Iran’s Saturn in Libra Destiny
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 beginning at 7:24 p.m.
Ahmadinejad’s visit comes on the heels of his recent controversial remarks, stating he would “cut the hands off” of any invading nation, and once again denying the existence of the Jewish holocaust during World War II. His advocacy of Iranian nuclear rights, while popular back home, is also disapproved of by leading nations.
Considering his usual bluster, Ahmadinejad’s U.N. speech itself had a more gentle tone than the hype surrounding his arrival in New York, especially relative to the extremes displayed earlier that day by U.S. President Barack Obama’s conciliatory but strong-handed address that began at 10:21 that morning, and Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi’s ranting invective, which began at 11 a.m. sharp, lasting 96 minutes.
With the General Assembly gathered with the intention of addressing the global warming crisis, the day’s high-profile speeches served as an unfortunate distraction from important business, and the Iranian president’s lack of oratory fire and brimstone was perhaps most successful for being less obtrusive to the matter at hand.
Transiting Mercury retrograde and Saturn were conjunct Ahmadinejad’s natal Jupiter and Venus in Virgo, opposite transiting Uranus retrograde in Pisces, reflecting both the mood surrounding his presence in the United States, and the more even tone of his U.N. speech.
The transiting Sun had just ingressed to Libra, square transiting Pluto post-retrograde in Capricorn, an overall indicator of the day, world leaders congregating for the purpose of preventing disaster, caught in a storm of chest beating and national posturing.
His television interview with CBS’ Katie Couric, broadcast that same day, was also somewhat contrary to his scrapbook of recent vitriol, in that he deflected Couric’s question about his holocaust denial:
Couric: You have consistently denied the Holocaust happened. You have called it a lie. And I’m just curious, I have some photos – dead bodies from a German concentration camp taken by the associated press. Mr. President is this photo fabricated, is this photo a lie?
Ahmadinejad: There are many historical events, similar historical events. Why is this one in particular so important to you?
Couric: Because you’re denying it happened.
Ahmadinejad: But in World War II, 60 million people were killed. Why are we just focusing on this special group alone? We’re sorry for all the 60 million people that lost their lives, equally. All of them were human beings. And it doesn’t matter whether they were Christians or Jews or Buddhists or Muslims. They were killed. So, we’re sorry for everyone.
However, Ahmadinejad’s critics were hardly deterred by his decision to behave himself during his visit abroad, and delegations from several prominent nations walked out in protest immediately prior to Wednesday’s speech.
Anticipating Saturn’s Libra ingress
The announcement was contested by opponents who rioted in the streets in the weeks that followed, prompting a government backlash that has since resulted in untold numbers of arrests and executions.
With revolution in Iranian air again, many astrologers have already pointed to the obvious Saturn return in Virgo, where it was transiting thirty years ago during the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Last week’s article about Jimmy Carter’s presidency touched on this briefly, in mentioning the hostage crisis.
When transiting Saturn makes its Libra ingress at the end of October 2009, it will be making its 29-year average return to a zodiacal zone that has consistently marked points of turmoil and radical change in the country’s politics. Outlined below is a timeline of the seven previous transits of Saturn to Libra and how they correspond chronologically to some key events in Iranian history.
First Russo-Persian War Begins
January 15, 1804
The first Russo-Persian War began when Russian forces, led by commander Pavel Tsitsianov, attacked the Persian fortress at Ganja, Azerbaijan on January 3, 1804, seizing its citadel twelve days later on the 15th.
The war finally ended with the Treaty of Gulistan, which was signed on October 24, 1813, in which Persia lost a significant portion of territory, marking the end of the reign of khans in the region, who now lived under Imperial Russian rule.
A second Russo-Persian war occurred during the 1820s, ending with the signing of the Treaty of Turkmenchay on February 22, 1828, which cost Persia all territory north of the Aras river (modern-day Armenia and Azerbaijan).
Transiting Saturn in Libra stationed retrograde on the day Ganja was captured, having only made its ingress to the sign in November 1803, the same month Tsitsianov’s troops began their journey to Ganja from the city of Tiflis (November 20th).
Abbas Mirza killed at Mashhad
October 25, 1833
Abbas Mirza, the Persian crown prince of the Qajar throne, a national hero who had tried in vain to moderinize the Persian army in the last years of the first Russo-Persian War, died in battle at Mashhad, on October 25, 1833.
When his father, Fat’h Ali Shah, died almost exactly a year later, Abbas Mirza’s son, Mohammad Mirza, inherited the title and was coronated on December 16, 1834.
Mohammad Shah’s reign lasted fourteen years, before his death of gout at the age of 42. In that time, there were many uprisings and revolts throughout Persia, and the Shah himself, bent on avenging an earlier failure, led an ill-fated attempt to seize the city of Herat from British control.
Transiting Saturn had ingressed to Libra less than two months before Abbas Mirza’s death, the single event that made his son’s rule inevitable.
Baha’u’llah declares himself Messiah at Ridvan
April 21, 1863
Baha’u’llah, a member of the Babi faith sect, was arrested with other followers in a supposed plot to kill the Shah in 1852, two years following the execution of their leader and founder by firing squad.
