Osama Bin Laden is dead: what goes around comes around

(Posted May 3, 2011) In the end, it was Obama who finally got Osama.  The world's most notorious terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed by US special forces in an assault in Abbottabad, Pakistan in the early morning hours of May 2.  This ends one of the longest and most intense manhunts in history as the elusive Bin Laden had been a fugitive from justice for almost ten years.  Al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks claimed the lives of more than 3000 people and now Bin Laden has paid the ultimate price for his actions. 

There are a couple of intriguing astrological angles on this development.  First, it's interesting that the assassination of the world's most wanted man occurred just as Mars (28Pi56) was about to enter sidereal Aries.  As the planet of violence and conflict, it is entirely appropriate that Mars should be prominent in some way at this time.  Aries, of course, is ruled by Mars and is considered the most aggressive of the signs of the zodiac. But what's also quite telling is that Mars was very closely aspected by Rahu (00Sg14) at the time of his death.  Rahu is both an intensifying and distorting influence and when it combines with Mars it often marks situations of sudden violence and quick bursts of energy.  So it is quite fitting that this high profile killing in the heart of Pakistan should have taken place during a Mars-Rahu aspect.

Second, we can see how the horoscope of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center resonates with the transits of Bin Laden's death.  The first plane hit the north tower of the WTC at 8.46 a.m. on September 11.  Although Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda had been plotting and carrying out lesser terror attacks in the years before 2001, this WTC attack was the symbolic birth of the "war on terror" and the beginning of his notoriety.  In this respect, the resulting horoscope for the attack should offer some significant data points against which future events could be measured.  The chart has Mercury rising in Virgo in an extremely tight trine aspect with Saturn.  While the trine is not a full strength aspect by Vedic reckoning, it is nonetheless extremely telling.  Mercury (travel, communication) is afflicted by Saturn (loss, death) in the 9th house (involving long distance travel = planes).  The fact that Mercury is rising in this chart only reflects the world-historic importance of the event and describes the far-reaching changes that took place in security, politics and ideology in the aftermath of these attacks.  The leader behind the attack was Bin Laden. He is perhaps seen through the 10th house and the conjunction of Moon, Rahu and Jupiter in Gemini.  The Moon-Rahu conjunction suggests a shadowy and somewhat off balanced and fanatical person while the Jupiter influence here describes Bin Laden's charismatic nature and perhaps his wealthy family background as well.

The transits at the time of his killing highlights the role of Saturn.  Transiting Saturn (17 Virgo) was conjunct Mercury and the ascendant and cast an exact square aspect to 10th house Jupiter.  Saturn is 6th house lord of legal and military action and it has come around to sit atop the the most sensitive point in the whole chart.  It's not a stretch to see this as a kind of karmic expression of the original illegality of the 9/11 attacks being redressed in typically forceful and unyielding Saturnian fashion.  Saturn is a natural malefic that symbolizes death and endings and its rulership of the 6th house of legal matters and correction thereof seems somewhat appropriate for the US 'settling the score' for the attack in this unequivocal way.  Saturn's aspect to natal Jupiter was even more precise and represents the US seeking justice and revenge on the leader (10th house) himself.

Another key feature of the interconnection between these two charts is the placement of the nodes.  Rahu and Ketu were at the halfway point of their respective returns, thus transiting Rahu was conjunct Ketu and vice versa.  These nodal returns are often found in significant events, especially those that involve major changes or interruptions of the status quo. The nodes took on an extra importance in the 9/11 horoscope because of the close conjunction of Ketu with Mars.  As the planet of violence and conflict, Mars commonly takes on a prominent place in instances of aggression and this is definitely the case with the 9/11 chart.  Mars was conjunct Ketu in Sagittarius and opposite the Moon, a very dangerous mix of sudden and unpredictable eruptions of violence that would shock (Ketu) the world (Moon) in the name of religion (Sagittarius).  Transiting Rahu therefore activated this symbolism but turned it upside down. Rahu's tendency for disruption may have signaled another expression of this unpredictable and conflictive Mars-Ketu-Moon energy.  It's almost as if Rahu acted to reverse the initial violent urge behind the 9/11 attack (Ketu) and turned it against itself.  After all, we can see that Rahu is a mirror image of Ketu.

We can also see how transiting Mercury and Venus activated the ascendant in the 9/11 chart almost exactly.  These fast moving planets acted as timers for the slower moving planets and also suggested a positive resolution to the initial state of injury. Both Mercury and Venus are benefic planets and their aspects to the ascendant and transiting Saturn may have reflected the settling of the matter.  In fact, we can see that all of the five planets in Pisces may have represented a culmination of planetary energy that was necessary to overcome and transform the initial event.  Transiting Jupiter (justice) and Mars (aggression) also aspected the ascendant and symbolized the application of force by the US military.

It is therefore tempting to think that the possibility of finding and killing Bin Laden in 2011 was somehow encoded in the horoscope of the moment of the attack ten years earlier.  Of course, I'm sure there are other ways of looking at this chart, and we might be able to suggest other planetary patterns that describe the closing of this chapter of the "war on terror".  Nonetheless, the transit of Saturn (death) to the ascendant and 10th house Jupiter in the original chart symbolizing Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden is an astrologically appropriate manifestation.  This Saturn transit translated into the death of the orchestrator of the 9/11 attacks.  In that sense, the planets may actually be karmic vessels that embody the old saying that what goes around, comes around.  

As an addendum, it's worth looking at President Obama's chart just to see how this event may have expressed itself.  Certainly, it will be a huge boost for his popularity as he positions himself for re-election in 2012.   In previous posts on Obama, I had suggested that the April-May period would be characterized by confrontations with opponents on all fronts, both domestic and foreign.  The main culprit in this respect was transiting Rahu (0 Sagittarius) falling under the aspect of his natal Mars (29 Leo). This would likely highlight situations of conflict that could be stressful for Obama and US.  The assassination of Bin Laden may have been stressful, but it is thus far an unequivocal victory for Obama.  One reason why there was a positive outcome to this Mars-type event is that Obama enjoyed the presence of four planets transiting his 3rd house, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Mars.  Specifically, benefics Mercury and Venus were very close to the 3rd equal house cusp.  This would tend to transform any Mars-Rahu type situations into favourable outcomes .  So while the potentially tense Mars-Rahu square may have generated conflictive or violent situations, all those positive placements in the 3rd house made them turn out in a fortunate way for Obama.  Once these positive planets move on in to Aries next week, however, the outcome of conflictive events is less likely to be positive.