photo from BBC News
Burma is a country where the art of astrology is a respected tool in national affairs, and the date and time of the founding of Burma took into consideration the astrological influences at the time. A look at the Burmese chart provides insight into the recent protests in that country which have suddenly erupted into the news.
Jupiter (abundance and opportunity) is ascending in the chart in Sagittarius, the sign which it rules, generally considered a fortunate placement. Mars is featured prominently in the 9th house conjunct the Midheaven, suggesting rule by generals and military might rather than democracy. Pluto (death and rebirth) opposes Venus (partnerships) in the chart which in a national chart could indicate the presence of open enemies and interpersonal conflict within the country as well as from those outside.
The Moon (security) is conjunct Neptune (idealism) in Libra (relationships) and both square exactly the conjunction of the Sun (Self) to Mercury (experience) in Capricorn (hard work). Sun conjunct Mercury often indicates frequent moves or changes of personality and Neptune square to the Sun creates confusion with respect to the identity. We have certainly seen this in the case of Burma’s 1948 chart, and the Moon/Neptune conjunction shows a tendency toward deception in service of the dream. Subsequent to Burma’s independence from the British Empire in 1948, a military coup in 1962 ended democratic rule there. Later it became the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma in 1974 and then reverted to the Union of Burma in 1988 before becoming the Union of Myanmar in 1989.
In 1962, when the coup d’etat instituted military rule in Burma, Pluto was in exact conjunction to Mars in the Burma chart and it was in a tight opposition to transiting Chiron. At the same time, transiting Mars was conjunct Jupiter and this pair made a square to Chiron in the chart. We call this a “double whammy” with two signatures between Mars and Chiron at the time, signifying war (Mars) and wounding (Chiron). Although Chiron is the wounded healer, in the square or opposition we tend to find that it is usually necessary to experience the wounding before we get to the healing.
In 1974 a new Burmese constitution institutionalized the power of the ruling socialist party just as Neptune (confusion and deception) transited the ascendant in the Burmese chart and squared the Burmese Mars exactly. Resistance was quashed and hundreds of protesting students were killed. Transiting Jupiter at the time opposed Pluto in the Burmese chart, indicating an expansion of the power structure and authority.
In 1988, transiting Pluto began to square Pluto in the Burmese chart, an event popularly known as the “Pluto Square.” In an individual the Pluto Square marks a time of intense reflection and change; often we find we must let go of the past in order to move into a future that more fully empowers us. For Burma, this time marked an increase in resistance to one-party rule and the 1988 Uprising and 3,000 deaths was the result.
Plans for elections to be held in 1990 coincided with a Saturn/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn which was exactly conjunct the Sun/Mercury conjunction in the Burmese chart and therefore square to the idealistic conjunction of Burma’s Moon to Neptune. The Saturn/Neptune conjunction tends to force us (Saturn) to abandon our illusions (Neptune), and is associated with governmental deception, particularly when Saturn is in its own sign of Capricorn as it was at that time.
When free elections were held for the first time on May 27, 1990, Saturn had separated from the conjunction to transiting Neptune which was in tight aspect to the natal square in the Burmese chart between Moon/Neptune and Sun/Mercury. The resulting confusion nullifed the election and the ruling party remained in power, imprisoning the leaders of the duly elected party.
Over the past month, as the Mars/Pluto opposition activated Uranus (radical change) in the Burma chart, a revolutionary fervor gripped that country resulting in the largest protests in that country in over 20 years. The ongoing square of Jupiter to Uranus is at play here as well, as both planets form tight aspects to the ascendant and Jupiter of the national chart, stimulating a sense of revolutionary confidence and visionary fervor that is spreading throughout the country, undeterred by the growing number of deaths as the military leadership attempts to squelch the increasing number of protests.
Meanwhile, transiting Saturn is preparing to conjunct the prominent Mars in the Burmese chart which has marked the success of military rule in that country since its inception. Saturn will retrograde back over Mars and hit that prominent point a total of three times before proceeding to cross the Midheaven, continuing the pressure on the government. The rulers of this country have attempted to utilize astrology to stay in power, but perhaps the vision and revolutionary ideals of the Jupiter/Uranus square can help to unwind that power and create real democracy in that embattled nation.