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From 1959 to the present day, we've seen a lot of things come and go—from hula hoops and beehive hairdos to boy bands and Pokemon—but one thing has remained constant: Fidel Castro still rules Cuba. Despite every attempt to assassinate, overthrow and undercut him, he's crawled out from under the wreckage and is still going strong at 73. Forget those people on that other island—love him or hate him, this man is the real "survivor."

The terms fixed, cardinal and mutable are used frequently in astrology to describe the different signs of the zodiac. Typically the cardinal signs are described as impulsive, the mutable signs are changeable, while the fixed signs are, well, fixed. Fidel Castro is a Leo, and Leo is a fixed sign. Castro is the model of endurance, and stubborn endurance is fixity in action. Perhaps "action" is even too strong a term. The best of the fixed signs can get a lot accomplished by doing absolutely nothing; simply holding their ground while everyone else gets caught up and blown away in the inevitable storms and vicissitudes.

Bill Clinton, another Leo of surpassing endurance, was once quoted comparing himself to those inflatable pop-up toys from the 50s. Every time you knocked it down, it just bounced right back up. Now any fixed sign can bounce back, but Leos tend to come up smiling.

The fixed sign Leo is linked to the Sun, no mere planet, but the constant, shining source of light and life itself. Leos can seem blinded by their own optimism, and their unwavering faith in themselves often strikes others as childish naiveté. The Sun never stops shining in their hearts, fueling their creativity and influence. It's not that they don't see the downside. They do, but they are also keenly aware that the people around them need to be inspired and uplifted, not bogged down. This inborn sense of leadership can make them act as if the problems facing them are nonexistent, and believing often makes it so.

As the king of beasts, Leos tend to be interested in the larger side of life, whether it's the "big issues" or just living large in general. Their talents are enormous, but so are their sins, and this can cause big problems. People just don't feel much sympathy for Leos in their failings. We tend to want to be swept along in their leadership, or we are driven to rebel against them.

The Drama of Kings

The recurring historical drama of kings, leaders and the people who rise up against them can be traced astrologically through the opposing signs Leo and Aquarius. Leo is the sign of kings, of presidents, father figures and CEOs. Aquarius is the sign of the people, of congresses, radicals and revolutionaries—self-willed individuals who don't want to be told what to do. Both signs (and their associated planets, the Sun and Uranus respectively) represent legitimate needs within human society. Both signs are also perpetually in opposition  to each other, just as Congress tends to be in perpetual opposition to the President. This dynamic polarity of Leo-Aquarius manifests rhythmically throughout human history as revolutions and regicides, coronations and reinstatements, as humanity struggles to find that balance between its own extremes. Every individual struggles with these two extemes within himself as well, playing different roles at different times of life.

Within the heart of Leo Fidel Castro, this polarity is particularly well developed. Although there is some argument about his birthdate, the one most commonly accepted is August 13, 1927, at 2:00 am EST, in Mayari, Cuba. This puts Castro's Sun at 19 degrees of the sign Leo, opposed by a Full Moon at 20 degrees Aquarius. The Leo-Aquarius (and Sun-Uranus) dilemma is a very personal issue for the Cuban leader. It is literally the story of his life.

The differences between Castro's friends and enemies has never been more dramatically played out than it was during the Elian Gonzalez episode, when no less personage than the U.S Attorney General took his side against the heated protests of the powerful Miami exile community. The wily Leo's stubborn endurance has never been more evident. This period in Castro's life could well be as important as his revolution, for astrologically, he has come full circle.

Unrest and Uranus

Back in the late 50s, when Castro's revolution succeeded in overthrowing the dictator Batista, the planet Uranus was moving through the sign Leo, touching off Castro's Leo planets. Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, is a radical, revolutionary planet. Its presence in Castro's sign inspired his followers under his leadership and they rocked their world, not only overthrowing their own government, but putting themselves in open opposition to their very powerful and very close neighbor, the United States.

Now, 40 years later, the planet Uranus is moving through the opposite sign Aquarius. In fact, as I write this, Uranus is retrograde at 20 degrees Aquarius, where it has been opposing Castro's Leo Sun and conjunct his Aquarius Full Moon all year! Suddenly, surprisingly, out of the most bizarre, unexpected (and typically Uranian) circumstances, everything is changing for Castro and Cuba. The upshot of the Elian episode has been a renewed interest in trade relations with Cuba and a loss of political capital for the Miami exiles. We have all come full circle now, and many Americans can't see any reason to continue the Cold War antagonism.

The planet Uranus will continue to affect that 20th degree of Aquarius-Leo until the fall of 2001. We should expect to see more drastic change in Castro's world. It could come in the form of rebellions against his power, whether from within or outside of Cuba. It could manifest as heart and health problems, for he is an old man. But I suspect he may endure, at least long enough to modernize the entire premise of his revolution. His radical mission now is to bring Cuba into closer economic alignment with the U.S., bringing the benefits of a more open, market economy to the poorest of Cuba's people. Who ever thought we, and he, would live to see this day?



Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

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