by Robert Wilkinson
Currently there is a revolutionary wave sweeping a large section of our world. Millions of people are demanding freedom from old authoritarian governments, and we have recently seen the fall of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, with several other governments already making concessions to their people so they too will not be swept from power. Today we look at the event that started the fire.
It is generally known that the beginning of the revolutionary spark began in Tunisia, when police seized a fruit and vegetable cart run by a vendor who then set himself on fire. After that, within 48 hours of the initial incident, crowds gathered, riots broke out, things got out of hand, and a revolution broke out in short order. The linked news article by Reuters is dated Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:59 pm GMT, which is 4 pm Tunisian time. We read:
Police in a provincial city in Tunisia used tear gas late on Saturday to disperse hundreds of youths who smashed shop windows and damaged cars...Witnesses said several hundred youths gathered in the city of Sidi Bouzid, about 200 km (125 miles) south-west of the capital Tunis, late on Saturday.
They were angered by an incident where a young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, had set fire to himself in protest after police confiscated the fruit and vegetables he was selling from a street stall, the witnesses said.
"The violent clashes ended with the arrest of scores of people," a witness, who requested anonymity, told Reuters. "(There was) breaking of shop windows and smashing of cars, while police fired tear gas."
I figured a chart done for the approximate time the police incident happened on December 17, followed by the time of the self-immolation, would give me an indicator of when things began to come down. By looking at the approximate time when this may have started, we can see the inception of an energy that has already toppled two governments and destabilized the status quo in at least 4 more as of today. What follows is an examination of the astrological factors in play during the critical moments the morning of December 17 that set up a spark that lit a revolution.
The initial confrontation occurred "less than an hour" before his self-immolation at 11:30 am. At 10:45 am we see 19 Aquarius (the "forest fire"!) on the Ascendant, so we can assume that the Ascendant of the initial incident was somewhere between 17 and 22 Aquarius. This span forms a septile to the Sun, and probably most importantly, semisquares to Mercury, Pluto, and Mars in early Capricorn.
The act of self-immolation at 11:30 am shows us 4 Pisces on the Ascendant and 15 Sagittarius on the MC. The ruler of the Ascendant is Jupiter in the 1st conjunct revolutionary Uranus. Jupiter also rules the Sun in the 10th at 26 Sagittarius, a degree of "the flag bearer," a symbol of selfless dedication to a greater collective ideal.
Dr. Jones tells us the Solar degree is where things of "enduring significance... overshadow the more immediate interests or wholely selfish concerns of man, and the emphasis... on the natural supremacy of common ideals over mere individual ambitions." He says this degrees "is the call for a high self-sacrifice... (to) permit the self to realize its transcendental aspirations." The keyword is NOBILITY, and he states "the degree is spiritual exaltation through some dramatic or vital service to all."
In a major event like this, it's also useful to examine close aspects, whether separating or forming, since these show immediate events setting up what is happening in this chart. One major revolutionary indicator is the Sun just off the square to Jupiter while still forming one to Uranus. This would definitely indicate things evolving at breakneck speed, where change can happen in a heartbeat.
The idealism driving the revolution can be noted through Sun in Sagittarius exactly sextile Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius, and the forming Sun quintile Saturn in Libra. The quintile from Sagittarius to Libra is especially important as Saturn is the lead planet of the span of signs occupied by all the other planets.
We also see the Sun exactly semisquare Venus (in the 8th house when he self-immolated!) and Mercury retrograde in a closely separating septile to Venus, indicating The Grand Irrationality is intimately involved in this event sweeping Africa and the Middle East. During the next two days when the rioting was at its peak, Venus was at 12-14 Scorpio, the same spot where it conjuncted Mars and went stationary retrograde in October setting the Grand Irrationality into motion since then.
This would indicate that the events of late September and early October 2010 were factors in this "Jasmine Revolution." Astute astrologers may also want to examine recent Solar Eclipses to see which of their shadows affected which regions now demanding freedom from authoritarian rule.
It's interesting to note that at the inception of this revolution, Mercury was retrograde at 2 Capricorn, a degree of seeing how violence or wrong use of force damages compassion. This was certainly the case with the policewoman who confiscated the vendor's food, spit on him, and insulted his dead father.
As the Sun was conjunct Mercury Retrograde, this shows unexpected occurrences having deep roots in the past around something that needed addressing and/or correcting, but never got done. Remember too that Mercury went stationary retrograde conjunct Mars and Pluto just before this revolutionary spark ignited!
The Jones Pattern is a Bowl chart, with Saturn in Libra the leadoff planet in the 8th house and the Moon at 8-9 Taurus as the end point for the Bowl. The tilt of the Bowl shows this event was about "capturing experience" rather than initiating it, and Saturn leading clearly indicates the precipitator of the event concerned unfair rules or authority regarding 8th house matters.
We'll close this brief look at the inception of a cultural revolution by examining the Moon's Sabian Symbols and its aspects, as these are particularly relevant to the event. It is said the Moon is the general focus of an event, and shows how "the public" positions itself relative to an event. So what's up with the Moon in this revolution?
In this chart the Moon makes a close quintile to Neptune and Chiron and trine to Mars. This would indicate a unique "other worldly" situation challenging the ability to ground an ideal in a concrete action. It's also a circumstance where even the friendly trine from the Moon in Taurus to Mars in Capricorn (both in their signs of "Exaltation," or grounds for greatest growth) could manifest as a calculated act of practical assertion toward self-organizing a concrete capturing of power.
As the Moon is in Taurus, we can see the elements of food, money, and possessions were involved. At the initial confiscation, the Moon was at 8 Taurus, moving to 9 Taurus at the time of self-immolation. Rudhyar tells us these degrees involve emotional, social, or cultural substantiation of something.
He goes on to say that 8 Taurus is about "using knowledge and skill" to meet a future event, and "independence of the will of the self from outer circumstances," and the "power to mould life upon the pioneer's prophetic vision." 9 Taurus is a "symbol of the promise which outer life offers to the pure in heart; of immortality through giving of self to the race." We are told it offers us the chance to create "inner happiness in dark hours" through sounding a counter-tone to harshness or barrenness in the outer world. Sounds like Tunisia before and during these events!
Dr. Jones tells us that 8 Taurus is "the magic which (we) may summon to (our) assistance in facing the problems of everyday living," and not accepting situations "by which the defeats of life are facilitated." This seems to be exactly what happened subsequent to the initial confrontation between the police and the vendor. He says this is a degree of SUSTAINMENT, and "a complete and effective alignment of self with whatever greater possibilities may remain unrealized in a given milieu."
As for 9 Taurus, the Moon's degree at the time of self-immolation, we see "a self-renewal through sharing with others, or a remaking of ties and a regathering of visions through the recurrent birth of a world spirit." He says the keyword is SYMBOLIZATION, and when positive, "man's achievement of complete self-satisfaction through a simple sharing of his potential with his fellows."
While this may seem a difficult fit with the self-destructive event that sparked a revolution, we can see that he was truly renewing something through his death that symbolized the birth of a world spirit, in this case freedom from authoritarian oppression. This was truly a "simple sharing of potential with others," and the self-satisfaction found in a total commitment to a greater freedom, even though it resulted in his death.
While no doubt there are other astrological factors at work and play in this time of evolution revolutions, this chart shows an event that sparked a revolution that spread very quickly to other nations and regions far beyond Tunisia. Perhaps ancient Carthage has resurrected an energy that will transform northern Africa and beyond. With what just happened in Cairo, it sure seems like it's already begun.
© Copyright 2011 Robert Wilkinson