December Is A Battleground

Thursday December 3rd 2015

Last night, the UK Parliament voted in favour of bombing ISIS in Syria (10.16pm, December 2, London.). And in so doing they showed what democracy is about. There were passionate, well-argued speeches on both sides  — but not by either leader. Both Cameron and Corbyn seemed lightweight and political in comparison to Alec Salmond, David Davis and Caroline Lucas against the airstrikes, Margaret Beckett and Dan Jarvis for the strikes, and above all shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn, in favour of air-strikes and against his own leader’s position.  Benn put the government to shame, and made a coherent, impassioned moral case for intervention.

In some ways, this vote won’t make that much difference: Britain is already bombing ISIS in Iraq and Britain’s contribution is relatively small.  In other words, this is a vote for an extension of military action that’s already taking place. However, as a symbolic gesture it was important, and the debate itself was important because so many lives are at stake.

The time of the vote last night.

The time of the vote last night.

There are strong arguments against air strikes. Doubtless strikes will not win the war. Doubtless innocents will be killed. Doubtless other means need to be better explored, such as cutting off money and arms supplies. And without doubt, the Prime Minister’s reasoning was muddled, mealy-mouthed and — as usual for David Cameron — just not serious enough for the occasion.

What is more, Western interventions in the Middle East have had disastrous consequences — not just in the past 20 years but since at least the 1880s.

Yet the argument in favour is also strong. A genocide is taking place. Innocents are already being tortured, raped, enslaved and slaughtered. Our allies, the French, have directly asked for our help. There is a “clear and present” danger to British citizens from ISIS. The UN has passed a mandate asking nations to use all means necessary to  “eradicate the safe haven they have established in Iraq and Syria”. ISIS has declared war on the West.

When it came to the time, the Moon came into aspect with the Saturn-Neptune square. MPs voted with their hearts not their heads. Both sides were trying to find a way to combine compassion and practicality, the overwhelming emotional need to act.

If you are a pacifist, of course, you believe no war is just. But if you believe that war is sometimes justified, then ought this to be one of those times? If Britain turns away when France asks for her help, then who are our allies? If we turn away from the Yazidis, the Christians and the Muslims being slaughtered, raped and orphaned by ISIS, then where is our compassion? If we ignore the testimonies of the millions of people fleeing the region, then what is the quality of our mercy?

The failure to intervene in Rwanda cost many, many lives. Without intervention in Bosnia, how many more people would have died in concentration camps? Without military intervention by Britain, Sierra Leone might still be a horror show.

On the other hand, interventions in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq have made bad situations worse. Who can forget the pictures of Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo? Would we be in this position at all, asking these questions without the disastrous Iraqi War?

In the UK chart, Mars, the planet of war, has just crossed into the first house. The country has buckled on its armour, and done what it does best — have a heated debate (Mars in Libra).

December looks like a battleground. Mars last night started a journey from raging Lilith — an exact conjunction took place during the debate — to square Pluto, the planet of annihilation on December 6 — to oppose Uranus, the planet of war in the air, on December 11.

Mars in Libra is a time when enemies come out into the open, when allies join together to go to war. It’s the warrior in the sign of negotiation and peace. Libra is the sign of debate, and last night the debate was a sharp, pointed and fierce. Normal roles go topsy. Pacifists go to war and soldiers negotiate.  The militancy of the anti-war campaigners in this country is a case in point. For more on Mars in Libra, click here.

This is a position in which Mars is awkward (or special), but he will soon be made more comfortable by the arrival of Venus into Scorpio on December 5, which will put the two planets in mutual reception. They will strengthen each other. Venus, the planet of harmony and balance, will be in Scorpio, one of Mars’s own signs. There may be a shedding of any attempt at diplomacy, or the diplomacy will become hidden.

The most important planet to look at in a time of war may be Pallas Athena, the asteroid of strategy. She is closing in on Pluto, and will conjoin the Dark Lord on December 11, the same day as the opposition from Mars to Uranus — and also the New Moon in fiery Sagittarius, the only astrological sign that bears arms. Pallas, we hope, brings wisdom and far-sightedness to the equation, but will she be eclipsed by Pluto’s rage, or will she temper it?

