FEBRUARY 2006 FEATURE ARTICLE
by Maya del Mar
[Note: This article will also appear in an upcoming issue of The Mountain Astrologer.]
January 2006 was a lively month in Latin America, a month of consolidating the progressive gains of the last few years. This was the Capricorn month, and Capricorn is a sign of stabilizing ones gains, and building a solid structure.
The election of Socialist Michelle Bachelet as President of Chile in mid-January added a big push to this movement. Chile has had a Socialist president ever since the ouster of Pinochet (now on trial for war crimes), but Bachelet brings new vigor to the party. She is first of all a woman, and she plans to have 50% women in her cabinet. She inspires teamwork rather than confrontation. In a Catholic country, she is a divorcee and an agnostic. And she is a single mother, matching many of the households in Chile. Women can identify with her. Bachelet also shares the common history of being tortured by the Pinochet government. In addition, she is a pediatric doctor, and has worked with poor people. Thus she understands from firsthand experience the problems which face people in the mainstream.
In Mexico, Manuel Lopez Obrador (see Daykeeper archives for September 2005), the very popular progressive Mayor of Mexico City, has filed to be a Presidential candidate for the election this year. He will almost surely be elected.
Also in Mexico, the revolutionary Zapatistas started their trek through Mexico, with a focus on the indigenous population, of teaching and organizing for a new kind of politics. In the Sixth Declaration from the Jungles of Lacandon (Word doc), they reject all of the current political models. (The Zapatistas first came to world attention when they rebelled against NAFTA restrictions the same day that NAFTA went into effect, January 1, 1994Saturn in its opening square with Pluto.)
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is making friends and alliances all over the world, including Europe, India, China, and Latin America. He is also connecting with areas in the U.S. where he is offering low-cost fuel through his subsidiary, Citgo, in oil for the poor programs. (Hugo Chavez survived a U.S.-backed coup, and a subsequent Carter-monitored election gave him a huge majority.)
Throughout Latin America, leftist presidents are being elected, presidents who reject the neoliberal model of colonization through the IMF. Chile is the seventh such country. Others include (to date, in January) Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Venezuela. Argentina, on the rocks a few years ago, is repaying its IMF debt in full. So is Brazil. These countries do not want to opt out of global affairs. They do want more voice, and they want to take self-responsibility.
As we watch the news, we can see what the Latin American countries want. They want unity, and they want to be in charge of their own destinies.
This is a new turn of the wheel of independence for Latin America. The marker is the Neptune-Uranus conjunction, which occurs every 171 years.
The last one occurred in 1993, at 19 Capricorn. That last meeting of these two big guys was at the end of October 1993, when NAFTA and the WTO were passed. It eas only a little over two months later in southern Mexico that the Zapatistas began their campaign for liberation to work the land in dignity. At the time a bell rang for me, and I wrote that the Zapatistas were the vanguard of a new movement for social justice in Latin America. Twelve years later, we are still plunging into the beginning of that cycle.
The prior conjunction of Uranus and Neptune was in 1821-22, at 2 Capricorn. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Latin America was under Spanish rule. Simon Bolivar, a Venezuelan, had the grand vision of liberating and uniting all of Latin America in a network of independent nations. He worked, fairly successfully, to accomplish this goal from 1807-1830. Many of the Latin countries celebrate birthdays around 1821.
At the same time, in 1823, United States President Monroe issued the Monroe Doctrine, essentially declaring that Latin America was part of the U.S. sphere of influence, and that Europe was not to meddle in it. The U.S. began then an economic (and sometimes military) colonization of Latin America, and that region simply switched from Spanish imperialism to U.S. imperialism.
Now the people themselves, in each country, are rebelling against U.S. imperialism. And they are doing it democratically. We see that Simon Bolivars vision has remained alive and well.
One of those countries which is undergoing the biggest revolution now is the Republic of Bolivar, named after that great hero, and commonly called Bolivia. It achieved independence on August 6, 1825. (1) At that time Sun was in Leo, conjunct Jupiter, showing pride and a taking of destiny in their own hands. Moon in Taurus shows the close connection to earth and to growing things. This is emphasized by a lunar trine to Mercury in Virgo, another earth sign.
