Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ukraine's new President sworn-in

(8 June 2014)  Ukraine's new president was sworn-in last week as fighting raged in Eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian rebels.  Petro Poroshenko vowed to reclaim Crimea for Ukraine after he took the oath at 10.20 a.m. on June 7th in Kiev.  Oaths of office provide another window on the reality of political events as they mark the "birth" of a leader's administration.  While not all events can be inferred from the resulting swearing-in chart, some major developments usually coincide with significant planetary alignments to this horoscope.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Poroshenko swearing-in chart looks troubled.  The proud sign of Leo rises and its ruler, the Sun, is in the 10th house of status and command in the stubborn sign of Taurus.  All of these factors suggest a more assertive and dominant leadership style by Poroshenko as he confronts Russian military power on his eastern frontier.  To be sure, his bold claim to take back Crimea is in keeping with a more assertive stance.  This is clearly not the chart of a government bent on compromise.  It also suggests the Poroshenko will cut a fairly dynamic figure as he takes control of the conflicted nation. 

The problems emerge from the position of the Moon.  Placed in the 2nd house in Virgo, the Moon is conjunct Mars (conflict, violence).  This conjunction doesn't always signify conflict as it is sometimes seen in the charts of activist or energetic administrations.  In this case, the Moon-Mars conjunction is situated in close opposition to Uranus (21 Pisces) and square with Pluto (18 Sagittarius).   This connection of Moon-Mars in hard aspect to both Uranus and Pluto is not conducive to a peaceful and constructive administration.  Rather, it suggests that conflict and power struggles will be ongoing features of the government and that they will have a negative effect on the country as a whole.

The other possible red flag in this chart concerns the role of Saturn.  Although safely exalted in Libra in the upachaya 3rd house, it does align with both Moon and Mercury if we use Western aspects of 45 degrees.  Saturn is exactly 45 degrees from the Moon and 135 degrees (45 x 3) from Mercury.  As if to punctuate the importance of this alignment, Mercury is almost stationary, just one day before it turns retrograde.  Even if we accept the fact that the 45 degree aspect is less powerful than Saturn's full strength Vedic aspects (60, 180, 270), the exactitude of the alignment does not look helpful for Ukraine under the Poroshenko government.   Saturn is associated with slow economic growth, and possibly social hardship, especially since the Moon is in play here.  The Moon symbolizes the population as a whole.

Looking ahead, one obvious time frame to watch will be early 2015.  In February, Saturn (9 Scorpio) will station in a close square aspect to the Ascendant (8 Leo) just as transiting Rahu will conjoin the natal Mars at 17 Virgo.  Although each of these aspects needn't bring problems in themselves, their simultaneity increases the probability of a major setback for Ukraine, including a significant situation involving military action (Rahu-Mars).

Both because of this transit hit and the difficult nature of the swearing-in chart itself, it seems unlikely that the crisis in Ukraine will be resolved peacefully very soon.  While we could see some minor moves here and there, the broader picture suggests more instability and continued violent confrontation.  Whether or not this will devolve into a full-scale war with Russia is harder to say.  Certainly, the chart doesn't rule out that possibility. 

Financial Markets Update

Stocks climbed last week as the European Central Bank cut rates yet again in its continuing effort to stimulate its stagnant economy.  Friday's jobs report was good enough to push US stocks higher to another record as the Dow closed at 16,924.  Indian shares fared even better on optimism over anticipated financial and energy reforms.  The Sensex also hit a new record closing at 25,396.  I thought we might have seen a little more turbulence around the Mercury retrograde station on June 7th although I did note that the Sun aspects in the first half of the week argued for more upside. 

This week could see some significant moves in both directions as there are a number of short term aspects in play.  Venus opposes Saturn around midweek so that loads the cosmic dice in favour of the bears.  This particular opposition is perhaps less negative than it otherwise would be because Uranus also joins the alignment.  This may modify the immediately negative effect of Saturn.  Nasty Mars squares Pluto late in the week which in normal times would correlate with declines.  Here again, there is a potential mitigating factor in the simultaneous Sun-Jupiter aspect on Friday.  On the face of it, the negative influences would appear to outweigh the positives, but the market has been so positive lately -- especially in India -- this outcome is far from certain.