Sepp Blatter resigns: how dasha periods work

(2 June 2015)  FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigned in disgrace today as corruption charges continued to swirl around the beleaguered football organization.  Despite being re-elected as president just days ago, Blatter succumbed to the growing pressure to clean house from players, media and perhaps most importantly of all, corporate sponsors.  Blatter had been president for fifteen years during which time rumours abounded that FIFA was immersed in a culture of bribery and corruption. 

Not surprisingly, Blatter's horoscope shows significant problems at this time. His transit chart shows Saturn (6 Scorpio) moving closer to his equal 4th house cusp (square to the Ascendant at 2 Leo) at the bottom of the chart.  Saturn tends to create more havoc in the 4th house which represents peace of mind and happiness.  Saturn symbolizes obstacles and suffering so its location close to the 4th cusp is what one would expect from a situation where happiness is denied. 

This Saturn transit also aligns quite closely to Mercury (3 Aquarius) and this is likely another dimension of his current difficulties.  Mercury rules the money houses (2nd=wealth; 11th=income) so this long lasting Saturn alignment would tend to suggest problems involving money where his own income would likely be negatively affected.  To be sure, this 90 degree alignment is not a full strength Vedic aspect, but when an alignment is this close to exact, it deserves important consideration.  Saturn is due to station at 4 Scorpio in early August which would be just one degree from an exact forward square aspect to Mercury and just two degrees from a full strength 10th house aspect to the Ascendant. 

The other big transit problems here is that the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square is picking up his Moon-Mars opposition.  Uranus (25 Pisces) has drifted away somewhat from Mars (20 Pisces) so there is an argument to be made that it had nothing to do with Blatter's fall from grace.  But Pluto (21 Sagittarius) is still very much in a tight alignment with both Mars and Moon (23 Virgo).  Pluto is associated with the exercise and assertion of power, often involving illegal or coercive means.  It's square and opposition aspects are quite unforgiving in this regard and we can see that Blatter had to endure not one, but two of these square aspects to key planets like the Moon which rules the 12th house of secrets and losses (Cancer).  Mars rules the 9th house of legality and authority (Aries) so its affliction by Pluto is an apt representation of this scandal which has undermined the legitimacy of his leadership of the world's leading professional sports organization.

One may object that none of these transits are extremely close, however.  In other words, they do not paint a compelling picture for why Blatter came under pressure now and had to resign, instead of two months from now when, for example, Saturn would be closest in its alignment.  That's a fair point, although we should remember that transits are never the whole story. 

We can also cite the closeness of the tertiary progressed planets today.  Tertiary progressed Saturn (20 Pisces 29) was just two minutes past exact conjunction with natal Mars (20 Pisces 27).  Saturn-Mars conjunctions are usually times of intense stress when the proverbial actions and efforts (Mars) come up against an external immovable circumstance that limits choices and freedom (Saturn).  P3 Saturn moves at about 5 arc minutes per month and hence this measurement was indicating maximum stress this month only.  P3 Sun (20 Capricorn 07) also highlighted the problems with Blatter's natal Mars this month as P3 Sun moves about one degree per month.   This pattern was given more weight since P3 Uranus and Rahu were also at 20 degrees of Aries.

But in my view the real lesson here is the pivotal role of the dashas.  While dashas are an essential part of the Vedic astrologer's toolkit, they are often indecisive in terms of their predictive usefulness.  Sometimes the current dasha period of a chart involves planets that are in a mixed condition or that have many planetary influences through aspect or conjunction.  Without a clear sense of what a particular dasha lord may represent, the astrologer is better off putting them aside and demoting them to purely confirmatory evidence and looking elsewhere. 

In Blatter's chart, however, we can see a clearer picture.  He is currently running the Ketu-Moon dasha.  Ketu is a natural malefic and its dasha periods tend to be a bit more difficult, especially for normal desires such as money, status and love.  Ketu is a weirder, other-worldly influence which is often better channeled through spiritual, educational or charitable activities.  That said, a Ketu that is well aspected can be an important exception to this and thus some Ketu dashas can bring marriage, children and career advancement.   Blatter's Ketu is placed in the 11th house of income and gains so one would think its dasha period would be tied in some way to his earning capacity.  However, it receives a close square aspect from malefic Mars in the 8th house (a bad house!) and this effectively ruins Ketu's indications.  One could predict that his income would be reduced and that he encounter conflict and disputes (Mars) during this period.

Even worse is his Moon sub-period.  The Moon is a benefic planet, of course, but in his chart it is clearly afflicted by Mars, as we noted above.  The aspect is quite close -- just three degrees.  So not only was his Moon afflicted by the square from Pluto, but this affliction was perhaps more likely to manifest since he was running the Moon sub-period.  The 12th house rulership of the Moon makes things worse as it would tend to bring forth all those 12th house issues -- loss, secrets (e.g. corruption revealed), and sorrow.  So the Ketu-Moon period therefore greatly increased the likelihood of major problems emerging in his life between February and September 2015 since both dasha lords were clearly afflicted by Mars. 

So what lies ahead for Blatter?  Now at age 79, his professional life is likely over, but there is some question still of whether he will face legal punishment for any crimes he may have committed while president.  His Ketu-Moon period is in place until September so we cannot expect he will now be free and clear.  Some commentators have suggested that he may have resigned as part of a deal to avoid further investigation and indictment. 

However, I would think he still faces big problems.  Saturn will station even closer to that Mercury-Ascendant alignment in early August so his problems may only be just beginning.  I would also pay extra attention to the period of July 10-21 when transiting Mars will aspect both Ketu and Moon, the dasha lords.  This looks like a time when he could be more likely to be indicted and charged with a crime.  Certainly, there will be more open conflict in this life at that time, although I admit I'm not sure if he will be charged.  The 12th house does represent punishment and imprisonment so there is definitely a raised risk of some legal action against him while the Moon minor period is in effect. 

Ketu-Mars begins in September so he could enjoy a respite from his troubles somewhat.  Mars is not that much better than the Moon as it is placed in the 8th house.  Maybe the nature of his struggles will change during the Mars minor period.    The prospect of the Ketu-Rahu beginning in February 2016 does not look amenable to an easy life either.  While Rahu is not clearly afflicted, transiting Ketu conjoins his Sun in February and March and is sure to indicate more difficulties of an even more fundamental nature.  Since the Sun represents the ego and the self, this Ketu transit will likely coincide with a time of personal retreat and reflection.  Given this sequence of difficult dasha periods and bad transits over the next year or two, I would think Blatter is likely to have ongoing legal and personal worries for the foreseeable future.