Book review: Astrology and the Causes of War

Jamie Macphail was the student and friend of Charles Harvey, author of Mundane Astrology. Initially he wanted to write an update to Mundane Astrology, but realizing that is hard to improve such an excellent book, he wrote Astrology and the Causes of War and published it in 2006. The book is based on his previous articles published in the Astrological Journal. Until 2011, it is his only astrological book and is the only comprehensive, detailed study on this interesting subject.


In this part the author presents several important thoughts about mundane astrology. For example, he believes that with mundane astrology we can foresee wars and even avoid them (!): “It is my view that, almost invariably, the folly of war can be readily anticipated in advance through the study of the relevant astrological charts.”. Probably we can foresee wars, though not many wars were foresaw by astrologers, but to avoid them with astrology… this seems more like a illusory hope. He also presents short and relevant descriptions for the planets, houses, aspects and other key points in mundane astrology.  

1. The Falklands War – 1982


The Falklands Islands are placed in South Atlantic near Argentina, a country which all the time claimed sovereignty over this territory. The Falklands were occupied by different powers like Spain, France, Britain and Argentina, until 1833 when Britain re-established their rule here. The oil reserve near the island could be an important reason of the interest for this area.

Before the war there were many years of negotiations between Britain and Argentina about the issue of sovereignty, but in spite of the previous signals given by Argentina, Britain was taken by surprise when the war started as “British didn’t really believe that Argentina would take such a precipitated action.” Still, on 2 April 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands, at the order of General Galtieri. On the other side, Britain was under the power of Margaret Thatcher, “The Iron Lady”. For both leaders the war was a chance to regain people confidence as in both countries they were falling in popularity. After Britain won the war in only two months, Galtieri was removed from power and Margaret Thatcher won the elections.

Astrology analysis

The author uses many techniques to analyze the event which makes the text confusing. For this example I will present all the analyses he makes in order to help the readers to have an idea about how the analyze is made. So, we have the following interpretations:

– Lunar eclipse (9 January 1982); Solar eclipse (25 January 1982);

– Aries ingress (20 March 1982)

– UK 1801 natal chart – resonance with Lunar eclipse on 9 January 1982; UK 1801 natal chart – transits; UK 1801 natal chart – Solar return for 1982; UK 1801 natal chart – Lunar return April – June 1982; UK 1801 secondary progressed chart for 2 April 1982

– Argentina natal chart – transits; Argentina natal chart – Solar return; Argentina natal chart – Lunar return April – June 1982; Argentina secondary progressed chart for 2 April 1982;

– Solar eclipse 21 June 1982

– Lunar eclipse 6 July 1982

– President Leopoldo Galtieri’s natal chart; President Leopoldo Galtieri’s natal chart – transits; President Leopoldo Galtieri’s natal chart – solar return; President Leopoldo Galtieri’s natal chart – lunar return; President Leopoldo Galtieri’s secondary progressed chart; President Leopoldo Galtieri’s natal chart resonance with eclipses of January and June/July 1982

– Margaret Thatcher’s natal chart; Margaret Thatcher’s natal chart – transits; Margaret Thatcher’s natal chart – solar return; Margaret Thatcher’s natal chart – lunar return; Margaret Thatcher’s secondary progressed chart; Margaret Thatcher’s natal chart resonance with eclipses of January and June/July 1982

– Argentina/UK Composite chart – transits; Argentina/UK Composite chart resonance with eclipses of January and June/July 1982

After reading 28 chart analises and at least 200 aspects do you think you’ll know what was relevant for this war? I tell you that will be hard. The problem is that the author doesn’t select the important and relevant aspects. He also uses very much Chiron, Node North and aspects like sesquisquare (135) and quincunx (150). In order to simplify this I will write only about some of the aspects that seemed important for the nature of events.

For the Falklands War the following aspects are very important:

– the Lunar Eclipse (19 Cancer) of 9 January 1982 fell exactly in conjunction with the natal Moon (19 Cancer) -10th house- from the UK 1801 chart, near Argentina natal Sun (17 Cancer) and in opposition with Argentina natal Moon (20 Capricorn).

