Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Potus Dream

About a week ago I had a dream that I’d been elected President of the USA (POTUS). (tr Jupiter in 12th opp Sun.) I was shortly to make my inauguration speech.  I hadn’t prepared anything, and I couldn’t think of anything to say.

This dream, a friend suggested, indicates that I don’t know what my values are. I agreed, and spent some days bemoaning the fact. But then I thought why am I treating this as hopeless, as a ‘fact’? What are my values, what is it that I stand for? Because the symbolism of POTUS is public, it is about standing for something.

And I knew immediately, I’d known all along. It’s what I always seem to come back to in my blogs. I stand for the existence of the noumenal realm, for the reality behind the 5 senses that supports and nourishes this world, that is the source of this world, and that is also indistinguishable from it. (Tr Neptune square MC)

That is what I stand for. It may seem self-important to want to ‘stand for’ something. It’s not that, though. I don’t need a large and admiring audience, that is something I would instinctively shrink from. No, it’s that I picture myself in relation to the world, I can’t do otherwise: the noumenal realm is one of connectedness. It is the opposite of the individualism that modern economic ideology fosters, in which the ‘achievement’ of the individual is all, and the consequences on others are for sissy left-wingers to deal with.

It is like we are all individual trees that are visible to others and contribute to the whole. And the tree that is me has white light pouring from it, that is drawn up from deep underground (Sag IC-Moon-Saturn), and I want that white light to be in the world. That is what I feel strongly about, that is what I am here for. I want the light of what is real to be in the world, and my job is to be one of the people who embody that. (Jupiter-Neptune-Node in Scorpio.)

And what is real is not just that which can be sensed. That is real, but it is not real in the sense of being the only reality. In this literal age, my job is to embody the larger reality that our seemingly literal reality is part of. I say embody. It’s not enough just to have the words. I need to feel it, and I do, and feeling makes an energetic difference to the world. The fact of my being here makes the world that little bit less literal, and that bit more connected to the sacred - from the Latin sacrum, which referred to the gods or anything in their power. The white light isn’t just experienced as nourishing – like the gods it can be experienced even as terrible and destructive, like a river in full flood that meets resistance.

So I am also a mediator with that realm, or an interpreter of it. That is why I am an astrologer. People become troubled, their partial reality no longer works for them because the noumenal, in the form of a wild god, has joined them at the dinner table. Now I’m not saying I’m any better at dealing with this wild god when he enters my life than anyone else is. But I do know something about him, because that is what I am about. 

This ‘spiritual’ centre drew me to Buddhism in my early twenties. And I loved the philosophy behind it, the thorough and subtle revealing of the noumenal realm, of sunyata, and the different levels of sunyata, all designed to stop us literalising it. I kind of knew what I was about. (tr Uranus conjunct Sag IC and Moon-Saturn)

But it was partial. So much of me was absent and troubled. And I found that though, in my partial way, I stood for this noumenal realm, the Buddhist organisation I was part of, I eventually realised, did not; it stood if anything for the opposite. So I was out of there after 18 years. (tr Pluto conj IC; Uranus opp Uranus)

A big theme of the last 16 years, and particularly the last 2 years, has been the slow coming to consciousness of the absent bits of myself, the childhood bits that felt traumatised by the pressures and criticism and incomprehension I received at an early age (tr Pluto hard-aspecting Angles and Moon), and that fitted like a glove into the shadow-side of organised religion.

Troubled they may be, but those parts are also soil for the tree to grow in. So what the dream is also suggesting is that it’s time to bring the white light and the soil together. Tentatively, perhaps, but also definitely. It will take time for the tree to put down proper roots. (tr Saturn soon to hard-aspect Angles.) But I think I’m planting it. Here’s to the next 20 years! (Prog Pluto in prog 10th, prog Uranus in prog 9th)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


In Feb 2009 I wrote: “The US handed over power to a new Iraqi government at 9.26am on 28 June 2004. The Sun-Moon-Angular Uranus Grand Trine suggests to me a natural instability and fragility which is unlikely to last much beyond the departure of US troops…. There is no reason to suppose that militant Islam will not also make advances in Iraq as the US presence recedes.”

