Prelude to the Cardinal Crisis

As Mars arrives again in Cancer, we must ask ourselves: what is the mission of this planetary emissary? Many people who know a little something about classical astrology dread this transit, because Cancer is opposite Mars’ sign of exaltation — and so Mars is seen to be “fallen” here.

A closer inspection of the zodiac reveals that the first important meeting to which Mars is headed on Wednesday, August 26 is an opposition to Pluto in the first degree of cardinal signs. This is one day after Venus, Vesta, and the South Node congregate on the recent eclipse degree of 29°+ Cancer. The prior Mars–Pluto opposition, this close to the cardinal axis, was in the last degrees of Gemini-Sagittarius, on January 2, 2008. If we look back to this time period, we will likely see a similar process happening now.

• December 27 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, and at least 20 others are killed by a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
• December 31 – Over 200 people are killed in Kenya, due to riots over the results of the December 27 presidential election.
• January 2 – The price of petroleum hits $100 per barrel for the first time.

When cast for Washington D.C., the opposition of August 26 falls across the Asc/Dsc axis with Mercury and Juno–Uranus completing a grand square in the cardinal signs and angular houses (see chart below, using Whole Sign houses). Clearly this looks like an important development.

Cardinal T-Square

Mars, in the house of partners and open enemies, represents hostile forces in our relations with other countries, both friendly and hostile, at both political and commercial levels. Mars receives additional strength from the mutual reception with the Moon, though both planets are fallen. Fallen planets are not “weak” — they are, in fact, strong but unable to exercise their strength due to circumstance. The position of the Moon in a mundane chart represents the people and where the public’s attention falls. The Moon in the 11th represents Congress, town and county councils, and similar bodies and their legislation. So there are two manifestations which seem equally probable. This could represent opponents of U.S. health care reform striking back. However, the 11th can also represent friends of the nation. So this could represent some kind of terrorist attack on a nation whom we consider a friend.

When you look at the chain of dispositors in this chart, some interesting things come to light. Dispositors basically show a chain of command — who any particular planet “reports” to because of being in a particular sign. Mars and the Moon report to one another via mutual reception — again this could be a connection between public opinion and the opposition party (Republicans) or public outcry at some common enemy. Mercury is the other planet in the first degree of a Cardinal sign. Mercury in Libra reports to Venus. Venus in Leo reports in turn to The Sun. The Sun in Virgo reports back to Mercury. So, this is a sort of “committee” of rulership where the leadership (Sun), diplomats (Venus) and media (Mercury) are working together to deal with a change in circumstance (fallen Mars and Moon in mutual reception).

All the other planets in the chart report to Mercury, either directly (Saturn) or indirectly (Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto report to Saturn, and Uranus reports to Jupiter who reports to Saturn). So it seems the media (Mercury) have an inordinate amount of influence in this situation. Since Mercury reports to Venus, it appears that some sort of diplomacy is to be key to the situation. This could be something like a final call for a “bipartisan” solution to the health care crisis accompanied by a media blitz, or some type of diplomatic endeavor to negotiate with a hostile foreign party and the subsequent media storm. However, we must remember that Venus and Vesta sit at or near the recent eclipse degree, and diplomatic abilities may be hampered.

With preliminary figures for the Afghan vote (amid fraud allegations) and the official release of two government reports projecting huge budget shortfalls over the next decade both due on Tuesday, August 25, it seems that either scenario offered above — or perhaps both — are likely.

© 2009 Gary Caton – all rights reserved

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who has published in journals and spoken at conferences on mundane astrology since 2002. In addition to practicing mundane astrology, Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed over 17 years a unique multi-disciplinarian neo-classical system which embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration. Gary also hosts the FREE Goddess Astrology pod-cast which illuminates the current cycles of Venus and the Asteroid Goddesses and is the best reviewed astrology pod-cast on iTunes! Contact Gary at and view his written work, lectures, classes or readings.

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