The Match That Ignited a Revolution
by: Eugene Johnson
On December 17, 2010, at about 11:30 AM, in Sidi Bou Zid Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor poured two bottles of paint thinner over his head and set himself on fire. This tragic event ignited the revolution that has swept two dictators from power and will probably unseat several more before the dust settles and transform that part of the world.
At the time of Bouazizi’s self-emollition the 4th degree of Pisces was ascending, the midheaven was 14 SAG 17; the most notable aspect was a nearly exact square of the sun, at 25 SAG 22, in the 10th house, to Jupiter and Uranus rising in the first house. In a mundane chart the first house represents “the people of the nation” while the 10threpresents “the government/ruler”; the logic of this symbolism is easy to see, i.e., a possible revolt is at hand.
Historically the Jupiter, Uranus cycle shows a definite correlation with major social and political rebellions and awakenings. Two well known examples come to mind, one, involved the “shot heard ‘round the world”, fired at Lexington-Concord, around day break on April 19, 1775, which started the American Revolutionary War; the second, on June 28, 1914 at 1:15 PM, when Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated as he was riding in a automobile in Sarajevo. This incident led to a chain of events that eventually triggered WWI. Jupiter was moving toward a conjunction with Uranus at the time of the battle in Massachusetts that would be exact in June, while the two planets were separating from a conjunction at the time of the untimely demise of the Archduke.
At the moment that Mohamed Bouazizi burst into flame Jupiter was approaching a conjunction with Uranus that would be exact on January 5. The two planets had been in orb of aspect since early 2010 and had reached an exact conjunction on June 9, 2010, at the 1st degree of Aries. (exact conjunctions at the first degree of the cardinal signs is considered to be an exceptionally strong placement)). The astrological symbolism seen here reflects the political and social tension building through 2010 that came to a head, so to speak, nineteen days before the January 5th conjunction.
The Jupiter, Uranus conjunction may be the key to understanding the “trigger” that set-off this revolution. The length of the Jupiter, Uranus cycle is about 14 years. The period of its conjunctions and oppositions often correlate with significant events, as noted before, particularly if either Pluto or Neptune is aligned with them. This is the case now, as Uranus is moving toward its first square with Pluto which will be exact in June of 2012. This square will be followed by six more over the subsequent three years, the final square forming in March of 2015. The two planets remain within a 10 degree orb until June 2018, consequently, the astrological outlook is for a protracted period of instability in the North African and Middle Eastern countries now in turmoil. No one is exempt for the influence of this configuration, obviously, and so we all will be dealing to some extent with a state of revolution in some aspect of life.
This is revolution could not have happened as it did, with the suddenness with which it began and the speed with which it spread across the region, without the Internet to facilitate it, so this was an atypical revolution. It was not preceded by any long term planning and did not begin, as revolutions usually do, by first attacking and gaining control of the state’s central communications and media sources. All the present revolutionaries needed was access to the Internet, to Facebook and Tweeter to activate and coordinate all the action.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Uranus is involved here as it is the planetary archetype associated with freedom, individual self-determination and opposition to the restrictions and repressions of authoritarian political, economic and religious regimes. Technological innovations, such as the computer and the Internet, which have enabled an expansion of human creativity and freedom also are included in Uranus’s span of influence. Jupiter is the planet related to expansion and increase, so it is not at all difficult to see that the combination of the energies of these two planets could correlate with the events now unfolding.
The current Jupiter, Uranus conjunction occurs within the context of the longer, more powerful Uranus, Pluto cycle that began with the conjunction in Virgo during the 1960s. If the conjunction periods of the outer planets relate to significant “seed moments” in historical developments, as Dane Rudhyar taught, then we may expect that the revolutionary movements now arising, and probably others that will follow, have a connection with the mood and spirit that was awakened in the 1960s.
Looking a little further into the previous alignments of Jupiter and Uranus, there was a conjunction from August 1968 to November 1969; a conjunction during the years 1788-89 as the French Revolution was first erupting across that country; a conjunction 1857-59 as John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry set-off the spark that released the unstoppable rush to civil war; as mentioned previously, WWI started in the summer of 1914 as Jupiter and Uranus were again in conjunction aspect; and preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor they were also in conjunction; and they were in opposition during the fourteen month period from June 1989 through July 1990 which saw the collapse of the communist dictatorships in Europe and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
The Sabian Symbol for the transiting sun on December 17, at the 26th degree of Sagittarius was a flag-bearer. (The precise placement of the Sun was 25 SAG 22 which is the 26th degree of the sign) A keyword for the degree, nobility, is indicative of a phase of experience accentuating patriotism, pride and the readiness to sacrifice life and limb in the fulfillment of a higher calling. What emotions Mr. Bouazizi was actually experiencing that morning that drove him to commit suicide are not known, but nevertheless the nature his act seen in the context of the chain of events it precipitated seems remarkably suggestive of the image of this degree.