Iraq 2004
I’m not claiming particular prescience for the astrology here, because it seems a fairly commonsensical position to have taken. But all the same, this chart does seem to work quite well for the current incarnation of Iraq, reflecting events well and therefore allowing us perhaps to dig a bit deeper. It’s often hard to define THE chart for a country. There are usually several charts, describing different aspects of the  country, or periods in its history, and exact times can be hard to find.

(PS It turns out the time zone for the chart I was using was an hour out. Uranus is not in fact Angular, but the Sun-Moon-Uranus Grand Trine stands. And the source for the chart? Can't find it, but I know I noted down the exact time from the news when the event occurred.)

The recent foundation of the Islamic State Caliphate is a case in point. There are a number of conflicting accounts of when the declaration was made, and we may never know for certain. (See my recent piece on the subject.)

Islamic State Caliphate
Now here’s the spooky thing: the natal chart I use for the Caliphate and the 2014 Solar Return for Iraq each occurred on 28 June 2014 within 25 mins of each other. The planets are virtually identical by sign and degree, it’s just the Angles that are a bit apart.

Iraq Solar Return 28th June 2014
This occurred because the Iraqi SR Chart for this year happened to coincide closely with the start of Ramadan – the Muslim holy month, which also was the time that Islamic State, for reasons of religion and power, chose to found the Caliphate. Any chart for the Caliphate would be within a day or so of this one, so the overall point still stands.

It’s a bizarre coincidence. It suggests that the fates of IS and Iraq are intertwined this year – which is obvious. And it also suggests, to my mind, that it is not just a matter of enemies opposing – IS vs the Iraqi government. It is as much the rulers and people of each moving towards each other, becoming one. That is understandable for some of the Sunnis, not so much for the Kurds and majority Shias. However it works out, willingly or unwillingly, there is a curious sympathy between the 2, and a movement towards becoming one country. It’s like twins born 25 mins apart, who can be both opposites yet closely tied to each other.

And even if you don’t accept the Caliphate Chart, the Iraqi Solar Return occurred within 25 mins of the technical start of Ramadan (the first sighting of the New Moon), the holiest month of the year, strongly linking the fate of Iraq this year to Islam.

The territorial ambitions of IS?


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 What I want to do now is to analyse the Iraq Chart and look at the transits etc and see where they lead.

Iraq 2004
First of all, you can see America's hand in the current Iraq's creation: The US Sun-Jupiter at 13-4 Cancer  conjoins the Iraqi Sun-Saturn at 6-15 Cancer. There are other contacts, but that one is striking. Along with the US Saturn squaring both these planets. The expansionist (Jupiter) leadership (Sun) of the world's policeman (10th Saturn) creating a leadership (Sun) and law and order (Saturn) in Iraq.

The Grand Trine, which involves the 2 biggies, the Sun (also the chart ruler) and the Moon, is fundamental to the Iraq Chart. A preponderance of Trines isn’t necessarily what one would expect in a chart of a troubled country. But the Trine, a harmonious aspect, doesn’t mean ‘good’ so much as ‘easy’.

It has been said that Grand Trines are sometimes found in the charts of psychopaths: they expect life to be easy, and if someone gets in their way, they simply dispose of them.

Uranus is an outer planet, invisible to the naked eye and therefore beyond conscious control. He doesn’t have to mean instability, but in this case it’s a fairly obvious interpretation. The leader (Sun) and the people (the Moon)  between them won't be able to control the country. A further instability is created by Uranus squaring Venus, the ruler of the MC.

The Sun in Cancer trine Uranus reflects the divisive tribalism of the Iraqi government. It has always been tribal. Under Saddam Hussein, the minority Sunnis controlled the majority Shias. Under the present government, it has been the other way round. The Sunnis have a grievance, facilitating the invasion of the Sunni Islamic State. The Americans have been pressuring the government, which was led by Nouri Al Maliki, for a long time now to be more inclusive. But it’s not the way they think. It shows what can happen if you invade a country and try to impose your political system – ‘advanced’ liberal democracy – on a country to whom it is alien. Countries often have nasty dictators for a reason, which is that the alternative – warring tribes - is worse.

