The protests which have been ongoing in Syria since last year’s Arab Spring have escalated into civil war, with more than 7000 Syrians killed and an anti-government military force, the Free Syrian Army, beginning to take and hold sectors of the country, including outskirts of Damascus, the capital. Thousands of dissidents have been imprisoned, with an estimated 600 dying of torture. The demonstrations are focused against the administration of 46-year-old Bashar al-Assad and the ruling Ba’athist Party, heading a regime which has essentially been in place since the coup which brought Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad to power in 1970.
Like many other regional states, Syria was directly under the gun of the January 4, 2011 Solar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn which has precipitated such turmoil in the Middle East, with regimes felled in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen, and serious protests in half a dozen other states in the Arab world.
In his “Book of World Horoscopes”, astrologer Nicholas Campion lists a time for Syria’s independence of midnight EET, 1 January 1944, in Damascus, which yields a 13 Libra Ascendant, exactly atop a reality-warping Black Hole and exactly squared the eclipse; and an MC of 14 Cancer, tightly opposed. The Ascendant exactly on a Black Hole shows an inherent instability in the country, a propensity for sudden and radical shifts in its public face or image, as well as in its substance or circumstance. The eclipse opposed the MC, itself squared that same Black Hole, could reflect an unexpected, involuntary change in leadership of a dramatic, perhaps volatile nature.
Additionally, Syria’s 9 Capricorn Sun is about to receive an exact conjunction from Pluto at its station retrograde this April, further impelling change and transformation in the strife-ridden nation. Pluto is noted for scouring whatever it touches, removing all that is not working or holds back the entity from further growth and development, and the tools it uses are often breakdown, destruction, and decay. Syria’s Sun opposes one Quasar at 8 Cancer and squares another at 10 Aries, indicating that the changes wrought by Pluto are likely to be pervasive and highly visible, as Quasars shine a bright spotlight upon whatever they touch, illumining it for all to see, like a beacon on a hilltop.
Mars energy has been active of late as well, with the November 25, 2011 Solar Eclipse of 2 Sagittarius opposing Syria’s exact natal Mars/Uranus conjunction at 5 Gemini, itself conjunct a volatile Maser, all of which suggests an innate potential for bloody, violent (Mars) rebellion (Uranus) that can easily escalate out of control (Maser).
Adding emphasis here is the recent Mars station retrograde of January 23 at 23 Virgo, falling in close square to Syria’s 21 Gemini Saturn, representing its president and government. After this time the violence increased considerably, with a government massacre of more than 400 civilians in Homs by artillery bombardment in early February. Attacks against the rebel stronghold continued throughout the month, escalating to the use of helicopter gun ships, with more than 600 more civilians estimated to have been killed in Homs by the end of the month, and many thousands wounded. Transit Pluto’s sojourn on Syria’s sun began in earnest on February 24, and will continue through late May, with the station in April.
The astrological chart for Hafez al-Assad’s 13 November 1970 coup, which essentially established the present government, which was handed to his son Bashar upon the father’s death in 2000, is also active. With another Mars/Uranus pairing, this one straddling the 13 Libra Syrian Ascendant at 15 and 11 Libra, the regime has the same potential for violent rebellion as the nation at large, and this conjunction was highlighted in square by the January 2011 solar eclipse.
The telescopic effect of having both astrological charts containing Mars/Uranus conjunctions, paired with the energy shot of the eclipse, greatly magnifies both the duration and the severity of any conflicts that arise from their natal potential. We have certainly seen this with Syria, taking the longest to resolve its Arab Spring issues, with no immediate end in sight; the extreme crackdown by government and loss of civilian life; and the ongoing potential for a future resolution awaiting Assad at least as bloody as Libya’s Gadhaffi.
