Still very much in the news internationally, there’s a lot of interest in the astrological charts of Vladimir Putin, Russia and the war on Ukraine. No one seems to have any doubts about the Ukrainian leader but those other charts stir endless speculation that fuel concerns for whole world. Each of those charts deserves an in-depth discussion but I won’t do that here and now, and will confine myself to an overview.
Putin had conditions in his chart going into February that instilled confidence to make a major decision to launch a war, that confidence coming from Jupiter transiting through Pisces. Jupiter inflates or expands where ever it touches, and when it caught up with Neptune in Pisces the chemistry was truly historic. I say historic because the last time Jupiter was conjunct, or caught up, with Neptune in Pisces was the first Crimean War, ending in 1856. Russia wanted the Crimean peninsula to have authority over shipping lanes in the Black Sea. Parts of Europe were against that, mostly France and Great Britain, as was the Ottoman Empire on the south side, Turkey. Jupiter met up with Neptune again lately, this February through April. While together this time, they were joined by Venus, the Sun, Mercury and Mars. As I commented in an earlier review the expansive qualities of especially Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces are limitless insofar as the human psyche is concerned. Dreams and visions are very grand. But the reality came as soon as Jupiter departed. Jupiter has now entered Aries, where patience is short for expecting reality to equal the vision.
It’s fine to envision a destiny ahead full of celebration and adoration. It’s good to create a path for success by imagining it, but if this singular self-serving vision clashes with much greater numbers and many other dreams, the shake-out can be a let down.
Many people cultivate generating a positive attitude and envisioning their intentions as if that’s all they need to succeed. This would be true if one lived in a vacuum, where no one else and their intentions clashed with yours, as if the universe both seen and unseen is as pliable as a wet noodle waiting for our ego to shape it. There are innumerable intentions of living people, and those not living as well. The ongoing patterns in our societies established by our predecessors run on automatic pilot all around and through us. These are the customs, habits and expectations of a society. This is why doing charts for collectives - towns, cities and countries - can be informative. We can see currents flowing in the collective psyche that no one person has a handle on. We can see traditions and customs from the past run headlong into current trends and economic realities. Pisces can be caught up in a universe of dreams that inspire bold moves. Aries doesn’t wait for evolution, it wants results sooner. I did a painting years ago of an individual surfing a surging cosmic tide in the human psyche. It was a kind of a Rorschach test; do you see the surfer leading the wave or is the wave taking the surfer? We never have the full picture; it isn’t necessary, isn’t always helpful and is distracting. Our intellect often sees what we consider the full picture, but it is really only our picture. Our intellect dwells on itself, we are very subjective beings. Intuitive knowledge skips trying to intellectualize information in order to own it, to own all there is to know. Intuitive knowledge is knowing what you need to know without being held back by what you don’t know.
In his moment of decision Putin believed what his intellect told him to believe. All his knowledge told him his purpose and his abilities were wedded to destiny, that he was making destiny. It’s going to turn out that destiny is using him, and his delusion will inadvertently serve humanity.
Intuitively we accept in Astrological theory that in spite of what we do not know, there are innumerable patterns and repeating cycles that are reliable for grasping the outline of how our psyche works. The solar system is our psyche: an organic body filled with properties and value just as the human body is filled with organs and structure. For better and worse we are barely aware of how much the psyche knows. It works mostly behind the scenes leading us from pillar to post. There’s too much to know while at the same time be finite beings in an Earth body. “All knowing” is incompatible with our conscious abilities; we are designed to have most of our knowing outside consciousness and then to seek it by experiencing life. We rely on the imposition of limits and structure, embodied by Saturn, in order to build something constructive and useful with our small capacity Earth consciousness.
Putin’s vision of his place in Russian history is naturally a subjective one within his ego. He probably envisioned that he was seeing everything as it really is, though to launch a war under the umbrella of the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces is guaranteed to be at the height of self deception. He sees everything rotating around him. What we know of his advisors is they were not giving him accurate intelligence reports; they were protecting their employment and telling him what he wanted to hear, reinforcing his delusion. From a cosmic view much greater than Putin's, the collective psyche is fine with that. It will use his conviction to act, as he is one small actor in a larger play. The collective psyche uses everything towards its own ends, including the delusions of mortals.
The visionary expansion Jupiter promised when it entered Pisces' realm of dreams and then conjuncted with Neptune is deflated when it enters Aries, followed by Mars and Venus also entering and leaving Pisces, and entering Aries. Aries wants to be real. Aries isn’t interested in the full story or details; it just wants to get things done.