Jupiter was at the 25th degree of Pisces. The Sabian Symbol is, the purging of the priesthood, suggests the necessity to periodically “clean house” to remove those in high office who for whatever reason are not fulfilling their responsibilities and abusing the privileges of their offices.
Uranus was at the 27th degree of Pisces; the degree symbol here, a harvest moon, is suggestive of a culminating moment when a series of forces suddenly coalesce into a unified, powerful single force.
Jupiter and Uranus were in exact conjunction twice during this cycle, the first occurred on June 9, 2010 at the 1st degree of Aries, and the second on January 5, this year, at the 28th degree of Pisces.
The Sabian Symbol for the first degree of Aries is: The woman rises out of water, a seal embraces her – Realization - The way to begin is to begin. The waters of life possess infinite potential that will surely emerge in its own good time. This degree was exactly highlighted by the conjunction during the week of June 7 to 14. What was bubbling under the surface then? In the US the Congressional campaigns were moving into high gear and the Tea Party people were making themselves heard; Wiki Leaks was leaking, and in fact, what was revealed in some of the diplomatic cables was a contributing factor in the revolution in Tunisia
A lunar eclipse followed close on the heels of the conjunction on June 26. The eclipse chart set for Tunis shows the sun & moon opposition within 2 degrees of the MC/IC, the Ascendant is 6 Libra which put the Jupiter, Uranus conjunction just a few degrees off the DSC angle – a clear portent of things to come in that region, a potential for conflict between the people and their rulers.
The degree symbol at the second conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus at 28 Pisces is a fertile garden under the full moon, with a keyword – culmination - perhaps what is revealed here is desire to experience simple satisfaction through outer rather than inner manifestations of reality, or of a normal self-dedication to purely conventional accomplishment…or in other words, the people just want the freedom to live a decent life, indeed, this revolution has no ideological basis to it. Despite what the right wing media in America are trying to put the spin on it, that this revolution is inspired and controlled by a cabal of Islamists who intend to establish an Islamic Caliphate across the region. An objective observer of what is going on there will see that the rebellion is a spontaneous action of people what simply want to be free.
Looking at Mohamed Bouaziz, according to information available on the Internet, his birth date is March 29, 1984, of course the time of birth is not available. A sunrise chart shows the natal sun at 8 ARI 42, and a midheaven of 4 CAP38 with Neptune at 1 CAP 31. On December 17, Mars, Pluto, NNode, Mercury were all in Capricorn at his midheaven and squaring his natal Sun. Transiting Neptune at 26 AQU 22 was forming a T Square with his natal Mars at 28 SCO opposing Chiron, these in the 8th -2nd. Mr. Bouaziz’s sun (will to be, life purpose) was clearly under great stress from the transiting planets, these within the 10th sector is indicative of the abuse he had been subjected to from the authorities in the city where he lived. And Mars in the natal 8th house is suggestive of a potentially violent death and it under stress from the transiting Neptune perhaps indicates that the poor man saw an opportunity for release from all his cares and sorrows in this life by taking his life.
Finally, the Aries Ingress can be a strong mundane indicator of significant events during subsequent days of the year that follows. At Tunis the 2010 Aries Ingress chart had 1 LIB 14, ASC and the, 1 CAN 23, MC; this, of course, placed Saturn ( 1 LIB 23R) only 9 min off the ASC opposing the Sun, and Uranus at 26 PIS 26, and Pluto (5 CAP 20) at the IC. On December 17, the Capricorn planets had moved to the IC of the Ingress chart and transiting sun was square to Uranus and Jupiter approaching the DSC. The intense activation of the ASC/DSC/IC angles is indicative of the strong potential for “grassroots” (4th house) eruption that could be extremely de-stabilizing.
Taking a quick look at the Aries 2011, Ingress charts for Tunisia, we see a very close sun, Uranus conjunction less that two degrees off the IC axis, Jupiter and Mercury are also in Aries and the entire stellium is in the 4th house, while across the way in the 10th there is a conjunction of moon and Saturn in Libra. This line-up spells a year of continued instability in that country because of the difficulty in forming a unity government; the primary problem could be that after so many years of dictatorship the political life of the nation withered, all that is left is to bring in re-treads from the ousted regime and hope that they have been re-habilitated sufficiently to start anew; it does appear that there will be difficulty in doing this, so, there may be a revolving door government for a period of time.
The conditions in Egypt are not too dissimilar from that of Tunisia; in Cairo the sun and the rest of the Aries stellium are located in the 3rd house, off the IC axis a bit, suggesting that the intensity of “grassroots” unrest is perhaps not as great, or at least of a different nature than in Tunisia, however, the chart for Cairo shows the moon, Saturn conjunction within five degrees of the MC (21 LIB 31), in a rather wide orb square to Pluto which less than three degrees from the ASC ( 4 CAP 59); so, in Egypt there is also a situation of “the people” ( 1st house) against the government/authorities (10th). The moon, Saturn conjunction is perhaps indicative of how difficult it is to ever to completely and effectively shed past conditioning and transform ( Pluto) an entity into something genuinely new and vibrant; the ghosts of the past are very hard to exorcise.