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Why kamikaze drones will change the world
Saturn-Pluto conjunctions reveal the weapons that alter the course of history
If you’ve been following how the war in Ukraine is developing, you’ll know that Russia has begun to employ Iranian-made “Shahed-136” suicide drones to attack civilian and military targets in Ukraine. Ukraine is having some success at shooting these drones down, but they are cheap to manufacture and some are inevitably managing to reach their targets. The Russian aim seems to be to demoralise Ukraine’s embattled population by destroying vital infrastructure, especially power supplies. Whether this will work is, of course, another question.
Yet astrology points to these developments. Russia changed its tactics around October last year, while Mars, planet of war, was in the air sign of Gemini, and preparing to station retrograde. We should remember that this is an Age of Air, a time when we’d expect important new technologies to symbolically resonate with the air element. In my video on the Age of Air published on YouTube last year, I argued that drones were among several forms of “air” warfare that would change the nature of conflict, with cyber war, biological warfare, autonomous weapons and space war being other likely manifestations (skip to 18:00 for the part on the future of warfare):
But I recently discovereda mind-blowing pattern to the history of warfare, which has confirmed my suspicions that drone warfare will reshape conflict over the coming years. It’s this: Saturn-Pluto conjunctions herald the emergence of new weapons that dramatically change how war is fought and alter the course of history.
This isn’t a pleasant discovery, because war is anything but that. But I think it’s important. In this article, I’ll outline this new research.
Saturn and Pluto: the darkest conjunction
Saturn-Pluto is the most fearsome of the synodic cycles of pairs of planets we use in mundane astrology. In Saturn, we have Old Father Time, the Greater Malefic to the ancients, a planet closely associated with death. In Pluto, we have the god of the underworld, and a planet that tends to push the significations of planets it’s combined with to extremes. Saturn-Pluto conjunctions herald life-or-death scenarios where we human beings are pushed to our limits, and often beyond. They signify the acts of the Four Horsemen. The most recent of these conjunctions took place in Capricorn on January 12, 2020, when the Covid-19 virus emerged.
Here’s a list of Saturn-Pluto conjunctions going back to 1883, courtesy of Astro-Seek:
In what follows, we’ll see the world-changing weaponry that emerged at each of these Saturn-Pluto conjunctions. Of course, new weapons are invented all the time. What’s striking about this pattern is that, as you’ll soon see, the weapons that emerged at the time of these conjunctions weren’t just any old weapons—every one of them had a dramatic impact on history.
As an experiment, I’m going to use Open AI’s ChatGPT tool to summarise the impact of each of these weapons. Since ChatGPT is trained on what many people have written about these weapons, we’ll see the “consensus view” on how they changed history.
1883: The Maxim gun
Hiram Maxim invented the Maxim gun in 1884, when Saturn and Pluto would have still been close to conjunction following their meeting in May 1883. Arguably the first true “machine gun”, the Maxim gun enabled European powers to conquer and colonise Africa with relatively small numbers of operatives. See this article, Maxim Gun & The Age Of Imperialism.
The Maxim gun, invented by Hiram Maxim in 1884, revolutionized warfare with its rapid-fire capability. The first true machine gun, it fired up to 600 rounds per minute and could continue firing as long as there was ammunition and someone to feed it. The gun's impact on colonial expansion and European imperialism was significant, allowing small numbers of soldiers to defeat much larger indigenous forces. It also influenced military tactics and forced a reconsideration of traditional methods of warfare. The development and use of the Maxim gun marked a turning point in the history of weaponry and had far-reaching effects on international relations and power dynamics.
1914-1915: The Tank
The tank was invented in 1915, the year of the third of three Saturn-Pluto conjunctions in Cancer. Interestingly, the image of Cancer is the crab, a creature that protects itself with a shell of hard armour.
The tank, first used in World War I, transformed the way wars were fought and had a lasting impact on military strategy and tactics. With its ability to traverse rough terrain and provide cover for infantry, the tank challenged traditional tactics and forced armies to rethink their approach to warfare. The tank also had a psychological effect, as its appearance on the battlefield instilled fear in enemy forces. In World War II, the tank became a crucial weapon in both offensive and defensive operations, playing a key role in many decisive battles. The development and use of tanks continue to influence modern warfare, shaping the technology and tactics used by militaries around the world.
Incidentally, the first two of the three Saturn-Pluto conjunctions of 1914-1915 happened at 2° of Cancer. This may well be the “degree of the tank”. In the last days of March 2023, Mars will enter this degree and form a trine aspect with Saturn in Pisces. There is much talk in the news right now about Western states donating tanks to Ukraine. It would not surprise me to see tanks making a newsworthy impact in the conflict around the time of Mars reaching this degree around March 30.
Saturn-Pluto conjunction of October 4, 1914:
Mars and Saturn on March 30, 2023:
The tank wasn’t the only important weapon invented around the time of this Saturn-Pluto conjunction. In August 1914, France deployed tear gas in the first large-scale chemical weapons attack, while in April 1915 the first fighter plane, also French, made its flight. These weapons also played crucial roles in shaping how warfare was fought over the following decades.
1947: The Kalashnikov/AK-47
At the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1947 came the invention of the AK-47, named for its Russian inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov. This year saw the beginning of the Cold War, and the Kalashnikov would become one of the defining weapons of the conflict, used in wars and insurgencies around the world.
