Astrological Musings

Laurel proposed looking at the charts of Israel and Palestine to compare the two, which brings up an interesting question. What exactly is Palestine? What birthtime would you use for the Palestinian people? This is a difficult question and impossible to ask without deep political implications.

During World War I, Britan obtained the support of Arabs living under the control of the Ottoman Empire by promising their independence. In 1916, the Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France divided the Arab states into zones of influence (this is the same agreement that created Iraq which was then controlled by Britain). In 1917 the Balfour Declaration endorsed the idea of a Jewish state within Palestine, a notion that was supported by the League of Nations in 1922. The partition plan granted the Jewish people over half of the land in Palestine, which caused an uproar among the Arabs who were the majority population at that time. The first major riots between Jews and Arabs took place in 1929 while Palestine was still under British rule. In 1937 the Peel Commission determined that peace between the Jews and Arabs was impossible, and recommended partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, and Arab state, and a neutral religious site controlled by Britain. In December of 1947, Britain announced plans to withdraw from Palestine in May of 1948. Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, and on May 14, 1948 at 4:32 pm Jewish leaders announced the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. This is the date and time commonly used for the Israel chart.

In an official cablegram from the Secretary General of the League of Arab States to the UN Secretary on May 15, 1948, the Arab states officially declared the formation of a “United State of Palestine” in the place of the two-state concept. Because the British mandate officially expired at midnight on May 15, 1948, it makes sense to use this time for the chart, so the establishment of Palestine occurred shortly after the State of Israel. This means the two charts are virtually identical, with the same inner conflicts and complexes. When two individuals have the same inner complexes and enter a relationship with each other, they will constantly stimulate the difficulties inherent in those complexes. The same can be true of nations, and we have certainly seen this to be true with Israel and Palestine.

The time difference means that the house structure is different than the Israeli chart even though all of the planets are in the same signs. I have used Cairo, Egypt as the birthplace, although using Gaza changes the angles by only 3 degrees or so. In any event, the house structure is different: the chart for the Palestinian state shows Aquarius rising rather than the Scorpio rising chart of Israel. Aquarius on the ascendant (rising) shows someone who values the collective more than the individual life; the ideal is the most important thing. The Palestinians have shown a willingness to sacrifice many lives for their ideal of returning to their homeland.

Israel’s Scorpio ascendant shows an intense nature that seeks to win at all costs. Scorpio is about power, and is often secretive and manipulative in order to maintain that power. Israel has three different secret intelligence agencies and has long had a top secret nuclear weapons program. Its survival depends upon its ability to maintain power in the region, where it is surrounded by enemies. Scorpio is well known for its sting and makes a vicious enemy.

Both Israel and Palestine have a Leo stellium (four planets in Leo), showing a strong need for recognition and rulership (see more on this stellium in the discussion of the Israeli chart below). For both nations, the combination of Saturn, Pluto and the Moon in Leo indicates a life-long crisis (Saturn/Pluto) around the need (Moon) for recognition (Leo). Since the inception of Israel, both the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs have struggled for recognition as the true occupier of the homeland. The Israel chart shows the Leo stellium in the tenth house, the house of highest aspirations and public office, and the crisis of security has become the main thing for which Israel is known (tenth house). The Palestinian chart, with the Leo stellium in the seventh house of partnerships and open enemies, shows that their struggle has been with their allies (most notably Egypt and Lebanon) as well as with Israel, the sworn enemy.

Because of the challenging dynamics within the charts of both Israel and Palestine (again, see the discussion on Israel’s chart for the details), the dynamics within the two charts are expressed between the charts as well. This commonly occurs in a relationship between two people who are born at the same time – their inner dynamics are expressed through the relationship. This is difficult because the individuals are seldom able to “own” those dynamics as internal to their makeup, which makes it more difficult for them to come to a resolution. Instead, the partner becomes the focus and is blamed for the internal distress. For example, Chiron in both charts opposes the Sun, indicating painful wounds around the individual identity of each nation. Because the planets are in virtually the same positions in both charts, Chiron in the chart of one nation opposes the Sun in the chart of the other, and from the dawn of the conflict each has been instrumental in the wounding (Chiron) of the identity (Sun) of the other.

Saturn and Pluto both conjoin the Moon in each chart, creating a sense of annhilation (Saturn/Pluto) to the emotional security (Moon) of each people. This is exacerbated by the fact that Saturn/Pluto in the chart of the Israelis conjuncts the Moon in the Palestinian chart, and vice versa. Because each continues to blame the other for their lack of security, and in response each continues to attack the other, there is never a healing of the dynamic that lies within the nature of each country. Just as in the relationship described above, the enemy becomes the focus and the internal dysfunction is never healed.

The transit of Pluto that began last year and will continue for the next two years over the opposition between Uranus (radical thought) and Jupiter (expansion) in the chart of both Israel and the Palestinians will serve to expand the conflict as it strives to bring resolution and transformation. This transit could bring greater empowerment to both peoples if they can let go of the ego need (Leo Moon) to be right and engage in productive dialogue. Just as in relationships of individuals, however, the only way for peace to truly occur is if both are able to disengage and look within.

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