Follow Up to Egypt's Arab Spring

This is a follow up to the article I wrote on Egypt's Arab Spring.  (http://joycelevine.com/Egypt.htm)  At the time I was concerned that this uprising which had been categorized in the West as part of the Arab world's pursuit of democracy would lead to far less illustrious events.  This is now proving to be true.

 Coptic Christians took to the streets on October 9 to protest a recent attack by Muslim radicals who had partially demolished a church in Aswan province.  The demonstration began peacefully with about 1,000 Christian protestors staging a sit-in outside the state television building in downtown Cairo.  They demanded that the province's governor be let go for failing to protect the church.  The protest ended in violence. 

 Protestors reported being attacked by thugs with sticks.  Violence spiraled out of control when a speeding military vehicle drove onto the sidewalk and ran over some of the Christians.  Egypt's Coptic Church blasted authorities for allowing repeated attacks on Christians.  CBS 60 Minutes reported that the military has been arresting activists, outlawing strikes, and restricting journalists. 

 Attacks on churches were first reported in January, before the Egyptian Revolution.  Coptic Christians make up about ten percent of the Egyptian population.  In January and February, they joined the pro-democracy demonstrations in the hope of a more pluralistic society.  Since President Hosni Mubarak's fall from power in February, relations between Christians and Muslims have taken a turn for the worse. The military government has done little to reign in radical Islamists and protect Christians, as Mubarak had done.   

News reports vary as to how many protestors are dead or wounded or even what happened during the protests.  The Egyptian media reported 24 dead and more than 200 wounded in the worst outbreak of violence since President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February. 

Some reports note Christians and Muslims working together to bring down the military government and particularly Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein-Tantawi.  Tantawi, the defense minister under Mubarak's regime for 20 years, took over after Mubarak stepped down.  The military initially pledged to hand over power to a civilian government within six months.  This deadline has passed.  Parliamentary elections are scheduled to start in late November.  Presidential elections could be held late in 2012.  Tensions have been growing between the military and the groups that engineered the uprising.  These groups accuse the army of inciting sedition so that it can remain in power.  Emergency laws put into place by Mubarak in 1981 are still in effect.

Some reports state that Muslims rushed to the defense of Christian protestors, while the military and riot police sided with the more radical Muslims who were lashing out at Christians.  Hundreds of men armed with clubs and stones are said to have chanted, "The people want to bring down the Christians."  One woman reported hearing a calling on state television urging "honest Egyptians" to turn out and protect the soldiers from Christian protestors, even though she said that some of the protestors were Muslims protesting the military's continued hold on power.  The military stands accused of trying to start a civil war.

This attack comes on the heels of an attack on the Israeli Embassy on September 10.  The rampage lasted thirteen hours.  Egyptian security forces did nothing as protestors tore down a concrete security wall that Egyptian authorities had erected only weeks earlier.  Security forces initially did nothing when protestors broke into the embassy and threw Hebrew language documents into the crowd below.  Egyptian security forces intervened only after President Barack Obama interceded on Israel's behalf.  Ultimately Egyptian commandos rescued six trapped Embassy guards.  Ties between Israel and Egypt have worsened since Mubarak's fall. The military government walks a tight line between appeasing the Egyptian public and maintaining relations with Israel.   Keeping peace with Israel assures Egypt's military rulers of billions of dollars of US aid. 

 In the interests of keeping the length of this article from spiraling out of control, I'm only going to examine the Egypt Independence chart, March 14, 1922, 10:43 pm GMT Cairo.  This chart has Sagittarius Rising, Mars in Sagittarius, Uranus and the Sun in Pisces; Mercury in Aquarius, Venus and Chiron in Aries, Saturn, the North Node, Moon, and Jupiter in Libra, Pluto in Cancer, Neptune in Leo, and Ceres in Scorpio.

