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Little Aspect, Big Noise

I have to admit that I was taken by surprise by the current escalation of tension between the U.S. and North Korea. Concerns about North Korea’s nuclear capability and Kim Jong Un’s mental capabilities have been simmering on the back burner for years. Now those concerns seem ready to boil over into nuclear war.

As astrologers often do when they’re taken off guard, I went running to my computer to see what transit I might have missed. It didn’t take me long to find it. Since the beginning of July transiting Uranus has been in a semi-square with transiting Neptune. Actually, the test firing of an ICBM by North Korea, the event that started this crisis, came the day before this aspect was within a degree.

A semi-square is a rather obscure aspect. It is a 45 degree connection between two planets, essentially half a square. I often use the semi-square in natal horoscopes, particularly when it occurs within a system of more powerful aspects. However, I don't usually consider it important with regard to current events, but this semi-square is different.

What’s special about this semi-square is the fact that Neptune is in Pisces, it natural home and a place where it is most powerful. Meanwhile, Uranus, which is the most explosive planet in the heavens, is in Aries, the most explosive sign of the zodiac. Another factor is that both these planets are currently in retrograde, moving backwards relative to the earth. Retrograde motion for Uranus and Neptune is slow, meaning that this semi-square has staying power. It will be within a degree for most of the rest of this year.

Neptune in Pisces can be associated with some wonderful things, but most of what we’ve seen so far is the planets connection with illusion, falsehood and foggy thinking. Not long ago I wrote an article the relationship between Neptune in Pisces and “fake news”. (Click here to see that article.) I think what we’re seeing now is more of the same, only with explosive Uranus thrown into the mix.

My own feeling is that, despite all the talk and all the threats, war is unlikely. Both sides have too much to lose. Kim Jong Un stands to lose not only his country, but also his opulent lifestyle, while military experts in the U.S. are all too aware that such a conflict would result in wholesale destruction in South Korea and Japan. And that’s the optimistic view. At the other end of the scale we have nuclear holocaust.

On the other hand, there is the human factor. What happens when one paranoid narcissist starts threatening another paranoid narcissist? The answer is not fun to think about. We have to hope that self-preservation will prevail on both sides. After all, it would be a shame to destroy the world under such an obsure aspect as a semi-square.

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