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The War in Afghanistan: a Third World War?

by Charles Ridoux

Published 2002

Here I present some extracts from a long study, 40 pages, dedicated to analysing the war in Afghanistan and published in French in a special edition of Cahiers d'Universe-Site (www.univers-site.com). This analysis, which finds itself between world astrology and geopolitics, aims to answer the question that the New York disaster of the 11th of September and the consequential military engagement of the U.S. in Afghanistan from the 7th of October, bring to life: is the world engaged in a world war or not?

Here we have America at war, engaged in a military intervention in Afghanistan which makes us wonder if it isn't going to lead to a third world war. In fact, since the 11th of September and especially since the 7th of October, it's upon this question that all our interrogations, research, and worries are founded: is the world, yes or no, well and truly already engaged in the Third World War, or is the American intervention in Afghanistan a local war, as with the Gulf War and the NATO intervention against Serbia in Kosovo? The answer to this question is far from simple, and our research must bear in mind astrological and geopolitical considerations. It is in the interface between the cyclic factors and the geopolitical factors where we must search for an answer to this troubling question, taking care to remove as much emotion and ideological passion as possible. The role of an astrologist is to be as emotionally removed as possible while reading the signs from the sky, as we must expect the geopolitician to put aside his personal opinions in order to be able to analyse the information realistically.

The first question which imposes itself, one to which the answer is far from obvious, is who is at war with whom, and what are the goals, short term and long term, declared or secret, of the belligerents. The declared aim of the American intervention in Afghanistan was to capture Bin Laden, dead or alive. But we have the right to suppose that this goal hides others, from the more legitimate, such as dismantling the al-Qaida network and fighting terrorism in general, to other goals that have always been a driving force in history, goals that uphold the expansion of America's imperial power.

If the Uranus-Neptune cycle that extends from 1821 to 1993 corresponds, globally, to the industrial society with its polarisation between proletarianism and capitalism, the conjunction of 1993 should be considered in the context of the current wave of Islamic expansion, the 3rd in history since its advent in the 12th century. The 'signature' of Islam is the triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in 625 AD between 14° and 18° Virgo, which for three years had followed Hegira (22 September 622 AD). In 1308 this initial conjunction was sextiled by another triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune between 12° and 18° of Scorpio. Recently, in 1992, it was trined by the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune at 15°-16° of Capricorn and by the transit of Jupiter through Virgo, while Saturn was linked by quincunx to the conjunction of 625 AD.

Viewing this third Islamic expansion in the light of the Uranus-Neptune cycle and the repetition of the triple alliance of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune every seventh century in relation to the original conjunction of 622 AD in Virgo augurs that the world will have to deal with an Islamic challenge. But we must not draw from the establishment of this threat the too easy conclusion of a fight between good and bad. That is what the Americans tend to do, in their military campaigns turning the adversary into Satan and thinking only in terms of destroying and exterminating. We should put the accent on the opposition, in the whole world, between a 'life' culture and a 'death' culture. If the suicidal kamikazes of the 11th of September and individuals like Bin Laden are obviously impregnated with a morbid fascination with annihilation, occidental society, as much in Europe as in America, has cut loose from its spiritual roots. It too has its 'Black Knights' and is heading in various ways towards a 'death culture'. This fight between life and death, present in every man, is nothing new, but what is at risk now is the survival of the human race, making the often cited phrase from the Bible terrifyingly real: 'Here, I put in front of you life and death, benediction and malediction. Choose life, so that you may live, you and your prosperity'.

Another comment on the Uranus-Neptune cycle. The conjunction happened in 1993, but we are still influenced by it and, more precisely, are in a phase that we could consider minor but which certainly has world importance, the quindecile phase (an aspect of 15° before and after the conjunction, and of 165° before and after the opposition). It is an aspect of which all traditional American astrology, from Johndro to Charles Jayne to Bill Meridian, has emphasised the importance, especially in the financial domain. Thus the crisis of 1929 and the start of the 1930s occurred around a Saturn-Pluto opposition; it announced itself with the revolving quindecile of April and ended with the non-revolving quindecile of the end of January 1933, the time of Hitler's coming to power). To this is joined the opposition phase of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, together with the revolving quindecile of August 1929 and the non-revolving quindecile of June 1932, the end of the crisis. In world-wide astrology, the role of the quindecile was most spectacularly shown in by its activation during the whole length of the First World War, from 1914 to 1918.

Now it happens that the Uranus-Neptune cycle is currently crossing the phase of the revolving quindecile that follows the conjunction: this aspect is in orb during the whole of 2001, and it is exact on 25 March, 16 October and 30 December. Could we, for all that, deduce that the effects of this revolving quindecile following on a conjunction will be equivalent to an unrevolving quindecile coming after the long phase of the Uranus-Neptune opposition during the first decade of the 20th century, during which the forces present in powerful centres (Germany and Austria-Hungary) and the Triple Allies (France, Great Britain and Russia) were crystallised? Certainly not, for there we see that the context is completely different. The actual phase of the quindecile shows clearly to the whole world the challenge contained in the conjunction which precedes it and which is, under the circumstances, the challenge of a new wave of Islamic expansion, but it is perhaps only at the end of the 21st century, around the Uranus-Neptune opposition around 2080, that we shall see the real 'Clash of Civilisations'.

