security themes!) and is closely opposing a Pallas-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius on the other side of the Earth. We've discussed the ongoing difficult, sobering and troublesome Saturn-Pluto polarity. This was first exact on August 5, will repeat on November 1, and finally on May 25, 2002. Note that America was born with a Moon-Pallas conjunction. As the war begins, the Moon is exactly opposite Pallas. Symbolically, our deep feelings (Moon) and mental brilliance/genius (Pallas) as a people are being tested like never before. It's as if we are being stretched to the limit -- pulled apart inwardly (by fears) and attacked outwardly by an unseen (Saturn-Pluto) enemy. As I have noted in a previous part of this story, the Secondary Progressed Sun for America at 27 Aquarius is about to cross our natal Moon for the first time ever on October 24! The attacks of Sept. 11 and our response on Oct. 7 are all a build-up to this extremely rare progressed solar passage over our nation's Moon. Keep in mind that such a major progression will not occur again for about 360 years!

Clearly, America and the world are in the grip of this steely, depressing and nightmarish triple Saturn-Pluto opposition. You may recall that I have written many times of the highly unusual astro-link between President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell. The President's natal Saturn (26+ Cancer) is precisely conjunct Colin Powell's natal Pluto (26+ Cancer)! Once again, we see the strange cosmic synchronicity of Saturn and Pluto at work. Can this deep, powerful and secretive Saturn-Pluto union between two of our highest leaders be the magic, the lightning rod and catalyst to cut through this horrible Saturn-Pluto polarity currently wreaking havoc across the world through the upsurge of terrorism? [Note: The asteroid Juno was at 26+ Cancer on Sept. 11 and Saddam Hussein, born the same month as Colin Powell, also has his Pluto at 26+ Cancer. Review previous articles for the importance of these influences.]

It's important to ask the following question: Is this a good chart to begin a war against Afghanistan and the terrorists? As an "electional chart," we see some positive elements and some drawbacks. While the astro-symbolism of fighting against determined enemies is perfectly represented by Moon conjunct Saturn opposing Pallas conjunct Pluto, it remains to be seen whether initiating a war with Moon approaching Saturn is a good idea. Obviously, our leaders did not start this battle with astrological advice. Luckily, we do find the Moon also approaching a flowing trine (120 degrees) to the transiting Sun in Libra. And that trine happens before the Moon will conjunct Saturn. If we look at this as a sustained war -- that will take years in order to accomplish our aims -- then perhaps an applying Moon-Saturn union is A-OK.

While the chart appearing in this story is for Kabul (Afghanistan's capital city), there is also the chart (for the same moment) back in Washington, D.C. These two charts are mirror reflections of one another! The Kabul war chart reveals 20+ Gemini rising, symbolized in Dane Rudhyar's An Astrological Mandala in the following way: "A Tumultuous Labor Demonstration." Rudhyar gives a keynote of "emotional outburst." Read the entire symbol if you have the book. It is noteworthy that as the first explosions were reported over Kabul, this degree rising was almost precisely America's natal Mars (war) placement at 21+ Gemini from July 4, 1776! In the war chart calculated for Washington, D.C., the Pallas-Pluto conjunction has just risen in the East and 18 Sagittarius is on the Ascendant. That gives Jupiter the rulership of this war chart for us in America. And where is Jupiter? Close to the USA Sun (13+ Cancer), President Bush's Sun (also at 13+ Cancer) and on the cusp of the 8th house (death-rebirth; transformation and metamorphosis; the Underworld) in Washington, D.C. Before I forget, let me remind you that the Moon had just conjuncted the asteroid Vesta (13+ Gemini) as this fierce battle began. I have reported before about the coming Vesta station on October 9 (just two days from now). In essence, the Moon uniting with Vesta today (Oct. 7) has set loose all the Vesta energies ahead of time. What is Vesta? It is safety, security, turf wars, secret organizations (like the FBI, CIA, NSA, special ops, Al Qaeda terrorist cells!); it is national security issues, eternal flames, torches of liberty and freedom, investments and insurance.