Uranus opposite 1st House Jupiter suggests that the divisions are religious as well as ethnic.

Natal Mars in the 12th square to the Moon suggests a country whose people will not easily fight for it. There have been reports of Iraqi fighters simply fleeing the advance of IS.


Neptune is currently passing over natal Uranus and will soon square Venus, ruler of the MC – suggesting a dissolution of the State.

The big transits that have been going on for some years are Pluto and Uranus hard-aspecting the (wide) Sun-Saturn conjunction. This will reach its conclusion in 2 years time when Pluto makes his final opposition to Saturn. Pluto opposite Sun described, amongst other things, the exclusion from power of the Sunnis and Kurds. Uranus square Sun and Saturn describes the ongoing shakiness and instability of the leadership (Nouri Al Maliki was forced to resign in August) and law and order, the basic structure of society. Pluto’s opposition to Saturn suggests the destruction of the current Iraqi system of government.


At the end of April there was an eclipse of the Sun at 9 Taurus, 1/2 a degree off the Iraqi North Node. Eclipses often catalyse significant events, and this occurred at a point that is suggestive of the country’s destiny. It occurred as transiting Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto created a Cardinal Grand Cross over natal Saturn. Six weeks later ISIS fighters began to take over Iraqi towns and cities.

April 2014 Eclipse over Baghdad
So will Iraq fall? The answer from the transits seems to suggest yes.

The natal chart is highly unstable. The transits now and over the next couple of years reinforce this take. The April eclipse suggests the arrival of a moment of truth in the country’s destiny.

Iraq: Progressed Chart Oct 2015
In the Progressed Chart, in 9 months time the Sun-Moon Cycle will enter the closing – or Balsamic – phase, which suggests an ending, or the beginning of the end. A year after that, the Prog Asc will change sign from proud Leo to submissive Virgo, while the Prog Moon activates the country’s North Node: we have already seen what the eclipse to that point did.

And then there are the Solar Returns. 2014,15 and 16 all have either Pluto and Uranus on an Angle, suggesting instability and destruction. 2017 does not, but it has a Mars-Jupiter-Pluto Cardinal t-square, suggestive of religious brutality.

So it’s not good news for the Iraqi people. With IS being Sunni and Iraq being mainly Shia, that will add to the brutality. It will be worse than under Saddam, because he did not insist that everyone had to be Sunni.

The US and its allies, as we know, are undertaking airstrikes, which they will probably keep up and which will slow IS down. But, as one US General said after Vietnam, if there was one thing they had learned, it was that you cannot win a war against guerrillas by bombing alone. And there seems to be no appetite for sending in ground troops. The airstrikes are as much a face-saving exercise as anything else, the western governments having to appear to be doing something to oppose IS.

I’d say from the astrology that Iraq will fall to IS in 1 to 2 years’ time.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


The idea of Fate can seem like an affront to our self-respect as human beings, to the idea that we have Free Will, that we make our own choices in life. It can seem like a throw-back to primitive superstition.

And this polarity is understandable when you look at our religious background with its all-powerful, all-determining God. We want none of that, and rightly so.

Our destiny is no longer controlled by God but by ourselves, we have Free Will, and we are guided by reason.

It’s said that we become that which we oppose, and in our flight away from God and towards reason and science, we have created a determinism just as rigid: a universe governed by immutable physical laws, with human beings as just one more expression of those laws. And without even the divine element that God, for all his faults, brought.

But that determinism tends to be hidden because, at least in the West,  in our day-to-day lives we do have the freedom to choose (up to a point) and to have opinions. We don’t have to be on our guard, whatever people say about government snooping. Of course, we CAN be brainwashed by all sorts of factors, and many of us are in different ways, it seems to be part of how large societies work. But the point is we don’t have to be, we have the option of thinking and acting independently without being sent to prison or burnt or beheaded.

These sorts of contradictions fascinate me. And I think they often arise because we think in rigid, literal, black-and-white terms. Life, hopefully, teaches us not to think like that. Education should also teach us not to, but I don’t think it does, generally speaking, because it has its own agenda.