– Saturn in transit (19 Libra) when the war started was in square with the natal Moon of the UK 1801 chart, natal Moon Argentina chart (20 Capricorn) and Lunar Eclipse.

– Saturn in transit (19 Libra) conjunct Margaret Thatcher natal Sun.

2. The Iran – Iraq war


The Iran – Iraq war (1980 – 1988), the longest conventional war of the twentieth century, started on 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, and ended in August 1988 with a cost of half a million lives. The cause of the war was that Saddam Hussein was afraid of the long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution and his leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, who wanted to create an Islamic republic in Iraq, as in Iran and by Saddam’s megalomania “to realise his ambition to emerge as a leading figure in the Arab world”.

In the first months of war Iraqi army made a good progress in the Iran territory, but in several months the Iranians regained all lost territory and for the next six years Iran was on the offensive and the war ended in a kind of “stalemate” with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 598.

Astrology analysis

The author makes the same kind of analyses like in Chapter 1, from which I will present what is, in my opinion, relevant for the event:

– the preceding Solar eclipse from August 10, 1980 at 18 degrees in Leo is conjunct with the Ascendant (17 Leo) from Iran’s natal chart and close to the Ascendant (8 Leo) from Iraq’s natal chart;

– in Iraq natal chart the progressed Sun is conjunct with natal Uranus

– transit Pluto in square with Sun from Iraq natal chart

Below is the natal chart for Iraq, raised for July 14, 1958, 06:30 BAT, Baghdad. You can see Mars near the MC, square Sun, opposed Jupiter which can explain why this country is so implicated in wars.

The author presents Saddam Hussein’s natal chart making an interesting and comprehensive commentary. An important aspect for his evolution I think it is the natal opposition between Jupiter (27 Capricorn) and Pluto (27 Cancer) which show his passionate, intense ideals, beliefs and his desire to impose his will on others. Important astrological aspects on his chart, when the war started are:

– transit Pluto (21 Libra) in opposition with natal Venus (22 Aries), square natal Pluto (27 Cancer) and natal Jupiter (27 Capricorn)

– transit Saturn (0 Libra) in opposition with natal Saturn (0 Aries)

Below is Saddam Hussein natal chart raised April 28, 1937, 12:00 EEDT, Tikrit, Iraq. The time of birth is not known, so the chart is made for 12:00.

3. The Gulf War 1991


The Gulf war began on August 2, 1990, 2 a.m. with Iraq invading Kuwait and ended on February 28, 1991 with the victory of the coalition forces and liberation of Kuwait. The story behind the invasion was the bad economical position of Iraq after the Iran-Iraq war, and the unfulfilled expectation of Saddam Hussein to be supported by the Arab states, especially Kuwait, to rebuild Iraq. Using some border disputes on oil reserves, Saddam invaded Kuwait with the believe that this former colony of Iraq, with such a good strategic position, will provide power and money for his country.

Astrological analysis

The important aspects on Iraq natal chart are:

– transit Saturn (21 Capricorn) opposed natal Sun (21 Cancer) and square natal Mars (25 Aries), natal Jupiter (23 Libra)

– in the final part of the war the progressed Moon conjunct with natal Pluto to show the bad mood of Iraqi people

On the Saddam Hussein’s natal chart we can see the important aspects which highlight the natal Jupiter-Pluto opposition:

– the solar eclipse on January 15, 1991 at 25 Capricorn fell on natal Jupiter (27 Capricorn), in opposition with natal Pluto (27 Cancer) to prevent the bad outcome of the war.

– transit Jupiter in conjunction with natal Pluto and opposition natal Jupiter when the war started

– transit Saturn in conjunction with natal Jupiter and opposition natal Pluto, a week before the war.

The aspects on the United States natal chart when they attacked Iraq on January 17, 1991 are:

– transit Sun, Saturn, NN in conjunction with natal Pluto at 28 Capricorn.

