Eyeless in Gaza
“…Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves …
from Samson Agonistes by John Milton
John Milton’s play Samson Agonistes, based on part of Judges in the Old Testament, begins with the hero, “the great deliverer” Samson, blinded and in exile in Gaza, his dalliance with Delilah over, his famous strength lost. Samson is both literally and metaphorically blind.
Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!)
The Dungeon of thy self; thy soul
(Which men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
Imprisoned now indeed,
In real darkness of the body dwells,
Shut up from outward light
To incorporate with gloomy night
For inward light alas
Puts forth no visual beam.
Today, Gaza is a prison again, this time for its nearly two million inhabitants. And the Israeli army rages blindly, just as Samson did.
The astrology of Israel’s relationship with Gaza is quite straightforward. On June 5 1967, Israel launched the Six Day War which resulted in the annexation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Jupiter had just entered Leo and was conjuncting Israel’s Moon, the Lion of Judah at the very top of the Israeli chart. The Moon is, of course, our home, where we live. Jupiter is expansion. Israel expanded her territory — and power. Jupiter’s transit through Israel’s 10th house that year saw a huge increase in the country’s power and prestige in the world.
This took place during the mid-60s conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. Mars, the warrior was, as it is today, in Libra, and Saturn was trining that Israeli Moon.
On 15 August 2005, Israel’s borders shrank again. In the intervening 30-odd years, Israeli settlers had moved into Gaza. They were forced to leave. Saturn, the planet of contraction, was on that Israeli Moon. Jupiter was at 15° Libra, the very same degree that Mars had occupied during the Six Day War.
Today, we are in the fourth Jupiter in Leo cycle since 1967. (1978/9 – peace treaty with Egypt, 1990 – First Gulf War, 2002/3 – Second Gulf War). Jupiter is on Israel’s Moon again, but this time Uranus and Pluto have reached the hostile square aspect, and Saturn is, of course, in Scorpio, Israel’s first house in the horoscope. Saturn is about taking responsibility, its about borders, its about foundation.
This transiting Saturn is exactly squaring Israel’s natal Saturn, and it turned direct two days ago, which means it’s pretty much stationary. Israel is being tested. Israel’s standing in the world is being tested too, but also Israel’s sense of identity. What does it really mean to be a “Jewish State”? How has it come to this — you start with a dream of freedom and you end up creating the biggest open prison on earth on your doorstep?
Samson’s final act was to pull down the Philistine temple, killing himself and thousands of Philistiines.
“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” Judges 16, King James Version
But Uranus the planet of the unexpected is trining that Israeli Saturn too, and it’s exact, so the choice is there to do something radical, out of character, surprising, to change the rules of the game.