In relation to the actual Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001-2002, note that the cycle crosses the phase of the revolving quindecile in June and November 2000 and in April 2001, and that the unrevolving quindecile will be exact in June 2003, then in February and April 2004. The study of the Saturn-Pluto opposition should, then, cover the period from June 2000 to April 2004. We can see at last that in January 2002 Saturn will integrate itself into the Uranus-Neptune quindecile, being at the triangle of Neptune and making an aspect of 105° with Uranus. So if the widened phase of the Saturn-Pluto opposition (including the aspects of the quindecile preceding and following the opposition) extends from the summer of 2000 to spring 2004, it's this period which should form a uncommon part of history, the phase of the Uranus-Neptune quindecile indicating the importance of the year 2001 as a manifestation of the potentials contained in the conjunction of 1993; but it is necessary besides to integrate this widened phase of the Saturn-Pluto oppositions of 2000-2004 into the revolving context of the Saturn-Pluto cycle of 1982 to 2020.

For a long time we have been saying that the 2010-2015 period, at the heart of which is the Uranus-Pluto square of 2013, seems to us to be a critical phase for the world over, which was the case during the period 1988-1993 which saw the fall of the Soviet Empire and the Gulf War. The phase of the unrevolving square of the Saturn-Pluto cycle which will happen in 2010 (with the implication of Jupiter joining Uranus and opposed to Saturn) may show us a renewal of the conflicts which were seeded by the conjunction of 1982, showed themselves first at the time of the revolving square of 1993 and then even more clearly during the phase of the opposition.

It's at the beginning of the 1980s that we find the roots of many causes of crisis, now coming to the boil: the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq war, Israeli intervention in the Lebanon. At the time of the square, we were in full war in Yugoslavia and the Czech republics, conflicts that played a full part in the problem of the Islamic expansion in the Balkans and the Caucasus. And it was in 1993 that the World Trade Center was targeted, whereas Israel seemed ready to accept a Palestinian state. If the brutal shocks of the year 2001 don't reach as far as the regional conflicts in Central Asia and the Near East, it's possible that they will re-ignite themselves more worryingly around the year 2010.

We should not have been able to pose our question on the risk of a world war in this epoque without recourse to the cyclic index, a precious tool for synthesis of the global state of balance in the solar system. We are accustomed to examining two such indices, both obeying the same logic-the taking into account of the angular differences between the five outer planets, Jupiter to Pluto, but in different ways. André Barbault with his Cyclic Index (CI) contents himself with adding the angular differences, whereas Claude Ganeau with his Cyclic Index of Equilibrium (CIE) distinguishes both the ascending and the descending phases of each cycle. Barbault's index rests essentially on the conjunction phase of the planetary cycles, whereas that of Ganeau brings into play the opposition phase.

The crisis that started on the 11th of September could well usher in a long period of depression until about the year 2023, when the CIE passes the bar of zero upwards. During this long period it is useful to distinguish three essential phases: a sudden fall from 2001 to 2005, which could correspond to the few years of war that George W. Bush has forecast; then a phase which runs from 2005 to 2017, during which the CIE hovers around the zero zone, nevertheless pointing downwards between the years 2010 and 2013; and finally a pronounced drop which starts in 2017, reaches its base in 2020 (the year of the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto triple conjunction) and finally crosses the zero bar in 2023. This last trough goes down to somewhere approaching -500, as deep as that which corresponds to the time of the fall of the Soviet Union.

It is useful, for all that, to consider these indications in comparison with those corresponding to the period of the Second World War. We see here all the differences between today, where the line of the CI is very high and where the CIE falls spectacularly to the zero line, and the period from 1935 to 1945, when the CI was in a constantly depressive state and the CIE had fallen to -800. The big difference between these two periods is due to the fact that since the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1993 the three cycles of the very slow-moving planets have been in an ascending phase, which will continue until 2040, during the Uranus-Pluto opposition; the actual fluctuations of the IEC are due uniquely to the oppositions of Jupiter and Saturn, which although they have punctuated history's problems have never by themselves been strong enough to cause them! Whereas in the1930s and 1940s the sudden movements of Jupiter and Saturn acted upon the end of a cycle, Uranus-Pluto reached its phase of renewal in 1965 and Uranus-Neptune in 1993. And so, despite all the lurches caused by the oppositions of Jupiter and Saturn to the very slow-moving planets, until 2040 the impetus should remain a civilising one rather than indicating the destruction of humanity during a third world war. However, in view of the depressive evolutions of the CIE until 2023 it is probable that this civilising impetus will not be without pain. In fact, we shall have to wait until 2026 before finding a table of harmonics the like of which we came across in 1997.