Below is the natal chart of United States, raised for July 4, 1776 NS, 17:10 EST, Philadelphia, USA:

4. The Iraq war of 2003


The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by the United States and United Kingdom which succeeded to change the regime and capture Saddam Hussein who was judged and executed by the new Iraqi government. The author makes an interesting and detailed analysis of the Iraq war and tries to find the reasons behind the decision of the US and UK to attack Iraq. He proves that the following arguments are not plausible:

  1. Weapons of mass destruction, because the UN inspectors reported that they didn’t find WMD in Iraq and also after the invasion there weren’t any WMD.
  2. The connection with terrorism, because Saddam was not in good relations with the Islamic fundamentalists (Shi’ites). Linking Iraq with terrorism and September 11, 2001 events was used by USA only to manipulate the American people and to create a popular mood to sustain the attack.

In conclusion, the only real reason was the USA interest in Iraq’s oil reserves and the desire to control as much as it can the entire area. But, as the economist J.K. Galbraith said “it was the biggest misadventure in US history”.

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– the Solar eclipse from June 10, 2002 at 20 degrees in Gemini, which already was a ill omen being conjunct Saturn and opposed Pluto, fell on natal Mars (21 Gemini), House 7 (enemies) from US chart and on the Moon – Venus (19-20 Gemini) conjunction from Iraq natal chart in opposition with Saturn natal (20 Gemini);

– on the invasion period, Pluto was exactly 180 degrees the eclipse point (!), acting like a trigger for what the eclipse signified more than a half a year before;

– also transit Uranus conjunct US natal Moon;

– in the Iraq natal chart we can see transit Pluto (20 Sagittarius) conjunct natal Saturn (20 Sagittarius) and transit Saturn in conjunction with natal Moon – Venus (19-20 Gemini) and opposition with natal Saturn (20 Gemini).

We can see that the astrological aspects mentioned are very close and very “appropriate” with what war means. This is a good example for synchronicity, if we think about C.G. Jung theory.

5. Israel and the Six Day War of 1967


The Six Day War was fought on 5-10 June 1967 between Israel and his neighbours Egypt, Jordan and Syria. The war was a part of the continuous Arab-Israeli conflict and started with a surprising air strike against Egypt, which was very successful and provided Israel air supremacy during the war. Until June 10, 1967 Israel obtained an impressive victory against his three enemies and took control over the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. As a result Israel’s territory had multiplied by 3!

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– transit Jupiter (2 Leo) conjunct Israel natal Moon (4 Leo), the governor of the 10th house; a sign of good fortune;

– solar eclipse (18 Taurus) from May 9, 1967 in a large conjunction with Israel natal Sun (24 Taurus) and also in a large square with natal Mars (28 Leo), natal Saturn (16 Leo) and natal Pluto (13 Leo);

6. Yom Kippur War of 1973


After the 1967 Israel victory, it was inevitable that Egypt, Syria and the Palestinians would fight again to get their lost territories back. This was the Fourth Arab – Israeli war and started on October 6, 1973 with a surprise attack on Israel launched by the coalition forces. The event had also important religious connotations because on October 6, 1973 was celebrated Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism and also was the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The war ended on October 25, 1973 with a ceasefire as the tensions raised between United States, Israel ally, and Soviet Union, Egypt and Syria ally. Israel had a tactical victory on the field, but the ceasefire gave also the Arabs the opportunity to leave the war proud and to feel vindicated from the humiliation received after the Six Day War of 1967.

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– Jupiter transit (2 Aquarius) in opposition with Israel natal Moon (4 Leo), which is the governor of 10th house, a sign of good luck; in the 1967 Six Days War Jupiter transit was conjunct the natal Moon!;

– Uranus transit (23 Libra) conjunct Israel Ascendant (23 Libra): sudden, shocking events on people and in relations;

– Saturn transit (5 Cancer) in conjunction with Israel natal Venus (5 Cancer) in 6th house and in perfect square with Pluto transit (5 Libra). The combination shows depression, relations that will change, relations that must be “updated” to the real situation, death, war. The aspect is more important than usual because in Israel natal chart Pluto (13 Leo) is conjunct Saturn (16 Leo)!;

– in the chart of Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, the instigator of the war, Saturn transit (5 Cancer) was conjunct Pluto natal (6 Cancer), opposed natal Sun (2 Capricorn) and Pluto transit (5 Libra) was square natal Pluto (6 Cancer);

– also on Anwar Sadat chart Jupiter transit (2 Aquarius) was conjunct natal Mars (4 Aquarius) giving him courage, confidence and the opportunity to act.