And so Fate and Free Will can appear as irreconcilable opposites. I don’t think I need to argue for Free Will, because it is self-evident. Or is it? In one sense it is self-evident, in that from moment to moment we choose our actions. The devil is in the word 'choose', and how much of ‘us’ is involved in that choice. We can truly and genuinely and sincerely think we are acting out of Free Will, and then one day we realise we’ve been living out a programme we were brought up to live, or reacting against it, which is sort of the same thing. And the programming may have been making the choices to a greater extent than the little bit of consciousness we called our own.

And that is Fate, a certain kind of Fate, masquerading as Free Will.

So it’s complicated.


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And often we wake up to Free Will through crises, which are Fate in a rather different sense. As an astrologer, one sees this kind of Fate all the time through the transits of the outer planets to the natal chart. A god enters the scene. He is wild and bad-mannered and can’t be locked in his room, and a few years down the line you find you are a different person, maybe aware of the real reasons you’ve been like you are all these years.

And these crises are, to a certain extent, predictable. They are writ, they are Fate. It’s part of the astrologer’s box of magic tricks: so what happened to you around 1992, what major life change did you go through? And out it all comes, usually. Not always, because astrology isn’t mechanical and people aren’t mechanical.

Or take the financial crisis, the mother of all meltdowns, that began in 2008. Any half-way literate astrologer could see that with Uranus coming up to square Pluto at a degree that significantly impacted the charts of all the major powers, some sort of big crisis was on the way. And astrologers were in fact talking about it years in advance.

We’d have probably all had different ideas as to the nature of this crisis, although Uranus-Pluto has a way of being economics, so that would have been a reasonable guess.

So you can see that the future was both writ and not writ on a collective scale.

It’s mysterious. What is the chart if not our Fate? But it is not set in stone. It is more like a set of stories that have their own flavours and lessons and turning points, and that can even to a great degree be predicted in advance. And these pre-writ stories are not a denial of our Free Will, but rather contain points at which events seem to have guided us to the possibility of an accession of Free Will.

The chart is not literal, it is a divinatory lens. It is objective, in that many astrologers would accurately see the same sort of meaning in a chart. It is not just a lens for the astrologer’s personal dialogue with the gods, though it is that as well, making every reading unique and particular.

Through feeling and reading the relationship between the earth and the sky, astrology has over the millennia built a divinatory sea that anyone can tap into, a sea that points to our origins, in fact to the origins of everything, as lying behind the apparent material universe. For how else could we possibly know these things about people and world events from the chart? Certainly not from any physical cause.

As Wordsworth says in Intimations of Immortality:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream...

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar

So I think this is the sort of context in which the Fate element in astrology needs to be seen. Astrology gives us glimpses of the deeper stories behind our life, the intentions of the gods, if you like, the bigger cosmic picture behind who we think we are, that Aries has forgotten and that Pisces is privilege to, and that all the other signs are a progression towards.

Fate in this sense is not something that can easily be put in rational, logical terms. Even Free Will cannot very easily be expressed in those terms, not when you view it as the urge to enlarge consciousness.

We may not be able to explain Fate, but we ignore it at our peril. The ancient Greeks understood this well, though human rationality was given more power as time went on.

The ancient Greeks acknowledged the role of Fate as a reality outside the individual that shaped and determined human life. In modern times, the concept of Fate has developed the misty halo of romantic destiny, but for the ancient Greeks, Fate represented a terrifying, unstoppable force.

And they were right. Cataclysmic natural events apart (which nowadays we are largely shielded from, we forget the raw power of nature), you see the suffering people go through because they don’t know how to listen to themselves, the self being much larger than everyday consciousness and often how we have been taught to be. Life exacts its revenge, or tries to pressure us into submission. You get cancer, your wife leaves you, your kids disown you, you get fired, you lose your home, anything you try goes wrong, maybe you even die.

Sometimes a crow is just a crow, and sometimes it means something. Sometimes these things just happen. It is a basic mistake to think that outer events always mirror inner events. No, the whole point is that reading signs is an art, and knowing when a sign is a sign and when it isn’t, is part of that art, and part of astrology’s subtlety.

That larger self is just one way of putting it. It is the gods knocking at the door. It is life itself and its need to move on. It is the Unconscious trying to further the process of individuation.

