Fidel Castro (1926 – 2016)
“There is often talk of human rights, but it is also necessary to talk of the rights of humanity. Why should some people walk barefoot, so that others can travel in luxurious cars? …Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich”
— Fidel Castro, 1979
Fidel Castro, who died on Friday evening at the age of 90, was an icon to many, but also a pariah to many. The basis of his iconic status was his achievement of a practical working socialism in his country Cuba, and the basis of his pariah status was his dictatorship. So we have 9 days’ mourning in Cuba, and celebration of his death among Cuban exiles in Florida.
Fidel had 6 of his 10 planets in Fixed signs, indicating an extremely strong will. His Sun was in Leo, the sign of power, in a harsh exact square with Saturn in Scorpio. He was responsible for many deaths coming into power, but it is claimed that the harsh regime (that of Batista) he replaced was responsible for even greater bloodshed. Together with comrade Che Guevara (whose iconic status is probably even greater) he shared a “whiff of glamour” (as John Simpson put it): this was due to his Sun conjunct Neptune in Leo.
His Sun was conjunct the Part of Fortune (to 1 deg) in Leo in 2nd House, giving a love of power. But as a socialist his attitude to money (2nd House issues) was firm, and in some ways dismissive (Neptune in 2nd House). According to Wikipedia, in the early years of his marriage, “Caring little for money or material goods, Castro failed to pay his bills; his furniture was repossessed and electricity cut off, distressing his wife.”
His Ascendant was in late Gemini, and he was verbose in his speeches, giving speeches which lasted hours, and notoriously boring at that. John Simpson said he once doorstepped him for a quick interview, which lasted for a full half hour! His Ascendant ruler Mercury was exactly sextile the Moon, and this gave him the emotional power to add to his speech. His Moon was square Pluto, adding drama to the emotion. His Nodal Axis squared the Moon, putting him in touch karmically and psychologically with the mood of the people, whom in his view he served. Mercury also squared Mars, giving him irritablity and a sharp tongue (the Inner Critic Archetype). According to biographer Leycester Coltman: “Castro was well known for throwing tantrums, and could make ‘snap judgements’ which he refused to back down from”.
His main Archetype, and one that gave him iconic status, was that of Revolutionary. This is shown in his chart by Uranus right at the top of the chart, cusping the 10th House, and squaring his Ascendant. It fell in his 9th House, and there was, particularly at the beginning of his career as a revolutionary, a great deal of involvement in the politics of other lands. The Revolutionary Archetype gave way, during the course of his career, to the Dictator or Tyrant Archetype, and Uranus can be very intransigeant, especially in a chart with 6 Fixed planets (or 7 if you count Chiron in Taurus).
He was able to use his personality in powerful ways, with Venus in a Grand Trine with Saturn and Uranus.
His Mars was wounded by a conjunction with Chiron in Taurus in 11th House, so possibly he had issues of trust. When he made overtures towards Eisenhower and was spurned, he turned to Russia as an ally. Jupiter was also square Saturn in his chart, possibly resulting in some inner conflict over decisions.
In matters of religion, Jupiter opposed Neptune, bringing confusion over religion, spirituality and ethics. When George Bush said after a health scare: “One day the good Lord will take Fidel Castro away” Castro’s retort was: “Now I understand why I survived Bush’s plans and the plans of other presidents who ordered my assassination: the good Lord protected me.” He was an atheist.
Pluto was exactly conjunct the North Node in Cancer in 1st House, a profound and powerful karmic mission connected with his homeland, and with Pluto also trine his Midheaven he was able to use social forces and psychology in his career. The Pluto/North Node exact conjunction also illustrated the black and white nature of his image. North Node being trine his Midheaven gave him a strong sense of destiny, and enabled him to combine his career and his karmic mission.
His lifelong supporter was his brother Raul, who took over the reins of power when he became ill in 2008. Their synastry was one of true brotherhood: Raul’s Sun was trine exactly Fidel’s Moon, Raul’s Mercury was trine exactly Fidel’s Midheaven, Raul’s Pluto was exactly trine Fidel’s Saturn, and exactly trine Fidel’s Midheaven.
Fidel teamed up with Che Guevara early in his career as a Revolutionary. Che’s chart is in itself the Revolutionary Archetype par excellence: his Ascendant was exactly conjunct Uranus in Aries – the Archetype of the Revolutionary, the Rebel and the Activist! Che had Chiron conjunct Venus in Taurus in 2nd House, possibly depicting his socialist ideals. The two had Pluto exactly conjunct, a shared purpose for their generation. They had good personal links, but specifically enabled each other’s Revolutionary Activist, with Che’s Mars conjunct exactly Fidel’s Uranus. Che took up positions in Castro’s government (Governor of the Central Bank and Minister of Industries).
Fidel Castro inspired revolutionaries all over the world, and that included Nelson Mandela. His armies gave practical help to the ANC in South Africa in the struggle against apartheid, and he and Nelson Mandela became firm friends. They had a harmonious trine between Mandela’s Venus and Castro’s Jupiter. Mandela’s Jupiter sextiled Castro’s Chiron, and his Pluto sextiled Castro’s Mars (fighting partners).