Below is the natal chart of Israel, raised for May 14, 1948, 16:00 EET, Tel Aviv, Israel:

7. The Korean War of 1950-1953


After the World War II, Russia and America tried and succeeded to gain control over North Korea and, respectively, South Korea. North Korea invaded its southern neighbour on June 25, 1950 with the support of Russia and communist China from October 8, 1950. After the arrival of communists in China in October 1949, United States felt they have to help South Korea in the war in order to “prevent the communist regime in the north of the divided country from spreading to the south.”

Initially North Korea conquered almost all South Korea, but then the South Koreans with the American help pushed back and even more advanced almost to China border. In 1953 the war ended with a ceasefire that restored the border near the 38th parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– transit Pluto (16-22 Leo during the war) in conjunction with natal Sun (22 Leo) of South Korea;

– Saturn transit (14 Virgo) conjunct North Korea natal Sun (16 Virgo);

– Neptune transit (15 Libra) conjunct natal Saturn (15 Libra) from United States chart;

– transit Uranus (5 Cancer) conjunct natal Jupiter (5 Cancer), square natal Mars (5 Libra) from US chart show surprises, aggressive foreign relations, war (especially because Jupiter governs the 1st house);

– when China entered the war, transit Pluto (19 Leo) was square Venus natal (19 Scorpio), conjunct Pluto natal (18 Leo).

Below is the natal chart of South Korea, raised for August 15, 1948, 12:00 JST, Seoul, South Korea:

8. The Vietnam War of 1955-1975


The Vietnam war was a conflict between North Vietnam supported by its communist allies and South Vietnam, supported mainly by United States, with a major implication in the war from 1964. The war started on November 1, 1955 and ended on April 30, 1975 when the North Vietnamese captured Saigon. The next year North and South Vietnam were reunified and the communists took power in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– in august 1964, transit Uranus (9 Virgo) was in square with United States natal Uranus (9 Gemini) from the 7th house: unexpected enemies;

– in the chart of Lyndon Johnson, America’s president, Saturn transit (3 Pisces) is in opposition with natal Mars (2 Virgo) and natal Sun (4 Virgo).

9. The India – Pakistan War of 1965


After the end of rule of India by Britain in 1947 the country split from religious reasons between India (Hindu people) and Pakistan (Muslim people). From 1947 until present there were several wars between India and Pakistan caused by the religious issue and the problem of Kashmir.

The war of 1965 began in August 1965 with the invasion of Pakistan in Kashmir and ended in September 23, 1965 with a United Nations ceasefire and no territorial changes. It is said that at the end of the war India had a better position than Pakistan and would have won.

Astrological analysis

India and Pakistan have very similar charts, only the Ascendants position being different. The relevant aspects are:

– for both countries in August 1965, transit Jupiter (25 Gemini) was conjunct with natal Uranus (25 Gemini);

– when the war finished transit Jupiter (0 Cancer) was in conjunction with natal Mars (1 Cancer)

The author analyzes also the natal charts of the Republic of India and Pakistan from 1950 and 1956:

– in India chart transit Neptune (17 Scorpio) is square natal Pluto (17 Leo)p; also transit Pluto (15 Virgo) is conjunct transit Uranus (14 Virgo) conjunct natal Saturn (19 Virgo) and in opposition with transit Saturn (16 Pisces);

– in Pakistan chart there are no relevant transits.

10. The India – Pakistan War of 1971


It was a short war of only 13 days which started with the attack of Pakistan on December 3, 1971 and ended on December 16, 1971 with the victory of Indian forces and a new state, Bangladesh, which took place of the old East Pakistan. Initially the war started like a civil war with the revolt of the people of East Pakistan against the army and the regime of West Pakistan, but India chose to intervene to stop the carnage and sustained East Pakistan.

Astrological analysis

The author used charts for India and Pakistan from the independence (1947) and the republic (1950 – India, 1956 – Pakistan) and analyzed the influence of seven eclipses (!) which resulted in a complicated and confusing presentation. The important aspects are:

– Lunar eclipse (21 Leo) from February 10, 1971 on the natal Sun of Pakistan (21 Leo) using the chart of 1947 is in the 4th house and can easily represent a civil war;

– Pluto transit (1-2 Libra) square natal Mars (1 Cancer) for both Pakistan and India Independence charts.