The natal Neptune/Mercury conjunction of the regime at 0 and 1 Sagittarius, previously so adept at propaganda and mind control of the populace, has lost its grip increasingly in the wake of the November 25 eclipse at 2 Sagittarius, which conjoined it. More than half of the civilian protestor deaths have ensued since this eclipse, and global calls for Assad to step down (resignation or abdication ruled by Neptune) have increased apace. Should the regime last so long, this pressure to resign will only be increased with the upcoming Solar Eclipse of May 20 at 0 Gemini, exactly opposed Neptune/Mercury. And in November 2012 another Solar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio falls exactly conjoined the regime’s Sun, another probable moment for its disintegration.
Bashar al-Assad’s natal horoscope is similarly afflicted. Born 11 September 1965, his 18 Virgo Sun was exactly squared by the December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini, focusing both the opposition and his government’s reactionary response. Assad’s Sun is exactly squared a Black Hole at 18 Sagittarius, on the solar end of that eclipse, so a natural tendency for his fortunes to turn on a dime (Black Hole) was accentuated by the lunar eclipse, which also conjoined Syria’s natal Saturn (chief executive, repressive, authoritarian regime) at 21 Gemini. Natally, the Sun conjoins Pluto at 16 Virgo and Uranus at 15 Virgo, all points opposed by Saturn at 13 Pisces, and all points activated by the current Mars retrograde period, encouraging violence and bloodshed.
Sun/Uranus can be the signature of a reformer, and such was hoped for from Bashar at his accession in 2000 (running unopposed and winning 97% of the “vote” in a referendum to succeed his father), a hope that was strengthened when he took a British citizen as wife shortly afterward. But Pluto can be obsessively focused on power, and the Saturn opposition promotes a reactionary, repressive, authoritarian bent. Where Uranus by itself may have inclined him to support for human rights, Pluto’s focus on corruption and control have overwhelmed that impulse, and Syria’s record under Bashar’s administration has not been noticeably more humanitarian or democratically-inclined than under his father’s harsh, dictatorial rule.
Initial calls for protest went out across Syria in late January 2011, immediately following the massive demonstrations in Egypt which precipitated Mubarak’s rapid fall, but the response was tepid. The first major demonstrations did not occur until March 15, when simultaneous protests in major cities across the nation erupted, centered on Daraa, where more than 100,000 took to the streets.
The timing of the day was precise, with transit Mars (challenge) at 16 Pisces exactly opposed Assad’s natal Pluto (his power base) and still conjoined the Moon (the populace) of the Syrian state at 14 Pisces, while inconjunct the regime’s natal Mars at 15 Libra. This natal Mars was itself exactly conjoined by transit Saturn (authority, government). This describes a major challenge (transit Mars) to Assad’s control (natal Pluto) paired with a tendency by the regime to react harshly (transit Saturn) and with violence (regime Mars).
A transit Mercury/Jupiter conjunction at 10 and 11 Aries fell exactly on the Quasar at 10 Aries, augmenting the visibility and effectiveness (Quasar) of the political (Jupiter) protests (Mercury) and squared the nation’s Sun. This pairing was also conjunct Syria’s 13 Aries Descendant (how it relates to others and manages internal conflict) and opposed the Uranus (rebellion, revolution) of the regime at 11 Libra. The transit Sun at 24 Pisces was exactly sextile Syria’s Mercury (popular demonstrations and protests) at 24 Capricorn, and squared its Saturn (president, government) at 21 Gemini. Transit Uranus at 0 Aries has just passed its final opposition to the regime’s natal Pluto (repression, control) at 29 Virgo, a transit calculated to disrupt (Uranus) its power base (Pluto).
The Assad regime’s Mars/Uranus conjunction enfolding Syria’s Ascendant put a face of injustice, extremism and violence on the nation. Born in revolution, the regime may well die in revolution. As for Bashar al-Assad himself, prospects for his personal survival should his government fall do not look good. The June 4 Lunar Eclipse at 14 Sagittarius/Gemini forms a Grand Cross with Assad’s natal Uranus/Saturn opposition, threatening rebellion to his authority. That natal Saturn is conjoined the country’s Moon and has been a reliable indicator so far of his successful oppression of the people, but flip that energy in the crucible of the Black Hole, and such a contact can easily spell his own death at the hands of those same people.