by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Astro/Political Not-So-Quick Takes: Algeria

 Earth's eastern hemisphere
photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Far more than just Egypt's ousting of President Mubarak has been firing up the news...other populations in other countries in and around the Mediterranean and Middle East have been protesting for change and demanding to be heard.

Frankly, there’s just so much going on its impossible to take it on in detail while keeping up with astro-doings, but here is a modest look at one of the subjects in the list: Algeria. Surging crowds in the streets of Algiers (and elsewhere) have been meeting up with police. Feelings continue running somewhere between high and frothing over.

With that said, to the chart: Algeria is currently (formally) known as The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and functioning under a constitution which went into effect on July 5, 1962…

 People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
July 5,1962 (Algiers)

By convention the chart is set at noon, a standard for national charts when what you're talking about is a nation 'coming into its own.'

Notable on this chart is its having zero degrees at all four cusps. Generally, this is considered a sign of ‘starting something’ in this world, which may say that Algeria will become a leading nation in some area or concern. The other way to see this is that the taking on of a constitution is the 'beginning of a process' which is about Algeria itself.

This may be a really apt way of looking at these zero cusps, considering how with Pluto just moving out of orb in Algeria's 4th house (Pluto natively being in Virgo and the 12th house) Algeria has erupted in discontent.

The 'erupting' part seems very much in keeping with the axis points being in cardinal signs - cardinal being astrology's do now, ask questions later modality. That what the people are demanding are jobs and a better quality of life is here expressed by a Pluto passionately placed in the 12th house - a house where Pluto tends to stand for the denial of a thing and the yearning for some thing.

In Virgo, the first items on the docket would be health, work, service - or, since this is a national chart, maybe  services is a better way to put it.

Virgo on the 12th is often a statement thing 'functionality' is denied or that things just aren't working. But with Pluto having traveled on from its natal position in this chart, now we have Pluto in the cardinal 4th house cusp of the homeland and citizenry.

But to chat about Pluto is sort of to cut to the end of the story, a chart story which starts with obvious pluses and minuses pictured by a Grand Trine in water.

As we often say, water is emotionality. But water isn't just 'emotionality' - it's also the basis of primal emotions like security, sexuality, faith and loss. The nurturance which comes first from our natal family and later on from our home life and having a home is (Cancer). Cancer is also the sign of real estate, one's homeland and a nation's population - those which call that nation 'home.' 

Investments, inheritances, control, surrender, war, life, death and sexuality are Scorpio. Scorpio - as we have often discussed - is not just interactive emotions, but all our interactive choices and activities which elicit emotionality in us.

Fantasies, longings, ecstasy, faith and loss are all Pisces - as are all forms of passive income (pensions, royalties, etc.) or forms of income from something you've done and are now capitalizing on - like a patent.

Since nations are not people (duh!) water in a national chart tends to be primarily about wealth, finance and national resources. It can however, tell us about the behavior of those in charge of that wealth or those resources - or as to how those running the country treat  national monetary issues.

The points of Algeria's Grand Trine include:

1. A Scorpio Neptune, Part of Fortune, Industria, Kassandra all in a Libra ruled 2nd house. Scorpio is always "interactive money": investments and 'joint finances.' In a national chart, the 2nd house is the "national treasury."

2. In the Cancer 10th house of government and national leaders Algeria has Ceres, Orcus, Sun/Juno and fixed star Sirius all in Cancer.

3. With Pisces ruling a 6th house which rules the functionality of health, work, service - which in a national chart would include civil servants, the military and the general job market/environment, here we have the third point of the Grand Trine: Chiron and Jupiter not only  conjunct in Pisces but also in opposition to the 12th house Pluto.

Oh….and did I mention that said 12th house Pluto is the apex of a Yod?

Uh…yes. Said Yod is composed of Pluto in the 12th as the apex ("bottom") of the Yod's "Y" figure with Eris (Discord) at 10 Aries in the 7th house as one branch of the 'fork' and Saturn/South Node in the 5th as the other branch of said "Y."

Why, oh Y....yes, that is the cry of those who have a Yod, probably accounting for it's nickname as "the Finger of God." Then again, it would also seem highly probable that the name itself has a tie to the traditional ritual pointer used by Jews when reading from a Torah. Called a 'Yad,' these pointers are made to look like a hand with finger outstretched to "trace" under the line as we read...or as most of us used to read as children.