Whatever it is, it is not necessarily ‘nice’. Astrology in this auguristic sense disrupts our domestic sanitisations, the habitual and the safe, by revealing the intentions of the gods.

So the ancient Greeks understood Fate to be a dark god when resisted. Even, at times, when not resisted. The concept of Fate brings us closer not to that which is ‘nice’ but to that which is real.

As science and its ordered universe has progressed and tightened over the last 200 years, so have the outer planets, reality as uncontrollable Fate, emerged.

Bernadette Brady, in her book Cosmos, Chaosmos and Astrology advances the notions of Cosmos and Chaosmos. Cosmos is the ordered universe. Chaosmos is that aspect of the universe – eg weather systems – that do not obey the laws of predictable cause and effect and that science has had to find other ways of describing. Hence Chaos theory, and the Chaosmos, to which she proposes that astrology essentially belongs.

You could say that Free Will belongs to Cosmos and Fate to Chaosmos. Not that it is a rigid distinction. And Chaos theory seems to me to contain an inherent contradiction, in that is attempting to describe in rational terms that which defeats rationality. But at least it constitutes some kind of acknowledgement by science that there are aspects to reality that will forever be beyond its grasp. Quantum reality has similar implications. Chaosmos, however, is not merely the special case that science can't reduce to an equation: it is the larger reality within which the very specialised methods of modern science take their place.

But people aren’t always interested in philosophy, and why should they be, so these kinds of implications don’t always filter through. All the same, Fate as that larger reality beyond human control that needs respecting seems to be implied by both Chaos Theory and Quantum Theory. And Chaosmos seems a very evocative term for it, that also has a measure of scientific respectability.

Free Will can to some extent be explained in rational terms. Scientists can do brain studies on how we make decisions, for example. Free Will is an idea. But Fate in its deeper sense of the gods barging through our front door cannot be explained, merely described and evoked.

In 1996 I encountered the Norns in a book called ‘The Wisdom of the Wyrd’. They are 3 women who live in a hall by a well at the foot of Yggdrassil, the World Tree of Norse Myth. They take care of Yggdrassil with water from the well and sand from around it. They and other Norns determine the destiny of new-born children.

The author, Professor Brian Bates, called the Norns ‘Daughters of the Night’. I knew nothing about these figures, yet the imagery stunned me. For weeks afterwards it was like I was left reeling whenever I thought of these Norns. Even now I sort of go weak at the knees :)

I responded so strongly partly because Germanic/Norse myth is in me and probably in all northern Europeans. That is the strange thing about myths: we may not have heard them, but we recognise them all the same. The Lord of the Rings has that sort of quality, and it would, for Tolkien was deeply versed in European mythology.

And my response was to an image of Fate. But also more than an image. These ‘images’ (which is what nowadays we reduce them to, like one more defined thing to have ideas about) are also beings, they are presences that we can experience. I have that with Pluto. I often feel his presence when I am writing.


And I don’t think that is just a ‘subjective’ thing. These beings are real, they can be met and talked to. Yet they are also elusive, they do not just come at our bidding. And that is how I feel about the Norns. They belong to what Patrick Harpur calls Daimonic Reality.

And if I were southern European I might well feel the same way about the Moirai, the Fates, the 3 women who in ancient Greece allotted the Fate of everyone at birth. They each have a different function: one spins the thread of life onto her spindle, the other measures it, and the other cuts it: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.

The Norns and the Moirai suggest to me that in ancient times Fate was understood and even feared as utterly real, yet it was not taken in the literal way that we think nowadays. For us, something is only real if it is literal, if it is ‘out there’ in a solid way and can be measured. From that point of view, Fate can seem like a product of primitive ignorance. The modern perspective can seem to be above and beyond all that has come before, but I think it is an anomaly, a peculiarity that will right itself - maybe not for a while yet - because human nature will inevitably also right itself.

 So I think the Norns and the Moirai, understood in a non-literal way, bring us a long way from Fate as a sort of primitive determinism, that we moderns with our understanding of the way the universe ‘really’ works can afford to look down on.