Another factor is the influence of Saturn which always seeks clarity of vision. Saturn pushes away the flowery distractions to focus on organizing lines of energy in order to be more efficient... over Time. The Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces inspired Putin’s belief in the fantasy he harbored, but the air has gone out of that balloon. This is a huge shift in the forces around Putin penetrating his dream and forcing adjustments. Part of this adjustment pushing into his vision began last year when Saturn began to move into the square aspect to Uranus. It ebbed off with the retrograde motion of Saturn, and returns over the coming summer months to peak in October. The Jupiter Neptune party was an interlude in the weakest months of the Saturn Uranus aspect, but it has done its job. The inspiration Putin acted on isn’t doing Russia or anyone else any good short term, but longer term it will produce a wave of very positive results for the region and the world.
Saturn respects hard work more than big dreams. Saturn respects careful preparation in a well informed context. Saturn respects disciplined long term effort more than periodic flashes of inspired surges. Saturn rewards what it respects with results. It always yields consequences, both welcomed and not. Saturn can become overbearing and suffocating, and in those moments other planetary tendencies can break the overbearing structure, (Uranus). This year got a lot of attention for Jupiter in Pisces but really the main act is Saturn in Aquarius locked in a square with Uranus in Taurus. Once this relationship has played out, the stage will be set for a major shift when Pluto finishes its work in Capricorn and moves into Aquarius. For now though we stand at the crossroads between the agents of order and disorder: Saturn and Uranus. The son and the father in mythology who while they see the world through completely different lenses and their conflicts create distress, ultimately will both make the next major steps in social evolution possible.
Vladmir Putin natal chart
As May folds into the summer months, Saturn continues to grow in tension in Putin’s natal chart, moving into a tighter opposition to his natal Pluto. By the fall of the year the aspects orchestrated by Saturn's climactic opposition will begin to fade, whether or not its lessons have been learned or by how much. Saturn doesn’t wait for the individual to “get it” - there’s a lot of moving parts and if the individual doesn’t get it they can have a whack at it again some other time. Earlier this year Jupiter transited Putin’s natal chart in a favorable relationship/aspect from Pisces to both natal Venus and Jupiter. These aspects contributed heavily to making his decision to "liberate" Ukraine. Putin is a Libra. He has Mercury, Neptune and Saturn in Libra at birth along with the Sun, conveying a belief that he can charm others, that he believes in the illusion of control as a masterful manipulator. Jupiter, working for higher purposes, inflated his belief in being the hand of destiny. However, Jupiter’s series of aspects to his natal cluster in Libra, while a brief flirtation with Putin’s impending immortality, pales in comparison to Saturn’s over-arching transit in Putin’s natal chart. Saturn is in a growing tighter opposition to his natal Pluto. In the bigger picture any grasp he imagined he had over others is itself part of greater forces that incidentally remind him that he is not immortal, he is like everyone else a flicker of a flame in the hand of destiny, not destiny itself. There are much greater forces at work than individual intentions.
Putin’s natal Pluto is in his 10th house as Saturn transits from his 3rd house briefly and then into his 4th house, opposing his natal Pluto. Putin will learn true perspective in a very public way with natal Pluto sitting in his 10th house. His Tower of Babel collapse will make a spectacular splash in front of the world. Pluto brings major transformations. As a tool of life, the transformations Pluto brings sometimes come with death. There are many kinds of death, of ideas, beliefs. This transit from Saturn opposite his natal Pluto will wane by the end of the year, as Saturn leaves Aquarius early next year and moves into Pisces. That’s two major events with Saturn that are peaked now and wane by the end of the year. This should tell us something about the transitions ahead early next year. Along the way, Saturn moves into Putin’s 4th house, a changing emphasis for his chart from strategy and planning to trauma in his personal sphere. It is bringing the specter of Saturn’s cosmic scythe into his personal home, shaking the foundations of his self image. Saturn arrived there on the cusp of his 4th House in April, and by retrograde motion will hit again over the summer. This is a harsh reality hitting home. Putin will face severe limits and restrictions in his personal life and may even be confined to it. In the western world, politicians sometimes tell the public they've decided to spend more time with their families when they have to duck out of leadership. Putin will be sticking close to home, insulating himself.