 

The Midheaven on this chart is 4 Libra.  Saturn at 5 Libra, North Node at 9 Libra, Moon at 14 Libra, and Jupiter at 16 Libra, all fall in the 10th house and form a wide T-Square with Pluto in Cancer in the 7th house, and Venus in Aries in the 3rd house, but on the cusp of the 4th, and the South Node and Chiron in Aries in the 4th house.  This planetary combination has been triggered this past year by transiting Saturn in Libra, transiting Pluto in Capricorn, and transiting Uranus in Aries.  Solar arc Pluto conjoined the Midheaven in August of 2010 and it conjoined Saturn exactly on October 2.  The progressed Midheaven forms an exact square to natal Venus on October 21.

 So what can we expect from these aspects.  As noted in my earlier article, Saturn in Libra holds particular importance for Egypt.  Each time Saturn has transited this sign since 1922, a change in power has occurred.  On March 14, 1922 Egypt was officially granted independence from England.  Its monarchy ruled until 1953 when Egypt was declared a Republic, and Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser rose to power.  June 18, 1953 at 11:30 pm is the data given for the new government.  Once again Saturn was in Libra, this time at 20 degrees and this time conjoining Neptune and in a T-square with Chiron in Capricorn and Uranus, Ceres, and Mercury in Cancer.  Sadat's assassination followed 28 years later on October 6, 1981.  Saturn was once again in Libra, conjoining the Sun and Jupiter and square the Moon in Capricorn.  The Arab Spring coincides with Saturn's current transit of Libra.

 Current transits to the Egypt Independence chart started as far back as December, 2008 when transiting Pluto first formed a square to Venus.  Pluto then moved on to square the Midheaven-Nadir axis and Saturn.  As Pluto moves forward in 2012 it will trigger the Nodes.  The transiting Uranus – Pluto square occurs in June of 2012 just after Pluto moving Retrograde forms a square to the Nodes.  Pluto's forward movement then forms squares Egypt's Chiron and Moon-Jupiter conjunction.  These transits continue until almost the end of 2017.

Transiting Saturn moved from the opposition Venus to conjoining the Midheaven and Saturn, to the square of Pluto, to conjoining the North Node, to the opposition of Chiron, to conjoining the Moon and Jupiter over the period from November of 2009 to September 2011. 

Transiting Uranus conjoined Venus and opposed the Midheaven and Saturn.  These aspects started in March 2011and continue through January 2013, after which Uranus moves on to the other planets in the T-square.

So as we look at Egypt's chart, we can see that we are in the middle of a trend, not nearly close to the end of one. 

Transiting Saturn moving through the 10th house holds those in authority accountable for how that authorized is exercised.  At the same time, this transit can coincide with those in authority exerting additional control in order to retain their power.  All of this is doubly true for Egypt as Saturn conjoins the Midheaven in the natal chart.  A Saturn return, whether for a person or a country, also brings into focus the results of the past 30 years; i.e. since the previous Saturn return.  In the case of Egypt, a small number of its citizens, those in politics or those with powerful political connections, have become very rich.  Corruption has been rampant.  The Mubarak family alone is alleged to have funneled billions of dollars out of the country.  All the while, the poor have remained poor and limited opportunities have been available for the young and educated.

Egypt's Arab Spring occurred when Saturn was transiting its Moon-Jupiter conjunction.  The Moon represents the public, Jupiter, expansion.  The western media labeled this uprising as a call for democracy, and it's likely that this is true for middle class and educated Egyptians.  It's more likely that the impetus for the protests among the poor was the skyrocketing cost of food, which takes away about half their income.  The high cost of food and commodities is attributable to inclement weather patterns affecting crops, increased demand for food from growing middle classes in emerging markets, and the decline of the US dollar, the currency in which foods are priced.  This combination of factors brought together factions who might not normally have come together.  The question remains of how long this coalition will last.

Saturn's final transit of the Moon-Jupiter conjunction coincided with the attack on the Israel Embassy.  It's unknown what percentage of the Egyptian population supports this attack, which was most likely instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization and political party committed to Israel's destruction.

Transits and solar arcs from Pluto bring about irrevocable changes.  Transits and solar arcs occurring within the same timeframe portend even greater significance.  Solar arc Pluto conjoining the Midheaven and Saturn by themselves would be enough to predict fateful events.  This coincides with opposing energies--the likely fall from grace for those in authority and the ruthless measures they are likely to take in order to prevent that fall.  Transiting Pluto's squares to these same celestial placements heighten this energy.  While the Arab Spring took Mubarak from power, the military continues to rule the country.  Some accuse the military of instigating violence between Coptic Christians and Muslims as a way to justify maintaining their power. 

