Combat Troops Withdraw from Iraq

The Onion has a version of this story as well. The comment thread, below, is evolving into a conversation of Saturn aspects and the forthcoming Uranus square Pluto aspect.

Not The Yes Men's version of the New York Times but rather the cover of MSNBC tonight.

It’s probably true — depending on how you look at it — U.S. combat troops are pulling out of Iraq tonight. I had no idea this was imminent. My phone rang and it was Fe, saying turn on MSNBC. Scheduled programming was preempted; Olbermann is sitting in at the anchor desk, and Rachel Maddow is reporting live from the International Zone: reassuring presence. Richard Engel, an NBC reported embedded with a convoy on retreat — said it was like being in a convoy of taxicabs.

News breaking that combat troops are leaving Iraq. This is the chart of a news event happening in New York, not an event on the ground in Iraq. MSNBC broke the story and Keith Olbermann, based in Manhattan, said that this happened at about 6:30 pm.

It’s actually moving, an emotional moment, a hint of vindication, in an era when the news seems to get only worse. Maddow is saying right now that the timing was decided politically, not based on some definition of success. Nothing in Iraq can be called success. There is not a standing government in Iraq. But the last combat troops are about to leave. The U.S. government is leaving 50,000 troops who will stay behind as office workers and “advisers,” a term that has a chilling echo of the Vietnam War.

Olbermann said that the news broke at 6:30 pm EDT. That chart is to the left. We know about most of the important elements of that chart: the T-square on the Aries Point; the Sun opposing Chiron and Neptune; Saturn about to make its last square to Pluto. The Sept. 11 attacks that led to the war, albeit fraudulently, happened just after the first Saturn-Pluto opposition; that was August 2001, which lead to an event in September 2001, which led to two wars. So this chain of historical events is following the Saturn-Pluto cycle to within weeks or days. That is the part that makes sense.

For those who remember the astrology of this particular war, it was started instigated for well over a year, in then in mid-March 2003 there was an invasion launched with the Sun in the next-to-last degree of Pisces. This was the hint that there was a weird agenda: when you want a real war, you wait some hours till the Sun is in Aries, the sign of the god of war. You don’t start the thing with the Sun in a mellow, flower-loving sign like Pisces. The Sun was void of course; the war was void of course, the whole time. The chart for the bombing of Dora Farms — the actual opening salvo, before “shock and awe,” is the chart of a non-war, though one in which many lives were sacrificed.

The end of combat — that is, what we’re being told is the end of combat — comes at an equally ambiguous moment. The Sun is opposite Chiron and Neptune. That’s not a good arrangement for a president, who is symbolized by the Sun.

MSNBC-NBC News reports that the last full combat brigade has crossed the Iraq-Kuwait border. At this time there are still about 6,000 combat troops still in Iraq, but no full brigades; and 50,000 who will remain as advisers until the 2011 deadline to withdraw all US forces from Iraq. I am using Baghdad as a location because I don't have the coordinates of the border crossing. If anyone knows that fact, please send it along. The time was stated on the air by Maddow in Baghdad, who was listening to the live report from the border crossing, as the event happened.

Sun opposing Chiron speaks to a leader who is injured, and what he’s injured by is symbolized by Neptune: that could be the deception of the war from the beginning (remember the nonexistent WMDs, and Saddam about to take over the world, and the Axis of Evil, binding together three countries, Iraq, Iran and North Korea, that have nothing to do with one another).

The withdrawal also comes two days before Mercury stations retrograde; that’s troublesome, suggesting that it might not last; the troops might be called back in and from what I am hearing there is no publicly known plan for how to handle that. And a lot of this depends on the definition of “combat” — in Vietnam, the “advisers” were known to be directly involved in fighting.

This day comes after the loss of innumerable Iraqis (the number is not known, and the official estimates are understated due to lack of documentation), nearly 5,000 U.S. troops dead and thousands of others having suffered casualties, and countless others having been exposed to depleted uranium. Many of the troops have been through five or 10 tours of duty; their minds and bodies are exhausted. The whole enterprise has cost us between $500 billion and $1 trillion before interest; it’s borrowed money.

