to the present day, we've seen a lot of things come and go—from hula hoops
and beehive hairdos to boy bands and Pokemon—but one thing has remained
constant: Fidel Castro still rules Cuba. Despite every attempt to assassinate,
overthrow and undercut him, he's crawled out from under the wreckage and
is still going strong at 73. Forget those people on that other island—love
him or hate him, this man is the real "survivor."
terms fixed, cardinal and mutable are used frequently in astrology to
describe the different signs of the zodiac. Typically the cardinal signs
are described as impulsive, the mutable signs are changeable, while the
fixed signs are, well, fixed. Fidel Castro is a Leo, and Leo is a fixed
sign. Castro is the model of endurance, and stubborn endurance is fixity
in action. Perhaps "action" is even too strong a term. The best
of the fixed signs can get a lot accomplished by doing absolutely nothing;
simply holding their ground while everyone else gets caught up and blown
away in the inevitable storms and vicissitudes.
Clinton, another Leo of surpassing endurance, was once
quoted comparing himself to those inflatable pop-up toys from the 50s.
Every time you knocked it down, it just bounced right back up. Now any
fixed sign can bounce back, but Leos tend to come up smiling.
sign Leo is linked to the Sun, no mere planet, but the constant, shining
source of light and life itself. Leos can seem blinded by their own optimism,
and their unwavering faith in themselves often strikes others as childish
naiveté. The Sun never stops shining in their hearts, fueling their creativity
and influence. It's not that they don't see the downside. They do, but
they are also keenly aware that the people around them need to be inspired
and uplifted, not bogged down. This inborn sense of leadership can make
them act as if the problems facing them are nonexistent, and believing
often makes it so.
As the king
of beasts, Leos tend to be interested in the larger side of life, whether
it's the "big issues" or just living large in general. Their
talents are enormous, but so are their sins, and this can cause big problems.
People just don't feel much sympathy for Leos in their failings. We tend
to want to be swept along in their leadership, or we are driven to rebel
Drama of Kings
historical drama of kings, leaders and the people who rise up against
them can be traced astrologically through the opposing signs Leo and Aquarius.
Leo is the sign of kings, of presidents, father figures and CEOs. Aquarius
is the sign of the people, of congresses, radicals and revolutionaries—self-willed
individuals who don't want to be told what to do. Both signs (and their
associated planets, the Sun and Uranus respectively) represent legitimate
needs within human society. Both signs are also perpetually in opposition
to each other, just as Congress tends to be in perpetual opposition to
the President. This dynamic polarity of Leo-Aquarius manifests rhythmically
throughout human history as revolutions and regicides, coronations and
reinstatements, as humanity struggles to find that balance between its
own extremes. Every individual struggles with these two extemes within
himself as well, playing different roles at different times of life.
heart of Leo Fidel Castro, this polarity is particularly well developed.
Although there is some argument about his birthdate, the one most commonly
accepted is August 13, 1927, at 2:00 am EST, in Mayari, Cuba. This puts
Castro's Sun at 19 degrees of the sign Leo, opposed by a Full Moon at
20 degrees Aquarius. The Leo-Aquarius (and Sun-Uranus) dilemma is a very
personal issue for the Cuban leader. It is literally the story of his
between Castro's friends and enemies has never been more dramatically
played out than it was during the Elian Gonzalez episode, when no less
personage than the U.S Attorney General took his side against the heated
protests of the powerful Miami exile community. The wily Leo's stubborn
endurance has never been more evident. This period in Castro's life could
well be as important as his revolution, for astrologically, he has come
Back in the late 50s, when Castro's revolution
succeeded in overthrowing the dictator Batista, the planet Uranus was
moving through the sign Leo, touching off Castro's Leo planets. Uranus,
the ruler of Aquarius, is a radical, revolutionary planet. Its presence
in Castro's sign inspired his followers under his leadership and they
rocked their world, not only overthrowing their own government, but putting
themselves in open opposition to their very powerful and very close neighbor,
the United States.
Now, 40 years
later, the planet Uranus is moving through the opposite sign Aquarius.
In fact, as I write this, Uranus is retrograde at 20 degrees Aquarius,
where it has been opposing Castro's Leo Sun and conjunct his Aquarius
Full Moon all year! Suddenly, surprisingly, out of the most bizarre, unexpected
(and typically Uranian) circumstances, everything is changing for Castro
and Cuba. The upshot of the Elian episode has been a renewed interest
in trade relations with Cuba and a loss of political capital for the Miami
exiles. We have all come full circle now, and many Americans can't see
any reason to continue the Cold War antagonism.
Uranus will continue to affect that 20th degree of Aquarius-Leo until
the fall of 2001. We should expect to see more drastic change in Castro's
world. It could come in the form of rebellions against his power, whether
from within or outside of Cuba. It could manifest as heart and health
problems, for he is an old man. But I suspect he may endure, at least
long enough to modernize the entire premise of his revolution. His radical
mission now is to bring Cuba into closer economic alignment with the U.S.,
bringing the benefits of a more open, market economy to the poorest of
Cuba's people. Who ever thought we, and he, would live to see this day?