I don’t think any of this looks good. What is more, Mercury, the messenger and planet of flight, is also involved, racing from Sagittarius into the arms of Pluto on December 19. Mercury is often a trigger that brings sleeping giants to life.

I have written about these energies on a personal level for the horoscopes and endeavoured to highlight the positive aspects this holiday season — and there are some. But on the whole, I don’t like the look of December. It looks volatile, explosive and dangerous.


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  1. mm says:

    Excellent post which clearly sums up the complexies of it all. Keeping my fingers crossed for the remainder of the month.

  2. aqua says:

    I agree – excellent post. And good point about the mutual reception with Mars and Venus.
    Youre right it doesnt look good, in fact very hairy indeed, especially given Uranus and Pluto are so close still to square, and bad shit almost always happens after the exact aspect [and before].
    Oh dear oh dear oh dear……fingers crossed.

  3. libramoon says:

    Why do not “the coalition” arrange to sleep gas bomb the terrorist strongholds, then have representatives of the more local “coalition” members go through the unconscious and send them to appropriate locations for care/questioning/detention?

  4. Jane Lyle says:

    Yes I agree, December looks worrying. The UK national horoscope for 1st January 1801 has the Moon’s nodes at 13 degrees 55′ of Aries/Libra. Libra is the SNode, so linked to what we already know, to cause and effect linked with our allies and associates. I’d say it was sensitised by that April eclipse too. So Mars will soon activate the nodal axis from the point of view of old patterns, and possibly difficult associates in this venture. If the Astrodienst chart is set for the right time, then the NN falls in the 7th house of open enemies. Along with the wider implications of the December Mars/Pluto/Uranus loose t-square I can’t say I like the look of any of it, right up to the point where Mercury gets involved later this month. I’m not too sure about Saturn aligned with Antares this month either because I suspect it is quite intense, Antares being an uncompromising fixed star, sometimes known as the Watcher of the West. All too doom-laden for the run-up to Christmas. We’ll all have to be extra kind to one another, and to ourselves if at all possible.

    • waxy~jo says:

      “If Britain turns away when France asks for her help, then who are our allies?”

      If one of your friends asks you to start a fight on their behalf do YOU do it? I’m sorry that’s too weak an argument.

      Myself and my social group (of people who care about our fellow humans) are devastated by this Government who are making the poor poorer, subjugating those with mental health issues, charging more and more taxes on the small businesses so that the large corporations;, who subsidise exactly what the leaders endorse, win out.

      We all know this war is *only* about money. (And hey look – Jupiter is sitting in the 2nd House, in unexpansive Virgo, trying to eek some extra cash desperately using the discerning, cold side of Virgo). The Moon in this position with Neptune shows to me only the negative side~ deceit. There are no ‘hearts’ or even minds in this decision. Certainly there’s fear (Saturn square Moon also) but fear of losing face.

      As one of my friends on facebook commented; it seems that the lives in the East are deemed less important to those in power. To vote with your heart actually considers the impact upon these innocent, decent people in the Middle East trying to survive in such horrific circumstances.

      My only consolation here is that, this is a relatively weak chart. Nothing is on the angles, the Uranus-Pluto square has no ptolmeic triggers and the 10th is empty.

      Thanks for your article and writing about this, apologies for being harsh but I feel very strongly about killing people. I am a pacifist but even if I was a cold-hearted politician I would know this situation ONLY brings in money, to those in power. It helps no ordinary person on the street. Not in any country.

      • Christina says:

        On the contrary waxy — thank you for contributing a heartfelt comment. Please don’t apologise. The situation deserves to be debated, discussed and thought over deeply.

  5. Eleonora says:

    No. Sorry, but just – no.

    These are three elementary different situations.

    Peace in Bosnia was made only after Dayton Agreement, and to apply that on Syria would mean legalizing the ISIS-caliphate inside of Syria, in one or another way.

