On 12 August 2022 Salman Rushdie, 75, famed author of “The Satanic Verses”, was attacked in public as he was being introduced for a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. Hadi Matar, 24, rushed the stage and flung himself on Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times in the face, neck and abdomen. Airlifted from a nearby ball field to Erie Hospital, Rushdie remains on a ventilator, unable to speak; his agent stated that he may lose an eye and has extensive liver damage, as well as severed nerves in his arm.
The publication of his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses”, an allusion to an old Islamic tradition contending that Muhammad had added certain verses to the Qur’an at the devil’s prompting, then later deleted them, provoked widespread controversy and condemnation across the Islamic world, with the book banned in many countries. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini went a step further, issuing a fatwa death sentence against Rushdie, who spent many years in hiding and under constant police protection. In addition, a bounty of $3.3 million was placed on his head. He avoided an assassination attempt that same year, but remained controversial, and was placed on an Al Qaeda hit list as recently as 2010.
The attack came at approximately 10:45 AM EDT in Chautauqua, NY on 12 August 2022. A chart set for that event shows asteroid Salmon (for Salman) at 22 Libra rising on the 21 Libra Ascendant, with asteroid Rusheva (closest to Rushdie) at 26 Cancer, cresting the 25 Cancer MC. These form a T-Square with Pluto, modern lord of death and planetary ruler of homicide, exactly opposed Rusheva from 26 Capricorn, on the 25 Cap IC. A Grand Cross is completed with TNO Eris, noted for revenge and often representing resentful, discontented persons, at 24 Aries on the 21 Aries Descendant. Feeding into the pattern are Mars, ruling knives, attacks and violence, which at 25 Taurus is sextile Rusheva and inconjunct Salmon; and asteroid Stabia, for “stabbing”, which at 26 Gemini is semisextile Rusheva and trine Salmon.
Moreover, Stabia exactly conjoins Salman Rushdie’s natal Sun/Moon conjunction at 26 Gemini (born 19 June 1947 at 2:30 AM IST in Bombay, India, Rodden Rating A). That chart shows asteroid Achilles, known for weakness or vulnerability, at 21 Capricorn on the 22 Capricorn MC, opposing Mercury, ruling writers, at 21 Cancer; this polarity conjoins the transit Rusheva/Pluto opposition and T-Squares transit Salmon, establishing Salman (Salmon) Rushdie (Rusheva) as a writer (Mercury) vulnerable (Achilles) to a homicidal attack (Pluto) when in the public eye (MC). The natal opposition forms a wide T-Square with asteroid Matarazzo at 29 Aries, closely conjoined the 0 Taurus Ascendant. Matarazzo here acts as a celestial stand-in for assailant Hadi Matar.
In the event chart, transit Matarazzo at 10 Scorpio conjoins transit asteroid Ahmed (Salman Rushdie’s given first name) at 6 Scorpio, bringing attacker and victim into close celestial, as well as terrestrial, proximity. This pairing conjoins natal centaur Chiron, ruling wounding, at 2 Scorpio, on the 0 Scorpio Descendant, and is also within orb of natal asteroid Stabia at 13 Scorpio. Stabia is exactly conjunct asteroid Fatou, closest to fatwa. This pairing was exactly trined by transit asteroid Fatou at 13 Cancer for the stabbing, also exactly inconjunct transit asteroid Achilles at 13 Gemini, with transit asteroid Fanatica at 12 Gemini, portraying vulnerability (Achilles) from a fanatic (Fanatica) enacting a death sentence (Fatou) with a knife attack (Stabia). No motive has yet been given for Matar’s actions, but given his ethnic identity, a connection to the three-decades-old fatwa seems reasonable to assume.
Matar is also represented by asteroid Mattei, which at 14 Capricorn in the transit Sky opposes Fatou and is inconjunct Achilles/Fanatica, therefore sextile natal Stabia/Fatou. A T-Square is formed with transit Chiron at 16 Aries, and a wide square to transit Salmon makes this a Grand Cross. Natal Mattei at 14 Cancer is conjunct transit Fatou and opposed exactly by Mattei’s transit position; it further opposes natal Achilles at 21 Capricorn, T-Squared natal TNO Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, at 11 Libra.
Natally, Ahmed Salman Rushdie has asteroids Salman and Ahmed at 2 and 5 Libra in an out-of-Sign square to the Sun/Moon conjunction, with asteroid Rusheva at 10 Pisces in sesquiquadrate. This comports with the typical placements for one’s own PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids), most commonly found in contact with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury. While in hiding, Rushdie employed the alias “Joseph Anton”; asteroid Antonov appears at 22 Sagittarius, opposed the Sun/Moon pairing, while asteroid Jose (Spanish for Joseph) at 3 Cancer is conjoined, and asteroid Josefa at 9 Scorpio is stationary, turning direct July 1st. These soli-lunar contacts would enable Rushdie to easily inhabit the role of his alter ego, while any point at station indicates a special role to play in the biography.
Death was in the stars for Rushdie the day of the attack, and he can be deemed lucky to have narrowly avoided it. Most notably, transit asteroid Requiem at 25 Virgo, named for the funeral mass for the dead, had just returned to its natal degree of 24 Virgo, in trine to transit Pluto, lord of the dead, at 26 Capricorn. Moreover, transit asteroid Anubis, named for the ancient Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, was exactly conjoined natal asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, at 29 Virgo (also trine Pluto).
Transit Saturn at 22 Aquarius, ancient lord of death, was opposing natal asteroids Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and Rip (“RIP”) at 20 and 21 Leo, with transit Rip at 26 Leo also recently returned to its natal degree, affording resets of the deadly potential it describes. Natal Saturn at 6 Leo was exactly opposed by transit asteroid Lachesis at 6 Aquarius, named for the Fate who determines the span of life; these form a precise T-Square with transit asteroid Ahmed at 6 Scorpio.
Although considerable, these transits do not constitute the preponderance of such energies normally in effect at the time of a passing, possibly explaining why Rushdie came so close, but survived.
The extent of Rushdie’s injuries and their effect on the remainder of his life remains unclear at this writing, but it seems as if a long-threatened doom has descended upon him at last.