Another question is this: What will be the effect of the approaching Sun-Jupiter square in this war chart as time goes by? America is born with a Sun-Jupiter union in Cancer (about 8 degrees apart). This dynamic and crucial war to protect our homeland (Cancer) is being fought -- appropriately enough -- with Jupiter in Cancer (on our natal Sun). But the transiting Sun is on our Saturn and simultaneously linked in an harmonious trine with transiting Saturn. Could this combination indicate the enormous financial cost (negative Jupiter) to run this war over so many years? After all, our government has been preparing all of us for weeks that this war will be long, costly and difficult. To begin the air war with Sun square Jupiter almost precisely is strange to say the least. And be aware that Jupiter is on the cusp of the 2nd house (banks; assets; material resources) at the start of the war over Afghanistan while Jupiter is on the cusp of the 8th house (insurance; taxes; death; secrets; international funding) for the war chart in Washington, D.C.

Add on another factor: Mercury at 27+ Libra is retrograde. Now we could have started the air war before October 1, when Mercury (travel; trade; transportation; communications) was still direct in motion. We didn't choose to do so. Why? Well, America was born with Mercury retrograde at 24+ Cancer. Our nation has functioned reasonably well for 225 years with a retrograde Mercury! So, it is not surprising to see us enter a major war with Mercury once again in reverse motion. This Mercury is also approaching a flowing trine to America's natal Moon-Pallas conjunction at 27 Aquarius. Nevertheless, many of you will feel uncomfortable with seeing this Mercury Rx in the war chart.

All in all, I would have to say this: The war chart is ambiguous at best. While I believe it clearly symbolizes a polarization of forces -- enemies opposing one another (Vesta-Moon-Saturn vs. Pallas-Pluto) -- it has troubling aspects. The main problems -- as mentioned -- are the Moon so close to Saturn and the Sun squaring Jupiter. However, the Sun-Jupiter square is also part of a T-Square triangle (confrontational; conflicting; upsetting) that includes a Ceres-Mars conjunction in Capricorn. While Mars and Jupiter have already formed their opposition on Oct. 3 (four days before the war), the Sun is still approaching a square to Mars. We should not ignore this important part of the chart! Ceres (the largest asteroid) is the only planetary body that is stationary (not moving from the Earth's point of view) when America was founded on July 4, 1776. It has to do with our being the "bread basket" to the world, the richest source of grains and cereals (Ceres) around the planet. Ceres is also an archetypal "Mother Earth" energy -- even beyond the Moon. Of course, Mars equates with war/bloodshed and is exalted (extra powerful) while in Capricorn. But it is disturbing to see this applying Sun-Mars square in the war chart -- an alignment that will not become exact until October 14, a full week after the initial air strikes of October 7. Might this symbolize a 7-year war against terrorism? After all, utilizing secondary progressions, that's about how long it will take for this Sun-Mars square to "mature" into an exact pattern. Let us hope this is not the case, but the astrology of the war chart seems to imply it. [Note: It will take the progressed Sun about 2 years and 4 months to exactly square the Mars in the war chart itself. That time-period, around January-February 2004, will also be very significant and could indicate a major flare-up of this war against terrorism.]

This brings us to another crucial map -- the last Full Moon preceding the war. I have pointed out that the lunation (New or Full Moon) just preceding a major national or world event is important to analyze. What do we see in the Full Moon map for October 2, 2001? At that time, the impending Mars-Jupiter polarity was one day away from exactitude, but still within 1/2 a degree of precision! And in ancient times and previous centuries, before the discovery of the three outer planets, a Mars-Jupiter celestial conflict was considered almost as bad as a Mars-Saturn battle. Jupiter signifies society and its stability. Mars represents volatility, inflammation, war and upheavals. Thus, a Mars-Jupiter polarity at this Full Moon must not be underestimated. Well, here's the key: Mars opposed Jupiter directly above and below through Kabul, Afghanistan as the Full Moon occurred! Mars (war) was within 3 degrees of the exact Midheaven (10th house cusp) at the Full Moon. In the 5 days -- from the Full Moon to the Oct. 7th launch of the war -- Mars traveled those 3 degrees, striking the very top of the Full Moon chart! This shows how powerful astrology is with the chief planet of war directly overhead where the war is taking place! A peek at the next New Moon (Oct. 16th) reveals that Neptune (religious fanaticism; ideologies clashing) will set right through Afghanistan while the Sun and Moon will be exactly below (4th house cusp of home, roots, foundations). This suggests the massive displacement of refugees in the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran border regions and total chaos (Neptune and New Moon below) afflicting these lands and people.

