The long hot summer of 2006 saw yet more militant monotheism in the Mid-East, as the Israeli government took advantage of a relatively minor Hezbollah provocation to unleash a campaign of destruction on southern Lebanon, which has proven largely ineffective for their aim of crushing the Islamist humanitarian/terrorist organization. In the longest Israeli-Arab conflict since the war following the Jewish states founding in 1948, neither side accomplished much but the devastation of the local populations of northern Israel and southern Lebanon. Hundreds of deaths, more than one million refugees and crippled infrastructure are the most visible outcomes of the latest round in a fratricidal struggle which has existed since Abrahams Sarah threw Hagar and Ishmael out of her tent.
The derivation of the names of the combatants says much about their natures. Israel means struggling with God, and is the name subsequently given to the Biblical Jacob, who wrestled with an angel en route to a potentially tense reunion with his elder brother Esau, whose patrimony he had deceptively stolen. Certainly the history of the modern Israeli state has been nothing but struggle rooted in a God-based conflict between rival monotheisms, and sparked by the displacement of the extant Arab population when Israel was formed by UN mandate in 1948.
Hezbollah means the Party of God, and a more hubristic, arrogant political stance can hardly be imagined (although the GOP is coming close). Hezbollah was formed in 1985 in response to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon during that countrys protracted civil war.
The present conflict began on July 12, 2006, when a cross-border raid by Hezbollah fighters killed three IDF soldiers and captured two others, intending to trade them for the release of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel. Five more IDF soldiers were killed in the retaliatory raid to rescue the captives, and then the rockets started flying. Hezbollah struck first, followed by an Israeli air and naval blockade of Lebanon, massive shelling of much of the country, and the introduction of ground forces in southern Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised a very painful and far-reaching response to the Hezbollah provocation, and was backed up in the Cabinet, which authorized severe and harsh retaliation. The war ground on to little purpose but much devastation, until a UN-brokered cease-fire was put into place on August 14, 2006.
The modern state of Israel was created by UN mandate on May 14, 1948, along with sister state Palestine. There has been trouble ever since. The UN action was arguably at once sentimental and arrogantin a desire for reparation for the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust, capstone to millennia of Christian oppression, it was decided to grant the Jews a homeland on the site of their ancient kingdom, where Zionist activity over the previous century had established a core community. Anyone considering this decision with a dispassionate eye and half a brain would have realized the trouble this would create, but apparently, no one did, or any such objections were brushed aside. The UN assumed its word was the final say and folks would simply adjust, an arrogance and naiveté which the Arab world has repeatedly disabused.
Israels chart very well sums up much of its struggle to exist. The Sun at 23 Taurus is conjoined both a Black Hole at 24 Taurus and a Maser at 27 Taurus, depicting the somewhat surreal nature of its existenceplucked from the ethers by UN fiat (Black Hole), and its position locally as a First Cause of extreme controversy and conflict (Maser).
The Sun is squared by combative Mars, which at 28 Leo lies at the degree of the largest Deep Space Shield of energies of which we are aware, with no less than 7 anomalies in aspect. This perfectly images both the constant state of armed readiness and the frequent wars of defense and military occupations of surrounding territories, as well as such factors as compulsory military service by the population, the largest and most powerful military in the region, and the rash of suicide attacks which regularly plague the populace. Although coalitions of Arab neighbors have threatened and attacked, Israel has never been defeated.
The Sun also opposes Chiron, reflecting Israels maverick position as the only Jewish state, and long the only democracy, in an Arab, Islamic world rife with dictatorships and monarchies. Sun/Chiron has brought healing to the land of Canaan, making the desert bloom, but it has also been the nations Achilles heel. Although championed as the underdog and initially sympathized with in their struggle against very long odds, Israeli military over-reach and overblown retaliation inevitably recasts them as the aggressor, in such incidents as their treatment of the displaced Palestinian populations, and the recent devastation of southern Lebanon on a wild goose chase to root out Hezbollah, which is part and parcel of the local infrastructure and Lebanese government and cannot be eradicated via military means.
