NOTHING EXCEEDS LIKE EXCESS
It’s not drawing too long a bow to liken Sagittarian Jupiter to a big man riding a giant horse, heading for a gunfight at the nearest OK Corral. Sagittarius is Latin for archer, and the Sagittarii is what the Roman legions termed their horseback bowmen. While the modernist perceives Sagittarius as a futuristic, adventurous sign: the seeker of truth and travel: it also has the potential for political and/or religious extremism and sophisticated weaponry.
The ruling planet of Sagittarius is Jupiter, also known as Jove, the Roman god of justice. The Greek parallel was Zeus, the sky and thunder god who ruled Mt. Olympus, and the Nordic archetype Thor. When Jupiter aligns with Sagittarius, Thor’s thunderbolts come to earth, justice is front-page news, and exaggerated ideologies elevate commoners to kings.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom
The missionary zeal of this astro-signature was evident in William of Orange, the real life Thor of the Netherlands. Or Maximilian Robespierre, the quintessential figure of the French Revolution. Or the Ayatollah Khomeini whose return to his homeland heralded a people’s revolution and the creation of the Iranian Islamic Republic.
The romantic visionary William Blake, himself born with a Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius, exposed the overkill of the amalgam when he wrote, “Prudence was a rich, ugly, old maid courted by incapacity,” and “you never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”
And true to its judicial archetype, Jupiter in Sag has accompanied many controversial court battles from the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the Azaria Chamberlain baby/dingo mystery, the Nuremburg Nazi doctors revelation, to Stalin’s public purge, and the mock trial that marked the rise of a fledgling Fuehrer.
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking
In 1924, a young political visionary imprisoned in Bavaria was dictating the pains of his patriotic struggle in Mien Kampf, following his arrest for high treason. The sentence appropriately handed down on April Fool’s Day meant Adolf Hitler would be free by Christmas. Meanwhile in Italy, Mussolini’s Fascist party rose to dominance. On the other side of Europe the death of Russian Revolution leader Vladimir Lenin cleared the way toward Josef Stalin’s power surge. And in the USA J. Edgar Hoover was appointed head of the FBI. The events embodied the Yeats line, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it
When Jupiter next returned to the sign of the archer Adolf Hitler would be leading an emerging Germany, host of the Olympic Games of 1936. In March that year, the Fuehrer’s troops re-occupied the Rhineland, breaking the Treaty of Versailles. Mussolini added his support authorizing the Pact of Steel, a Rome/Berlin Axis. Then on November 25, Hitler signed “an agreement meant to protect European culture and civilisation from the Bolshevik menace” with Japan.
In Communist Russia, Stalin, demonstrating a brutal authority, had sixteen political prisoners executed after a bizarre public trial, effectively routing his homeland opposition. The political polarity of Europe played out in the Spanish Civil War with the Communists and Fascists supplying assistance to the warring parties. In the Middle East the battle between Jewish settlers and nationalists began in earnest with the Arab Revolt. And in the midst of these extremities US activist Abbie Hoffman was born.
Abbie was later to muse, “I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.” But Jupiter in Sagittarius had already drawn the bow.
Those who seek Oneness will eventually find Twoness
By the time Jupiter returned to home base in October 1947 the effects of the Second World War had spread like a grassfire across the globe. The divisions were now mirrored in Berlin itself. A Russian blockade of surface transport led to Allied food drops, and the dissection of the German capital. The seeds of the Cold War were sown across the playing fields of Europe. In the USA, the House of Un-American Activities began their interrogation of suspected “reds” in Hollywood.
The State of Israel was born with powerful allied support against fierce Arab resistance, and the Palestinian exodus began. On the subcontinent, India’s partition spawned Pakistan, and North Korea’s charismatic leader Kim II Sung proclaimed the republic of North Korea dividing the peninsula.
A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue
The 1959 sojourn of Jupiter in Sagittarius brought East and West tantalizingly close as the British Prime Minister Harold McMillan visited the soviet snows, and USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev touched down in the USA. But a planned Paris summit between President Eisenhower and Khrushchev was literally shot out of the skies along with a US U2 spy plane over Russian airspace. The Cold War warmed considerably as the US entered Vietnam.