And what did we get for all our efforts? For all our sacrifice? For seven years violence and chaos and the stubborn, bald-faced lies of Dick Cheney and George Bush?

For our troops, it’s not the end of the pain and the time away from home. Many of the soldiers and marines being withdrawn tonight will be sent home, retrained and sent to Afghanistan. Tonight, they’re being searched for drugs and pornography as they enter Kuwait, their guns unloaded, cannons symbolically pointed away from the border — I hope there’s some shred of truth to this.

(Note, the last troops are expected to cross the Iraq-Kuwait border just before 9 pm EDT. Maddow reported the time as 3:53 am Baghdad time.)

31 thoughts on “Combat Troops Withdraw from Iraq”

  1. Tarnas recap seconded. I have cosmos and psyche which I started to read but its really dense… so I’m still working on it.

    This is a great thread, I’m learning a lot from it.

    Joy… Im hearing about it happening very individually. People experiencing joy privately. The problem is we dont see it happening ecstatically in groups (unless maybe you belong to a ministerial church that raises the roof with its gospel choir). Is the media going show that? Hell no. Not unless it tows the party line.

    The technology of the internet could and maybe sometimes does create a space for shared joy, etc., but just like physical reality, it depends on how people choose to use it and how to relate to each other and create a vibe when they do gather, whether its in a meet up at the local park or on a yahoo discussion board or a Planet Waves blog post. One of the nice things about internet gatherings is the abilty to share with people from all over the world which can really enrich and broaden our perspectives. I use to think the ideal of a global internet village was silly, but now I think its something that still holds possibilities.

  2. be,
    Wow, i really, really hope you are right. There’s just this little thing about Uranus and Pluto…

  3. Thanks Len, this year’s Beltane was a bummer for sure. Next year though, all the Aries planets (7 named below) except Uranus will have passed their squares to Pluto by May 1. This year there were no planets in Aries on May 1st, just a menacing Saturn opposed Uranus. Even the Equinox chart next year has a cool Sun conjunct Uranus aspect, along with the north node on the Galactic Center… a lot better than that deceptive Mars at 0 Leo for this year’s! Just seems right on for a celebration all about new beginnings and a promise of spiritually conscious opportunities. I’m feeling the love already. . . . . xxxxoooo

  4. be,
    It’s called Beltane. Please scroll up and read my blog for today (Thursday) and refresh what happened to the last one.

  5. There’s a lot of defensivness too. . .keeping your guard up all the time doesn’t allow time to smile, much less feel joyful. We always knew that Pluto’s squares to Uranus and Saturn would be demanding. Even those men returning from combat in Iraq would barely allow a smile, much less dance in the streets.

    I miss the joy too Fe. Hoping this will return when Jupiter and then Uranus return to Aries. I notice there’s a conjunction of Moon-Mars-Jupiter and presumably Eris at 22 Aries on next year’s May Day. Mercury, Venus and Uranus will be in Aries too, so maybe we could plan a big-ass global-wide celebration. What’s the name of that holiday half-way between the equinox and the solstice?

  6. Where is the joy and the creativity? The music? The spontaneous gathering of tribes? I think we need an equivalent to a Woodstock, though even that culturally iconic event may not fit in with this technologically inundated age.

    The joy is getting eaten by fear.

    It’s being defined out of existence. There used to be a lot of drum circles here in the Hudson Valley. Truly, I have not been invited to a party (in my community) in well over a year. I can think of one or two invitations in New York City. To my sensibilities, the social environment seems frozen. People seem to cling to what they have.

    But really, I think the Internet is eating most of the energy. Most of that togetherness is being directed into the efficient, superficial world of Facebook and Twitter.

  7. “The extreme polarity of Saturn-Uranus and that flared up with the Obama election, and the latest wave of Teabagger paranoia, directly involved with both Sat/Ur and the Saturn-Pluto squares, could well start to wane. Less divisiveness will mean more inclusiveness.

    The problem that I see is that we would need something to replace them, both in our minds and in the culture. And for as long as the advertising-based media knows that it thrives on stories that propagate fear — that if it bleeds, it leads — we have a perception problem. Until the solutions are more interesting than the problems, the solutions are going to get less attention; which means less psychic energy. So we have to use our communication systems — such as this one — to propagate a creative message, build involvement, share information and focus on what we want to grow.”


