Thailand in Crisis
(posted April 15, 2009) As the recent wave of violent protests by the anti-government "red-shirts" wind down, Thailand's future political and social stability remains an open question. This peaceable kingdom known as the Land of Smiles has become riven with factional struggles that has divided the population across a range of different issues. At the centre of the cleavage is the controversional leader Thaksin Shinawatra, whose populist coalition won elections in 2001 and 2006 but was removed from power due to corruption charges. His supporters believe that he was unjustly denied the reigns of the government by judiciary and military elites. The current government is in the hands of the Democrat party who regard Thaksin as a criminal with no legitimate claim to power. How this split will be resolved is uncertain, since both sides are increasingly intolerant of the claims made by the other. Moreover, neither side appears to have a clear majority in parliament that would stabilize the situation if new elections were held. As a BBC analysis has suggested, there are no clear winners in the current phase of the conflict.
The recent upsurge in civil unrest is manifested by a number of afflictions to the relevant horoscopes for Thailand. The chart of the founding of the current Chakri dynasty (Apr 21, 1782) shows transiting Ketu conjunct the natal Moon at 11 Cancer. Ketu is often a disruptive influence and here it is more likely to produce problems since it sits in the 6th house of conflict and ill-health in the natal chart. The Moon represents the people as a whole and the mood of the nation, so that pattern coincides with a sense of unease and upset that pervades the kingdom. Transiting Pluto (9 Sagittarius) is approaching a conjunction with natal Saturn, suggesting a transforming or eroding of order and structure that bind the country together. This is a long term influence over the next 1-2 years, so this is one reason why Thailand's unsettled politics are unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
More immediately, transiting Saturn (21 Leo) is moving to station in a harsh square aspect against the natal Mars (19 Taurus). While this direct station will not occur until May 16, it is very close now and is one of the main astrological indicators for the violent protests that forced martial law to be declared in Bangkok. Mars-Saturn aspects often denote destruction and violence since the aggressive and assertive energy of Mars is distorted by malefic Saturn. We may expect sporadic incidents over the coming weeks until Saturn has once again resumed its direct motion and moves away from the natal Mars. In particular, the time around April 27 and the Mars-Ketu aspect may see another unfortunate violent of conflictual development in this situation. Then on May 6, Mercury will go retrograde at 7 Taurus which will conjoin the natal Mars in the 1932 chart. This could also represent a combative political development.
The situation is similarly troubled in the chart for modern Thailand, which came into effect as a constitutional monarchy was adopted after a coup on June 24, 1932. In this chart, transiting Pluto is opposite the natal Sun (9 Gemini), symbolizing tensions and struggles over power and authority. And like the 1782 chart, we find the Moon similarly afflicted as Saturn is stationing just a few degrees from the IC (4th house cusp) and a few degrees from the natal Moon. The 4th house represents the population as a whole and the Moon symbolizes the people, or national mood. Transiting Mars (violence) and Uranus (change) are conjoined in square aspect to the ascendant reflecting a sudden explosion of energy and violence. Moreover, Mars and Uranus are transiting over the equal 10th house cusp, which represents government and leaders.
The political situation should stabilize somewhat after Saturn moves direct May 16 and as we approach the Jupiter station in June since this will aspect the ascendant of the 1932 chart. But watch for a possible deteroriating situation in August and September as the Saturn-Uranus opposition occurs in exact square to this ascendant. The period from December to February 2010 if anything looks more difficult for government and leaders as the Saturn-Pluto square will set up on the natal Sun. This points to a possible change in government and a lot of anxiety and frustration with the power structure in Thailand. Interestingly, the 1782 chart also seems to be in a stressful condition as the Saturn station at 10 Virgo will activate the natal t-square of Sun (10 Aries), Saturn (10 Capricorn) and Uranus (8 Gemini). This combination of planetary energies indicate that Thailand may be going through a time of profound political and social transformation.
The role of the much-beloved King Bhumipol is the wild card in all these developments, since he alone seems to have enough authority to quell any significant differences of opinion. So far, he has resisted the temptation to make a clear public statement for either side. This reluctance may reflect his advancing age (the King is 83) and widespread reports of weakening health. Given the rough transit pattern in early 2010, the power and sanctity of the monarchy itself may be called into question.