Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Serbia and later of Yugoslavia, died Saturday in the cell where he had spent the last five years in a protracted trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Milosevic’s rule was characterized by a rabid nationalism and drive for power of his Serbian ethnic group within an area of mixed ethnicities and cultural histories. Seeking a purely Serbian state, he supported a series of wars to drive non-Serbs from designated areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These wars destroyed the Serbian economy and turned the will of his people against him. NATO finally stood against him in 1999 after over half the Albanian population in Kosovo were killed or driven out of the country, sending air strikes which ultimately ended his rule.

Milosevic’s birthchart shows that he is a Leo, with at least four planets in Leo and possibly the Moon as well. Note to astrologers: The Astrodatabank chart shows a birth time of 10:00 pm but this is in dispute and unverified, so the ascendant and moon sign/degree cannot be relied upon However, this Moon degree conjunct Pluto does make sense considering the fact that his mother committed suicide when he was young.

Leo is the sign of the King, of royalty. Leos seek to be larger than life – to be celebrated, admired. In the more positive expression of the sign, Leo’s large heart and generous spirit impels them to noble actions which bring them the admiration that they seek. Afflicted Leos can be self-centered and boorish as they seek to take center stage.

Milosevic’s Sun/Mercury conjunction indicates an individual who is extremely intelligent, but Mercury in Leo can show a fixed way of thinking and a resistance to outside influence. This conjunction is squared by Saturn, representing discipline, boundaries and limitations. This shows a deep inner loneliness with Saturn in square to the Sun, showing that from an early age he was unable to forge a connection with others. Saturn can often represent the father, and Milosevic’s father abandoned the family when Milosevic was young, and hanged himself several years later. Saturn conjuncts Uranus in the chart, creating a dichotomy between the need for freedom and rebellion (Uranus) and the need for stability (Saturn), and with both of these strong planets in square to his Sun, Milosevic would have been continually torn between his rebellious nature (Uranus) and his need to be in control (Saturn).

Milosevic also has a tight conjunction of Moon, Pluto and Chiron in the chart. Michael Wolfstar O’Reilly writes: “The Sun and mercury are also aligned with Regulus [in his chart], the first magnitude star that confers royal status, which along with a Moon-Pluto conjunction indicates a tyrannical nature. The Moon-Chiron-Pluto triple conjunction, besides a personal home life of tragedy, also infers an identification with a larger woundedness, a feeling of belonging to a Serbian tribe which needs defending to death.” Milosevic’s mother committed suicide when he was a young man. His chart lacks the element of water that gives us an avenue to channel our emotions, and he must have taken the enormous pain of the tragedy of his early life and channeled it into an aggressive march to power and war.

Mars is in Aries in the chart of Milosevic – Mars is the god of War and rules the sign of Aries, so this is a powerful placement for a strong expression of the aggressive instinct. In addition, it makes a trine to his Sun/Mercury conjunction, giving him an outlet to express his need to be treated like royalty (Sun/Mercury in Leo) through the outlet of war (Mars/Aries).

Leo and the Sun rule the heart, and an afflicted Leo (the Saturn/Sun square) is prone to heart problems. Milosevic was no exception, and suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure as well. From a metaphysical standpoint, with the tremendous amount of fire in his chart (five planets in Leo, Mars in Aries), all of the unresolved pain and emotional trauma in his psyche had no way to express itself. Had he entered psychotherapy he could have found a way to release some of this anguish, but instead it tends to back up in the body and create disease.

Beginning in September, transiting Saturn began passing over Milosevic’s Moon/Pluto/Chiron conjunction. Saturn contacts with both Pluto and Chiron can bring episodes of illness if psychospiritual issues are not in balance. In February, transiting Chiron approached an opposition with transiting Saturn, and both of them began working on him, creating a tremendous amount of distress. It was at this point that Milosevic’s attorneys requested that he be allowed to go to Russia for medical treatment, which was denied by the judge. However, medical treatment cannot treat a spiritual disease such as the one that we see here.

Astrology is the study of possibilities – each day we make choices that take us down a different path. Milosevic’s chart shows that he had the courage to face enormous obstacles to achieve his goals–it is a tragedy that he could not find the courage to face his pain and walk through the fire of healing.

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