    There is something missing in this revolution and that is, simply put: joy.

    For so long (long meaning 2008 to the present), it seems we have been so transfixed on either rejecting or embracing the culture of fear put over on us (like a long Big Scam), that we’ve continued to do so, reflexively.

    For me, it feels like the resentment built up over ten years (I consider the years 1999 to 2008) of media-created xenophobia is reaching saturation. The mosque nontroversy being the symbol of all this nonsense.

    Where is the joy and the creativity? The music? The spontaneous gathering of tribes? I think we need an equivalent to a Woodstock, though even that culturally iconic event may not fit in with this technologically inundated age.

  8. You bring to attention the bulk of what we see on television, ie. candy, cars, drugs and all the other momentary escapes from reality that people in the US lean on to get them through their lives. They dream of this stuff, and so I guess that’s a large part of what Neptune in Aquarius (day dreams) conjunct the U.S. Moon has been up to. I remember discussing here about an advantage to having Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception but darned if I can remember what that was. Now I’m wondering if they haven’t represented a doubling of the negative characteristics of the signs Pisces and Aquarius more than anything positive.

    When Neptune leaves the U.S. Moon’s territory, wouldn’t people in this country be less inclined toward escapist tendancies than now? And wouldn’t they be inclined to think (air signs) more rationally when Saturn finally trines the U.S. Moon as it gets to the late degrees of Libra? More ready to accept the solutions?

    The dependency of iphones and all, (so well noted by Eric and Shanna) blatantly expose the mass need to not-be-alone, which is fear. A child’s fear of being abandoned in a strange place is what it seems like to me. When the communication is about what’s in the grocery shelves and the like, I wonder how necessary that phone connection was.

    Perhaps this is one approach to making the solutions more attractive; how to be less fearful and more secure and/or brave. Not at all sure how that could be done, but something I will think about. I for one, would like to re-read any Rick Tarnas material on freedom and progress too.

  9. The second chart reminds me of the inaugural train chart I did back in ’08: The Obama Train Arrives.

    Both charts are framed by Leo rising, Aquarius descending. The chart’s 26+Libra Moon is at the exact degree of this Final Pull-out’s 4th house. Saturn at 21+ Virgo, 3 degrees from today’s 18+ Virgo Mercury. South Node at 9+Leo w/in one degree of this chart’s Juno. You’ll note the Nodes have moved an exact 30 degrees from the ’08 chart, too.

    In that chart, too, Neptune seemed to compromise the event: either we were facing an illusion (likely, as our affection for the new president would inevitably be challenged) or we were attempting to greet the “angels of our better nature”.

    The ’08 chart shows Neptune on the DSC at 22+Aquarius; the ’10 chart shows Neptune about to leave the 7th house.

    I could be playing chart games, but I think the similarities of the two charts illustrates the President’s attempts to meet a long-standing dodgy situation with an imperfect but well-intentioned action. This may also confirm his intentions of ’08. The Nodes clearly say we’ve moved to a new story.

    Your statement, Eric “How much can we learn from iPhones?” chimed nicely with my own question from the ’08 story:

    Neptune’s placement in Aquarius should also cause us pause: it’s this configuration that has also accompanied our infatuation with the media’s version of reality. Sure, love does put a spark in our hearts, but does any mature nation really believe we can build a healthy relationship with our president — or anyone — by text-messaging?

    Interesting to return to my own thoughts and hear them echo back two years on. ‘Spose that’s the joy (and pain) of astrology.

  10. Well, we get to be astrologers as well as social observers. We’re now at two different turning points involving Saturn — the last opposition to Uranus has passed, and the last square to Pluto is about to pass. Long reading of history says these are both cultural thresholds. The extreme polarity of Saturn-Uranus and that flared up with the Obama election, and the latest wave of Teabagger paranoia, directly involved with both Sat/Ur and the Saturn-Pluto squares, could well start to wane. Less divisiveness will mean more inclusiveness.