After a three year guerrilla war, Fidel’s struggles bore fruit on 1st January 1959, when he became leader of Cuba, attempting to form a true socialist state. Humanitarian reforms for the poor were accompanied by harsh repression of any dissent. He genuinely looked after the welfare of his poorest citizens in social and health reforms, and in promoting education very successfully. He was able to do this initially with the country’s economic reserves, but these eventually ran out.
The purpose of the revolution was to free Cuba from U.S. hegemony, and the U.S. tried in vain to unseat him, e.g. during the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. With Saturn sextile exactly his natal Uranus at the time, he found himself defending his Revolution. Pluto also trined his Mars, supporting his fight.
The ultimate brinkmanship occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when there was a stand off between Kruschev of Russia and John F. Kennedy, President of the U.S. I was 11 at the time, and remember my father saying “Either this blows over, or we do.” The source of contention was that Castro had been harbouring Russian missiles on his territory, so his role in the crisis was crucial, and his role in the Cold War too was pivotal historically. Ultimately, Kruschev relented and the crisis passed. The transits at the time were very much in favour of the U.S. chart: Neptune was trine the U.S. Sun, Jupiter trine the U.S. Venus, Uranus sextile the U.S. Venus, and Chiron trine the U.S. Jupiter. John F. Kennedy was also favoured by the stars, with Jupiter trine exactly his Pluto (power) and Uranus sextile exactly his Pluto. Cuba was then boycotted economically for 50 years by the west, which kept its citizens in poverty, but they were looked after by the welfare state Castro had created. Russia continued to support Cuba by buying its sugar.
“We do not have a smidgen of capitalism or neo-liberalism. We are facing a world completely ruled by neo-liberalism and capitalism. This does not mean that we are going to surrender. It means that we have to adapt to the reality of that world. That is what we are doing, with great equanimity, without giving up our ideals, our goals”
— Fidel Castro
The resignation after ill health which came in 2008 when his brother Raul took over was registered in his chart by Jupiter on his South Node in 7th House – a karmic take over by a close relation. Neptune (ill health) was on his Jupiter, and Pluto trine his Chiron, signalling big changes.
Rapprochement with U.S.
At Nelson Mandela’s memorial, President Obama seized the opportunity to shake the hand of Raul Castro, and cordial relations were resumed after such a long dispute. Pluto (transformation and rebirth) was conjunct the Sun of Cuba’s chart. Uranus (planet of surprise) was exactly sextile Raul’s natal Sun. Donald Trump’s attitude to Cuba and Fidel Castro was summed up in his reaction to Castro’s death: “The world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.” When inaugurated, he may well reverse the current position on relations with Cuba. At this time, Jupiter is sextile Cuba’s Uranus, bringing a new kind of freedom, and Saturn sextiles its Ascendant/North Node, necessitating decisions about its future.
His death at 22.29 Hrs in Havana on 25/11/16 at the age of 90, occurred with Pluto exactly opposite his Pluto. Jupiter was also exactly square his natal Pluto. At the time of death, the Ascendant at 10 deg Leo was exactly conjunct his Ascendant ruler Mercury, so there may have been an element of consciousness about the timing. The Ascendant was also sextile exactly his natal Moon in Libra in his 4th House. It is interesting that this unique and most polarizing character died the day after the very polarizing Jupiter-Pluto square.
We have a New Moon to look forward to this week, on Tuesday (29th) at 12.18 Hrs in the U.K. This conjunction of the Sun and Moon takes place at 7 degrees Sagittarius, if you are locating that in your birth chart in order to pinpoint where your optimum intent may lie. If you do not know its position in your chart, then your intentions can best flow with those issues pertaining to Sagittarius: global healing, positive thought, philosophy, sport, animal welfare and religion. You may detect an added frisson and passion by virtue of the fact that the New Moon will be conjunct the asteroid Juno.
In the evening, Venus squares Uranus, and that may produce social quirks in your life, and could bring unusual encounters, e.g. people you may be avoiding. This aspect may also give rise to unusual artforms, such as clashing colours in painting, or discords in music.
As we enter December we have the Sun square Neptune early in the morning of Thursday 1st, which could cause a bout of sleeplessness for some and confusion about direction in life. A lot of tossing and turning on every level. So it is a day to try and centre yourself, perhaps start with meditation and retain your core sense of self.
Aspects are brighter and easier for the rest of the week: Friday 2nd December, again in the early hours, brings a trine between Mars and Jupiter. That is a really go ahead vibe, especially for active projects, optimism, sporting interests, and travel. Enthusiasm and energy abound. It also supports people who need to stand up for themselves, if that speaks to your condition currently.
In the evening, Mercury enters Capricorn, and enthusiastic ideas get the nudge to practical manifestation. You have honed the theory under Mercury in Sagittarius, now walk the walk. But do it before 19th December, when Mercury goes retrograde, or you may find yourself stuck in the pre-Christmas stupor.
Lastly, on Saturday 3rd December at lunchtime Mars sextiles Saturn, which is another call to practical action. If you have been nagging yourself on the clutter clearing front, just listen to yourself, and act on what you hear. A good clear out before Christmas could be just what you need. Any other practical or active project or plan may also benefit from this aspect. You could feel that you are making headway by the end of the week.
The week in bullet points:
- Tuesday – new beginning all round, then social awkwardness
- Thursday – foggy outlook
- Friday – go for it! Put things into practice
- Saturday – solid work