I've reported before about Tertiary Progressions (lunar-based progressions) where each day after birth is equal to a lunar month. I've explained their power for America in the events of Sept. 11 in previous articles. I indicated that there are some very troubling tertiary cycles on the verge of happening in America's chart from July 4, 1776. I am going to list the dates and alignments here, so there will be no confusion about what we are up against. (1) USA Tertiary Juno conjunct USA Tertiary Neptune at 12+ Libra (Oct. 19). (2) USA Tertiary Sun conjunct USA Tertiary Neptune at 12+ Libra (Dec. 16). (3) USA Tertiary Sun conjunct USA Tertiary Juno at 13+ Libra (Jan. 15, 2002). (4) USA Tertiary Juno square USA Natal Sun (from 13+ Libra to 13+ Cancer) on Jan. 20, 2002. (5) USA Tertiary Sun conjunct USA Natal Saturn at 14+ Libra (Feb. 27, 2002). All of these dates -- and a couple of days before and after -- are potential times of deep-seated challenges, emotional disturbances and dangers (from terrorism/violence -- whether home or abroad) for the American people and our military forces. Be aware that in February-March 2002, the USA Tertiary Sun will reach 14+ Libra -- the exact transiting Sun placement as the war began on Oct. 7, 2001. This is also the combined Ascendant-Mercury position for the first attack striking the WTC on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. [Note: By carefully looking through all the seven features posted so far, you will come up with a large number of "warning dates," times when literally all hell can break loose in this battle against terrorism. While the first few days of this air war may be designed to knock out Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds in order to allow our special operatives to move into the mountainous terrain of Southern Afghanistan, realize that there are many natural, elemental forces arrayed against the allies. The brutal and snowy winter comes early to Afghanistan and there are more land mines in this country than anywhere else in the world. The struggle in this chart -- of five celestial bodies opposing one another from Gemini to Sagittarius -- may represent the stark and forbidding landscape of Afghanistan itself -- a country and people the Russians were not able to defeat during more than a decade of fierce fighting.]

We find some unusual connections to other charts. Venus (search for an elusive peace) in the war chart (20 degrees and 21 minutes of Virgo) is at the precise degree and minute of arc for Mars (war) from the start of the Muslim Era (July 16, 622 in Medina, Saudi Arabia). I have discussed this chart in the article on Osama bin Laden. Only time will tell what this rare and exact link will bring. In a more startling alignment, we note that transiting Uranus (revolution; shocks; surprises; high-technology) at 21 degrees and 8 minutes of Aquarius is only 1 minute of arc (!) from opposing both the Leo Sun for Pakistan and India (nations which experienced independence from Great Britain on August 15, 1947)! In a future article, I will discussing Pakistan's important chart as this nation has been a major supporter of the Taliban in the past. Even though the military government of General Pervez Musharraf is now strongly allied with America (even providing air space for our planes in today's attack against Afghanistan), there are millions of students and religious fanatics in Pakistan who deeply support Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network. Going to war against Afghanistan will create millions of refugees, streaming over the border into Pakistan. And Pakistan has nuclear weapons and a shaky future at best. Remember, too, that the highly potent Total Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999 had its "path of totality" cutting right through Pakistan and into Western India.

In closing this time, ponder the following. Just as the "two war charts" (one calculated for Kabul and the other for Washington, D.C.) are mirror images for one another, America's natal chart -- relocated to Afghanistan -- reveals something quite significant. It literally flips around. We have always utilized the Sagittarius rising chart (7+ Sagittarius) for America from July 4, 1776 and shifting that map to Afghanistan gives us a horoscope with 6+ Gemini rising and Uranus just 2 degrees away at 8+ Gemini. Two years ago, America's Secondary Progressed Uranus actually stationed and shifted from retrograde to direct motion precisely at 6+ Gemini -- America's precise relocated Ascendant calculated for Kabul, Afghanistan. This part of the world will now be the focus of the most sophisticated, high-tech battle in the history of the world. Uranus rules aviation, technology, ingenious scientific discoveries, satellites, guided missiles, etc. Just as the Persian Gulf War of a decade ago became a "playground" for the American military to test out its latest high-tech weaponry, this new war against terrorists in Afghanistan will become a Uranian war zone. The problem is that much of this will be a stealth, secret (Mars-Pluto) war and even our multi-media (Uranus in Aquarius personified) may be groping around for the truth of what is really happening.

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 at or by writing to him at Mark Lerner, The Great Bear, PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440. Please also see our "Special Offer to Friends of Planet Earth Astrology" near the top of our Index page.]