Putin calls Obama's bluff and prepares to invade Crimea

(2 March 2014)  Vladimir Putin apparently called Barack Obama's bluff this week as Russia prepared to invade the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.  Despite Obama's repeated warnings not to invade, Putin nonetheless received Parliamentary approval to send the Russian army into this predominantly ethnic Russian region in Eastern Ukraine. Putin has taken advantage of the instability in Ukraine which was just in the process of forming a new government after ousting President Yanukovych. With the US and the West seemingly reluctant to engage Russia militarily, Putin is taking a calculated risk that Obama and his allies will not be able to intervene.  And even if the West did decide to help Ukraine to defend its borders, any military aid may be too little and too late to stop the nearby Russian tanks.

We can see some clear sources of trouble in President Obama's horoscope that reflect his latest foreign policy problem.  Most crucial is that Mars, the planet of conflict and violence, had just stationed retrograde at 3 degrees of Libra on Saturday, the day after the covert invasion of advanced forces.  Mars is almost exactly aspecting Obama's Saturn at 2 Capricorn by square aspect.  The Mars-Saturn square is usually difficult and reflects frustrating situations and setbacks.  The aspect was likely to bring more hassles for Obama because it was station and hence the angle would last longer.  Saturn is also Obama's dasha lord and lagna lord, so the Mars affliction was that much more potent.  Mars is probably an awkward energy for the ever-diplomatic Obama since it is placed in his 8th house of obstacles and embarrassments in his natal chart.  Mars transits are therefore likely to bring this difficult 8th house energy to bear in his chart. 

The conjunction of transiting Venus to Saturn at the same time may have reflected Obama's sense of isolation and separation.  Two days before, Mercury had just stationed on Obama's Ascendant.  Mercury rules the 9th house (Virgo) which represents foreign lands and its conjunction with the Ascendant brings foreign policy to the fore at this time.  As an added burden, transiting Ketu is forming a close aspect to Obama's Rahu.  Such node-to-node transits are usually problematic, especially when the other transit impacts are negative as they are here.  And we may wonder what the impact is of the Saturn station on March 2nd which forms an exact 60 degree angle to Obama's Mars.  While this is not a full strength Vedic aspect, it is too exact to ignore.  Saturn stations are very powerful sources of stress and unwanted situations, however necessary they may be in the long run.  Saturn afflictions to Mars are classic indicators of stress and failure arising from conflictive situations. 

Even more interesting perhaps is the relationship between Putin and Obama.  It is widely believed that the two men do not get along as past meetings and summits show a strained body language and a lack of rapport.  And overlay of their two horoscopes is revealing and show why Putin seems to be able to gain the upper hand against Obama.  Putin scored a big foreign policy win in Syria last year as Obama's infamous "red line" quickly dissolved in the face of domestic opposition to his proposal to strike at the Asad regime.  The same thing seems to be occurring here.  Putin's birth time is unconfirmed, but just the placement of the planets on the day of his birth show why Putin may give Obama problems.  Putin's Rahu is sitting on Obama's Ascendant at 24 Capricorn.  Rahu represents uncertainty and change and when it is focused on a key point (e.g. Ascendant, Moon, Sun) in another person's chart, it can mean that the Rahu person is unpredictable and unknowable for the Ascendant person.  Obama may try to logically outsmart Putin but Putin may be operating by a different set of rules that Obama cannot understand. 

Even more telling is that Putin's forceful and unrelenting Sun-Saturn conjunction sits almost exactly on Obama's 9th house cusp.  Putin's Saturn in this position suggests he will create foreign policy losses and disappointment (Saturn in 9th house) for Obama.  This pattern seems to be happening all over again in the Ukraine and Crimea.  Putin's Uranus sits on Obama's 6th house cusp.  Uranus represents an independent and rebellious energy while the 6th house symbolizes conflict.  Putin's Uranus points to surprising and sudden expenditures of energy that may cause conflict for Obama that force him into a defensive posture.  To say the least, this is not conducive to a mutually beneficial and cooperative relationship.

While Mars now backs off its station in early Libra, it will transit into Virgo which happens to be Obama's 9th house.  (= conflict abroad).  It will station in mid-Virgo in May.  The Ketu to-Rahu aspect will also be in effect until May also thus suggesting that Obama's problems in this matter could last a while.  Saturn will similarly back away from its aspect with Mars but it could be some time before Obama feels relief from this movement.  In other words, this difficult situation is likely to continue to occupy Obama's attention for several more weeks at least.  Obama's chart only improves once Jupiter enters sidereal Cancer in July where it will aspect his Saturn and conjoin his Mercury and Sun. Any diplomatic or military victories are therefore more likely to come after July.

The planets here do not suggest a quick resolution or a sudden backing down by Putin.  While we don't know his birth time, Putin's chart looks quite energized as Mars will back over his Virgo planets between now and May.  Mars will resume its forward motion in May and then activate his Sun-Saturn once again in June.  Mars is the "bringer of war" so that is a clue that Vladimir Putin will try to assert Russia's sphere of influence in this matter. 

Financial Markets Update

While the chaos in Ukraine has dampened the mood on some European financial markets, stocks rose on most other exchanges such as the US, India and Japan.  The gains were not too surprising given the ongoing Jupiter-Uranus aspect which will last into April.

This week we will see what the immediate effects are of the rare quadruple planetary stations of Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Markets have a tendency of reversing their trends around planetary stations so we will see if the recent new highs in the US markets are followed by some kind of decline.  Certainly, the early week looks more negative as Mars is in aspect with Venus.  But the late week is seemingly less negative so perhaps stocks can bounce back once again. Jupiter is still in close aspect with Uranus through all of March so that may lend some support to the stock market.  Even if we do see pullbacks, they are less likely to be large.