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Missiles Hit Baghdad
by Zip Dobyns

(Reprinted from the AST SIG newsletter, GAIA, Vol. VIII, No. 3--the last article written by Zipporah Dobyns, Ph.D., who died June 7, 2003 )


The time of the first missile to hit Baghdad , Iraq and initiate George W. Bush's war has been given as 5:30 to 5:39 AM on March 20, 2003 , but a tentative consensus points to 5:33 , three hours later than UT. As usual, there are some dramatic asteroids in the chart, but one of the primary keys to war, Pluto, dominates the chart with a conjunction to the MC within one degree! Pluto, Scorpio, and the 8th house, like Venus, Libra, and the 7th house, symbolize the urge to share life with lasting, equalitarian relationships. Letter 7 in our astrological alphabet is air, more easily able to consciously work out compromises to achieve shared pleasure. Letter 8 is water, dealing with intense, subconscious emotions which involve trying to share physical possessions, sensuality, and power. Letter 8 wants a deep, committed relationship “till death do us part.” As a fixed side of life, it finds it hard to compromise. So, though the Libra desires often include competition, the conscious understanding of air and the ability to communicate can help interacting individuals and groups to keep working toward compromise.


The passion and determination of Pluto's drive, the urge it symbolizes to go to the end, can lead to the finality of death. Where compromises are not reached to achieve mutual pleasure with possessions and power, there may be intractable power struggles as individuals seek personal desires at the expense of the others. Hence, the association of letter 8 with theft, rape, and crime in general. War demonstrates this aggressive potential in the most extreme form. The MC in a chart represents the Law, and the executives who wield that power. We could not have a more appropriate aspect than putting Pluto on the MC for the start of a war ordered by a president!


Astrologers who see Pisces as almost all positive or negative may be shocked to see this stellium in Pisces in the first house of this chart. Of course, Pisces can be either very positive or very negative. It represents the subconscious search for ideals and so it can represent healers and saviors but also can represent victims who are searching for help from the saviors, depending on one's ideals. But always Pisces represents the search for something higher and better, so ethical issues are a very important part of the picture, reinforced by the fact that we have Pluto on the Midheaven for the other major key to idealism, the conscious search for it by Sagittarius. The squares to several factors in the first house in Pisces produce a strong mutable dilemma, plus Busch, for the president, is in 22 Gemini making a T-square out of the other Sagittarius and Pisces factors.


Busch, the asteroid, also has a close trine to the Moon in 22 Libra and Venus in 20 Aquarius, producing a grand trine in the air signs and mostly their houses for the potential for intelligence and an effective success involving the public. Though the Moon has some positive aspects in the chart, ethical issues certainly remain. Another important asteroid, America, is squaring the 10th house Mars, symbolizing America at war, and the asteroid Washingtonia for our capital, though over the one degree orb that I use for asteroids, is still close enough to count to make a T-square with Mars and America. Also, the asteroid Georgia , a feminized version of George, is trioctile Washingtonia, showing some potential conflict involving our capital and president. The asteroids Powell, for our Secretary of State, and Urania, which is an equivalent of Uranus, oppose Washingtonia, leading one to wonder whether the hawks in the capital will be successful in upsetting and pushing out Powell, separating him from his power.


On the harmony side, the asteroid George, in 17 Aries, is trine to Hela, a death goddess, and more widely trine to the asteroid Winchester , which works for guns. President Bush was certainly successful in killing many people with missiles and guns. Another interesting combination is a conjunction between the asteroid Wright, the name of the developers of heavier than air planes, and the comet Biela. In working with the asteroids, I've been quite fascinated by the collection of asteroids associated with objects damaging earth coming from space, including those from the explosion over Tunguska in Siberia . One theory holds that fragments of the comet, Biela, which was seen by astronomers to break in two, hit earth and caused the great Chicago fire as well as widespread fires across Michigan and Wisconsin the same night. The theory of Alvarez, who also has an asteroid named for him, suggests that it was an asteroid or a comet that helped to do in the dinosaurs. His theory was based on a layer of iridium found in Italy near the town of Gubbio , and such a body is now generally accepted by most scientists as a factor in the extinction of the dinosaurs. The object has been tentatively located in the area of Yucatán , Mexico . There are asteroids for all of these various parts of the story, so death from the sky is part of the picture here in this missile chart. Wright and Biela are in 21 and 22 Capricorn square the Moon, repeating the theme of the deaths of ordinary people, the innocent victims called “collateral damage.”


George also is very involved in the conflict combination of a group of asteroids around 16 to 17 degrees of Virgo that includes Atropos, a death goddess, Prometheus who challenged the gods, Sumeria, another ancient name for Iraq, and Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, as well as Tezcatlipoca, an Aztec war god who demanded a human sacrifice every day. This Virgo cluster widely opposes the Ascendant, with overlapping orbs and squares, again with wide orbs, to Pluto in the top of the chart for the conflict picture with strong ethical issues. Sagittarius is searching for final truth, and the positive of Pisces is basically compassionate and empathic and doesn't want to hurt anyone. Virgo just wants to function effectively in the physical world. If this time for the chart is accurate, the Arabic Part of Death in 18 Pisces is involved in the network of aspects that includes the Ascendant, plus the asteroid Fanatica, which can represent any kind of extremism, is conjunct the ascendant just one minute over my one degree orb for the new asteroids, contributing to the mix. Obviously, the missiles were hitting Baghdad for far longer than a minute, so we have to extend the orbs of the angles.


As stated, Sumeria is another ancient name for the area of Iraq , and its position in zero Aries conjunct Karma, which traditionally represents consequences of one's actions, provides an additional indication of the ethical issues that are present with Jupiter opposing Neptune . Jupiter, the conscious search for the absolute, also squares Siva, Hindu God of destruction, in 7 Scorpio, and it is octile Busch, again pointing to major challenges to follow the successful goal of taking over Iraq. The occupation of the country, with its many warring factions, is being especially challenged by the Shiites with their intense religious extremism, but major problems also involve the Kurds and Sunnis and the various clans or tribes that each have their territorial desires to get a piece of the territory and the power.


When we look at the chart calculated for Washington DC , this portrayal of potential destruction is strengthened by the fact that the local Ascendant in Washington is close to Siva and square Jupiter. The Washington Midheaven, just under 16 Leo, is trine Karma, again showing that Washington is an instrument in the Karmic fate of that disturbed country. Tyr, the Norse equivalent to Mars, is in 8 Aquarius, so it also participates with a square to Siva, as well as to Icarus. With its opposition to Jupiter, we have a fixed T-square in addition to the mutable conflict patterns that I strongly suspect indicate a long and difficult time in that area in spite of the short, successful war. I'm particularly curious to watch the fall of 2003, when transiting Saturn will conjunct the US Sun in the Declaration of Independence chart, which is also the natal Sun of George Bush. The last time transiting Saturn was in that degree, Nixon was forced to resign as president. I do not expect anything similar for this transit, because the November '04 election looks like a big win for Bush. Perhaps he will simply overreach in some way which will eventually bring him down, or psychological criticism of his empire-building ego may make him very uncomfortable. As always with astrology, we make educated guesses on details and then see what happens.





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