Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Iceland's sovereignty

Iceland has abundant energy resources
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Iceland's sovereignty, a new tentative horoscope for Iceland is proposed. Modern scholars agree that Iceland became a sovereign state in 1918.[1] Iceland and Denmark reached an agreement to that effect on 18 July of that year. On September 12, the Icelandic parliament approved to hold a national referendum and on October 19, 1918, the Icelandic nation approved the agreement. The Danish parliament and King then finalised their consent on 30 November, the day before the agreement was about to enter into force, at midnight on December 1, 1918. Out of these events, the national referendum is considered the signal moment for the birth of Iceland as a sovereign state, albeit in a royal union with Denmark, whereby the Danish King served as figurehead. A study of possible ascendants on this day, based also on anecdotal information about the likely time of the closing of the vote, has brought out a 3° Cancer rising horoscope for the Icelandic nation. Below is an explanation of the history of this event, the nature of the resulting horoscope and a discussion of the predictions made to test its validity.

Historical background 
Celebration of Sovereignty on 1 December 1918
„Even if the direct involvement of the Danish authorities in Icelandic affairs effectively ended with 'home rule' in 1904, when the country got its own ministers, an executive and parliamentarism in the modern sense, Iceland was still a part of the Danish state. It wasn't until 1918 that Iceland earned its place among free and sovereign states“.[2] On 19. October 1918, a national referendum was held on the Union Law Agreement and it was approved with over 90 percent of the vote.[3] With the agreement, Denmark explicitly recognised Iceland as a co-equal state. However, the two countries agreed to cooperate in the area of foreign policy, with Denmark handling temporarily this administrative area for Iceland. 

King Christian X of Denmark (1912-47)
The process to create and ratify the Union Law agreement took less than six months. A Danish government delegation arrived in Iceland in June 1918. On July 18, 1918 the two negotiating teams had finalised an agreement on the new Union Law agreement. Later that month, newspapers in Stockholm reported that a new Scandinavian state had been created. However, the formal process of approval was still incomplete for the agreement to enter into force on 1 December 1918. The Icelandic parliament approved the agreement on September 12, when it also called for the national referendum on October 19. Once the approval of the Icelandic nation was established, the agreement was put before the Danish parliament. The approval of the Danish Parliament on November 23, was taken to King Christian X on November 30. In the presence of Presidents of both Parliaments, the king signed the agreement at 10:40 am on that day in Copenhagen. The time, relocated to Reykjavik, is 8:40 am, giving a 4° Scorpio rising horoscope. This chart does not meet the criteria for an authentic horoscope for Iceland. A few hours later, at midnight (00:00 am) on 1 December 1918, the agreement entered into force. Further, it was celebrated at noon (12:00 pm) on the same day. Neither time results in a horoscope that meets the criteria for a mundane horoscope of the country. It is argued here that the agreement's ratification by the Icelandic voters is the signal moment for the birth of the sovereign entity. 

What is also important to note is that the Union Law agreement of 1918 set the terms for the subsequent decision to declare full independence and adopt a new constitution making Iceland a Republic with its own figurehead, a President. As Iceland had already become a sovereign state with its own executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government in 1918, the act of independence and constitutional change were not as profound as otherwise might appear. It is true that Iceland also took over the management of its foreign policy operations, by opening up missions in other countries and at international organisations. However, the basic features of a modern state had already been established in 1918. Moreover, in the parliamentary debates in Copenhagen in November 1918, a Danish politician declared that the Union Law was actually a "separation agreement" and hence he voted against it. Indeed, in the agreement it was specified that 22 years later, or in 1940, the Union Law could be renegotiated within a three year grace period, if both parties wanted it. Otherwise, the agreement would expire. In 1941, Iceland asked the Danish government for a renegotiation but by then Nazi Germany occupied Denmark and the government did not tend to the matter. After the three year period had lapsed, Iceland abandoned the idea of renegotiating the agreement and notified the Danish government accordingly. In January 1944 a process was set in motion to declare full independence from Denmark in the summer of 1944. This sequence of events is important, as it creates the basis for legal scholars to conclude that Iceland's sovereignty in 1918 is the defining event in the country's history, making Iceland a legally separate and full standing nation. 