    Lybia and Irak were compact states with strong infrastructure. Bombings destroyed these infrastructures and caused chaos. Western allies in both cases were forces which prefered operating in chaos, so it was easy for them to overhrow both dictators. (Two failed states as result.)

    Syria, on the other hand, is already a failed state. It is already in chaos. This time, it’s ISIS which perfers operating in such a chaos. There is no infrastructure left to be bombed anymore (only few hospitals, houses and schools). There is not even a dictator to be overthrown (Assad is there, but his fall would not stop ISIS).

    In the unlikely event that these strikes succeed (with no trustworthy ally on the ground, with no widespread spy network to flag the targets, with civilians who either support the ISIS, or are kept as human shields, with dangerous information-leaks in the turikish army and with the even more dangerous prospects of excluding Turkey from the alliance), in the very unlikely event that this succeeds anyway: What with Saudi Arabia?

    I mean, a military defeat of ISIS in Syria would lead to a coup in Saudi Arabia, sooner or later, making ISIS biggest dream come true.

    It’s like driving the car 200 km/h towards a wall, and then speeding up short before the clash.

  6. mimi says:

    Let’s hope the leaders of this moment are thinking and doing all they can for the benefit of the whole population that is involved and I do not mean only the West, but also and especially the islamic world.

    Planets do not take decisions, people do !!
    So we can’t blame the planets if this ends in a total war.

    Again I ask what is the role of Venus in this? Right now she is traveling in Libra. She should be encouraging diplomatic talks, but does she? (Cameron and Putin are both Libras). Judging from the language they are both using I don’t find them very peace-loving at the moment.

    You could compare the forming and growing of ISIS as a sort of cancer, which is developing into a chronic disease more and more. Maybe this could become a chronic war!


    • Christina says:

      Mimi wrote an interesting comment on an another post suggesting that the 2012 transit of Venus across the Sun might be relevant to the chronic war. I like this term mimi, because it is like an illness. I said I’d look out the dates of transits. The one in 1769 was the one measured by Captain Cook and the scientists on his ship.
      1761 and 1769
      1874 and 1882
      2004 and 2012

      Here is an older post about a the last vote on bombing Syria which seems relevant. Remember that time around they wanted to bomb Asad.

  7. Michael says:

    On 4th Oct 2015 Cameron spoke out against bombing Syria. Evidently someone had a word in his ear, and he changed his mind. We’ll find out the details in 30 years once the info is declassified.
    And there’s one thing Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda have in common – no oil or gas resources.

  8. Dear Christina,
    A friend recently suggested I sign up to your newsletter since I am an astrologer of 40+ years standing. However, on receiving one of your emails this morning I was shocked to read not an objective and informative analysis of the astrology surrounding the recent vote in the House of Commons concerning air-strikes in Syria, but an ill-informed and hysterical piece of polemic against those opposed to taking our country into yet more war.

    I am astonished that you could be so swayed by the jingoism and flag-waving of the current government and their shills who would lead us into endless war. As to your praise of Hillary Benn’s emotive and manipulative speech, good rhetoric doth not a case for bombing make. His speech was typically full of moral certitude about a situation whose complexity should have at the very minimum caused him some serious moral angst. Tony Blair exhibited similar moral certitude as he led us with religious zeal in 2003 to the war into the disastrous war in Iraq, which even he recently admitted was a mistake.

    I suggest you educate yourself on the cynical geo-political manoevres that are really going on here….such as the fact that ISIL are funded and armed by Saudi-Arabia, but Western governments are too afraid to tackle this “elephant in the living-room” because we sell billions of pounds of deadly weapons to this country… the fact that Turkey, our so-called NATO ally, is doing its best to kill the Kurds who are our allies fighting the jihadists…that they are funding ISIL by buying their oil ….. that informed military experts have demonstrably shown that Cameron’s claim that there are 70,000 supportive ground troops in Syria is mere propaganda.

