My apologies, dear readers, for the lengthy delay in offering forecasts and more articles over the last roughly 15-16 months or so. It was beyond my control. While I have more to do before I’m on the other side of a health issue, you’ve been on my mind. I’m writing as I can to offer the 2018 Solar Returns for Pakistan and India as I’ve done for about the last 11 years or so while I remain on bed rest. I’m coming along although more slowly than I’d like.
This particular pair of articles–Pakistan’s Solar Return in Part 1, and India’s Solar Return in Part 2–is one of the most extensive Solar and Lunar analyses and interpretations I think I’ve ever done in the 11 or so years I’ve offered them. Although I’ve written the two separately, as I always do, I’ve tried to make each interesting for all of you. There is a bit of intertwining of the two from an historical perspective this time as well. I’ve used more music than normal because of the size of these combined articles–and a little extra art. Obviously I hope you enjoy those too. On with the articles…
I wish your Solar Return hadn’t given me a sense of déjà vu, Pakistan. Especially with Imran Khan finally in office as so many of you had hoped through the years, it would be nice to see him waving a wand to make all of the negative sides of life just vanish. But he’s as human as the rest of us, and his being human has made him extremely vulnerable to his critics, which may influence some of his decisions or actions. Because of his personal past–including his having been married to a British socialite with Jewish roots and his having shown empathy to Jewish history–he also has harsh critics who insist he’s an “agent of the Jewish lobby.”
“I wish he had stood up to antisemitism, but he never did,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States between 2008 and 2011, Husain Haqqani who is now director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute. I did take the liberty of pulling up Khan’s untimed chart to get a general feel for his role as Prime Minister and wasn’t disappointed.
I’m not going to do a full analysis of Imran Khan’s chart. As I mentioned above, it’s untimed, and I really don’t want to speculate rather than having a more substantive view. However, the untimed chart against the nation’s gives me a pretty solid idea of his charismatic and dynamic personality when it comes to his relationship with Pakistan. As I noted above, however, all is not a bed of roses for PM Khan. It still appears to be an uphill battle because of his personal history. Khan’s Uranus placement forms a conjunction to Pakistan’s natal third house Moon, giving me reason to believe he might be seen as an innovative, progressive thinker. In that sense, he might be perceived as a revolutionary leader–not negatively, rather in the sense of helping the nation to have a new beginning.
While I have good feelings about what he can do, please don’t think I’m implying that the nation is now ready to become a democracy–especially with everyone in Pakistan not appearing to be on the same page with their feelings about Khan and his thoughts about Israel or Jews in general. So I don’t see a democracy happening just yet, but we’ll get to that. Khan’s Jupiter–in 1° opposition to Pakistan’s 7th house Jupiter–sits in square to his natal Uranus. If Khan’s birthtime is even remotely close to the midday noon time I’ve used to reflect the untimed birth, his Mars forms a one-minute partile opposition to Pakistan’s Uranus, a significant point since it’s part of a 2nd house Mars-Uranus conjunction in Gemini. Khan’s Venus in Scorpio sits on the nation’s descendant while his natal Pluto forms a conjunction to Pakistan’s Sun as if to say this has been his destiny from birth! And finally, Khan’s 4-body stellium–Sun, Saturn, Mercury and Neptune–fills Pakistan’s 6th house related to work and service.
You’ll note his natal Moon on Pakistan’s Ascendant, but I didn’t include the Moon in this brief analysis since there’s no guarantee this is the actual placement. It’s still an untimed chart.
The Western below-the-horizon dominance in the SR this year points to the nation seeking guidance in a strong leader who offers a voice of the people perhaps rather than a more militaristic command. A now-retired cricket superstar like Khan could certainly fill the bill. The Western emphasis shows a willingness to listen to the insights and advice from someone like him: many of the people appear to respect him, something that doesn’t seem to have been present in Pakistan’s political spotlight since the 2007 assassination of their beloved Benazir Bhutto.
Unfortunately, as the saying goes, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, and this is certainly the first message of the 2018 SR. The 3rd house rises in this newest SR for Pakistan, pointing to a local/domestic focus this year. Keep in mind that this particular SR hints at the same problems any single family might have (or not) with its holiday squabbles and bickering. Of course this brings another saying to mind: Familiarity breeds contempt.
At the heart of this impression I’m getting from the SR is the Cardinal Grand Cross in the form of the natal 12th house Mars in opposition to 6th house SR Saturn in square to SR Chiron in opposition to SR Venus. Remember as well, natal Mars is conjunct natal Uranus so these sudden upsets (even stronger than mere “upsets”) are quite likely to be unexpected as well–even with a few dates I’ll offer in this analysis.
