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A Viewer's Guide To A Gathering Storm

The cosmic pressure is increasing within and around the Bush Administration. The enemies of freedom, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Baath Party in Iraq, and al Queda across the globe, continue to strike back and shatter the illusion that President Bush's theatrical landing on the USS Lincoln was meant to convey. The war is not over in Iraq. The war is not over in Afghanistan. The War on Terror continues, as new recruits join the various branches of al Queda. In the domestic arena, jobs are not being created in America, the budget deficit is growing, and foreign investors are becoming more wary of our economic prospects every day.

In my May 21 essay, “It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn”, I wrote:

“Saturn is a planet that astrologers associate with the need to accommodate the demands of physical reality, and with testing the theoretical and material foundations of all human activity. Beginning in the fall of 2003, and throughout 2004, transiting Saturn will be conjunct the natal Suns of both President Bush (born July 6, 1946, 7:26 am, New Haven, CT) and the United States of America (July 4, 1776, rectified time of 9:37 am, Philadelphia, PA). This passage of Saturn over the natal Sun of a person, corporation or nation, typically brings a period of intense struggle, resulting in either a hard-earned victory, and the assumption of even greater responsibilities – or in failure, and a need to take stock of errors and change direction. This period can also mark a time of tremendous physical stress and psychological fatigue, even physical breakdown. The Sun in the chart of a country inevitably describes its President, King or Prime Minister. Since George W. Bush's and the United States' birthdays are within 2 days of each other, this upcoming Saturn crisis is likely to be particularly intense, with the spotlight of the nation and the world focusing relentlessly on the past actions of, and the present choices facing, the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

The Saturn crisis described in this earlier article is about to commence. This crisis will have two primary phases. The first phase, which I'll describe as the “acute phase”, should peak around the last week of October and the first week of November (plus or minus a week or so on either end). The time period for the second phrase, which I am describing as the “diffuse phase” will extend from the immediate aftermath of that period through 2004, and possibly through June of 2005. Since this crisis involves both the charts of the United States of America and President George W. Bush (as well as the chart for the New York Stock Exchange, and quite probably several additional American institutions), the nation may well be forced to deal with the impact of the Bush Presidency long after the end of his current term in office. Hence, even if President Bush does not win re-election in 2004, the next Administration will likely find itself wrestling with serious challenges that were either inadequately addressed or actually created by the previous Administration.

Cheney - Blinded By The Light?
The acute phase I am describing actually involves not only the impact of Saturn, but also of Neptune. Neptune is a planet that astrologers describe as having to do with, in its most elevated expression, manifestations and inspirations from the divine, from the cosmos, from God. By illustration, the psycho-spiritual DNA (as reflected by their charts) of virtually all the world's great saints and mystics is strongly Neptunian. That said, so are spiritual genes of the typical drug addict. And there's the rub. In its more typical manifestation, Neptune can be associated with fantasies, delusions, escapism, self-deception, and euphoric, but often ungrounded and unreliable, religious impulses. As the mystics of every world tradition can attest to, the path to the mountaintop is often arduous and humbling, with the summit only achieved after many years of contemplation, prayer, meditation, self-examination and self-mastery. The path is anything but glamorous.

Individuals, corporations and nations that do not possess Neptune-rich genes find themselves having to deal the challenges of this elusive planet from time-to-time. At those moments, these more reality-based entities may find themselves abandoning common sense, sound judgment, and even the generally accepted rules of the game, in the belief that they suddenly are capable of grasping absolute truth. Often times in this scenario, corners can be cut, or an “ends justifies the means” approach can emerge. However, at the climax of this process, the self-deception or deception of others is typically unveiled and the would-be religious or utopian schemer is exposed, ridiculed, and left disillusioned or disenchanted. In the end, if Neptune has a lesson to teach us, it might be that absolute truth is so far beyond normal human understanding that it requires an extraordinary degree of personal humility, and the careful cultivation of emotional and intellectual detachment, to even vaguely grasp its meaning. This lesson is repeated in the lives of people, corporations and nations, and yes, even astrologers, on a regular basis. All of which brings me to the situation of Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney was born on January 30, 1941. The Vice-President has been undergoing the kind of temporary Neptunian challenge I've outlined since spring of 2001, which is roughly contemporary with the period when the Cheney Energy Task Force began doing its work. This challenge is slated to climax at virtually the very same moment that the “acute phase” of the Saturn crises outline above is due – late October 2003.

It is clear in most observer's eyes that Dick Cheney was a powerful voice in support of the plan to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It is said that Cheney's office was directly involved in efforts to have the CIA hype the threat that Hussein's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons represented – in order to gather domestic and international support for the 2nd Iraq War. On March 16th. 2003, on NBC's Meet The Press, Mr. Cheney confidently told Tim Russert:

“We know he's reconstituted these programs since the Gulf War. We know he's out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization.”

