Category Archives: Sovereignty

Return Of The Thunder Spirits

circle-of-life frank howell

“……the companion Inyan created for himself was the Thunder spirits. Their form was so terrible that they must conceal themselves within a cloud, or people would go insane merely from glancing at them. But their purpose is noble. They are here to rid the world of filth. They are here to wash away the demons, like the ones who destroyed (and are destroying) your mother. Like the ones who want to destroy you…..” (1)


As this article goes to press the deadline to clear the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock approaches – 2.00pm local time. By the time you read this it will almost certainly have passed and the battle for Standing Rock will have reached what may prove to be its crucial turning point. Time will tell, but, we are witnessing a moment in history that could be repeating itself, seeking resolution. The background for this possibility is clearly reflected in the astrology that links Standing Rock with one of the most crucial and well known events in the history of the struggle between the indigenous peoples of North America and the armed forces of the European settlers, the battle which has come to be known as ‘Little Bighorn’.

The onset of Lt. Colonel Custer’s assault on the Sioux nations on the 25th of June 1876 and its eventual bloody conclusion on the 26th give us a timeframe in which to reference the planetary positions then, and the period from 22nd February 2017 to the new Moon/solar eclipse of Feb. 26th give us the relevant timeframe for their position in the present.

The aim of this article is not necessarily to forecast any outcome for the present stand-off at the camp of the Sacred Stone, but, it provides adequate insight and food for thought to alert us to a powerful correspondence between these two events, a heads-up to its signifiance and repercussive nature.

lost-warrior frank howell

The current planetary backdrop for the 22nd to 26th February 2017 sees a major T-square playing out between Jupiter rx in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries, both squaring Pluto  in Capricorn; Mars is within 3 degrees of Uranus as I write, just 4 days from their conjunction in Aries which becomes exact at the eclipse. Alongside this, Saturn in Sagittarius is connecting into the T square through sextile with Jupiter and trine with Uranus.

The release point of this T square is opposite Pluto, around the 16-20° mark of Cancer. Going straight to the correspondences we quickly find that they speak for themselves as Mars is currently squaring its LBH (Little Bighorn) degree – that degree is 19 Cancer. Mars will arrive at this degree on July 4th 2017, American ‘Independence Day’.

We find LBH Saturn in the 9th degree of Pisces, the degree of the solar eclipse on 26th February.

Chiron, presently squaring Saturn, is precisely on the degree of the LBH north node.

Although not necessarily acting as triggers the present transiting positions of the major outer planets reveal some of the qualitative tensions now being played out.

In the LBH chart Jupiter opposes Pluto from Scorpio; Jupiter is now quincunxing LBH Pluto, while Uranus quincunxes LBH Jupiter.

Pluto is also presently quincunxing LBH Uranus.

Mercury, now entering Pisces, is quincunxing LBH Venus. In addition Mercury is also in softer aspect to other luminaries in the LBH matrix, trining LBH Sun and sextiling LBH Neptune, and as the solar eclipse approaches Mercury is transiting the current lunar south node’s degree, activating awareness of our spiritual past and the legacy of events related to this.

In the LBH timeframe the Moon transits the present position of the lunar north node, not a temporal marker necessarily, but a transit that brought it into opposition over June 25-6th 1876 with Saturn. The solar eclipse is effectively activating these degrees across the lunar nodal axis.

This may be a time for closure to be sought, but, our ability to realise this will certainly be founded on more than transient phenomena.

Although the quincunxes suggest the tension underpinning the playing out of the unresolved legacies of Little Bighorn, and the disconnect between the forces now involved, the hard aspects and direct correspondences between the events by transit of key degrees confirms the connection. Mid points are also brought into  play and Pluto is also currently applying to the LBH Saturn Jupiter midpoint, directly tieing in the current T square.

But, it is within the present Uranus Mars conjunction that we find the most striking connection and transiting Mars is undoubtedly the catalyst, a warning that the unresolved ghosts, if not energies, of conflict are being raised once more. Could it be that Chiron’s position on the LBH north node indicates the that healing needed for resolution is finally manifesting, that its time has come, or will the wound of the past be deepened by these triggers? Will the ghosts be laid to rest or infuse the present with a spirit of retribution?

It is notable that a 26th Feb. solar eclipse chart cast for Standing Rock (14.58 UTC) has the current T square directly on the Asc/Dc axis with Mars and Uranus rising – Pluto squares from the mid 10th house. This carries a heavily loaded potential for resurgent and insurgent action. Strong leadership with powerful revolutionary potential is indicated in this, but, it can swing both ways and with Jupiter in Libra setting in the west, the eclipsing of justice is not beyond the scope of this chart either.