In Transvaal, police opened fire killing 56 protesting natives in what has become known as the “Sharpeville massacre.” It prompted Harold McMillan to say before the South African parliament, “the wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether you like or not the growth of national consciousness is a political fact.” Unamused was the South African PM Henrick Verwoerd, the victim of an attempted assassination that year.
Perhaps he could relate to the Allen aside, “I don't believe in the after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.”
Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar
Jupiter’s return to Sagittarius in 1971 brought big budgetary blowouts caused by wasteful defense spending that encouraged a temporary meltdown of the Cold War. The superpowers were back to the negotiating tables. US President Richard Nixon made a groundbreaking trip to Communist China, and signed the Moscow Pact with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
US combat troops withdrew from Vietnam against the backdrop of a Paris peace treaty. But the division between Israel and Palestine dramatically deteriorated with terrorists executing 25 people at Tel Aviv airport and following up with the Munich Olympic massacre where 9 Israeli hostages were killed.
Terrorism was the new modern warfare for the oppressed. In Africa the winds blew harder still, General Idi Amin seized power in Uganda. He may have provided inspiration for Vaclav Havel’s quip, “True enough, the country is calm. Calm as a morgue or a grave, would you not say?”
Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage which we did not take, towards the door we never opened Into the rose-garden
T. S. Eliot
In 1982 the diplomatic gains between East and West became a distant memory as US President Ronald Reagan dubbed the Soviets the “Evil Empire” and proposed a costly Star Wars missile defense system to protect the US from future nuclear attack.
Meanwhile the USSR shot down a Korean airline 747 Jumbo over Siberia with 269 civilian casualties. And the Middle East literally exploded when Shi’ite rebels drove explosive laden trucks into American and French Beirut headquarters killing 241 US marines and 58 French paratroopers, hastening a US withdrawal. In South Africa McMillan’s prophecy was realizing with their worst activist bombing outside the South African Air Force HQ.
Often we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies
As Jupiter re-entered Sagittarius in December 1994 the Russian Army attacked the Chechnya capital of Groznyy. Russia’s New Year’s Eve assault was repelled with losses of over 2,000 men. Chechen gunmen took 1,500 people hostage in a hospital. Terrorism was back with a bang.
The US experienced its worst homeland terrorist attack to date, with the Oklahoma City bombing. Thousands of commuters on five Tokyo subway trains were simultaneously gassed by the crazed Japanese religious cult, called Aum Supreme Truth, an atypical Jupiter in Sagittarius logo.
In Manila the seeds of September 11 were uncovered in January of 1995 when Philippine intelligence revealed an Islamic terrorist plot to fly co-ordinated jumbo jets into strategic American targets. And in the Middle-East Israel Prime Minister, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated by a Jewish zealot for having signed the Oslo Accord with Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat.
Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose
Each repetition of Jupiter through Sagittarius produces violent rebellions at perceived injustices, as a charismatic leader rides on the shoulders of the oppressed. Ideological extremities widen whether they are Communist/Capitalist, East/West, Arab/Jew or Christian/Muslim. Forgotten is the Buddha’s pearl that there is only one truth and that is there is no truth.
Is it no surprise then that on the ingress of Jupiter into Sagittarius we find KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko mysteriously poisoned in London, triggering headlines of a Cold War revived? Or that Sadr City Baghdad experiences the worst day of sectarian violence since the US invasion? And that leaders like Kim Jong II or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spring to prominence with extremist policies. Or even that O.J. Simpson is news again, and that Al Gore may tip the scales of justice with another crack at the big one.
Like Vietnam, the US is now heading out of Iraq, and re-assessing its Middle-East polices, all appropriate to the current astro-signature. The folly is in believing that the status quo will remain the same, or that suppression of indigenous rights will make them go away. It won’t – whether the backdrop be Palestine or Fiji! Judgment, as Saddam Hussein would agree, is headline news. And the Berlin Wall of today has relocated to Jerusalem. Righteousness has us back at the OK Corral. We don’t have to be there. Arbitration and conciliation is the alternative.
South Africa have been a shining light. In the months preceding Jupiter’s entry into Sagittarius in late ’94, they abolished apartheid, and became the “rainbow country” electing freedom fighter Nelson Mandela as President. When Jupiter arrived, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established to investigate areas of human rights violations, reparations and amnesty. In 2007 South Africa will take further, often painful and difficult steps, along Freedom Road. The question now is–who will join them?