Kursk nuclear submarine, called the "pride of the Russian fleet," sank
after an apparent onboard explosion on August 12, another veil of the
Iron Curtain was lifted. The former Soviet empire, once concealed far
from the glare of western television cameras, was exposed to the critical
voyeurism of the world media.
for public scrutiny was granted by the fire that broke out in the Ostankino
television tower in Moscow, the second tallest structure in the world,
two weeks later.
As news teams
covered these events, images of poverty, struggle and even active-duty
Russian soldiers begging in the streets reinforced the idea that the former
Soviet Union is a crumbling nation. The Kursk and the Ostankino tower
were the most recent in a stream of disasters including gas explosions,
industrial accidents and breakdowns in the power grid, "which have
underscored the weakened state of Russia's infrastructure due to lack
of money and poor maintenance," in the words of one reporter there.
A look at the chart of the new Russian Republic (the flag for the new
Russia was raised December 25, 1991, 5:45 pm GMT, Moscow) shows Neptune
(erosion) transiting over natal Saturn (foundations) for an image of dissolving
structures, especially where government is involved. Neptune often works
invisibly, often in ways much deeper than perception can reach, but in
recent months we have seen these changes begin to manifest significantly.
at the Roots
of a crumbling foundation is the current exact conjunction of transiting Pluto and Chiron,
which is conjunct Mercury in the Fourth House (the house that represents
our home) of the Russian chart. This is a conjunction that speaks of great
changes and advances in both individual thinking and culture. Transiting
the Fourth House, it can represent the dismantling of the foundation of
a nation, or an attack on the roots into the nurturing and support systems
of its environment.
and Chiron, each harbingers of profound change in their own right, were
slow and powerful in the sky at the time of the Kursk and Ostankino disasters,
located in their exact degree of stationing to direct movement. When the
Kursk went down, Pluto was within one arcminute of its exact station,
and Chiron was within eight arcminutes. It is as if the very foundation
of Russia was itself shifting and moving as these planets changed directions
at the depths of the nation's natal chart.
planets like Pluto and Chiron working on the sensitive Fourth House can
seem to cut us off from our base of support and undermine our foundations.
But what they are really doing is forcing us to rethink the whole question
of support and nourishment. "This emergency highlights what condition
vital facilities, as well as the entire nation, are in," Russian
Putin told a Cabinet meeting as the Ostankino tower burned,
making exactly this point. "Only economic development will allow
us to avoid such calamities in the future."
But the birth
chart for the new Russia is hardly a picture of stability. Note the conjunction
of the Sun to the North Node, which means a solar eclipse is about to
occur. Eclipses always speak of moments of instability and change, and
in natal charts can indicate extraordinary lives of fate or fortune. With
this shifting and movement located once again in the Fourth House of home,
comfort and security, we see pictures of deeply necessary struggle.
Looking at the Kursk disaster chart (August 12, 2000, 7:30 GMT, 69N40,
37E35), we see similar focus on the Fourth House. Once again, the roots
and foundation of the horoscope are where the action is. The Capricorn
Moon is tightly conjunct the asteroid Vesta in the Fourth. The Moon in
Capricorn is often cold, withholding and can possess a Spartan's limited
sense of nurturing. The Moon in any public chart represents "the people"
themselves. This one is conjunct Vesta, an asteroid with strong themes
of personal sacrifice, and hence, the sacrifice of the people for the
sake of government.
disaster can be summed up as the people starve while the government plays
high-tech war games and secretly tests new weapons beneath the North Pole.
Cancer, associated with the Moon, is on the Tenth House cusp, where we
look for information about big government. This house's ruler, Capricorn, is
on the Fourth House cusp. Here again is a picture of where the priority of
government (Tenth House) needs to be: on the Fourth House, the home base.
has Libra rising, and it's fair to ask what is so Venusian (Venus is associated
with Libra) about an explosion on a top-secret submarine that kills 118
people. But Libra is the sign of deliberation and balancing, and Venus
is the planet of values. Notice that Venus, suspended in the Eleventh
House of the public, seems to hang in the balance between Pluto and Jupiter,
two planets that are now in their intense battle of ideology, which is
a struggle for the truth to be freely revealed.
of the Kursk, a top-secret, lethal weapon of mass destruction, and other
collapses in the Russian empire, raise critical questions of what is really
important in the world, and in Russia, at this important and transitional
moment of global history.