Fears harbored by others reading into Putin have reached the contemplation of whether he would feel forced to use nuclear weapons, since Pluto is the planet of the nuclear age. On the atomic level, life is transformed with Pluto, discovered in the solar system at the onset of the first use of the atomic bomb. These fears inhabit the darker areas of the psyche but never forget: they are symbolic. There are many kinds of “death” where life continues, and many of them bring the positive side of Pluto which is regeneration into new life. The phoenix. However, Saturn is the major planet in the transits to his natal Pluto, and Saturn works with circumstances that impose limits, not rapid expansion which is what a nuclear bomb is. This is not the kind of aspect that supports the use of nuclear weapons.
What's happening to Putin over the summer is happening at home, his 4th house, and it's intensely personal.
Besides all this, Saturn is also transiting over Putin’s natal Moon’s North Nodes. The arrival of Saturn by transit stimulates a core belief he has held for a lifetime or even inherited from past lives: that he is important to the fate of his country. Pluto was on his South Nodes at birth. Saturn temporarily on the North Nodes tries to bring his perspective around to seeing in real terms what it is he can do with his life while he still has it. This is where we imagine our contribution to the society we owe allegiance to. A good student of history knows that if we don’t decide that, other people will. If Putin refuses to be conscious of or see the truth of it, life will use him anyway. He is being used by layers of intelligence within the collective psyche. For him this is a possible awakening that introduces added insights to what he had assumed to be his purpose. There’s still time to learn. He will be used as a force for positive evolution, though the method of the darker side of Pluto is extremely painful. He is incidental as all leaders are, though he imagined himself something greater as many do. Anyone born within several years of Putin has Pluto in Leo and can easily believe in their essential value to the world to an exaggerated level. While we might ridicule this fantasy, it’s also the belief in it that fuels some individuals to achieve great things. Who can say what the values are?
Jupiter by transit will oppose his natal Sun/Mercury/Neptune/Saturn early next year. If in the year that’s just passed he has gained realistic insights and perspectives, this transit could be very beneficial to us all. If not, then it’s likely he tries to do it all over again. But that would fail even faster. It will be a question for him of going out on a high note or repeating the past. If he is up to it.
There’s a belief in Astrological conversation that when Pluto finally departs Capricorn we will be done with autocrats, or even more ironically, plutocrats. Plutocrats are authority figures whose power stems from enormous wealth, generally acquired by disreputable means. For that to happen to all of them I think the world would have to change incredibly radically, in ways that drown the small fish as it swamps the big ones. There are autocrats in the public consciousness who may fall from power; Putin is certainly one of them. There are others with their necks in the noose now. Some of the countries neighboring Ukraine and Russia who still labor under autocrats pretending to be saviors will get caught in this wave when Pluto finishes up with Capricorn. Often when a major planet changes signs, big things happen in the world and circumstances we grew accustomed to that are no more permanent than a flower bed disappear, and people seem amazed because they had grown accustomed to them. Pluto moving into Aquarius is an interesting subject for another day, it’s not done yet in Capricorn.
Zelensky continues to have a strong chart until a year or more from now when a threat or attempt on his life is in the air.
The astrological chart for Russia faces some interesting transits in the coming year but one in particular stands out to me. As Jupiter transits through Aries with a brief retrograde back into Pisces, it will move into Russia’s 9th house and oppose Russia’s natal Saturn, squaring both Mercury and Pluto, forming a grand cross. Jupiter’s move into the 9th house suggests a shift into admitting foreign influence from “others”, 11th house Pluto and 5th house Mercury. No doubt Russia will need some rebuilding after suffering the attrition of their ill-advised war on Ukraine. The only place it might come from is China and while I haven’t looked at the chart for China yet, most of us can easily imagine a growing investment in Russia from China. Several years ago China began building a gas pipeline jointly with Russia. It faces enormous obstacles and is not yet completed. Until this pipeline is completed the EU remains Russia’s best customer for its natural gas. Both China and India currently buy Russian gas which is shipped by tanker. Their interest in Russian gas is long term. Possibly this upcoming transit from Jupiter in Russia’s chart is in regards to an advanced state of investment with these countries and acceptance in Russia of foreign influence, particularly Chinese.
David A. Wheatley has been a Fine Artist/painter since first exhibiting in Soho, New York during the 1970’s. David developed other talents first as a tarot reader then extending into astrological theory, a practice which lead to the development of ideas in his book, 2012 Before and After. Working occasionally as a full time tarot and astrological counselor, David grew familiar with many other related disciplines through the years that add great dimension to astrological traditions, including psychological perspectives and the development of quantum physics. David currently resides in Florida.