This article was originally posted to the Political Astrology newsgroup on November 22nd 2004.
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Structural coupling in horoscopes for Iran
Fears surrounding Iran's aspirations for nuclear power capabilities combined with the Bush Administration's conferring of pariah status on Iran is laying the foundations for a major vortex of political tensions next year (2005).
How worried should we be? It's unlikely that the Bush Administration will be able to get away with the same kind of con trick that resulted in the invasion of Iraq, although bizarrely enough they do seem to be trying. Whatever, 2005 will surely be an important period in Iran's story.
I checked a few charts to see when things might come to a head, using a broad brush stroke approach. I looked for common degree positions between various charts about to receive some outer planet transits (what I call structural coupling ).
Before starting, it's worth mentioning that whatever happens in Iran cannot be tied contextually to the Middle East Mandate horoscopes . Iran was not part of the Arab lands which were formerly part of the Ottoman empire that was carved up between Britain and France after WWI. I mention this because the current Iraq and Palestinian situations (among others) are connected historically and astrologically to this last gasp exercise in imperial cartography.
This difference in historical context is important. Iran, which used to be Persia, is not a 'new' country and has been ruled by native dynasties since 1520, bar the odd transient foreign occupation by the British and Russians .
Important political events in 20th century Iran
Nick Campion in The Book of World Horoscopes  suggests the beginning of the current parliamentary regime can be used as a contextual starting point for the astrological study of modern Persia/Iran. The first meeting of the parliament, agreed to by the then Shah, happened on .
Two positions stand out.
Pluto 24 Gemini
Saturn 10 Pisces
The coup which brought the Pahlavi dynasty into power (subsequently overthrown in 1979) began at 00:40 LMT in Teheran on . Cossack commander Reza Khan marched on Teheran. Notable positions include:
Saturn 23 Virgo
MC 9 Virgo
Reza Khan, the coup leader, became Prime Minister on .
North lunar node 10 Virgo.
It is worth noting that transit Uranus moved from 6 Pisces to 14 Pisces between Feb 21 1921 (coup) and Oct 28 1923 (Reza Khan becomes Prime Minister). In doing so, it crossed over 9 Pisces, the position of Saturn in the 1906 Parliament chart.
On , Reza Khan is proclaimed Shah.
Uranus 22 Pisces
Sun 21 Sagittarius
Also, there is a tight conjunction between Mars and Saturn at 20-21 Scorpio.
The revolution which ended the Pahlavi dynasty gathered momentum in 1978, and was effectively successful when the Shah left the country on January 16th 1979 on a 1:24pm flight. Ayatollah Khomeini arrived from Paris around 9am on . This is often used as a chart for the symbolic beginning of the Islamic Republic.
Uranus 21 Scorpio (conjunct Saturn-Mars conjunction at time of proclamation of Pahlavi dynasty).
Neptune 20 Sagittarius (conjunct Sun of Pahlavi dynasty)
Venus 26 Sagittarius
Official beginning of Islamic Republic of Iran was on , 3:00pm.
Saturn 9 Virgo
Mars 26 Pisces
There seems to be an focal emphasis in the Persia/Iran astrological lineage on the mutable signs, particularly around 9-10 degrees and 20-26 degrees. Transits in these zones historically coincide with important developments.
Of course, Uranus is about to move across 9-10 Pisces, which is significantly in my view the position of Saturn in the 1906 Parliament chart, as well as opposing the position of Saturn in the horoscope for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Pluto has started to move through the 20-26 degrees of the mutable signs, and not surprisingly is coinciding with the intensification of serious problems. Astrologically, and given the contents of the previous paragraph, one might expect a major turning point to occur when Pluto hits 23-24 Sagittarius. When it does so, it will have completed a half-cycle since the foundation of the Iranian parliamentary system in 1906.
All this suggests to me that there will indeed be a titanic political struggle, perhaps internally, but also most probably externally with the USA from January 2005. That this may centre on the issue of nuclear power is appropriate astrologically.
By April, when Uranus is conjunct the 1906 Parliament Saturn and opposite Saturn in the Islamic Republic of Iran chart, things will be very tense and unstable internally. Pressures for parliamentary reform will be mixed in with the sense of threat and destabilisation posed by American foreign policy.
I would guess that the drama will be contained within the context of diplomacy and political pressures during 2005. I don't reckon a realistic military threat will emerge (if at all) until 2006.
This is because Mars in the Islamic Republic of Iran chart lies at 26 Pisces, and will be experiencing a square transit from Pluto. As will the position of Venus (26 Sagittarius) in the symbolic chart for the Islamic Republic of Iran The military connotations of this are obvious, but it may also indicate a time when there is a major transformation regarding energy policies.
From my current perspective, I don't think there will be a war with Iran, but I do think there will be deep changes in that country's socio-political nature in coincidence with the transits mentioned.
These will not be a reversion to a full blown theocratic state, but most probably pragmatic developments or concessions by religous hardliners which lead to social and democratic reforms, and which also allow them to maintain effective power. Certainly it is unlikely in the short term that Iran will become a secular state, given the current climate which is so conducive to the conservative or fundamentalist espousal of the Islamic faith.
Ironically, the main obstacle which will have to be surmounted will probably be the influence of the Bush Administration in strengthening the theocratic dimension of a country which is closer than most in the region to potentially reaching the state of an emergent democracy under its own steam. A subtle foreign policy is required .....
The nuclear security issue obviously needs to be dealt with though.
No doubt there will be more to say about all this in 2005.
 Structural coupling, a term and concept developed by myself, is a novel addition to mundane astrology. It addresses the thorny question of identifying significant horoscopes for nation states. Importing the notion of the unique horoscope (or birth chart) from natal astrology into mundane astrology work is an error. The subject is explored in detail in my lengthy essay The Observer Observed. References to, and an explanation of structural coupling are contained in part 3, but it makes more sense if one reads the whole essay.back
 After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the Arab regions formerly ruled by Turkey were divided up into a set of new nation states - Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The British and French were given mandates to rule the new territories prior to their eventual independence. Provision was made for a Jewish homeland within the bounds of Palestine. The Middle East Mandates were agreed under the auspices of the League of Nations, and were signed into being at 11:22am on April 25th, 1920 at San Remo in Italy (see The Book of World Horoscopes, by Nicholas Campion, Cinnabar Books, 1995, pp 493-494). The horoscope for this event is highly significant for the Mandate countries and therefore a large part of the Middle East, but has no direct astrological connection to Iran, which was never part of the Ottoman Empire and whose people are not ethnic Arabs. back