With Jupiter at 27 Sagittarius conjunct the Galactic Center, it is inevitable that Israel should be prominent on the world stage, and appropriate that its connection to this high profile globally comes via the planet of religion and philosophy, as monotheism was the Jewish gift to the world.
Pluto and Saturn combined with a Black Hole and Maser in mid-Leo is yet another indicator of usually high levels of strife, particularly trouble with borders (Saturn), while a Black Hole on the Descendant shows sudden and dangerous shifts in relations with neighboring states. Additionally Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Neptune and the Moon all conjoin or oppose Black Holes, leaving no planet in the nativity without galactic encumbrance.
The state of Lebanon is just a few years older than Israel, created 1 January 1944. Where Israels Sun opposes Chiron, Lebanons Moon does so in this nativity (from 14 Pisces to 15 Virgo), indicating some potential rough going for the countrys population. Mars and Uranus combine at 5 Gemini with the volatile Maser at 6 Gemini, and true to form, Lebanons history has been a bloody one as well, with a long civil war and Israeli occupation of its southern regions for more than a decade. The 12 Libra Ascendant conjoined a Black Hole depicts both the kaleidoscopic nature of Lebanese society, which is among the most culturally advanced and heterogeneous in the Middle East, as well as the fracturing of the government and the impulse towards break-up, with shadow governments and terrorist elements both within and without Lebanon controlling the country.
Hezbollah was formed on 16 February 1985, when Sheikh Ibrahim al-Amin published the organizations manifesto. Allied with the Shia Islamist governments of Syria and Iran, Hezbollah began as an exclusively terrorist organization, but rapidly morphed into a political party providing important humanitarian aid to its fellow citizens, everything from garbage collection to the founding and running of hospitals, schools and news services, as well as building infrastructure and operating as a quasi-governmental body in south Lebanon. Indeed, with 23 seats in Lebanons parliament, two cabinet positions, and controlling 21% of the local municipal governments, Hezbollah is an integral part of the Lebanese government, rendering Israeli hopes of eliminating the group naive at best.
Hezbollahs nativity very well reflects their mania for organization, with an exact Sun/Saturn square at 27 Aquarius and Scorpio, the Sun conjoined a Black Hole and Saturn conjoined a Quasar, showing extraordinary discipline, determination and structure. The Black Hole/Quasar combination is a tough one to beat, with the former providing inspiration for change and a re-ordering of society, while the latter assures success and aids achievement and the manifestation of dreams into reality. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all conjoin Black Holes and Jupiter opposes one, while Mercury, Mars and Venus conjoin Quasars, repeating the dynamic pattern of power/force/energy (Black Hole) and success/attainment/accomplishment (Quasar). Pluto and Jupiter are squared, indicating the organizations uncompromising, drastic stance on Israel, whose elimination it still calls for, describing the state as an illegal usurper entity, which is based on falsehood, massacres and illusions.
Israel had been primed for rash action months before with the Lunar Eclipse of 14 March 2006, which at 24 Virgo was exactly squared its natal Uranus, as well as being closely trine the natal Sun. Uranus impulsive, knee jerk reactions are apparent in the Israeli response to Hezbollahs raid. This eclipse also highlighted Lebanons Saturn by square and her Mercury by trine, and Hezbollahs Sun/Mercury by inconjunct.
The start of this war on 12 July 2006 has significant galactic contacts as well. The Sun at 19 Cancer is exactly opposed Black Hole Hel at 19 Capricorn, as well as inconjunct both Black Hole Ereshkigal at 19 Sagittarius and Neptune at 19 Aquarius, forming a Pierced Yod pattern, a Mirror Configuration denoting a fated or predestined aspect. The Black Hole energies show the sudden, transformative nature of the moment, with the abrupt shift from a state of peace to a state of war, as well as the incredible fire power unleashed. Neptune implies a certain degree of confusion or deception is involved, but also allows the combatants to demonize one another, painting the conflict in stark black and white, Manichaean Good versus Evil terms.
