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Bowe Bergdahl’s JourneyBergdahlImage

On Oct. 16 Private Bowe Bergdahl plead guilty to charges of desertion. Today he was sentenced. The sentence was notably light, a dishonorable discharge and a thousand dollar fine. Considering the amount of press this case has received, including remarks from then candidate Donald Trump, the sentence was almost an anti-climax. I thought it might be interesting to take an astrological look at the sequence of events.


First all, we have a partial horoscope for Bergdahl. (Click on Bowe Bergdahl to see a chart done for noon on his birthday.) Bergdahl is a Sun sign Aries with the Moon in Scorpio. These are both martial signs, in that both are ruled by the planet Mars. This should have made the military a natural fit for Bergdahl. Actually, description of his behavior prior to his desertion characterized Bergdahl as disciplined and very much the good soldier.


However, there was a problem. Bergdahl seems to have identified with the Afghans more closely than his commanders would have liked. He learned their language and spent his free time with the “natives” rather than with his fellow soldiers. In emails to his parents Bergdahl complained about the arrogance of American troop and their disregard for the Afghan people and their culture.


In Bergdahl’s chart Neptune is square his Aries Sun and conjunct his Mars. Neptune dissolves boundaries, on the one hand allowing for greater compassion and openness to different people, and on the other diffusing our purpose and undercutting discipline. Neptune is also associated with really bad planning. Bergdahl apparently thought he could leave his unit and “disappear” into the mountains. Instead he was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years.


I don’t have the exact date that Bergdahl enlisted in the U.S. Army. It was in 2008, the year that Saturn squared his natal Saturn. This is an important point in his Saturn Cycle, representing a turning point in his life. On June 30, 2009, the date he deserted and was captured, transiting Uranus was square it natal place. This aspect typical coincides with a period of rebellion and an exaggerated sense of autonomy. Since we don’t have a complete horoscope for Bergdahl it’s hard to know for sure, but I would bet that transiting Neptune was active in some way on this date.


In May 2014 Bergdahl was released by the Taliban. He returned to regular duty but the army soon began an investigation into his disappearance and, on Dec. 14, 2015 he was charged with desertion. On that day transiting Saturn was almost exactly on his natal Saturn, another point in the Saturn cycle. Events that occur during Saturn cycle aspects often relate to one another. In this case, the charge of desertion was the ultimate outcome of Bergdahl’s decision to begin a military career for which the Neptune aspects in his horoscope made his unsuited.


Saturn cycle aspects force us to make an accounting for our actions, typically to some figure of authority. On the date than Bergdahl plead guilty Jupiter, the planet of benevolence, was square his natal Uranus. Today, Jupiter had moved into a conjunction with his natal Pluto, Pluto represents power and the surrender to power. With Jupiter aspecting, this power (the military court)apparently decided that five years as a prisoner to the Taliban and two years in the national headlines was punishment enough for Bergdahl.

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