The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, but no peace treaty looms on the horizon between Russia and Ukraine as the war grinds on into its second year. Perhaps the modern version, the gift of a clock, would be more appropriate, to time the conflict’s duration. What many predicted would be a triumphal progress for the Russian army a year ago, with expectations that Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv would fall in a matter of days, has turned into a long, hard slog, mainly serving to illustrate the resilience, spirit and determination of the Ukrainian people, and the relative weakness and ineffectuality of the Russian armed forces.
The anniversary was marked by a surprise visit from US President Joe Biden to Kyiv on February 20th, where another $500 million in aid to Ukraine was announced, bringing the total to almost $28 billion since the war began. Biden had traveled by train in a ten-hour trip from Poland, where he was meeting with NATO leaders, to confirm America’s “unwavering” support for Ukraine and its people. As he walked the cold but brightly sunlit streets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden became the first US President to travel in a war zone not under control by US forces since Lincoln during the American Civil War.
A day later, Biden gave an open-air speech in Warsaw before a crowd of some 30,000, exhorting NATO allies and the world community to stand strong for Ukraine, while in Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a dueling address to a joint session of its parliament to commemorate the conflict, blaming the war on Western aggression and once again threatening the use of nuclear weapons.
A look at the skies for the war’s first anniversary on February 24th shows the shifting sands of the conflict and highlights the real-time emphasis of its politics. The Sun at 5 Pisces is at the fulcrum of a T-Square, with asteroids Old Joe at 1 Gemini and Truth at 6 Sagittarius. Old Joe here represents the octogenarian US Commander-in-Chief, speaking honestly and openly (Truth) about the war.
Biden was personally highlighted further by asteroid Bida, his celestial referent, which at 2 Scorpio is embedded at station, in a Grand Trine with the Sun and asteroid Veritas (Latin for “truth”), also at station from 7 Cancer. Both Bida and Veritas will station (Bida retrograde, Veritas direct) on February 24th, the actual anniversary date of the war. Veritas also squares asteroid Ukraina at 6 Libra, named for the country, further identifying the war-torn nation with the cause of truth, while a T-Square with asteroid Whitehouse at 5 Aries exactly conjunct Venus reiterates the administration’s support for Ukraine, and the personal affection and goodwill shared by the two presidents.
In stark contrast, a Grand Trine Kite pattern depicts the Russian situation, with a combination of asteroids Putilin (our celestial referent for Putin), Russia and Vladimir at 7, 8 and 10 Aquarius, trine both an asteroid Achilles/Mars pairing at 10 and 17 Gemini and asteroid Moskva (Russian for the capital of Moscow) at 14 Libra, with the String of the Kite formed by Moskva’s opposition to asteroid Lie at 15 Aries, conjoined Jupiter at 10 Aries. The tight Russia/Vladimir/Putilin conjunction symbolizes Putin’s continued stranglehold on power in Russia; Achilles signals an inherent flaw or weakness which threatens to destroy the individual, and combined with Mars underscores Russia’s military inadequacy; Moskva opposed Lie with Jupiter confirms the deception of the regime’s “Big Lie”, that the West is responsible for the war, which it describes as a defensive action against aggression from the “Neo Nazi” administration in Ukraine.
That String is also part of a Grand Cross that incorporates asteroid Josephina (one of several asteroid referents for Joseph) at 15 Cancer, conjunct Veritas and exactly opposed asteroid Zelinsky) alternate spelling of Zelenskyy) at 15 Capricorn. This closely binds the US and Ukrainian leader (Josephina, Zelinksy) in refuting the propaganda (Lie) from the Russian administration (Moskva) with an honest appraisal (Truth).
The two allied presidents are seen again in a conjunction of asteroids Volodymyr (for Volodymyr Zelenskyy) and Jose (Spanish for Joseph) at 15 and 17 Aquarius, with Mercury at 19 Aquarius, representing a meeting of the minds and ongoing planning (both Mercury) for the successful prosecution of the war, as well as the news (Mercury again) made by Biden’s surprise visit. This grouping opposes asteroid Josefa (yet another Joseph marker) at 14 Leo, with asteroid Intel at 13 Leo, symbolizing the intelligence vital to victory, and this polarity forms another T-Square with Uranus at 15 Taurus, a nod to the high tech weaponry being offered to Ukraine by its allies.
A conjunction of asteroids Washingtonia and Europa at 23 and 28 Sagittarius, squared asteroid Kiev (the anglicized spelling of Kyiv) at 21 Virgo, indicates the continued close ties between Ukraine (Kiev) and its principal allies, the US (Washingtonia, for DC) and NATO, headquartered in Western Europe (Europa). There are some signs of possible breakdown in this alliance, however, offered by a Grand Cross formed with Neptune at 24 Pisces, which can bring confusion or debilitation and sap energy; and TNO Chaos at 28 Gemini, suggesting erosion of existing conditions into anarchy or turmoil.
A final conjunction of note, Saturn at 28 Aquarius conjoins asteroid Donbass at 23 Aquarius and Damocles at 28 Aquarius. This depicts the continued threat or doom (Damocles) hanging over the disputed Donbass region (Donbass) of eastern Ukraine bordering Russia, where Putin has established two puppet “breakaway” republics under his protection, scenes of some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Saturn here suggests further hardship and deprivation for the region.
One pattern remains to be delineated: asteroid America, also at station from 23 Libra, closely opposes asteroid Nemesis at 22 Aries, with Pluto at 29 Capricorn on the fulcrum of a T-Square. America finds itself here at a turning point (station), with Republican opposition to further funding the Ukraine growing. Nemesis casts the US in the role of avenger or adversary, an entity bound to promote cosmic justice, while Pluto suggests the utter devastation wrought by the war, as well as the regeneration and rebirth to come, with US involvement so pivotal in that effort.
Ukraine’s response and resistance to the invasion has been a remarkable testimony to the spirit and cohesion of the society, with just thirty years under its belt as a recognized independent geopolitical entity. We can only hope that it serves as an example of unity and focused effort for the factionalized nation that supports its struggle.