The Astrology of Russia and Putin•
Posted on March 04 2022
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine isn’t new: in 2014, Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, with president Vladimir Putin considering it a rightful occupation. On February 24 of this year, Putin initiated a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, motivated by the belief that “Ukraine never had a tradition of genuine statehood”. Many consider that his ambition, as shown by the Russian tanks waving USSR flags during the invasion, is to reestablish the old Soviet Union.
The invasion is part of a longer astrological cycle, tightly woven with the history of communism; it also reflects current tensions between transiting planets and the charts of Putin and Russia. In this article, we’ll take a look at astrological correlations of the invasion and seek out possible answers for the future.
The Saturn-Neptune cycle:
1989 – 2026
The conjunctions of the outer planets (from Jupiter to Pluto) serve as hallmarks of history, revealing key moments for humanity. One such example is 2020’s Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, with influence from Pluto, the planet of crisis, death, and transformation – we all know how that one played out. While Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto reflect social, ideological, and economic changes, the conjunction between Saturn (rules, boundaries, authority) and Neptune (ideology, beliefs) marks 36-year cycles that show the ebb and flow of collective ideals such as socialism or democracy.
In 1989, when Saturn met Neptune in Capricorn - the sign of power and authority -, the Soviet Union fell, marking the collapse of communism and the rise of democracy in Eastern Europe. Following an ideological, political, and economic crisis, boundaries (Saturn) were no longer dissolved (Neptune) and states from the former Soviet bloc regained their independence.
However, 1989 was only the beginning; even if the USSR fell, the 1990s Balkan Wars marked a continuation of the crisis. Communist ideologies weren’t completely flushed out of the Eastern European system, and it might take until 2026 to start a new cycle. The aftermath of communism is visible not only in the tensions between Ukraine and Russia (with a key moment in 2014, when Saturn square Neptune marked a new phase of the cycle), but also in the psychology of the people, who were, since 1989, confronted with a freedom that they’re not still entirely comfortable with.
On March 3, 1989, when the Saturn-Neptune conjunction was exact, Mars (conflict, war) was with Jupiter (expansion) in Taurus (economy, territory), while Venus, the ruler of Taurus, was conjunct with the North Node in Pisces. These aspects show trends for the entire cycle. We can think of socialism as a Pisces-like ideal of peace and harmony: a system based on equality and mutual support, where every person is free to grow and thrive. Idealistic Venus in Pisces, together with the North Node (our collective sense of purpose), can indicate that the 1989-2026 cycle is marked by nostalgia for Eastern Europe’s communist past, an idea that president Putin strongly supports, as indicated by his recent actions.
The Saturn-Neptune chart also shows different influences on Eastern European countries and Russia: while the ex-communist countries have the Ascendant in Cancer at the moment of the conjunction, with the Moon (the ruler of Cancer) debilitated next to Saturn (the planet of hardship and limitation), the chart for Moscow has the Ascendant at the beginning of Leo (the sign of confidence and sovereignty), with the Sun (the ruler of Leo) in the 9th house of expansion.
This configuration makes it a difficult time for Eastern Europe until 2026, when a new chart will hopefully mark a lighter chapter, less influenced by ghosts of the past. The 2026 Saturn-Neptune conjunction will take place in Aries and it could shift the focus on ideologies based on autonomy and freedom.
Vladimir Putin’s Natal Chart And Transits
The generation between 1937 and 1956 has Pluto (the planet of power and authority) in Leo (the archetype of the ruler), a placement that can bring confidence and staying power… or extreme egocentrism and abuse of authority, depending on the person’s free will and level of consciousness.
In Vladimir Putin’s natal chart, Pluto in Leo is conjunct the South Node of karma and attachments, showing that power is nothing new to him: during more than one lifetime, he was probably in a position of major influence and did not shy away from abusing it (Pluto is in conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, a point that shows the energy of obsession and temptation). His strong will, ambition, and desire for power are karmic patterns that are rooted in his personality; the opposite North Node in Aquarius shows that he came into this life to learn about the power of equality, unity, and collaboration, directions that he isn’t exactly comfortable with.