Bolivias chart shows several connections to the U.S. chart. Mars in Cancer shows its defensive and emotional stance. And this Mars joins the U.S. Mercury, where it can stab the nations consciousness like a knife. Chiron conjoins the U.S. Chiron in Aries. The macho image of each country is wounded, and posturing to show courage is important. Bolivias Saturn conjoins the U.S. Mars, thwarting our aggression. Pluto conjoins the U.S. nadir in Aries, indicating that Bolivia has the power to transform the foundations of the U.S. No wonder Bolivia feels threatening to the United States.
Last December 18, Evo Morales was elected President of Bolivia by a landslide. At that time Venus had joined with Chiron in the first degrees of Aquarius. Aquarius is the sign of independence, and Chiron is the Wounded Healer. We can see that wounded independence beginning a new healing.
Latin America has had a series of military dictators, many of whom have given their countries resources away for a price. Neoliberal policies have been a disaster. The gap between rich and poor has widened enormously (as it has in the U.S.). The peoples time has come, and they are speaking up in democratic movements all over the continent.
No one is more of the people than is Evo Morales. 65% of the population in Bolivia are Indigenes, and Evo is an Aymara Indian, the largest Indigenes group. He was born poor, as are most of the people in Bolivia, and worked very hard all his life.
Evo was a coca farmer, and his rise to leadership was born out of U.S. efforts to eradicate coca, which Andean natives have been growing for thousands of years. Evo became the leader of the cocaleros in his district, and in 1995 formed a new party, Movement to Socialism. In 2002 he came in second in the presidential election, and became prominent in part because of the insulting remarks made about him then by the U.S. Ambassador.
The U.S. has not been popular in Bolivia. And the people have not been passive. Remember a few years ago when the U.S. company, Bechtel, took over the water system of Cochabamba? They tried to charge the people of Cochabamba exhorbitant, impossible rates for water, and the people marched on government until the government finally told Bechtel to leave. Which they did, charging large reparations to Bolivia. And then the people of Cochabamba took over their own water system. Mars in Cancer says dont mess with our home territory.
According to Wikipedia, Evo was born on October 26, 1959. I did the chart for noon in La Paz, the capitol (view chart). He, like Luis de la Silva, President of Brazil, and Manuel Lopez Obrador, projected president of Mexico, is a Scorpio. Scorpio is a fixed sign, here to develop strength through tests, and Scorpios do not back down from struggle and confrontation. Scorpios genius is in working with other people and combining resources to create something new. This sounds appropriate for a new deal in Latin America.
Evo is not one to waste time. With Scorpio Mars conjunct his Sun, he keeps moving. As I write in mid-January, he has already visited countries around the world, and has begun negotiations with Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, even before his inauguration on January 22.
Bolivia has great quantities of natural gas, which past governments have been selling for almost nothing to global companies. Evo has saidand is showingthat this will not continue. This is a bombshell for the U.S. With their large stake in Bolivias resources, it is likely that eventually the U.S. will at least speak to Morales out front.
Morales is said to enjoy campaigning. His Leo Moon is a natural in front of an audience, and Uranus conjoining it makes him very charismatic. His Jupiter in Sagittarius gives him an urge to travel, and helps him to feel at home anywhere. He does have Venus and Pluto in Virgo to help him with details which Jupiter might skip.
Morales Saturn at 3 Capricorn conjoins the 1822 Uranus-Neptune conjunction which first freed Latin America from Spanish domination! Perhaps now the people of that continent, including the Indigenes as full citizensrepresented by Evo Morales, can build a base of self-determination on Capricorns firm foundation185 years after Simon Bolivars continent-wide revolution.
Evo Morales was inaugurated as the first Indigenes President of Boliviaor of any other American nationon January 22, 2006. A noon chart shows Sun at that time at 3 Aquarius, conjoining Chiron, newly into the freedom-loving sign of Aquarius. The top of the chart, at 22 Capricorn, sits between Venus and Mercury, both in Capricorn. This looks like a very practical as well as a diplomatic Administration. Pluto in Sagittarius in the ninth house will transform its foreign relations. Moon and Jupiter in the seventh house can be masterful negotiatorsor manipulators.
The astrological omens are favorable for a successful debut of Boliviaone of the poorest countries in the worldonto the world stage of nations.
Various articles in The Financial Times in December 2005 and January 2006.
Birthdates were from Wikipedia.
1. BOLIVIA, August 6, 1825, noon, Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Nicholas Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, Cinnabar Books, Bristol, UK, 1996.