    The problem that I see is that we would need something to replace them, both in our minds and in the culture. And for as long as the advertising-based media knows that it thrives on stories that propagate fear — that if it bleeds, it leads — we have a perception problem. Until the solutions are more interesting than the problems, the solutions are going to get less attention; which means less psychic energy. So we have to use our communication systems — such as this one — to propagate a creative message, build involvement, share information and focus on what we want to grow.

    Those who watch TV, notice what is being sold:
    — cars and more cars
    — candy
    — drugs
    — mesotheleoma legal representation

    The majority of programming still involves murder, death, loss, pain, suffering. The History Channel is running a long piece on the Dresden Codex and supposed Maya 2012 cataclysm. In this language/framework of the rapture, orgasm is evil and therefore mass death is good. They are energetic coefficients.

    Meanwhile through the rest of the year, we have two more conjunctions of Jupiter and Uranus — a fast cycle, for sure (14 years), but a helpful one. This one brings people together. It’s the last burst of Uranus in Pisces energy before Chiron and Neptune ingress. And that is a whole different flavor/feeling/vibe/theme. That’s going to change the background entirely though I don’t quite know how. We’ve been enduring Neptune in Aquarius for a long time and most people are 90% in a toxic media fog. Watch people obsess over their iPhones. How much can you really learn using an iPhone? Neptune in Aquarius.

    We then move into another era — Uranus square Pluto. This has been brewing for a while, but with the Saturn collisions out of the way, we should be able to see that for what it is. If we who value freedom and progress have “one we’ve been waiting for,” this is it. There are articles by Rick Tarnas about this in recent annual editions, and if there’s enough interest on this blog I’ll move one of them out to the front.

    (Incidentally, on the subject of healing the fragmented national psyche, that leaves one — a first timer — the opposition of Saturn to Eris, a one-time event in October 2011.)

  11. Eric,

    Your observations seem to point to a conscious recognition of the overload of factions to deal with; both leader and citizens. Combined with the Chiron and Neptune lengthy influence of confusion and pain on the U.S. Moon, and the pressure of the cardinal T-square to make changes, could this be a message to draw together the pieces of our psyche now? If a mass of citizens, especially those directly affected by the Iraq war, believe that some of the pressure is retracting, a relaxing of the fear factor might lead to a re-assembling of our country. I’ve noticed that the “stopping of the oil leak” has lightened the mood somewhat, so maybe this too could be a ray of hope for the average American. Too soon? Too optimistic?

  12. Interesting, BK.

    To me that also speaks of a fractured population and national psyche. The Sun in a national chart also reflects the king or the chief executive.

  13. Eric says “I am of the persuasion that, despite these obstacles, the truth has a way of getting through. it often comes in pieces; it has to be assembled.” Remarkably, today Isis is at 13 Cancer 22, conjunct the U.S. Sun at 13 Cancer 19.

  14. I honesty believe that if male/female energies were more in balance in the world, we would have fewer wars.

    Also, if we had a more diverse group of people in power around the world — not just diverse in terms of gender but also in race and ethnicity — we would have fewer wars.

    And if we regulated capitalism so that we could control our own economies, instead of having boomb and bust cycles run amok, there would be fewer wars.

    I have hope for the future because we haven’t tried any of these things yet!

  15. if this is a prelude … im getting the most exquisite goosebump shivers all over…

    next stop… afghanistan… maybe obama is finally discovering his balls…

    thank you Planet Waves and Company for your excellent astro-news coverage!! muaaaahhh!!

  16. The first thing I thought of when I heard the news today was “wonder when we’ll have to go back in there”, I don’t get a hit of finality at all. A friend of mine has a mom who just turned 99 and is fading out in hospice now and I thought if I live as long, how many news reports of going in attacking countries, pulling out of conflicts, will I have to hear. I really don’t see any finality at all.

  17. I think that Saturn-Pluto confirms that this is a real event; that Sun-Neptune suggests an element of illusion; that Sun-Chiron speaks of the pain so many have been caused; and that Mercury about to station retrograde suggests setbacks to come, and how much work there’s yet to do. Ending this kind of thing takes time. Of course Vietnam took years, and then came much other pain.

