For the past month, a new wave of violence has spread through Israel, triggered by clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the sacred site in the Old City of Jerusalem known as Temple Mount to Jews and as the Haram, or “Noble Sanctuary,” to Muslims.
Some observers fear the violence is leading to a Third Intifada, roughly translated as “rebellion” or “uprising.” During the previous intifadas, which began in 1987 and 2000, more than 5,000 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis were killed.
Since the clashes on September 27 (the “blood moon” lunar eclipse), 40 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held an emergency meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin on October 22 and has just confirmed that he also will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (5)
It’s far beyond the scope of a blog post to do an astrological analysis of the conflict. My purpose here is to revisit the chart for Israel and to present some additional information that might be of interest to those using astrology to increase our understanding of this volatile and extremely dangerous geopolitical situation.
I didn’t realize how much contention there was about Israel’s chart until I joined an online discussion back in 2010. That thread is no longer accessible. However, I recall being surprised by the various attempts to rectify the chart to an exact minute and second that Jewish leader David Ben-Gurion uttered the words establishing the State of Israel. The meeting at which he read the Declaration began at 4
p.m., and this is well-documented. * Some of the hesitation seemed to be that the 4 p.m. chart has Libra Rising, which doesn’t fit with the character of Israel as a nation constantly at war. Some have argued for a Rising Scorpio chart, but the historical documentation simply doesn’t support it.
I am an investigative reporter by training, so I decided to do some historical research. I started with the declaration itself, which clearly states that independence would begin when the British Mandate for Palestine expired at midnight. I also found a historical account at the Truman Library. I posted my findings in a comment on the aforementioned discussion thread. While it got several up votes, there was virtually no debate.
Five years later, I stumbled upon an old thread on Noel Tyl’s mundane astrology forum started in June 2010 by a member who had seen my post with the link to the Truman Library. The midnight chart again was roundly dismissed. Among the responses was a strong preference for a rectification by Alexander Marr to 4:15:07. Astro-Databank gives this as the alternative to the 4 p.m. chart and mentions only in passing that independence was a fait accompli at midnight.
The thread also contained a curious comment that Nick Campion thought the Truman Library account was too confusing. That was enough to send me back to the drawing board, as it were. After hours of digging, I found a monograph with an English translation of Ben-Gurion’s diaries. Here’s the critical passage:
“One closes the simple notebook that had served as his diary for a period ending at that point with the terse announcement: ‘At four o’clock in the afternoon, we declared independence.’ Notations after 4:00 P.M. were made in a fresh diary, which begins with an equally dramatic announcement: ‘At four o’clock in the afternoon, the State was established. Our fate is in the hands of the defence forces.'”
Well, that totally convinced me I’d been wrong. Still, I had a vague sense I was missing something. I kept searching and eventually found two additional sources that I believe strongly argue for the midnight chart. To my knowledge, these sources have not been cited elsewhere.
The first is an analysis of the Declaration on the website of the Israel Foreign Ministry noting that independence would be effective as of midnight. It went on to say:
“At the festive session that approved the Declaration, the newly proclaimed state (which, strictly speaking, had not yet come into existence at that moment) passed its first legislative act: the Manifesto, whose name and format have no parallel in the Israeli lawbooks. According to the legal experts of the time, this document was needed because the Declaration itself, although equipped with a quasi-legislative section that stipulated the inauguration of the state’s provisional governing institutions, amounted to a public proclamation and was not an authentic legislative act.” (Emphasis mine.)
The second source is a letter from the provisional government to President Truman asking for United States recognition of Israel. According to the letter, “The Act of Independence w
ill become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.”
In other words, 12:01 a.m. on May 15 in Tel Aviv.
It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Israel would become a state the moment the mandate ran out. In fact, the United States wanted them to wait. They considered it, but with enemy troops already inside their borders, they had no time to lose. Moreover, May 14 was a Friday, and they didn’t want to hold the ceremony on Sabbath, which began at sunset.
I believe the sources above show that the declaration was proclaimed in the afternoon for expediency and that the wording made it clear nothing was official until midnight. Not only did the provisional government want to avoid making the announcement on Sabbath, but they needed to prepare for an attack at midnight by the Arab League. There could be no midnight ceremony or celebrating in the streets. As for Ben-Gurion’s diary entry proclaiming that the state was established at 4 p.m., clearly it wasn’t. It’s hard to guess his motivation, but he was a politician. Moreover, his diaries weren’t intended to be private.
The midnight chart has 14 degrees Aquarius on the Ascendant. In reading critiques over the years, I’ve seen comments that Aquarius isn’t a good fit for Israel. To the contrary, I believe it fits amazingly well. Mundane astrology uses traditional planetary rulers of house cusps, so the ruler of this chart is Saturn, which is conjunct the Descendant by just over 2 degrees and conjunct Pluto by less than 4 degrees. The seventh house is the house of open enemies, and it’s also where we find Mars.
Indeed, the midnight chart presents an accurate and chilling image of immediate danger from enemies seeking the fledgling nation’s total annihilation – and, one might add, of a national identity based on fear of being destroyed.
Incidentally, I contacted Nick Campion regarding the comment about the Truman Library, and he replied that he didn’t believe he said that. He added:
My last word on the problem is in the Book of World Horoscopes and my principle is that the sources should be reported. Each source relates to a particular context and that’s the end of the matter.
The argument seems to boil down, then, to whether you think the symbolism of the announcement or the reality of statehood is more important. Obviously, I choose the latter, but I understand the argument for 4 p.m. What I stridently avoid is using one chart over the other because it “works better.”
* Chart for Israel independence, May 14, 1948, 4 p.m., Tel Aviv. Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes (2004 edition) p. 166.
[This article originally appeared on The Mountain Astrologer‘s blog on Oct. 19, 2015.]
Photo: U.S. Secretary of State and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold emergency talks in Berlin on Oct. 22, 2015. Photo courtesy of the U.S. State Department.