On the basis of all the preceding analyses, let us now try to answer our question relating to the threat of a world war. Our answer will be complex, but must be consistent with the fact that although the current crisis is world-wide the war isn't, at least not yet. In order to make a more precise judgement it is necessary to sort our principal indications into order. In first place we put Ganeau's CIE, because it yields the most precise synthesis. The sudden fall of this index since September 2001 corresponds well with the start of the crisis on the 11th of September. Nevertheless, the fact that this index fluctuates around zero until about 2010 indicates that even if this crisis is a really long one it shouldn't develop into a world war before 2010. And even then, the fall to below the zero line between 2010 and 2013 seems relatively weak and not of the same stature as the impressive falls which in the 20th century accompanied the two world wars. According to this factor the most worrying threat will occur later, between 2017 and 2023, in the environment of the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto trine of 2020.

In second place, we take into account the diagnosis drawn from the cyclic state of the three very slow-moving planets. We must be well aware that from 2001 to 2011 the most fundamental cycle, Neptune-Pluto, transverses a septile phase, as it did between 1937 and 1942. During the Neptune-Pluto sextile phase, which has stretched along the whole second half of the 20th century, humanity has benefited in a way from its support in adapting to the demands and challenges contained in the last Neptune-Pluto conjunction of 1891. It is useful to remember that that conjunction occurred at 8° Gemini, the location of Uranus at AS in the U.S.'s theme, clearly pointing to the US as an essential factor in the realisation, positive or negative, of the seeds of promises held in the conjunction. In evidence, the response given by man has not, so far, met the expectations, other than in the field of the material (the mastering of the atom, the conquest of space, the rise of information technology, the breath-taking discoveries in bio- chemistry and genetics). It is probable that the 'fatal' phase of the septile, which will stretch the whole length of the new century's 1st decade, will bring about far-reaching reforms in many domains, including perhaps a better balance between spiritual, material, and physical spheres. Let us note, nevertheless, that if in the absence of an adequate response from man to the injunctions of this fundamental cycle the Neptune-Pluto septile is capable of creating the conditions of a world war, then the effects of this phase could also occur a little later, even under the harmonious aspects of the three very slow-moving planets, as was the case during the last three years of the 2nd World War.

As for the Uranus-Neptune cycle, it manifests itself during the year 2001 in a quindecile aspect-in a revolving phase after a conjunction. This is an intense sign of all the significations held in the conjunction. We have seen that this phase's connection with the third wave of Islamic expansion, owing to the triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in 1992, is in strong resonance with Hegira's theme and with the same triple conjunction which occurred at the start of the 14th century. This last Uranus-Neptune conjunction, which closely followed the Saturn-Uranus conjunction of 1988, can usefully be equally tied into the expansion of American imperial power which manifests itself today, and which is capable of using the challenge set by terrorism to slide itself into a position of hegemony until the Uranus-Neptune opposition of 2080. And so, during the whole of the 21st century, we must expect to see the expansion of Islam, an imperial consolidation by America, and also, notably after the next Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020, the same from China. A phase of the Uranus-Neptune septile accompanied the whole length of the 1st World War; but for all that, I don't think that we can draw the conclusion that this aspect is an indication of world war. Then, in fact, it was an unrevolving quindecile following a long period of opposition during which lots of rivalries between powers came to crystallisation; whereas what we are dealing with today is an independent manifestation.

So here we are, a whole set of threatening indications before us, none of which is by itself a decisive prognosis of war. What remains to be seen is whether the accumulation of these factors alone is enough for a world war. Differentially, the fall of the CIE is as low as that at the start of the 1980s, when the threat of a world war was very serious. It seems to me that we find ourselves today in a slightly similar situation: since the 11th of September, the prospect of a world war is again thinkable and is haunting our spirits. But it doesn't seem to me that this threat will really come to life before the critical periods of 2010-2015 and 2017-2023. However, until then it is likely that the world will be in a state of near war. In this sense, since the 11th of September, nothing will ever be the same.

Charles Ridoux teaches French medieval literature at the University of Valenciennes and is the author of Evolution of Medieval Studies in France (1860-1914). He has been practising astrology since 1986, and specialises in mundane astrology because of his interest in history. His astrological work is influenced by Andre Barbault's cyclical research, and his articles have been published in L'Astrologue, Astralis, Urania, and Linguaggio Astrale. He regularly contributes to the Cahiers d'Univers-Site on the web, and Patrice Guinard's CURA site. He translated into French Mundane Astrology by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, and his book on mundane astrology, entitled At the Turn of the Century (1980-2020), will be published soon. Because of his ability to speak Russian he has been invited to speak on mundane astrology in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 27 and 28 April 2002. 'Astrology Between Tradition and Modernity' is the theme of a conference he is currently organising for June 2002.

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