    I’m aware that the ability of MSNBC to cover this is based on that Blue Mobile or whatever it’s called — the thing that is mounted on a gyroscope and can hold a satellite signal while in motion. That is likely the product of GE military technology. I am sure that thing came out of a GE lab. So here we have the technology to “cover” a war provided by a military contractor.

    I love both Maddow and Olbermann. I recognize in them true humanity, integrity and journalistic talent. Yet I never forget who they work for, and I cringe every time I hear them mention how bin Laden did Sept. 11 and a diversity of other elements of our national myth that they cannot contradict, in their positions, if they want to keep them.

    I am of the persuasion that, despite these obstacles, the truth has a way of getting through. It often comes in pieces; it has to be assembled. You need to read between the lines. And no matter how much we know, that doesn’t prevent the potential for doing the same thing again. In 2000, would anyone have said we’re soon going to be in two Vietnam-type wars? Well — yes, if they were reading the PNAC manifesto, which is the bible of the NeoCon movement. It was right in that thing. So is the plan for the Sept. 11 attack, in slightly different words.

  18. Eric,

    Could not get coordinates for Abdaly, which is right on the border of Kuwait. But we do have Kuwait City, if that is any help:

    Kuwait City, KWT: 29n20, 47e59, Kuwait

  19. I don’t know much about astrology– but I think the key to this story is there in the little box at the top: ‘Iran’. Notice that there’s nothing about the troops coming back to the US, or even being swapped over to Afghanistan. They’re going to conveniently sited bases nearby– Kuwait, Saudi Arabia. No, the media, along with the government, has been carefully crafting a better ‘evil enemy’ and rationale for turning our attention to the insupportable affronts offered by the nuke-aspiring, holocaust-denying bad boys next door…

    It would elevate the purportedly ‘left’ media immeasurably in my eyes if they could bring themselves to point these things out– preferably BEFORE the short ride to Hell in a handbasket starts.

  20. Eric:

    Just before I got your email about this, I had just sent an email to Rachel at MSNBC. Here’s what I wrote. . . .


    I’m embarrassed for you.

    As a veteran I’m saddened by MSNBC’s coverage of this non-event.

    Whose idea was it to send you over there to cover this? The big bosses at GE?

    Or was it just a slow news week?

    How many soldiers will still be stationed in Iraq?

    This reminds me too much of Bush’s Mission Accomplished bullshit.


  21. A couple of astrological facts that add flavor to this event are:

    * the Sun in the event chart is conjunct Pres. Obama’s Uranus (and north node)

    * the Sun in the event chart is one degree from exact opposition to U.S. Pallas (2 degrees from opposition to U.S. Moon) in the Sibly chart.

    * the Sun in the event chart is one degree past the progressed asteroid Psyche of the U.S. chart.

    I take solace in the Sabian symbol for the Moon’s degree in the event chart (24 Sagittarius) which is “A Bluebird Perched On The Gate Of A Cottage”. Dane Rudhyer says this symbol “. . suggests that the essential technique for successful living is the development of a consciousness in which peace and happiness dwell.”

  22. She’s hot in that outfit, especially with a flogger in her hands.

    Now, as for this second chart — the “actual event” of the end of the combat operation — the Sun now rules the ascendant. The Moon’s last aspect is to the Sun.

  23. Someone said on MSNBC that the decision to move the troops out at this time was kept secret (from everyone). That could be part of the Neptune opposite Sun aspect. Nothing about this war has been real.

  24. Kyla,
    Well said.

    Isn’t this what we were saving the Nurse outfit for? You took it to Goodwill? Five years ago? Geez.

  25. Yes, I remember it well, that moment. I surely do. And honestly, this is sad, when I first saw that picture I thought, oh shit, this is a spoof, they can’t be letting go of this one so soon…… How events have battered my reality sense!

    wow. Poor Iraq. Poor Afghanistan. Poor us. Where did we go?

  26. hey:

    I emailed this to ya:

    Is there a symmetry in this pullout on the 19th of August right when Merc storms at Virgo and when we started it in March of 2003? Didn’t we enter Iraq on March 19th, 2003 near the end of Pisces?

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