I don’t think the relationship between Fate and Free Will can ever be pinned down. It is a dichotomy that is there for us to reflect on, to muse on, and in so doing to reach down below the surface of life and observe consciousness in its mystery and elusiveness.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Islamic State vs the West: the Astrology

Two days ago the UK government voted by a big majority to join in the US
-led bombing of Islamic State. I’d been wondering for some time about a chart for the Islamic State Caliphate, and then I noticed Christina had put up a post on the subject, suggesting a particular chart. Which got me thinking.

Islamic State Flag: the 7th Century 'Black Banner'

 (NerdWatch: Skip the next 10 paragraphs if you’re not technically minded).

What we know is that the spokesman for IS declared the Caliphate (extending across captured territory in Syria and Iraq) on the first day of Ramadan, 29th June 2014, the Islamic holy month, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. 

The timing for this declaration, however, is confused. If you look on skyscript, or on Robert Hand's Facebook Page for 3 July, it becomes apparent that there are a number of conflicting reports, some as much as 12 hours apart from each other. Not only that, but there is also youtube evidence of ISIS fighters celebrating the announcement of the Caliphate before sunrise that day!

At exactly what point did the Caliphate come into existence? We may never know, indeed there may well not be an exact time. Rather like the USA, did it come into existence on 2nd July, when Congress decided the USA was now independent, or 2 days later when the public declaration occurred?

In the same way, did the Caliphate exist once it was announced publicly, or at some point in the previous decision-making process?

The founding of the Caliphate, however, has one big astrological advantage over the founding of the USA, which is that it was clearly timed to coincide with a powerful symbolic event: the start of Ramadan. Astrology is essentially symbolic, and so I think a strong case exists for the start of Ramadan '14 being a chart that signifies the Caliphate. That is already what the declaration is associated with. In the absence of a clear time for the declaration, this chart could eventually become THE chart for the Caliphate.

Even though the public declaration was made sometime during the 29th of June, Ramadan begins with the first sighting of the crescent Moon after the New Moon, which was the evening before.

So I spent a couple of hours researching the moment at which the crescent Moon would have become visible in Ar-Raqqah, Syria on that date. Some Muslims use the time of the New Moon, which is easily calculable, but that is not so traditional, and IS are nothing if not traditional, as they see it.

At Moonsighting, there was a sighting of the Moon from Kuwait at 18:59, 8 minutes after sunset (which was 2 minutes after the Sun dipped below the Descendant on Solar Fire).

That was the best info I could get for that area. They weren’t able to see it, for example, in Saudi Arabia or Lebanon.

So the best possible guess I can make is for 10 minutes after the Sun crossed the Desc in Ar-Raqqah.

End of NerdWatch

And that gives this chart. One of the main differences from some other charts is that, crucially, Pluto is in the First House instead of being hidden in the 12th.

Islamic State Caliphate

And I think that what has characterised the IS Caliphate from the start is the openness of their brutality and their aspirations to power in the Muslim world. That is more characteristic of a 1st House Pluto. With 12th House Pluto, their real motivations would only have become clear over time, and even then they would be denied.

Overall it is a very powerful chart of an emotionally based religious movement (Sun and Moon in Cancer, Moon conjunct Jupiter) creating a homeland (Cancer) that wishes to expand (Jupiter), and willing to be as brutal as necessary to survive (Sun opposite Pluto Rising) in the face of what it sees as a world that is against it (Sun opposite Pluto).


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And the world that is against it is essentially the US and the other western powers. The US has Sun-Jupiter at 13-9 Cancer, conjunct the Caliphate Sun-Desc and opposite its Pluto.

The US and the Caliphate
This comparison of the two Charts shows very clearly the mutual shadow projection occurring. The 7th House is the House of 'Open Enemies', of mirrors, if you like, each seeing its own brutality in the enemy. Each have major placements in the 7th of the other, and all in the same sign of Cancer, the visceral sign of homeland and patriotism/nationalism. America is the Great Satan once again, while the IS are terrorists, subhumans who commit brutal acts for the sake of it, for no reason. Which has a truth to it, but that's not the point.

I wouldn’t want to defend IS at all, but it also involves the old story of the US projecting its own brutality outwards, a need it seems to have.  See Oliver Stone's admittedly angled but informative Untold History of the United States.