Mercury at 29 Cancer is retrograde and conjoined Black Hole Kali at 28 Cancer, indicative of a flawed decision-making process and the choosing of a course of action later to be regretted, one which easily gets out of control.
Mars at 23 Leo is approaching return to its natal degree of 28 Leo in the Israeli horoscope, and is exactly squared Israels Sun at 23 Taurus, impelling action and inclining the nation to war. Both Saturn and Pluto conjoin Black Holes, with Pluto on a Pulsar and the Galactic Center, indicating a high media profile and activity with global import and attention. This duos effects can also be seen in the incredible devastation (Pluto) wrought on Lebanese infrastructure (Saturn), with everything from bridges to airport runways completely destroyed, as well as the huge sums of money (Pluto) the war will costLebanons damages are estimated at $10 billion.
Venus at 21 Gemini is exactly conjoined Lebanons Saturn, and Uranus at 14 Pisces exactly conjoins its Moon. Uranus/Moon is easy to read as the disruption of the daily lives of the populace, but Venus/Saturn is harder to understand in a military context, until we reflect that among Venus more prominent local incarnations was Ishtar, an ancient Mesopotamian warrior goddess, and Venus often manifests prominently in moments of conflict in the region (as, for example, closely conjunct the Ascendant for the invasion of Iraq in 2003).
If Uranus conjunction with Lebanons Moon was one of the major celestial provocations for the conflict, transit Mars subsequent 14/15 Virgo conjunction with Lebanons Chiron, in opposition to the Moon, brought the healing of the cease fire on 14 August 2006. Both events ultimately tie to the Mars of Israels withdrawal from south Lebanon on 24 May 2000, the event which prepared the ground for this conflict, allowing Hezbollah to entrench and re-arm in the south. At 14 Gemini, this Mars exactly squares both the 14 Pisces Uranus/Moon of the wars commencement and the 14 Virgo Mars of its end. The 21 Leo Sun of the cease fire, in addition to once again highlighting both Israels natal Mars and the Mars for the conflict, is exactly sextile the 21 Gemini conjunction of Israels Venus and Lebanons Saturn (also the degree of Mercury when Israel made the fateful decision to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000), and exactly square Israels 21 Scorpio Chiron.
Not surprisingly, Mars is the chief protagonist of the war. As noted, at 23 Leo Mars was returning to its natal degree of 28 Leo in Israels chart, but it also conjoined Lebanons 26 Leo Jupiter, highlighting the essentially philosophical/religious nature of the conflict. Other contacts include:
- a sextile to Lebanons Saturn at 21 Gemini, Israels Uranus at 24 Gemini, and Mercury from the 2000 withdrawal, also at 21 Gemini;
- a square to Israels Sun at 23 Taurus, and Jupiter/Saturn at 21/22 Taurus from the 2000 withdrawal;
- opposition to Hezbollahs Mercury/Sun at 25/27 Aquarius;
- inconjunct to Lebanons Mercury at 24 Capricorn;
- trine to Israels Jupiter at 27 Sagittarius and transit Pluto at 24 Sagittarius;
- and square to both Lebanons Venus and Hezbollahs Saturn, each at 27 Scorpio.
Also as previously noted, it was the transit Suns impending conjunction with this Mars from 21 Leo which ended the conflict on August 14.
What has been gained? Precious little. Both sides claim victory, but the fragile peace will undoubtedly be maintained for only as long as it takes both sides to regroup and retrench, awaiting the next round in this eternal, multi-faceted conflict. A military resolution to this impasse would seem unlikely: Israel cannot occupy the entire Middle East, and cannot with force root out any and all elements in neighboring populations which it finds objectionable. Likewise, Israels enemies are unable to remove the interloper in their midst while it receives the unwavering help and support of the worlds sole remaining superpower. A political, diplomatic solution would seem to be the only hope for a resolution of this decades-old conflict, but at this juncture, such hope seems vain.