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NewsScope for February 12, 2001

Trouble in the Middle East

President Bush talked with Palestinian leader Arafat on the phone last Thursday, urging him to give newly-elected Ariel Sharon a chance to fulfill his promise to pursue peace. Still, most analysts agree that the situation looks difficult, with Palestinian and Israeli extremists already arming for war.

The astrological portents look equally ominous. The immediate trouble, the likelihood of escalating violence, can be seen in the transit of the war planet Mars, which enters Sagittarius on February 14. Due to its periodic retrograde  cycle, Mars remains in Sagittarius through early September. This becomes a zodiacal trouble-zone since slow-moving, zealous Pluto is already in Sagittarius and under long-term pressure from both Jupiter and Saturn.

The Mars-Jupiter-Pluto alignment kicks in this week, beginning with the Mars-Jupiter opposition, exact on February 18. The week leading up to this astro-event will likely be filled with the kinds of defiant acts characterized by fighting (Mars) for a cause (Jupiter). Mars then goes on to conjoin Pluto on March 18, so that this coming month encloses a phase of explosive, religious extremism.

Saturn enters Gemini on April 20 and moves into a lengthy opposition phase with Pluto over the following year. The stressful combination of Saturn and Pluto is a major war indicator in Israel's history: the Suez Canal crisis (July 26, 1956), the Yom Kippur War (October 6, 1973) and the Sharon-led invasion of Lebanon (massacre on September 16–17, 1982) were all initiated under this pairing. Mars turns direct on July 19 in the midst of Saturn and Pluto's first opposition, and represents a primary catalyst for the underlying tension.

Ariel Sharon and Israel

The general the Palestinians hate the most was elected Israel's prime minister last Tuesday. Ariel Sharon said that no further negotiations would be possible until the violence ended. On Friday, a car bomb exploded in west Jerusalem and coincided with notes from Palestinian extremists that Sharon has his answer.

Astrology Horoscope: Ariel SharonAriel Sharon was born with a militant Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries near his Aries Ascendant (on February 27, 1928, Yehud, Israel at 7:30 am EET*). Mars, his ruling planet, is conjunct the asteroid Pallas, which confers strategy and political astuteness to his climb for control and authority (in Capricorn). The Mars-Pallas conjunction is further modulated by a close aspect to Neptune, which turns him into a religious warrior.

Sharon's Saturn is found in his Ninth House of religion, a placement often signifying one who finds personal authority through organized religion. This Saturn is empowered by the conjunction to the lunar node axis, and comes alive this year by the above-mentioned Saturn-Pluto alignment.

Sharon came to power as transiting Saturn turned direct on Israel's Taurus Sun. From this indicator, the Israelis are looking for someone to control the violence, which Barak was unable to accomplish through his peace initiative. However, Israel's horoscope (May 14, 1948, 4:37 pm in Tel Aviv) is under the dangerous influence of Mars** now, which is just another indicator that terrorism, escalating violence and even regional war is coming soon.

Tom Cruise Files for Divorce

After ten years of marriage, Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman last Wednesday, citing "difficulties inherent in divergent careers." The Hollywood rumor mill further speculated that Cruise's devotion to Scientology and Kidman's Catholic roots were a divisive factor in how to bring up their two adopted children.

Astrology Horoscope: Tom CruiseTom Cruise was born (July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York; time unknown) with strong parenting instincts shown by his family-oriented Cancer Sun conjunct the parenting asteroid Ceres. His ability or willingness to play the family man is severely limited by a close Mars-Uranus square, which tends to rebel against any kind of traditional standard or limitation. This same aspect allows him to convincingly portray action heroes in his movies.

Tom Cruise was born on the same day that Algeria became a nation, and like Algeria, he's torn by a religious civil war. The Sun forms a grand trine with the two religious planets, Jupiter and Neptune. Neptune also squares Saturn, which guarantees that his beliefs will be challenged by circumstances, in this case, Nicole Kidman's Catholicism.

Astrology Horoscope: Nicole KidmanNicole Kidman was born a dualistic Gemini (June 20, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii; time unknown). Her Saturn in Aries forms a fire grand trine with Venus  and the Moon, bestowing her grace and star power equaling her partner's. Saturn in Aries must learn how to fight to gain respect and personal dignity, but since it forms an exact square to Cruise's Sun, may have grown into oppressive authority.

Kidman reportedly was surprised by the divorce. Uranus, often referred to as the divorce planet, has been opposite her Venus since the two separated last December, and was put into resolute action when triggered by the Full Moon last week.


*Time is speculative and based on a quote from his mother that he was born one hour past sunrise (Yehud: 32N02 34E23).

**Israel's progressed Mars squares Uranus, now only one-half degree from exact.



Michael WolfStar is a professional astrologer and writer living in Oregon. He writes regularly for Dell Horoscope and American Astrology.

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