His Sun (ego, identity) in close conjunction with Saturn (authority, control) show his authority and his lack of flexibility, while a strong focus on Libra reveals that he’s a great strategist. Venus, the ruler of his Libra planets, is in Scorpio, showing that he isn’t straightforward in his actions; he prefers to create the ideal context and the justifications for an initiative before striking. Tense aspects between Venus, Jupiter, and Pluto in fixed signs show that he isn’t someone to back down easily - it’s natural for him to stick to his desires -, while tense aspects with Uranus show that he can act upon those desires in unpredictable ways.
Putin’s Mars (action, initiative, the archetype of the conqueror) is in Sagittarius, the sign of (sometimes exaggerated) expansion, and only receives easy aspects from other planets. When a planet isn’t hindered in its expression, it can feel free to pursue its goals without barriers: for Putin, this can mean that he tends to overestimate his abilities or to act without fully considering the consequences.
In February 2022, Saturn is in exact conjunction with Putin’s North Node (the sense of purpose and mission), showing that he probably felt the pressure to act, to materialize his ideals. Saturn activates his natal tensions between Venus, Jupiter, and Pluto, the fixed sign squares that predispose him to excess, overconfidence, and a destructive or self-destructive attitude.
Uranus, the planet of swift and unpredictable action, opposes Venus, his ruler, marking a time when his actions are even more difficult to predict than usual; this aspect is exact on March 20. Even though he’s following a strategy that he’s been probably designing for a longer time, his decisions during these months can shock the rest of the world (as they already have).
The April conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, an aspect that can bring increased idealism, but also amplify illusions, falls in his 10th house of authority and squares his expansive Mars in Pisces. We can expect him to be at the peak of his delusional thinking in April, especially as Mars hits his North Node at the start of the month, possibly prompting him to take swift action, guided by a sense of urgency.
Toward the end of June, the North Node hits his natal Jupiter in Taurus, the planet that shows his material ambitions and his stubbornness. This is a time when he might exaggerate the importance of his ego more than usual or make unrealistic decisions, guided by overconfidence and a strong desire for expansion. August might be a challenging month, with transiting Mars (rapidity, conflict) hitting the blooming conjunction between transiting Uranus (unpredictability) and his natal Jupiter (ambition).
In his progressed chart, 2021 and 2022 are marked by the transit of Mars (initiative, ambition, conflict) over his natal North Node (his sense of purpose), a transit that amplifies his ambition, while the following years are marked by his progressed Sun hitting his natal Mars, another element that can light up his desires and prompt him to seek renewal in his life (and we already know what type of renewal that is). Moreover, the Sun meets the Moon for a New Moon in Sagittarius in his progressed chart at the beginning of 2023. Sagittarius is the sign of expansion and conquest and it’s the same sign that hosted the Moon on February 24, when the first attacks on Ukraine took place.
Even if all the above paint a pessimistic view of Europe in the near future, my hope is that the involvement of the Lunar Nodes will bring Putin to (cosmic) justice. Saturn over the North Node, alongside the transiting nodes squaring his natal nodes in July, can mark a period of frustration, when his goals aren’t aligned with reality or when distorted ambitions can be met with obstacles. From October 2022 to January 2023, Mars will retrograde over Putin’s natal Moon, marking a time of possible hyperreactivity and emotional frustration.
In 2023 and 2024, the South Node of karma will transit over his natal Libra placements during a timeframe that could either mean the strengthening of his authority or the dissolution of benefits that were earned through unjust means.
Russia’s Chart And Transits
For Russia’s astrological chart, we’re going to look at two dates: one is June 12, 1990, when the Declaration on Russia’s National Sovereignty was adopted (this day is celebrated as “the day of Russia”), and the second one is the date for the Union State of Russia and Belarus, on December 8, 1999.
A ruler’s chart often shows similarities or strong points of contact with the country’s “birth” chart. The 1990 astrological chart for Russia has the Sun in Gemini (the sign of Vladimir Putin’s Moon), Venus in Taurus (over Putin’s natal Jupiter), and Pluto in Scorpio (over Putin’s natal Venus). Jupiter (expansion and pride) is in Cancer (the sign that rules communities, countries, and the past) in Russia’s chart, showing a strong national identity, and receives a conjunction from Putin’s natal Uranus (change, innovation), reflecting his revolutionary ideals of bringing back the past.