The Mars square suggests that conflict will continue to unfold, with Uranus potentially bringing unprecedented and traumatic consequences. There could also be significant breakthrough as a result of the enforced eviction. This may not be obvious at first but there are larger patterns at work in this and it’s dynamic is going to continue, and these dynamics are now applying out on a much wider scale.

lakota-blue-aura frank howell

It helps to reflect upon how crucial ‘leadership’ is in the current time and, in terms of leadership involved then and now, it is worth remembering Custer’s own downfall and its essential core reasons. He was an ambitious and daring individual, willing to lead from the front, whose reckless vanity was almost certainly his undoing. Without going into the well documented timeline of events that illustrate this at Little Bighorn, consider Sun Tzu’s commentary on military leadership in this light :

“There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (a) Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (b) cowardice, which leads to capture; (c) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; (d) a delicacy of honour which is sensitive to shame; (e) over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war.

When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation.” (2)

Custer was undoubtedly guilty of points (a) and (d), and as (c) would suggest, was certainly over hasty and rash; he utterly failed to carry out vital reconnaissance and sought a greater glory (a delicacy of honour) in dealing what he hoped would be the decisive blow within the Sioux Wars. He faced strong leaders and warriors who easily matched his courage, but who also demonstrated the advantage of a superior knowledge of the terrain and an ability to out-think the Colonel – with overwhelming numbers on their side there was little impediment to their victory. If there is a lesson to be learned here, present leaders might do well to consider its relevance and application in our times. The blinkering ‘vanity’ of leadership is one of its greatest stumbling blocks, but, when the scale of resitance is growing, such myopic  leadership will see its misplaced values severely tested. But, the point of Sun Tzu’s strategies was always to avoid conflict and still gain the benefit.

No matter the nature of this conflict or how it plays out in our time, while the land rights of the indigenous people, whose ‘medicine’ Chiron could also be symbolically respresenting here, are crucial to the outcome. But, the scope of the battle has widened and we now see opposing forces of a different nature at work unfolding its dynamic on a much broader front.

An ancient opposition seeded in the far distant past, a struggle symbolised by the conflict between encumbent authority and individual sovereignty through the deeper polarity between the secular and the spiritual, is itself coming to a head, but, is doing so now on a global scale. Our human relationship with land and environment are at its center. Water protectors, choosing peaceful resistance over bloodshed, now oppose militarised federal forces. The people’s sovereign rights are overtly aligned with Earth rights and oppose the power of State aligned with vested corporate interest.

Entangled within this are issues around immigration and boundaries, associations that the current T-square and Saturnian influence are reflecting in an exacerbated state of national and international affairs, politically volatile and shot through with violence.  Thanks to innovative Uranian technologies and the power of social networking they facilitate, the current situation is deeply affected by both manipulative co-oercion and instant connectivity of a nature never before seen in the ‘historical’ period.

The stand-off at Standing Rock, encapsulating so many of these factors has, like the battle now known as Little Bighorn, become iconic and is deeply charged with these dynamics. Natural resources are central to both conflicts, gold being at the heart of the government’s landgrab in the 1870’s. Now the ‘protection of the waters’ from the dangers of the exploitation of such resources is at the heart of Standing Rock, and the same spirit is at work in protection of the natural world in general.

fruit-from-the-light-frank-howell

Protectors of the waters, of the Earth and of the people are uniting to defend sovereign rights and the honouring of lawful treaties. They share many of the attributes and aims with the Native American warriors who fought at Greasy Grass, the indigenous name for Little Big Horn. But, the nature of resistance has changed.

As Custer approached the Sioux settlement he drove captured Sioux women and children before his column of soldiers. Seeing this Sioux scouts alerted the camp and the warriors were mobilised. In our time it is the women of Sacred Stone camp who are leading the way in protecting the sacred waters, a restorative reflection of the peaceful resistance that the protectors embody. May peace prevail.

Such is no less the case at any site where the appetite of greed and disrespectful ambition is tearing up the Earth and being met with protective resistance. But, division has become deeply instrumental and the contrast between one side and the other much more stark. The stand-off at large will continue, so long as respect for life and reconciliation is absent and the conflict remains unresolved.

What prompted me to look into the astrological correspondences here were the clear historical and tribal connections and their dynamics being played out now at Standing Rock. Just as the State attempted to order the Sioux nations off their lands under difficult conditions on the ground during the winter of January 1876 , the protectors at Standing Rock have been given a deadline amidst adverse conditions brought by snow melt and heavy rains, but, it was a video that Chase Iron Eyes posted this morning that caught my attention and prompted this article.

Chase Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, an attorney and activist who is also a member of the Lakota People’s Law Project – I leave you with the video in which he talks of the importance of the Thunder spirits to the situation as it is now unfolding at Standing Rock……

(1) ‘Coyote Medicine’ – Lewis Mehl-Madrona, Simon & Schuster, 1997
(Italics, mine)
(2)’The Art Of War’ – Sun Tzu, various translations

Images by Frank Howell – from the top :
‘Circle Of Life’
‘Lost Warrior’
‘Lakota Blue Aura’
‘Fruit From The Light’

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