In regard to Russert's question of how an occupying United States Military would be viewed by the Iraqi people, he added during the same interview:

“Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

It retrospect, it is clear that Mr. Cheney was decidedly not a prophet in regard to the threat Hussein presented to the world, or the Iraqi dictator's progress towards reconstituting his nuclear weapons program, or the fashion in which American troops would be greeted in Iraq. What is still unclear at this moment is the degree that Cheney's euphoric delusion was responsible for his efforts to pressure the CIA to shape intelligence, or deliberately exploit a post-9/11 America's emotional trauma, and legitimate fear of future attacks, in an attempt to gain support for a policy that was ultimately more ideologically than pragmatically-based? That, I suggest, is a very important question to ponder as we witness what I expect will be the climax of Dick Cheney's multi-year encounter with this elusive Neptunian dimension of consciousness.

Saturn - Prosecutor, Judge and Jury?
The questions likely to be posed by Saturn to President Bush and the nation are equally profound. For instance, was an Iraq invasion that did not enjoy the strong military and financial support of the world community, and where America was not either attacked or physically threatened, an over-extension of American influence?

Did the fashion in which the Bush Administration pursued the removal of Hussein, and the psychological, spiritual and emotional attitudes of the men and women behind the policy, make the authentic good of removing Hussein infinitely more difficult, and hence less achievable, or only achievable at a much higher price in lives and financial resources?

Did that approach allow the authentic enemies of human freedom to use the situation as a rallying cry for further collective and religious madness – the killing of more American, British and alliance soldiers and Iraqi civilians – and to an eventual increase in terrorist activities around the world? We know for a fact that terrorist groups were able to gain many more recruits in the aftermath of the 2nd Gulf War.

Is the United States involvement in Afghanistan being compromised by the tremendous drain of American forces and resources in Iraq? Would it have made more sense to go one nation at a time, and first fully secure, and make significant progress on the reconstruction of, Afghanistan, before attempting to remove Hussein?

Should a resolution to the nuclear crisis in North Korea have also preceded any invasion of Iraq? More pointedly, could a show of legitimate flexibility on the part of the Bush Administration with regard to Iraq (even in the wake of the Administration's rejection of Kyoto and the World Criminal Court) have led lead to a forceful, unified United Nations action to convince Kim Jong-Il to renounce his nuclear ambitions?

Also with regard to North Korea, did Bush Administration rhetoric, and demonstration of the new policy of pre-emption in Iraq, escalate the fears in the mind of a mentally unstable Kim Jong-Il, and in the process, escalate the potential for nuclear proliferation?

Finally, last but not least, what do international investors think of the Bush Administration's current foreign and economic policy, and could a vote of no confidence in either have a deleterious affect on the Stock or Bond Market, and by extension, on our current jobless recovery?

Each of these are the kind of questions I suspect that the "acute" and "diffuse" phases of the Saturn crisis will require both the Bush Administration and the American people to come to grips with over the next 18-24 months.

What To Watch For
If my astrological model is valid (and for more information on the Saturn cycle in United States history, see It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn), then one would expect the eruption of at least one major crisis that dramatically brings into question the credibility of Bush Administration (or long-standing United States) foreign, domestic or economic policy during October and November – which is the time frame for the “acute phase.” My guess is that at least one crisis will directly involve Dick Cheney – perhaps in regard to the work of his Energy Task Force, or his role in building momentum for Gulf War II, or even a potential health setback. The “diffuse phase” will be with us until the middle of 2005, and is likely encompass the beginning of either Bush's 2nd term or the new Democratic Administration.

For the record, one cannot simply assume that President Bush and his Administration will not be able rise above whatever challenges emerge during this period. While my current astrological opinion is that either John Kerry or Howard Dean will be the next President of the United States, this should not be seen as a foregone conclusion, or somehow the ultimate opinion of the cosmos – lest I become guilty of the same kind of arrogance that I accuse Dick Cheney and the neo-conservatives of. It is theoretically possible that Bush can find it within himself to become the kind of President who finally understands that some wars are won with bullets, some wars with words, and some wars through understanding - and that, in this astrologer's opinion, the cosmos never intended this country to be, or even appear on the world stage as, an aggressive military power. It strikes me that the greatness of America lies not in its military, or in its wealth, or even in its people, but in the magnitude and luster of its intellectual and spiritual ideals. So long as we continue to represent what Ronald Reagan (echoing John Winthrop) described as the "shining city on the hill", our power to inspire others to transform and heal the planet will be as great as in any time in our history. With a story so noble and so inspiring as ours, why would anyone want to sully our reputation by adopting the persona of an arrogant, militaristic bully - which is exactly how much of the world sees us today.

Matthew Carnicelli © 2003. All rights reserved.

Originally published August 21, 2003.

For more on Saturn's conjunction of the United States Sun see:

Darkness Ascending
Documenting the Impact of Cosmic Gravity, Part II
Getting to Know You
Documenting the Impact of Cosmic Gravity, Part I
The Reagan Legacy
Laying Naked Neo-Conservative Incompetence
Take Responsibility
Why John Kerry Matters
The Turning Point
Saturn and the Rush to War
Mission Accomplished?
Rumsfeld Awakens from the Dream
It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn