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Untitled Document

NewsScope for March 31, 2009

Obama's AfPak Strategy
Last Friday President Obama unveiled his grand strategy for fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The plan frames American commitment to the area as a counter-terrorism mission that aims to train Afghan security forces, rebuild Pakistan's infrastructure, and recast the military conflict as a regional issue. As such, he will be pressing Pakistan and Afghanistan to work together despite ancient rivalries.
Astrologically, this broad-ranged initiative was announced just as transiting Jupiter arrived on Obama's Aquarius Ascendant. The need to do something really big has odd parallels to when George W. Bush began building the case for an invasion of Iraq, which he also did as transiting Jupiter was right on his Ascendant*. In Bush's chart, his Leo Ascendant wants to be the conquering hero (Leo), while in Obama's chart, his way forward is to build regional alliances (Aquarius).
In Bush's case, transiting Neptune was opposing his Mercury, so that he either misread the intelligence or was consciously deceiving the American public. Transiting Neptune is now opposing Obama's Uranus, the ruler of his chart, and similarly, there's no clear end to this new military engagement. Obama's plan—to split the hard-core Taliban fundamentalists from those who joined the Taliban under pressure or for money—is hopeful at best.
As mentioned in NewsScope's November 4, 2008 column, Obama has a progressed Venus-Uranus conjunction shaping up, which will be exact in July. Projecting this high voltage combination onto the world map places it at the Midheaven over Pakistan and Afghanistan, where new alliances may very well be forged. Obama wants to bring in Saudi Arabia, India, and other regional players to manage this explosive hotspot.
Chiron and the Arctic Park
Nowhere are the effects of global warming more evident than in the polar regions. Scientists are now predicting that the Arctic Ocean will be completely devoid of ice cover during summers beginning in 2013. A curious and unexpected cycle is that American interests in the North and South Pole tend to peak when Chiron is in Aquarius and conjunct the U.S. Moon (located at 25º28' Aquarius).
One Chiron cycle ago Americans promoted and actively participated in the International Geophysical Year, which was used to scientifically study the polar regions. Also at the time U.S. nuclear submarines were engaged in under-ice cruises and were mapping the Arctic Ocean sea-floor, with the USS Skate reaching the top of the world on August 11, 1959—precisely as transiting Chiron was conjunct the U.S. Moon.
Exactly two Chiron cycles ago, the American Captain Robert Peary (May 6, 1856) was the first man to reach the geographic North Pole on April 7, 1909. Chiron is not very comfortable in Aquarius, since this is a social sign and Chiron tends toward the reclusive. Peary was born with Chiron in Aquarius, and being the adventurous outsider steered him toward the world's nether regions.
As Chiron approaches its cyclical conjunction with the U.S. Moon (exact on April 21), proposals are being generated to turn the region above 88 degrees latitude into the Arctic Park, which would be reserved for scientific research and international cooperation. The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev first suggested the Arctic “zone of peace” in 1987. However, as Neptune joins Chiron, current Russian plans are to strengthen its military presence in the area to protect its claims on oil and gas.
Saturn-Pluto: "Don't Be Evil"
A NewsScope reader born with a Saturn-Pluto square wants to know more about the current Pluto transit. "I have this situation along with everyone else born in the early 1970s", which is transiting Pluto squaring natal Pluto and opposing natal Saturn. In general, transiting Pluto can bring a fundamental restructuring of the psyche, as the lifestyle morphs into a more honest or fulfilling expression.
Tyra Banks (December 4, 1973; 7:13 pm; Inglewood, CA) is becoming empowered under this current Pluto influence, as The Tyra Banks Show is growing in market share. However, she's dealing with the kinds of suffering that the Saturn-Pluto square can generate. Most recently, she's discussed child abuse—which may be attributed to an afflicted Saturn in Cancer, the sign of family.
Those born with Saturn-Pluto squares may feel the oppression of uncontrollable forces. Google co-founder Sergey Brin (August 21, 1973; Moscow; time unknown) left the Soviet Union in 1979 when his father was unable to advance in his career because he was Jewish. The unofficial motto of Google—"Don't be Evil"—reflects a lesson learned about all-powerful institutions. Nowadays, empowered by the Pluto square, he's become a major investor in the alternative energy industry.
Actress Penelope Cruz (April 28, 1974) has her Saturn-Pluto square linked with Ceres in Pisces, and she's recently concluded that she wants children. Considering the sympathetic vibe of Pisces, adoption is her preferred route. Dancing With the Stars co-host Samantha Harris (November 27, 1973) has her Juno mixed in with her natal Saturn-Pluto. We'll see if her partnership with Tom Bergeron or her marriage to Michael Hess can stand the pressure from transiting Pluto.  

*See "Bush Builds his Case" in NewsScope, September 10, 2002. Incidentally, "AfPak" is the name General Petraeus used to describe the regional plan. For Obama's ACG maps, see
For more on Pakistan, the triple conjunction in Aquarius, and other political and celebrity profiles, visit

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