The exact trine between Jupiter (expansion) and Pluto (sovereignty) shows the country’s position and influence, while a tight Venus-Pluto opposition in Taurus and Scorpio, the signs that rule money and power, show Russia’s predisposition toward “dirty money”, as well as its tradition of eliminating enemies of the state. The South Node of karma is in Leo, with the Sun (ego, personal power) making no aspects to the rest of the chart. When a planet is unaspected, its traits can be exaggerated: perhaps this is an explanation for Russia’s line of authoritarian leaders.
The Ukraine invasion takes place in the wake of a major conjunction between transiting Pluto and the natal Saturn of Russia, an aspect that was active in 2020 and 2021. The conjunction shows hardship, but also a very good potential for the strengthening of authority in the wake of a crisis. We can wonder if Putin is taking advantage of the recovery period after the pandemic; however, with transiting Saturn in conjunction with Russia’s North Node, mirroring the conjunction from Putin’s chart, we can also see an element of karma linked to the wrongful use of power.
The same Saturn is now squaring Russia’s natal Venus-Pluto opposition; here, we can also see the strong possibility of an economic crisis (Venus and Pluto both rule money, while Saturn shows major restrictions). On top of this, a powerful Venus-Mars-Pluto triple conjunction hits Russia’s natal Saturn on March 3: it’s a day when tensions could escalate further or power could be seized, but not without major consequences for the country.
To support this idea, Uranus (change, crisis) conjuncts Russia’s natal Venus in Taurus (the economy), bringing major shifts that we’re already witnessing: after the Ukraine invasion, Russia’s stock market is going through the fifth worst crash in history. Right now, the aspect is becoming tighter (its energy is amplifying) and it will be exact in May and December of this year. The crisis could be clear especially in the autumn, when the Lunar Nodes transit over Russia’s Venus-Pluto opposition. The astrological configuration shows that Russia would need to give up some of its toxic behaviors linked to the energy of Pluto (manipulation, fraud, violence, power abuse) and build new values in order to balance its karma.
April’s conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune squares Russia’s natal Sun, showing that it can be a time of expansion, but also of delusion for the country, while July brings a conjunction between Russia’s progressed Moon and her natal Mars in Aries, in a close square with unpredictable Uranus. In concert with Putin’s transits of the year, we can expect tension to escalate in the summer. On top of this, from October 2022 to January 2023, Mars will retrograde over Russia’s natal Sun at the same time when transit Jupiter will hit Russia’s natal Mars, increasing ambition, but also frustration; new initiatives are likely to be thwarted or to move slowly at this time, but the potential for conflict is still amplified.
In 2023, Russia’s progressed chart shows a conjunction between the Sun (power) and Jupiter (expansion) in Cancer (the sign that rules nationalism), reflecting Putin’s ambitions, but an opposition with Saturn could block new initiatives or make things more difficult than expected.
The chart for December 8, 1999, when the alliance between Russia and Belarus was forged, shows similar themes linked to power (a strong Pluto influence), expansion (a Sagittarius stellium), and military focus and tactics (Mars in conjunction with the South Node in Aquarius), while a tricky configuration between Venus (partnerships), Jupiter (expansion), and Neptune (illusion) can make us wonder if this alliance is truly beneficial for Belarus on the long term.
Mirroring the info shown in Russia’s chart, Uranus (change, upheaval) conjuncts Saturn (structure) in Taurus (the economy) in February 2022 (the exact aspect was on February 22), reflecting the share market collapse, while the transiting South Node conjuncts Mercury in Scorpio, reflecting the problems with communication and media that we’ve witnessed in the past days. Manipulation, deceit, propaganda – shadows of Mercury in Scorpio – are all building more negative karma (South Node) for the country.
As a wrap-up, the difficult transits seen above can show that tensions will most likely extend into the following years. We can only hope (and do our best to offer material and energetic support) that these years will show a final echo of authoritarianism in Europe. With the attack on Ukraine so close to the US Pluto return (February 22), the western world could be going through a massive purging and redistribution of power.
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