    The US-led air campaign has **already launched around 8,300 air strikes against Isil** which have had no effect at all on the terrorists’ domination of the area. The US has made three attempts to create a moderate armed opposition, all of which have humiliatingly failed and, on each occasion, extreme jihadists have captured quantities of modern American weapons.
    Militants have grown only stronger as our bombs kill innocents and the “war on Islam” claim spread. Bombing will kill more civilians, multiply the number of refugees and drive new support into the arms of Islamic State. It makes attacks on innocent civilians in the UK all the more likely (the Paris attack was retaliation against their bombing Syria) not to mention the hundreds of innocent men women, and children who will die in Syria.

    Finally, before unsubscribing from your newsletter, I leave you with the words of Hermann Goering from the Nuremburg trials which have been proved right time and time again:
    “Nazi leader Hermann Goering, interviewed by Gustave Gilbert during the Easter recess of the Nuremberg trials, 1946 April 18, quoted in Gilbert’s book ‘Nuremberg Diary.’

    Goering: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

    Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

    Goering: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    • Iris says:

      Hysterical and ill-informed? Really?? You come here once, seemingly read one thing and fire off a missive lecturing the blog owner about how she should think. The irony.
      Naturally this is a topic that we all feel passionately about and so it should be. Not everyone is going to agree. On this blog we’ve long enjoyed thoughtful and impassioned discussion about such topics – respectfully. You make some interesting points, and as an astrologer of such long experience we’d be interested in hearing your astrological analysis. Just resist the name calling thanks.

      • Helen says:

        I don’t see how Mara’s post was abusive? Strongly-worded and angry, but there was nothing personally abusive. I too am baffled how someone could have watched that parliamentary debate and comment that it was ‘what democracy is about’. It was nothing but a replay of Blair’s march to war in Iraq– but this time from a man who had declared a week previously that he was against airstrikes. You can be as ‘passionate’ as you like but if the content of your speech is based on misinformation and deception then there are in fact not 2 sides being presented at all.

        Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya – we have spilled the blood of the Arab world with cynical impunity – each and every sorry foray justified with a veil of rhetoric that turns out to have been deception – and Syria is no different. AQI/IS was born of our destruction of Iraq, and to imagine our government is genuinely interested in their demise to me seems very naïve. The most telling speech was in fact not the career-minded opportunistic rattle of Benn but that of Julian Lewis, chairman of the Defence Select Committee. If you read Hersch in the LRoB you will see the Pentagon JCS have also concurred with this position from the start. Our reasons for this war, as they were in Iraq, as they were in Libya, are a wicked fiction.

        I see the moon opposing Neptune and I see the duped and the deceivers. I suppose Mara’s tone is reflective of her surprise, as one does not typically expect to find enthusiasts for Imperialist blood sport among the astrological community .

      • Excuse me, I didn’t know Christina had bodyguards. The above comments are from a personal email I wrote to Christina via email. She responded by asking me to post it here on the blog.

        • Christina says:

          Yes. and someone here responded to your comments — just as you responded to my post. I am afraid you have to expect some comeback. And Iris has made her point politely.

          I found your tone battering, abusive and offensive — and ill-informed. However, unlike you, I believe that it’s worthwhile listening to (and publishing) other people’s opinions — even if they do diverge from my own.

          Actually, in the email you wrote to me, you made it clear that the paragraph that you really objected to was the first one, including this sentence: “There were passionate, well-argued speeches on both sides.” Which is almost as ironic as using Hermann Goering to back up your argument. You clearly can only see one point of view. Now one-pointedness has its place — astrology shows us that it takes all sorts — but when it becomes abusive, it needs to be stopped.

          There was one other speech during the debate on bombing ISIS, which I think you need to listen to again. It was by Alan Johnson for Labour. Here is part of what he said: “I find this decision as difficult as anyone to make – I wish I had the self-righteous certitude of our finger jabbing representatives of our new and kinder type of politics who will no doubt soon be contacting those of use who support this motion tonight.”

          This thread is now closed. You’ve had your say.

