Benazir Bhutto was killed yesterday in a suicide bombing widely attributed to the Taliban and Al Qaeda although some suspect the work of Pervez Musharraf while government officials report that no bullet or shrapnel was found in her body and that instead she was killed when she ducked trying to avoid being hit.

At any rate, the attack occurs when transiting Pluto is within seven minutes of the final exact square to the Virgo ascendant and opposition to the Gemini midheaven in the chart of Pakistan, changing the face of the image (Ascendant) as well as its public role (Midheaven) of that country forever. Transits of outer planets to the angles (Ascendant and Midheaven) demonstrate life-changing periods of crisis. Reactions by supporters to Bhutto’s assassination could help to continue to destabilize that already tenuous country which would have ramifications around the world if the hardline Islamists gain even more power there than they had already taken.

Pluto first opposed the Pakistan ascendant back in February through April of 2007, stationing right on the descendant point which governs the polarity between the effect of relationships on the national identity. At the same time, Pluto was exactly square the chart’s Midheaven which includes a conjunction of Mars and Uranus right on the Midheaven point. It is no mystery as to why this is such a volatile period in Pakistani history.

Wherever Pluto appears we are always dealing with issues of power as well as of death of an old order and the rebirth of a new one. In early March of 2007 when Pluto was within 10 minutes of an exact opposition to the ascendant, Musharraf suspended the chief justice and shut down the media, setting off a firestorm of opposition to Musharraf’s rule.

This article gives a comprehensive timeline for events in Pakistan during the first phase of this Pluto cycle, and you can see how the conflict built during the Pluto station on the Pakistan ascendant throughout March, April and May with Pluto within a degree of the cycle. By June the immediate power struggle had died down somewhat although there were continous protests against the government and the usual suicide bombings that have become a regular occurrence there.

Pluto in the sky is exerting a difficult influence on the four angles of the chart, which are extremely important and sensitive points. This is the beginning of a three-phase cycle which has an effect of creating a crisis and ultimate transformation in the national identity. We are in the second phase of the cycle now which will complete between July and October of 2008. (Geeky astrological details: Pluto will make another station in aspect to these point between July and October of 2008, and shortly thereafter will oppose the Cancer Mars in the Pakistan chart over the next couple of years.) This is just the beginning of the crisis in Pakistan that is likely to begin a series of events that will lead us towards the Uranus/Pluto square of 2010-2017.


Following this present cycle, Pluto in the sky will make a challenging aspect to Mars in the Pakistan chart. This heralds power conflicts and war that will last for the next several years. The struggles in Pakistan will have a ripple effect on the political landscape around the world which will culminate in the period from 2010 through 2013 when Uranus and Pluto square off in a challenging formation that is likely to create cultural revolution and change.

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