A Torah and the Yad used in reading from it
photo credit: Big Synagogue Museum, Wiodawa, Poland

Why the names would be similar is a whole other discussion; suffice it to say that Judaism goes straight back to Abraham in the same ancient Babylon in which astrology evolved. Lingo is language, and there are a smattering of common 'language pools' from which all the rest of languages have evolved.

Anywho...Yods pose challenges - as do Grand Trines, without question. And considering that Algeria's people seem to feel they have a lack of financial and personal opportunities (freedom of operations/ability to operate as individuals) both configurations would seem to be in play.

But why? And how?

Since understanding the Yod will help us understand  understand Algeria's Grand water Trine, we'll look more in that direction first.

The Pluto in this figure is conjunct House (feeling 'at home'), fixed star Thuban (a struggle to speak or be heard) and Deucalion (the moral path) all in the 12th house. This 12th house could be seen here to be fear, restrictions or a national sense of spirituality and either the need to be restricted by it or simply being restricted by it.

That would be the point - the apex - from which this Yod "springs."

The Eris in Aries - at 10 Aries Eris displays an emotional nature. And being Eris, that nature is to be discordant, or to act or be in such a way which creates discord - the classic "bringing it upon you" sort of thing. In the 7th house, this quality of cause/effect is very pronounced... that it's a national chart tells us this is either how the government acts with/to it's people or to the world and/or because of how its received by the world (or the national citizenry.)

With Eris conjunct Niobe, we heave a great sigh as we acknowledge that pride (as they say) here goeth before a fall in Algerian/Eris doings - in how the nation acts with its own people and in/to this world, generating a response from said world.

Next is Eris/Niobe sitting in conjunction with Klotho (beginnings). This is something of a classing 'they started it!' sort of combination which isn't likely to actually be true....but with Eris/Niobe in Aries, there is a need to think one's self 'all that.' It doesn't work, but the need is there.

And when the nation isn't taking this position, others do. It's a really tough situation - especially as part of a Yod!

Nor is Algeria prepared for what can happen - that we see as we grasp that this Eris/Niobe/Klotho trio leads to TNO Chaos - an endless pool of what can happen or 'come out of' what the nation is, does, or doesn't do.

Of course, there is a whole other side of Eris! And Chaos. Both can be tumultuous and problematic, and yet when Eris acts as a social reformer, it can do incredible and wonderful deeds. The key to this question probably lies with the whole idea of all this happening in Aries, bringing up the great Aries question: will you try to make matters "about" you? Or will you use your abilities to improve life for all?

The big trick to this is that since this is the 7th house (and thus the 3rd quadrant of the horoscope), the strength of the Aries "I AM" cannot be allowed to override the fact that others have opinions too. Aries here will tend to say 'they're wrong, I know how to do this!' but that's very undermining. Aries here is about innovation which helps those who want to be helped in areas where they ask for help.

The third point in this Yod is a perfect 9 Aquarius South Node-Saturn conjunction in the Aquarian 5th house. This is a really interesting conjunction in that Saturn speaks to what one grows (or restricts) and in the 5th is notoriously arrogant about thinking it's way is best.

This can be an incredibly productive position - but there will be a tendency to say 'I want to do what I WANT to do!' ...and no, don't confuse me with facts!

With the South Node always being a signature of 'the easy way out' and the Nodes of a national chart being about its society and it's place in world society, Algeria is likely to want to 'define' itself rather than to become something which would define Algeria.

Having said this, then we add in 9 Aquarius. And 9 Aquarius is a degree known for a lot of energy which is highly theoretical (very Aquarian air sign-ish) and non-materialistic (let's hear it for the spiritual side of Pluto in 12 here...). This is a degree known for putting a lot of energy into what is believed and an ingenuity which can be quick...even too quick for it's own good...with 'sudden events' being capable of turning things around in mid-stream.

There's one more thing to note about this Saturn/South Node in the 5th...because the 5th is the house of children and 'youth,' with the South Node being a societal symbol, the younger the population age in Aquarius, the more they are going to destabilize the 'fateful' quality of the Yod.

And about that Virgo Pluto in 12 - that's a placement we would also think of as behind the behind-the-scenes operations.

 The City of Algiers
photo credit: Damien Boley (2005)

The nature of a Yod is to create tension. With the 'forks' of the Yod in the 5th and 7th house, the youth (5th house) and overall creative expression will be one focus, and Eris-driven relationships and relating to the people of Algeria and the people/nations of world is the 7th being the other.