After a brutal four months in prison, he was exiled from Iran and moved to Baghdad, where he regrouped the Babi community over the next decade.
On April 21, 1863, in a Baghdad garden he called “Ridvan” (paradise), Bah’u’llah declared himself to his followers to be “he whom God would make manifest”, founding a new religion that would become known as the Baha’i faith.
A religion in the broadest sense of the term, its central doctrine is the belief in the spiritual unity of humankind, that through time all religions have brought god’s messengers to humanity in different forms. Continuously persecuted in Iranian society since their inception, harassment of Baha’i followers escalated following the 1979 Revolution, and has been reportedly more severe since Ahmadinejad’s rise to power four years ago.
Transiting Saturn had ingressed ingressed to Libra six month earlier, and was now retrograde and headed to a Virgo regress, where it would station direct 40 days later.
Tehran Street Riots During Tobacco Fatwa
January 4, 1892
The first evidence of the growing power of Shia clerics as anti-colonial defenders of Iran, a religious fatwa was declared against the government selling national tobacco interests to a British company, turning into a full-scale riot on January 4, 1892.
The event was an important precursor to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911, during which time the country became a Constitutional Monarchy, with an elected parliament serving under the Shah’s rule.
Transiting Saturn made its ingress to Libra just prior to the riots breaking out.
Reza Khan Forces Prime Minister’s Resignation
May 22, 1922
Reza Khan (pictured far left), who rose from poverty to lead the Cossack Brigade, led a British-backed bloodless coup of 3,000 men against the Bolshevik-friendly constitutional government on the night of February 20-21, 1921, during which time Saturn was retrograde at 22 Virgo.
Khan proposed a pro-British journalist named Zia al-Din Tabatabai to take over as Prime Minister. However, on May 22, 1922, he forced Tabatabai out and replaced him with a rich plantation owner named Ahmed Qavam al-Saltane, who himself was forced out by Khan, who took over the job himself on October 26, 1923.
Now adopting the name Pahlavi, he was coronated the new Shah of Iran on April 25, 1926. A modernizer who took steps like making “Iran” the country’s official name (having usually been called “Persia” in the west) on March 21, 1935, and banning women from wearing veils on January 7, 1936.
However, he was forced to abdicate by British and Russian forces on September 16, 1941, after having sold oil to the Nazis. He was replaced by son, also named Reza Pahlavi.
During the time Khan replaced Prime Ministers and was consolidating the army that would help lead him to the crown, transiting Saturn had made its ingress to Libra seven months earlier, and was now retrograde and headed for its Virgo regress.
Prime Minister Haj Razmara Assassinated
March 7, 1951
Tides turned again for Iran when, shortly after the Shah’s wedding to his second wife, Soraya Esfandiary, on February 12, 1951, Prime Minister Haj Razmara was shot dead by an assassin while attending Mosque on March 7th.
Razmara had been against the demands of factions to nationalize Iran’s oil industry, but with him out of the picture, opponent Mohammed Mossadeq of the National Front party was appointed the new Prime Minister on April 29.
Mossadeq would be forced out of office on August 19, 1953, in a CIA-backed coup, in order to retain control of the nation’s oil supply, a move that would remain a major sore point in Iranian-U.S. relations and helped inspire the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis.
On the day of Razmara’s killing, transiting Saturn had made its ingress to Libra three months earlier, and was now retrograde and headed for its Virgo regress.
Iraqi Forces Invade Iran/Persian Gulf War Begins
September 22, 1980
With the now deposed and exiled Shah of Iran dead from lymphatic and liver cancer on July 27, 1980, and the American hostages still being held in Tehran, Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein saw a chance to act against his Shia nemesis, Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the 1979 revolution.
Although border skirmishes had erupted on September 4th, the Iran-Iraq war fully began with Iraq’s invasion on September 22nd, beginning a bloody conflic that would last eight years, with little political gain. On that first day, Iraqi bomber plains took out Iranian air force bases around the country. Soon, combat degraded into using WWI-style tactics like trench warfare and chemical weapons.
Transiting Saturn made its Libra ingress just as the invasion began, having just passed conjunction with the Sun in Virgo.
Saturn’s transit through Virgo into Libra has coincided with some curious turning points in Iranian political history, from at least the days of the Qajar dynasty, to the Pahlavi dynasty, to post-revolutionary cleric rule. From invasions to assassinations, the nation’s political pulse seems to be tied closely to its cycle.
Saturn makes its first ingress to Libra in October this year, stations retrograde on January 13, 2010, makes its regress to Virgo on April 7th, and then makes its second Libra ingress on July 21st, where it becomes locked into a conjunction with Venus and Mars during the month of August, along with an opposition with Jupiter and Uranus in Aries.
Granted, it doesn’t take an astrologer to know that the country’s present political mood is far from calm or confident. But given what is outlined here, it is fair to suggest Iran is likely to again be vulnerable to similar upsets and changes during the periods listed above.