Saudi Arabia is facing a full-scale crisis after the disappearance of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly murdered in the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul with the Turks saying they have recordings of his death. There is mounting pressure on western governments to impose financial sanctions; and they as well as business leaders are pulling out of an investment conference in Riyadh later this month.
Like most autocratic countries Saudi has a history of ‘disappearing’ dissidents though it appears to have worsened in recent times; with the reckless young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), in charge of everything, wreaking havoc in the Yemen and stamping on critics, even within the Royal Family. Khashoggi didn’t seem to be an outright revolutionary calling for the overthrow of the regime; he was pro-MbS’s reforms but questioned other policies.
MbS recently commented favourably on Putin and his methods. Both have accentuated Jupiter square Pluto in their charts – law-unto-themselves, dogmatic, wilful. If anything MbS is even more controlling than Putin. There is a tendency with Jupiter Pluto to push too far out of over-confidence and trip up.
The Saudi Arabia 15 January 1902 3.45 am Riyadh chart started a five year radical transformation in 2017, coinciding with MbS’s Vision 2030 initiative to modernise the country. In 2017/2018 there is a heavy-slog, discouraging tr Pluto conjunct the Saturn; moving across the Sun/Saturn and Jupiter/Saturn midpoints in 2019/2020 which suggest hitches, glitches and losses; with tr Saturn adding another layer of problems as well; before tr Pluto conjuncts the Sun Jupiter in 2020/2021 which should restore confidence. But it will be an uphill battle with many reverses before then and tr Pluto conjunct the Sun is never easy. In addition tr Neptune is starting to square the Saudi Pluto opposition Uranus in 2019/2020 to early 2021, which will be disempowering, confusing and very nervy.
The Saudi Arabia 23 September 1932 chart is in high-insecurity mode right now with tr Uranus square the Mars; and moving through a punishing set of changes from 2019 till late 2023 with tr Pluto moving in hard aspect to the Pluto opposition Saturn square Uranus – 2019/2020 look most obviously revolutionary-prone with tr Pluto square the Uranus. And a considerable setback maybe now and into early 2019 with Solar Arc Mars square the Saturn. Again there will be some lift in 2020/21 from tr Uranus trine the Jupiter.
Trump has been slow to issue a condemnation but many western countries are in the same boat, having multi-billion dollar arms deals with Saudi which they’re reluctant to put at risk. Turkey has never been a friend and that relationship is sagging badly this year and dissolving into more confusion over 2020. The EU are issuing stern words of warning next month and increasing the distance between them in 2019. The UK is likewise pulling back later this year, more so next; with major tensions erupting after mid 2019.
Even the USA, more locked into Saudi – astrologically and for commercial and political reasons – is starting to lose the love. There’ll be a similar chill through 2019, preceded by some sharp words this December/January 2019.
King Salman’s reign, 23 January 2015 1am, is uncertain and panicky this year, jolted early in 2019 and running into a major setback late next year. He’s not in the best of health and is nearly 83.
MbS was elevated to Crown Prince over his more moderate, experienced relative, on 21 June 2017 announced 6.19am or thereabouts in Riyadh. This gives a ruthless Mars in Cancer opposition Pluto square an over-the-top Jupiter. Plus an inspirational, entrepreneurial Fire Grand Trine of Saturn trine Uranus trine Node, formed into a Kite by Saturn opposition Sun Mercury – so a powerful chart for reform with a brutal streak and in-built risks of self-defeat from grandiosity and lack of caution.
There’s an oddly karmic (fated) feel about this situation – and indeed the Skripal poisoning. There have been political assassinations in the recent past but none of them have rung such a bell as these two. And both collide with Trump’s glorification of strong-men leaders and indeed his demonization of the media. There’s a kickback from the universe in here somewhere.