Transiting Uranus adds rebellion to the picture.  Transiting Uranus conjoined Venus in April of 2011, entered the 4th house and opposed the Midheaven and Saturn.  Transiting Uranus is now Retrograde and has just conjoined Venus again (I am writing this on October 17, 2011).  It turns Direct in December and goes back over these celestial placements and moves to the next set of celestial bodies.  Venus represents relationships, and also has to do with food and money.  This brings us back to the financial issues involved in the uprising.  It also shows that the coalitions made during the Arab Spring are likely to have trouble surviving as factions disagree about ultimate values.  Uranus entering the 4th house also heightens instability in the homeland.  Oppositions of transits from the 4th house to the 10th house reinforce the revolutionary zeal with which those out of power will attack those in power.  As Uranus moves to once again conjoin Venus and oppose Saturn, it's unlikely that we've seen the last of these competing forces.

What's happening in Egypt fits in with events that are occurring around the world.  As transiting Uranus in Aries and transiting Pluto in Capricorn continue to form squares to one another over the next few years, instability and revolutionary zeal will continue to rise worldwide.

Uranus is the planet of individuality, truth, and rebellion.  Aries is the sign of the individual.  Aries is associated with a "me first" attitude in what's not always a complimentary way.  But that can also mean being the first to take up what might be unpopular positions, to have the courage to veer from the crowd, to follow a personal sense of right and wrong regardless of potential consequences.  Aries is the sign of the warrior, the bravery of the individual soldier who despite peril is willing to be the first to attack the enemy.  With Uranus in Aries, we can expect the status quo to be shaken up.  Uranus has an 84-year cycle and remains in each sign for 7 years.

Pluto is the planet that symbolizes death and rebirth.  Generally the "problems" associated with any sign surface during the time of Pluto's transit.  Pluto's transformative power takes the form of heightening the power of, then breaking down, what the sign it posits stands for.  Capricorn is the sign associated with conservatism, tradition, and doing what's correct.  It represents, among other things, the status quo, government, and big business.  Pluto, as the ruler of Scorpio and the eighth house, also has to do with banks and other people's money.  This transit can coincide initially with governments, large corporations, and financial institutions taking on increased, possibly regressive power – and then later imploding under that power.  Pluto's trek through Capricorn began in 2008 and remains until 2024.  The last time Pluto was in Capricorn coincided with the Revolutionary War in the US. 

So, in a sense, the transiting square of Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn represents "the little guy" standing up to those in power.  This will trigger conflict over who maintains power.  In Egypt's case this conflict is not just between the forces for democracy and those against it, but also between Christians and fundamentalist Muslims, between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood and anyone who does not want Egypt to turn to Sharia law.  The Uranus – Pluto square continues into 2015 and the Pluto transits to this chart continue until November 2017.  So, situations are likely to remain tense for quite some time to come, and the winners and losers in these matters are far from decided.

 

Joyce Levine is a full-time professional consulting astrologer with more than 30 years experience.  She serves as a catalyst for her clients to overcome astro/psychological obstacles so that they can achieve their full potential.  As a consultant, Joyce works with individuals, couples, families, and businesses.  Joyce is the Clerk of NCGR and the President of its Boston Chapter, has Level IV PAA-NCGR certification in consulting, and professional certification from AFA since 1979.

Joyce publications are as follows:  Computerized astrology report: AstroAnalysis, the report that will save you years of therapy, Books: A Beginner's Guide to Astrological Interpretation;  Breakthrough Astrology, Transform Yourself and Your World. Transformational CDs:  Self-Help Series: Chakra Meditation, Creative Visualization, Releasing Anger, and Contacting Your Guardian Angel; and Integrating Astrological Cycles Series:  Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter. 

 

Want to find out more about yourself,  call Joyce at
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Joyce Levine specializes in helping people recognize their natural abilities and use them to overcome their personal obstacles to success and to take action at precisely the right time to achieve the results they desire.