The Kalashnikov, more commonly known as the AK-47, is a rifle that has had a profound impact on world history. Invented by the Soviet military engineer Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947, the AK-47 is a lightweight and durable weapon that can be produced relatively cheaply. This made it an attractive option for developing countries and guerrilla groups, which contributed to its widespread distribution around the world. The AK-47 has been used in numerous conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and various civil wars and insurrections. It has become a symbol of revolution and resistance, and is estimated to be the most widely used firearm in the world, with an estimated 100 million units in circulation.
The Kalashnikov had such a strong impact on history it even appears on several national flags, including those of East Timor, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso. Here’s Mozambique’s:
At the opposition of this Saturn-Pluto cycle, in 1965, the US sent its first troops to Vietnam, arguably the defining conflict of the Cold War, to fight the North Vietnamese Viet Cong, who were well-armed with AK-47s. We see here how what was born at the conjunction in 1947 came to fruition at the opposition of 1965. (The CIA also came into being in 1947—arguably a weapon, and a very influential one, too.)
An obvious question mark arises here around nuclear weapons, which were deployed against the Japan in the first days of August 1945 and clearly shaped warfare over the coming decades, even if they weren’t used again. Saturn and Pluto were, relatively speaking, close at this time, although 21 degrees is a rather generous orb:
1982: The suicide bomber
The first suicide bombings came in Lebanon in 1981-1983, around the time of the November 1982 Saturn-Pluto conjunction. It’s interesting to note that this conjunction took place in Libra, the sign in which Saturn is exalted. Perhaps we see here the exaltation of death that informs the ideology of the suicide bomber.
Suicide bombing is a tactic that has changed the course of history in significant ways. The use of suicide bombings as a means of political or religious violence dates back to the early 1980s, when Hezbollah carried out several attacks against Western and Israeli targets in Lebanon. Since then, suicide bombings have become a common tactic in conflicts around the world, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia. These attacks have caused widespread fear and destabilization, leading to increased security measures and changes in foreign policy. Suicide bombings have also contributed to the globalization of terrorism, as groups carry out attacks far from their base of operations. The tactic has had a lasting impact on the way conflicts are waged and on the lives of ordinary people, who now live with a constant threat of violence.
At the opposition of this Saturn-Pluto cycle in 2001, the suicide bombing reached its most devastating expression with the 9/11 attacks, a subject I explore in more depth in this video:
2020: The suicide drone
With this pattern in mind, the obvious question is: what new weapons were born around the time of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of January 12, 2020? And how will they shape the events of this Saturn-Pluto cycle, which will take us to 2053?
January 2020 was, of course, the time of the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China. Some corners of the Internet whisper—or more accurately, yell—that the virus itself was a biological weapon; while I don’t rule anything out, the idea that it was deliberately unleashed strains the bounds of plausibility for me.
That said, there was a weapon that undeniably became much more prominent in warfare in 2020: the suicide drone. Drones—unmanned aircraft—have been around for some time. Suicide drones—which fly into their targets and self-destruct, rather than firing at them from a distance—weren’t invented in 2020, but this is the year when we saw the first conflict whose outcome was decided by them: the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In this conflict Azerbaijan deployed hundreds of Turkish-made suicide drones and quickly overwhelmed Armenian defences and infantry. This has been cited many times as the defining reason for Azerbaijan’s victory in this short war. (If you want to better understand their impact, you can find videos of these horrifying attacks all over YouTube, though I won’t link them here.)
New weapons change the calculus of war. They force militaries to reconfigure themselves; if your enemy has tanks, you need tanks—and countermeasures against them. It will be the same with suicide drones, as is being grimly illustrated in the Ukraine conflict right now. One particular way in which drones might change warfare was highlighted in this Twitter thread:
As the thread explains, the drone may force infantry to become much more mobile to avoid becoming an easy target for cheap suicide drones. One way this could be achieved would be to deploy motorcycle infantry, which might be able to move fast enough to evade drones. If this really did change what armies look like, it would be an interesting echo of the last Age of Air, when the Mongols, who fought on horseback, built the largest contiguous land empire the world has ever seen.
Although the suicide drone wasn’t invented in 2020, its emergence at that pivotal moment is an omen for the direction warfare is heading. My research has shown—over and over again—that archetypally relevant events that happen at conjunctions reveal the character of the whole cycles they initiate. (And suicide drones being deployed to win a war is archetypally relevant to Saturn-Pluto.)
Of course, this Saturn-Pluto cycle will be about much more than just “the suicide drone”, but it does strike me that this is likely one component of the story of the coming decades. As I’ve written before, the Saturn-Pluto cycle seems to describe relations between the US and China, and I wonder if the hard aspects of the cycle—the square in 2028, the opposition in 2035—will see the large-scale deployment of drones in warfare, perhaps in the context of the rivalry between these two powers.
None of this is pleasant to think about, of course, but an astrological pattern as arresting as this one is not something to ignore.
Want to know what 2023 has in store for you? Need help figuring out questions of calling and purpose? Want to understand the nature of the current times better? I still have some slots for private consultations in February!
Other astrologers may well have seen this before, of course. One issue with astrology’s corpus of knowledge is that it’s mostly concealed in journals and magazines that aren’t searchable online. I mean “discovered” in a personal sense.