      • Christina says:

        Thank you Iris. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  9. Jane Lyle says:

    It’s interesting that you mention Venus and Libra, Mimi. I know Libra is about balance and co-operation, but once upon a time it was known as the Claws of the Scorpion – by the ancient Greek astronomer/astrologers. Also, as a Cardinal sign it is dynamic, and can be very strategic and manipulative and wanting to get its own way. As for Venus, I was curious about the current Assad regime’s chart, 13th November, 1970, Damascus. There isn’t a time. But Venus has a curious presence in this chart. Sun in Scorpio of course, Moon in Venus-ruled Taurus (a full Moon that day), Venus herself retrograde in Scorpio (perhaps not at her best then), Mars in venus-ruled Libra (15 degrees), Jupiter in Scorpio conjunct the Sun, Saturn retrograde in Taurus opposite Sun/Jupiter/Venus, Uranus in Libra conjunct Mars, Neptune just in Sagittarius, and Pluto at 29 Virgo – sensitised by that powerful Pisces eclipse this spring. Not easy is it? Also, David Cameron has Sun at around 15 Libra (9th October), connecting with the Assad regime’s Mars in Libra. Transiting Mars is heading their way right now. Putin has his Sun at 13-14 Libra (7th October). Obviously, there’s a bigger and more complex picture, but it does seem as though the god of war is very active in this awful situation right now, along with Pluto and Uranus. I agree people make decisions, not planets. However, I’d ask how evolved or wise those people were…..the ancient idea of ‘as above, so below’ has many layers after all.

    • Theolyn says:

      So, right now, Cameron has Pluto approaching exact square Sun, and Uranus has only just moved on from the opposition… so the velvet glove that hides the iron fist of Libra gets very thin… transpersonals triggering the Sun will reveal the deeper stuff that we usually like to conceal… the pretence of being thoughtful, statesman-like and intelligent enough to lead a country, is shown to be a wafer-thin sham and Flashman reveals himself as the cocky, ignorant, bullying buffoon that he is.

    • Christina says:

      I have a time for that chart, Jane. I researched it quite carefully I’m sure but I am trying to find a note about it. I’m pretty sure I went back to an historical account of the day. I ought to check. And here.

      • Jane Lyle says:

        Thanks Christina! It seems to be very descriptive of the regime. What’s left of it anyway. The hidden cash, the over-confidence, the impulsive, unstable and violent potential of Mars-Uranus. And way too many secrets. Mars continues to be active in this chart from Scorpio as the new year begins, and then from Sagittarius. Certainly, this is a ‘chronic’ war, and one that we barely begin to understand fully it is so fractured and complicated. Wiping out IS will not be a simple task, I suspect that if this war is a cancer then IS is some kind of mutating virus, at least for the next few years. Their rhetoric may be medieval, but their methods are shockingly modern in many respects.

        • Christina says:

          I agree. I think the medieval label is misguided. They are bang up-to-date. Also thanks for the point about Antares that you made the comment above. It’s always good to rope in a fixed star!

          • Jane Lyle says:

            Well, we must watch and see what might manifest when Mars, Saturn and Antares align in August, 2016. I think this will be clearly visible in the night sky.

            Thinking about fixed stars and major events – I really began to pay attention during the immediate run-up to the Iraq war. There was a lunar eclipse aligned with Algol in November 2002. On the 4th December, a solar eclipse at 11.58 Sagittarius was close to Antares and the S Node of the Moon. Mars opposed that Taurus eclipse from Scorpio in January, 2003, and crossed the Sagittarian eclipse degree at the end of January, beginning of February. I hadn’t looked at this for a long time….slightly unsettled to see Mars travelling through the same signs again now. Reading it at one level, you might say this is an opportunity to learn from our terrible mistakes. Well, hmmn. Just trying to convince myself that the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an approaching train……

  10. mimi says:

    I sure am glad I will not be the one who votes to go to war.
    We have to trust the people that were elected to use their vote in a responsible way.

    If this is a chronic war, the world would be better of with a ‘surgeon’ to cut out this cancer. After that it will be years of chemo-therapy. I wouldn’t know any other cure for this ‘disease’.