So that's the Yod, against which we have a Grand Trine in water. The 10th house melange (Ceres, Orcus, Sun/Juno-fixed star Sirius) speaks to Algeria’s need to have someone leading their country who cares (Ceres) about the people enough to plan and work on their regard (Ceres). That needs to matter more than being a (Sun/Juno) national leader. With Juno and the Sun in the same degree however, that's hard - Orcus (consequences) with Ceres speaks to both what it takes to become a leader in Algeria and so much which has already happened there, shaping the nature of governance. That 12 Cancer carries with it a sense that one 'only finds out down the road' echoes other issues in this chart and is not made any easier to cope with, seeing as Sun/Juno is the heart of a Grand Trine in fiscal water.

But it is to be thought - considering Sirius the beloved Dog Star is here too - that little things count and that all is never lost for Algeria. Little by little it can get where it wants or needs to go. And the more that Algeria's leader is 'one of the people' the better of things are likely to be.

Not that there aren't other challenges, though. A Scorpio Neptune/Part of Fortune in the 2nd house is a significant indicator of 'a lack of cohesive values' which is here pictured as being somehow embedded in Algeria’s national thinking. With Industria here, that says there's a lack of work or effort. Is this on the government’s part, the people’s part or both? Considering this is a national chart, this Scorpio Industria may also speak to a lack of investment in industry too.

Just to make it all a little more complicated (as if it needed to be?) Kassandra is also in this 2nd house mix. Situated not just in any old emotional degree of Scorpio but at Scorpio and the 3rd quadrant's cross-quarter point, the question seems to be at least partly about getting things off the drawing board (out of the discussion stage) into implementation.

Or to put it another way...there's a lot of talk and not much doing!

But at the base of this melange is always Neptune. And whether Neptune here means 'pie-in-the-sky' dreaming, self-delusion on the part of the Algerian government, perhaps out and out lies...there's a lot of mistrust in the works and like as not at least a few dirty deeds, a bit of financial slight of hand and a smattering of self-serving choices as part of the greater national problem, whole and specific.

Grand Trines are notorious for describing patterns (in this case, a national pattern) which are difficult to break out of. Far from being the figures of eternal grace so many would like to think they are, Grand Trines often  picture a “closed circuit” which has the native...or in this case the country...seems "trapped" In.

 The Roman arch of Trajan at Thamugadi (Timgad)

Astrologically, the 'solution' either comes when a transit (or eclipse) strikes a “hard" aspect (square, inconjunct or opposition) to one of the points of the Grand Trine or when some planet in the chart which is natally in such an aspect goes on to create a transit which ‘cracks’ the egg. Or maybe "interrupts” the circuit would be more apt!

And we do have that planet! It would be....Pluto! Remember? Pluto is in direct opposition to Jupiter-Chiron, and Jupiter-Chiron is the third point in the Grand Trine.

Positioned in the 6th national house of civil servants, the military and jobs....this Jupiter-Chiron spells a 'strength of' (Jupiter in Pisces) 'weakness' (Jupiter in the 6th house) which exacerbates (Jupiter) need (Chiron).

Got that?

All the 6th house things are needed in this country: health care, jobs, a chance to excel and make something out of yourself - your own chance to be a leader in your own life. National charts should picture the opportunities of their people, apart from the nation's fortunes. Considering the objections being heard from the Algerian people, evidently that's not working all that well.

Plus...not to put this too succinctly, but the degree of Algeria's situation is rather bluntly put by said Jupiter-Chiron being at the midpoint of the forks described by that Yod we were talking about!

Check it out....

 And how are Yods "solved"? Yods are “solved” through relying on the dynamic at the midpoint of the “Y.”

On in this case, Chiron/Jupiter.

But this has been true since 1962, right? Yes, it has. So what changed now?

When Pluto entered Capricorn back at the end of 2008 it did so by rolling over 0 Capricorn. To be exact here, the Nadir (IC) foundational point of this national chart is at 0 Capricorn 55 minutes - almost 1 Capricorn. And that wasn't reached until mid January 2009.

Remembering that the Nadir/IC is also the cusp of the 4th house of 'the land' and 'the people' (in a national chart) that we haven't seen any fractious uprisings until now would then be....about what?

Two things. One: given that transits have a 5 degree orb, when you're talking about a national population and an image like Pluto ("transformative emotionality") such pools of feeling take some time to brew.