11. The Yugoslavia Civil War of 1991 – 1995


The author analyzes the complicated history of Yugoslavia, the ups and downs of the state from the first Yugoslavian national state, created after the First World War, to the flourish and stable period under the president Joseph Tito (1953 – 1980) and to the period of 80s and 90s with the frictions, protests and nationalism that appeared between the countries that formed Yugoslavia: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and also the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina.

After Slovenia with Croatia declared their independence on June 25, 1991 and Bosnia and Herzegovina on April 6, 1991, several wars started between Serbia and Slovenia (1991), Serbia and Croatia (1991 – 1995) and Serbia and Bosnia (1991 – 1995). The causes of the war were the people nationalism, the religious and cultural differences and a deep, growing economic crisis in Yugoslavia.

Astrological analysis

There are many astrological aspects that symbolise very well the events:

– Solar eclipse (19 Cancer) of July 11, 1991 conjunct Serbia (1878 chart) natal Sun (21 Cancer);

– in 1990, transit Saturn in opposition with Serbia natal Sun;

– in 1991, Pluto transit (18 Scorpio) conjunct Yugoslavia natal Moon (18 Scorpio);

– in 1990, Uranus transit (7 Capricorn) in opposition Yugoslavia natal Pluto (6 Cancer);

– in 1990-1991, Saturn transit in House 7 of Yugoslavia natal chart;

– transit Uranus-0-Neptune in conjunction with Yugoslavia natal Mars (16 Capricorn);

– in August 1990 – April 1991, Jupiter transit in conjunction with Slobodan Milosevic natal Pluto (5 Leo);

Below is the natal chart of Kingdom of Yugoslavia, raised for December 1, 1918, 20:00 CET, Belgrade, Yugoslavia:

12. The Genocide in Rwanda of 1994


The genocide from Rwanda started in April 1994 as a culmination of the ethnic tensions between Tutsi and Hutu people, triggered by the assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira, presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. The two forces fought for 100 days, until mid-July, in a horrifying mass murder of an estimated 800.000 dead people.

Astrological analysis

The relevant aspects are:

– in April 1994, transit Pluto (28 Scorpio) in square with Rwanda natal Uranus (28 Leo);

– before the genocide started, transit Pluto (23-27 Scorpio) in opposition with natal Mars (24 Taurus).


Conclusion. The book covers a rare subject on the current astrological field, which is the astrological analysis of important historical events (in this case war, conflicts). Even the subject is very interesting, one can’t find easily books or articles about it, so, I think Astrology and the Causes of War fills a gap in the current astrological writings.

The content of the book is comprehensive on each of the 12 conflicts analyzed. Each chapter has a first part with historical information and a second part with the astrological analysis. The historical information is detailed, well documented and succeeds to give the reader a clear picture on the events. In the second part of each chapter, the author presents almost all the astrological aspects which are possible in astrology. He uses 45, 135, 150 aspects, also midpoints and extensively the asteroid Chiron, on solar and lunar eclipses, solar and lunar returns, ingresses, composite charts etc. One can find a long analysis, all kind of techniques and planetary combinations, but the main disadvantage of this approach is that will be very hard for the reader to understand which are the important, relevant astrological positions for the event. I think this is a big problem for this otherwise interesting book. The problem is that in this way we will enter in a very dangerous game where will be impossible not to find suitable aspects for each event. For example, we will find a 45 aspect, a Chiron aspect, an ingress aspect or something… It is not good and I will give an example of what resulted from this approach:

“page 193 – There was one other important clue in the chart for Tel – Aviv, hinting at the possibility of war. The North Node -45 -Ascendant suggested that Israel was likely to experience difficulties in its relationships; it should therefore have been more attentive to what its Arab neighbours were doing at the point when the eclipse was being triggered by Chiron.”   

NN – 45 – Ascendant, eclipse triggered by Chiron?! Come on, you are kidding!

Now, above this problem, the book is well documented and if you know astrology you can select the relevant aspects and read only what you consider important, which will be a much better experience. My evaluation is 7,85.