You could argue that IS and its Caliphate are the logical outcome of the US attempts to control the Middle East over many decades, an attempt that continues and which fuels the extremism of IS. The bombings, while maybe producing short term gains, will in the long run only make the situation worse.

 I don't want to let us Brits off the hook either. Our Moon conjoins the Caliphate Moon, and our Sun conjoins the Caliphate Asc-Pluto and opposes its Sun. And our MC is opposite the Caliphate Asc. (See Chart below.)

That is a very powerful connection. There isn't the same mutual 7th House connection that the US has -it only goes one way - so the emphasis on the Caliphate as 'enemy' is less. But overall the connection is stronger. Like it or not, we are locked in to Islamic State, and the fears of Brits flying out there and joining IS, then returning and creating problems at home, are therefore real.

I find it fascinating when themes reverberate down the decades, and astrology sometimes reveals this. Britain was involved in the creation of Iraq, an artificial state made up of different peoples, in the 1920s. And the chart for the Caliphate shows that our involvement in the power-politics of the region is just as strong now as it was then.

Of course, it's all ultimately about oil. The West does not wage war against Boko Haram (a jihadist Muslim organisation sympathetic to IS) in Nigeria. We only wage war if our vital interests are threatened, and then we claim the war is about something else.

And that's what I mean when I talk about each side projecting its brutality on the other. We are bombing IS not because they are awful (which they are) but because they threaten the West's control of a region on which it is dependent for a vital interest. And that is brutal. But it is concealed under fine words, and made remote through distance and technology. IS, however, do no such thing. They execute people and display it all over the internet. It seems self-evident that they are the bad guys and we are not.

Other aspects of the Caliphate chart include:  

Mars in the 9th opposite Uranus: the religiously (9th) inspired beheadings (Mars-Uranus), or the beheading of foreigners/journalists (9th). Gruesomely, Aries is associated with the head, and Uranus with sudden separation: Uranus is in Aries. The beheadings began in response to American airstrikes, what is called 'asymmetrical warfare'.

Trine from Saturn in Scorpio in the 10th to Moon-Jupiter: there is harmony between the people (Moon) and their rulers (Saturn) suggesting the Caliphate is here to stay and may grow.

Sun, Moon and Asc are all Cardinal: Cardinal signs begin events, they initiate, so we have the suggestion of a powerful beginning, that lends strength to the endurance and ambitions of the Saturn. The Caliphate, ridiculed by many Muslims, is likely to permanently change the Islamic world.

Cancer, Capricorn and Scorpio are all pronounced in the chart. Cancer and Capricorn are conservative, traditional signs, while Scorpio at its worst involves the exercise of archaic, cruel power, and hangs onto the past for dear life.

North Node conjunct Mars in 9th House Libra opposite Uranus: what the IS needs to learn is that others also have a religious/metaphysical viewpoint (9th Libra), instead of imposing their own views, using shocking violence (Mars-Uranus) that puts them outside the human community (Uranus).

Venus square Neptune: the women (Venus) are invisible (Neptune).

I keep thinking of Nazi Germany when I think of IS, they really do seem to be that bad. The charts don’t have much in common, and you can always find something! Maybe it is WHAT you find that matters.

Nazi Germany
The Nazi Pluto at 21 Cancer conjoins the Caliphate Moon. This suggests the aspect of Nazism that involved the collective (the Moon) giving absolute power to their leaders (Pluto) and doing things under orders that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. There are stories of Brits who've gone to join IS becoming disillusioned, but IS won't let them leave, and in any case they would be treated as criminals in the UK.

The Prog Nazi MC-IC is at 15 Aries-Libra. The IS Mars-Uranus runs closely along this axis, as well as conjoining the Nazi natal Uranus. It suggests the shocking violence of the Nazis being born again in IS.

Note that in the Nazi Germany chart, Pluto is hidden on the IC, not entirely unlike having it in the 12th (as I said earlier). And Hitler concealed his intentions until they were obvious and for many it was too late, or in the case of the UK, nearly too late. With the Caliphate and its 1st house Pluto, we know from the start what they are about.