And interestingly, this chart does pose Edisonia (the new idea) at 5 Capricorn, the very degree Pluto took station and went retrograde at back in April 2010 and which it then came back to re-activate mere days before the January 2011 Solar Eclipse at 13 degrees went off  one degree off perfect opposition to Algeria’s Sun/Juno in 10.

So here we had the eclipse setting off the Grand Trine by opposition and the natally opposing planet into this Grand Trine (Pluto) setting off the Grand water Trine.

One other as-yet unanswered question: what does it mean that the greatly Scorpio 2nd house actually has Libra on the cusp? Since the rule is that the ruler of the sign on the cusp determines the good and bad which comes from symbols in that house, Libra on the cusp points us to Venus.

And where is that Venus? It’s sitting in the 11th house of society, economy, the marketplace and greater national functionality in the world.

In Leo, this Venus is conjunct both the Moon (that Moon which would rule the Cancer 10th house of government/leadership) and Uranus.

 Village of Blida on Algeria's Mount Chrea
photo credit: Nsoumer (Dec 2007)


Yes, Uranus - planet of breakthroughs and discoveries, anarchy and change, innovation, universality and rejection.

And in Leo? Uranus-Moon-Venus in Leo is feisty if nothing else! And with this trio describing the Algerian 2nd house cusp it would considerably toughen the Scorpio Neptune within.

Of course, it would also represent Neptune as having 'sold out' to making the country a 'marketplace' of societal innovation...or disruption - take your pick.

Which do we think it is? With Venus at 21 Leo conjunct Sabine (enslavement) this is a whole jam jar of pride and inability to act in other than a manner you're hell-bent on defending. Adding in Pelion at 24 Leo tells us that it's a mountain of effort and a mountain of pride and a mountain of conflict about how the world does or should work.

Or how you wish it would work!

But then we add Uranus. We already have been 'told' that pride is at work in this chart. And that Algeria is a proud nation is fine. But Uranus with Moon/Venus can also describe a vast divide between rich and poor, which especially in Leo suggests a divide that nobody wants to talk about - or heaven forbid, reveal. It can also be a taking pride in disrupting the national economy - or the economies of other nations in the world economic marketplace...which isn't so good!

But then we get to Regulus. Remember Regulus, that Royal Star of Persia which says success is achieved IF vengeance is avoided? When we get to Uranus, to find Uranus conjunct Regulus means Algeria may completely ignore this line in the karmic rule book - but ultimately at its own peril.

Or at least at the peril of it's status quo.

If you line up all the planets in this chart, Uranus is the “last” one in line - numerically. That is another signature of outcome, besides the fact that Uranus always describes the outcome of all things Aquarian.

And yes, therefore 5th house, which takes us back to the median age of the Algerian population. The younger it is, the more prone to overturning the status quo things become - which is evidently what has happened as Pluto's transiting position and the eclipse have begun to demonstrate.

When Uranus colors the outcome, that outcome is at the near end, 'innovation' or 'discovery'...half way down the line it's 'change' or 'breakthroughs.' And at the extreme, it's a big, giant 'kaboom!'

But let's not forget Regulus. The less 'vengeance' (and associated bloodshed, one would guess) the better for all, particularly those who are taking things into their own hands.

A last comment on this Uranus, to note it's position in square a 28 Taurus Pallas in the 8th house of national joint finance. That would be debt, credit, investment, war. A nation's 'joint' finance is with other nations. So one should wonder not just about what is going on in Algeria, but what we – and more importantly, the Algerian people – know about their nation’s fiscal operations?

But taken all together...? This does all suggest that  Algeria may - ultimately - become a force in 'alternative' energies, like solar...which certainly would work, considering where it's located.

 Mount Tahat, Algeria's tallest mountain in the country's southern district
photo credit: Maurice (2007)

That there will be a July Solar Eclipse at 9 Cancer which conjuncts the Ceres-Sun/Juno of this chart suggests we will be hearing a lot more about Algeria in short order.

Will Algeria's youth become its technological future? It could be. If so, Algeria may yet become a force which works for social/societal innovation which supports individuality around the world (the positive end of an Aries Eris in 7), supporting its infrastructure and people (Chiron-Jupiter) and providing a passive, clean form of income for the nation (Neptune/Part of Fortune in 2) for the foreseeable future.

We will wait and see...and hope for the best, as Algeria's best could certainly be in the rest of the world's favor.

Not to mention Algeria's..

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