The phenomenal collapse of the Afghan government in mid-August 2021 sent shockwaves through the US and across the world. Seemingly overnight (though the process took eleven days total), the 180,000+ strong US-trained Afghan military melted away, leaving the resurgent Taliban, already predominant in much of the rural regions, with little to no resistance in occupying the cities. Even Kabul, the capital of the country, fell in a matter of hours on August 15th, with the US in full retreat from its abandoned embassy, controlling just half of the airport.
The US departure from Afghanistan, after almost two decades of uneven progress and a benighted attempt at nation-building, was originally negotiated by the Trump administration, with a May 1 deadline. The Biden administration chose not to reverse this decision, but extended their exodus by a few months, with all troops slated to withdraw by September 1, just before the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which prompted the US invasion of Afghanistan that October, leading to its longest war ever. While the likelihood of a Taliban takeover at some point seemed certain, no one officially expected the end would come so soon, or so completely.
So far, no hostilities have been exchanged between US and insurgent forces, and the Taliban seems to be respecting the American occupation of the airport, and not interfering with departing flights. But with the fundamentalist Islamic group controlling ground crossings out of the country, and patrolling the streets of Kabul, rife with checkpoints, there seems little hope of evacuating the tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of native Afghanis who cooperated with the US military and diplomatic corps, working as contractors, interpreters and employees, but were unable to reach the sanctuary of the airport before the government’s collapse. Their future in the country is now a bleak one, and the US abandonment of them a black mark on the Biden administration’s record.
For the asteroid astrologer, there is pathetically little to research in the situation, with no matches for the country, its capital, or the principals involved. I did, however, hit upon asteroid Cabu (pronounced kah-boo), with a close phonetic similarity to Kabul, the Afghan capital. Ironically, the point is named for French satiric cartoonist Jean Cabut, who used the pen-name Cabu, and was murdered in the January 7, 2015 shooting attack by Islamic terrorists on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in Paris.
In a chart cast for August 15th, when Kabul and the Afghan government fell (with the president fleeing the country hours earlier, allegedly packing some $167 million is his kit), asteroid Cabu appears at 22 Libra, exactly conjoined a Black Hole and involved in a number of major patterns on that day. Black Holes and Deep Space points are something I discus little these days, but I was immersed in their study for 15 years in the ‘90s and early years of the millennium. “Implosion” is a keyword of their interactions, with prevailing conditions changing in the twinkling of an eye, leading to complete reversals of the status quo. Among other properties, they promote the dramatic volte face, the sudden shift of realities to something unrecognizable from what went before, and it certainly seems fitting to find this marker of Afghan’s government in such a position at such a time.
Cabu finds itself in a tense T-Square with an opposition to TNO Eris at 24 Aries, squared Pluto at 24 Capricorn. This depicts the devastating transformation (Pluto) in Afghanistan’s (Cabu) fortunes, which now revert to a society dominated by religious fundamentalist fanatics, where women are denied education, self-governance, and basic human rights, and public executions for relatively minor infractions of the law are commonplace. Eris denotes stress and discord, as well as downtrodden populations who are marginalized and disrespected. A Grand Cross is created with the addition of asteroid Agita at 21 Cancer, further representing the anxiety and stress of the situation.
Cabu is also involved in a Yod, or Finger of Destiny pattern, exactly sextile the spotlighting Sun at 22 Leo, with Neptune at 22 Pisces on its Apex, exactly inconjunct both base points. Neptune represents Afghanistan’s presumptive isolation from the community of nations under the new regime, the fanaticism and religious zealotry of its new government, and the confused, disordered withdrawal by the US, with Afghanistan (Cabu) the focus of the day (Sun). The Sun is also exactly conjoined asteroid Eurydike, an image of the fruitlessness of attempting to reclaim that which is lost and has passed away forever; and opposes an exact pairing of Jupiter with Damocles at 27 Aquarius, signaling an impending doom (Damocles) of a political nature (Jupiter).
Neptune participates in a second major configuration, a Grand Cross comprised of an opposition to a pairing of asteroids Karma and Washingtonia at 23 and 24 Virgo, with the cross squares to asteroids America at 20 Gemini and Whitehouse with NOT at 28 and 18 Sagittarius respectively. Neptune again portrays the anarchy and ineptitude of the US withdrawal; Whitehouse with NOT (a general disqualifier) describes the President’s (Whitehouse) refusal (NOT) to continue US (America) intervention in the region; the square from Whitehouse to Washingtonia defines the split between the administration (Whitehouse) and the government in general (Washingtonia), with Biden’s decision garnering condemnation from both sides of the aisle; and Karma here suggests a fated resolution, with the US reaping the consequences of its twenty-year war.
Biden himself does not escape celestial opprobrium. His asteroid referent, Bida, appears at 4 Cancer, exactly conjoined asteroid Apophis, named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil. Certainly the wholesale abrupt abandonment of allies qualifies as an act of heinous betrayal, which some might feel squares with Apophis’ reputation. As well, Biden is involved in another Grand Cross, with an opposition to centaur Pholus at 3 Capricorn, noted for mass deaths by whatever cause, and squares to TNO Salacia at 7 Aries, associated with scandalous behaviors, and asteroid Pandora at 4 Libra, known mythically as one who unwittingly released a host of evils upon the human race. The US’ precipitate withdrawal will leave blood on the administration’s hands (Pholus), as the Taliban’s grip on the country increases and its medieval tactics are deployed (Pandora), and desertion of friends and allies qualifies as shameful and a scandal unto itself (Salacia). Biden’s culpability is underscored by an exact semisquare to TNO Lempo at 19 Taurus, another point associated with unrepentant evil. Named for a Finnish god noted as the chief of wickedness, confusion and cruelty, Lempo creates misfortune, disease and unspeakable nastiness (but, paradoxically, is also known originally as a god of love).
Perhaps the energies of the day are best summed up by examining the points which are embedded at station for the chaotic disaster: asteroids Whitehouse and Intel, the two forces most responsible for the Afghan debacle. Stationary bodies exert a huge influence on events, far out of proportion with their typical impact, and are the still points upon which the rest of the chart revolves. Whitehouse at 28 Sagittarius resumes direct motion just three days after Kabul’s fall, indicating a major “turning point” for the occupant of the Oval Office whose poll numbers have plummeted in response to this catastrophe. And Intel at 15 Aries (which turns retrograde from that degree on August 27th) denotes the intelligence which was inadequate to predict the swift turnabout in Afghanistan’s government, prefigured by a Grand Trine Kite from Intel to asteroids d’Arrest at 15 Leo and NOT at 18 Sagittarius, opposed America at 20 Gemini, an indication the US (America) cessation (d’Arrest) of military activity was premised on faulty data and flawed (NOT) analysis (Intel).
Perhaps something may yet be salvaged from the ashes of America’s longest war, if the situation can be turned around and allies rescued and evacuated to safety before the final troop withdrawal, slated for August 30th. But that outcome depends largely on the continued benevolent noninterference of the Taliban in the evacuation process, and the long-term implications of the US defeat in this endeavor are dire indeed.