And there, hanging in the Eastern sky, were a slim crescent moon and the planet Venus. The symbol of Islam hovering over the ruins of the World Trade Center as seen from most of the rest of the country.
The ground assault portion of the first Gulf War began in early 1991 while Mars was in Taurus, giving the Bull two red eyes.* Since ancient times this has been considered an auspicious sign, a signal that a war begun at this time will be successful. It is possible that when Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, he left behind some of his Court Astrologers.
(It should be noted that this was the real planet Mars appearing in the real constellation of Taurus. The positions of astrological "planets" and "constellations" have fallen very badly out of sync with reality over the centuries, and it is entirely possible that the astrological Mars was on the other side of the sky from the real, astronomical Mars.)
Now we are being told that Iran is planning something extra-special for August 22nd, next Tuesday. This is a Muslim holy day, Lailat al Miraj, which celebrates the night that Mohammed made a pilgrimage from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night. According to the linked BBC source,
So is there an astronomical or astrological connection to this date? If you're a regular reader, you might already know that the answer is yes.** On this morning Mercury, Venus, and Saturn will all be gathered low in the Eastern sky, accompanied by a slim crescent moon. The sky will look very much as it did on the morning of September 12th, 2001.
The Prophet travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night on a strange winged creature called Buraq. From Jerusalem he ascended into heaven, where he met the earlier prophets, and eventually God.
Should we be concerned? Should we be scared? There are people on both sides of this conflict who recognize the value of keeping people in a state of fear. We shouldn't allow ourselves to be terrorized, but we shouldn't walk blindly into the future. What will happen? I don't know. We should expect nothing, and anticipate everything. In a few days, we'll know for sure.
*Actually, Mars spent much of late 1990 and early 1991 in Taurus, and some have connected its presence there to Sadaam Hussein's decision to invade Kuwait in the first place. The specific event I am recalling is that days before the start of the ground assault, on February 21, 1991, the Moon was in conjunction with Mars in Taurus. Hey, it's been over 15 years. Sometimes it takes a while to remember specifics.
**This really shouldn't be a huge surprise, since the Muslim calendar is based on the lunar cycle.