Pakistan generally has had a strong military presence as a focus of its government “machine.” Natally, the nation’s stellium–Pluto, Saturn, Venus and Sun, in order by placement in the chart and in square to both natal and SR Jupiter–emphasizes the strength of its army, its theological conservatism (aside from the religious extremism of the minority), and building a prosperous, growth-oriented foundation on which to build the national community.
On the most immediate side, I’m concerned about the September 5 Lunar Return (LR)–not only from the day’s transits in the hours before the September 5 return but even from how the aspects are showing by their progressions to the August 9 LR. That doesn’t mean the LR for the 5th has no clues. It does. In fact, the 8th house is rising with the Moon forming a 16-minute partile quincunx (150°) to the Ascendant. This is one month when adjustments will need to be made in many areas.
Now those who are seeking tight aspects in this particular return will be likely to miss the wide Cardinal Grand Cross or T-square formed by the 1st house LR Saturn Rx in opposition to the Moon on the 8th house cusp in square to the natal placement of 10th house Neptune in the outer wheel and in opposition to LR Chiron Rx in the 4th house. These aspects will be triggered earlier in the day from what I see, according to the angular transiting Grand Cross on the angles. This Grand Cross could be triggered very late on the 4th or in the wee hours of the 5th. I’ll be interested in seeing whether we hear news from Pakistan or there will be an effort to keep a lid on it. I’m inclined to say that might be something of a challenge in itself: Natal Mars (I’m not ignoring the natal conjunction to 7th house natal Uranus.) in the LR 7th forms a 47-minute partile quincunx to LR Mars in the 2nd. (Note the Eastern 1st quadrant below-the-horizon dominance; but Mercury in the 9th hints that the media will get wind of this anyway.) I have to wonder if there will be some behind-the-scenes in-fighting that might spill over, but this seems far more serious. The mutable LR Sun-Neptune opposition between the 9th and the 3rd houses seems to reflect a similar note with LR Saturn wide in square to natal Neptune: The Saturn-Neptune square reminds us of the Peeling of Life’s Onion.
The upheaval–or perhaps some might prefer to call this chaos as we go through these dates–doesn’t stop there. The 1st house rises in the October 2 LR; but while the Western dominance shows an above-the-horizon emphasis with a potential split between the 2nd and 3rd quadrants, I have to give dominance to the 3rd quadrant since Venus is barely over 1° from the Descendant, which many including myself would say Venus belongs to the 3rd quadrant. I truly would like to say this is a good thing perhaps showing PM Khan’s wish to have peace reigning throughout Pakistan and perhaps to have the opportunity to forge new, positive relationships. But I’m not especially comforted by that LR 12th house Uranus in wide opposition to Venus. LR Venus.also lies in square to the natal 4th house stellium which includes Pluto, forming a fixed T-square. On the return side, Pluto adds more clout as it looms from the 9th house in opposition to that 3rd house Moon with the opposition forming a Cardinal T-square to Mercury in the 6th.
As if that’s not enough, a second Cardinal T-square involving 9th house LR Pluto in its opposition to the Moon plays a role that can also be problematic. This one brings in the 6th house LR Sun in Venus-ruled Libra conjunction to natal Neptune in square to the Moon which acts as a bridge between these bodies in both T-squares. Believe it or not, there is another T-square that carries the potential of being a Grand Cross, and again the Moon serves as a bridge to forming a T-square although the Sun becomes the bridge if we consider Chiron as an out-of-sign 4th point in this complex dynamic with the Moon in opposition to 9th house Saturn on the cusp in square to the Sun-natal Neptune conjunction in opposition to Chiron!
Sometimes, an astrologer will see a series of complex aspects and lose track of his/her initial thoughts. As I considered this maze of aspects, my mind ran the gamut of reactions, and I lost track of the initial thought that this appeared to be an effort to create peace, harmony and solid relationships with adversaries and began thinking I was seeing things that weren’t as likely to be there–or rather things repeating themselves because of the patterns I’ve seen in Pakistan’s prior returns through the last 11 years or so. I ran the chart by John Davenport, as I often do, and he too saw this effort at amiable relationship building. Needless to say, I was grateful for his having immediately brought me back to where I’d begun with this LR chart.
Many tears have been spilled through the years as a result of internal conflict as much as with international conflict. I look at that LR Saturn in square to natal Neptune and wonder whether peaceful negotiations may be possible. Suspicion is likely to be at the root of any hesitation even when peace is offered from PM Khan himself. Still, such an effort would be unique, to say the least, and it could depend on how he were to handle furious accusations in response.
Vikram S Mehta’s op-ed, “Three men & a possibility“, noted, “Kuldip Nayar and Vajpayee rejected narrative of Partition for India-Pak. Imran Khan can rewrite the script.” He suggested Imran Khan’s new position as Prime Minister-elect of Pakistan would offer hope to the nations of Pakistan and India.
“In their lifetime, Atalji and Kuldip Nayar strongly resisted the dominant narrative of Partition that destined the relations between these two countries to a fate of mutual suspicion, if not enmity. Imran, in his first public pronouncement as PM elect, also rejected this sclerotic view of the past and the future.”
Mehta closed the article with his eyes on a bright new future between the two nations. “Atalji and Kuldip Nayar displayed such qualities of leadership during their lifetime. I know that Imran has such qualities. I reflect on the possibilities that this offers for India and Pakistan to contemplate a fresh narrative.”
Nevertheless, such negotiations would serve as the foundations of what could be a tremendous learning process. Next, it would be dependent on Pakistan’s citizens themselves, and those behind-the-scenes factions aren’t likely to feel the same unless they feel they’ve won something in alignment with their individual ideologies. As the saying goes, you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. How much will be an “all the people” likelihood could be the question of the century. There are bitter feelings on both sides, to be sure–regardless of how many sides there are. A recent meeting between the two nations ended on a sad note.
This particular LR that began in early September could be especially important from the last days of September leading to October 2 through the 10th of October. While I don’t like to leave such a huge opening in these returns, it’s pointless for me to attempt to pinpoint one or more dates in this case since we’re also looking at Venus’ station to Rx on the 5th of October, not even a week after Pluto stations to Direct on the 30th of September. It’s so close now, I’m going to hope that such a renewal can begin; however Venus’ station I just mentioned may still delay such a positive flow of energy until after Venus has finished its shift back to apparent direct motion–and a few weeks after with Mercury’s retrograde motion on the heels of Venus’ stationary direct motion again.
Western dominance again opens the October 30 LR with the 5th house rising on a 16-minute conjunction to the natal Ascendant. The emphasis is placed below-the-horizon on the 2nd quadrant. LR Mars, opposing the natal Sun on the 12th house side of the Ascendant, sits at the 7th house cusp yet still in the 6th in semisextile to LR Pluto in the 5th house. The Mars-Pluto semisextile resolves at 4 Leo 54 in a Blooming Undecaquartisextile with a 5-minute partile conjunction to natal Mercury. Note natal Jupiter’s 41-minute conjunction to the LR IC while LR Jupiter forms a 22-minute partile conjunction to LR Mercury. At the same time, one can’t help but spot 9th house LR Uranus in 20-minute partile square to the Nodes in the 6th and 12th houses.
The 5th house is one of creativity, giving me pause to wonder whether Pakistan might decide to work on its public image and relationship ties with other nations. That is, not only the ones already forged or being forged, but more importantly in those that have been broken over many decades. India, of course, immediately comes to my mind. Not that long ago–within the last 5 years–Narendra Modi and former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges in July 2018. Some of the stepping stones to peace between the two nations have already been laid so perhaps it wouldn’t be unreasonable for PM Khan to pick up where Mr. Sharif had left off in the wake of his obviously quick departure from office. Whether or not PM Modi would be amenable to such overtures remains to be seen but it wouldn’t be out of line for him to do so either.
I will remind you, dear readers, such an effort on the part of either Pakistan or India will not be easy. Conflicts between these two nations have been going for many years, and there’s no love lost between them. Border skirmishes in Jammu and Kashmir have frequently been at the heart of the problems, not to mention small factions working against such a relationship in each country. It will be wise to maintain tight security. Pakistan’s problems inside the nation are well-established too–from PM Khan’s critics to those looking to gain a stronghold at the top. Keep your guard up, Pakistan. Building any secure government is always a huge challenge. When you have enemies within, you need to keep your eyes wide open and be prepared for anything. I fear that perhaps only winter weather in a few months might be successful in calling a cease fire–until the arrival of spring again. I’d really rather, however, close these thoughts about the two nations with good things in the air. Whether that’s too much to ask still is likely to be the question even now, especially with the border conflicts continuing even as I write.