Cod wars in Icelandic waters
Of additional note is the fact that as WW 2 was winding down, a trend in Europe and America was to renew foreign relations with other countries, with an emphasis on decolonisation and a stronger role for new international bodies to promote economic welfare and peace around the world. In this new environment, Denmark's foreign policy assistance of was not required. Of additional importance was the increased interest in strengthening the national management of the fishing resources. The push was motivated by the increased technical ability of foreign fishing fleets to extract Iceland's "national" resource, fish. After independence, the battle began to push foreign fleets out of Iceland's fishing grounds, aptly named the Cod Wars. The key point is that Iceland came of age with independence in 1944 but was born as a state with sovereignty in 1918.

Iceland is situated in the North Atlantic
The tentative chart is based on the national referendum vote in Iceland on 19 October 1918 on the question of a new Union Law granting Iceland sovereignty, and here the time of the close of the polling stations is key. What is known is that national election law of 1915 specified that the voting places should open at noon and stay open for at least three hours, or to 15:00. This law was likely set in view of the many sparsely populated communities around the island. For bigger communities, like Reykjavik, the law also stated that if voters kept coming, even only 1 voter in every 15 minute period, the voting place should remain open. There was great emphasis placed by the government on getting a good voter turnout. In the event, around 44 percent of the population voted. Further it is reported that the voting in Reykjavik "went into the evening." Based on possible ascendants from 15:00 going forward, it looks like the voting station in Reykjavik stayed open until 22:00, or 7 hours beyond the mandated opening time. The following horoscope derives with 3° Cancer rising.
  • National referendum vote: 22:00 WAT (-1:00) on 19 October 1918, Reykjavik.
Astrology of the chart

Cancer rises in the horoscope giving a royal nature, full of concern for self and others. Cancer is also a movable (cardinal) sign, which gives a leadership disposition, albeit based on a considerate and intuitive approach. Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon's nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are malefics for this ascendant. All planets, except Jupiter, as 6th lord of conflict, financial stability and health, are well placed in benefic houses. The Moon as 1st lord of self is well placed in the most effective point (MEP) of the 10th house of public affairs, giving an interest in world affairs. Mars, as 10th lord of world affairs, is placed in the 5th house of creativity and management, giving such ability. However, Mars is afflicted by Rahu, adding strong desires, involving possible manipulation or diplomatic tendencies, to the effort. The Sun is 2nd lord of wealth, status and relations with close neighbors, is weak in its sign of debilitation, Libra. As the Sun as 2nd lord is also in the MEP of the 4th house, it adds status to the natural resource and land. The Sun is also involved in three aspects, lending additional influence. It is in a mutual aspect with 1st lord Moon, adding to the status and fame. The Sun is also conjunct Mercury as 3rd lord of transportation and communication, giving importance to these areas for the status and land. Finally, Saturn as 8th lord of obstacles and endings is in the 2nd house MEP, which is ruled by the Sun, casts an aspect to both the Sun and Mercury, as well as the 2nd and 4th houses. This bring both easy gains and obstacles and endings for these many indications. Further, as the dispositor of Sun and Mercury is Venus, as 4th lord of land, natural resources and communal harmony, is weak and debilitated in Virgo and 3rd house, this suggests that transportation and communication issues have a strong influence on the communal harmony. Ketu, the functional malefic south node of the Moon, is in the 11th house of income, friends and goals from where it casts an aspect to Venus. This suggests the scope for sudden explosive events or setbacks associated with the 11th house indications that can undermine the communal harmony and natural resources. Jupiter as 6th lord of financial stability, health and conflict, is in the 12th house of losses, which suggests that Iceland, like the United Kingdom, risks losses by engaging in conflict.

To fully rectify a horoscope, it must be back-tested with an analysis of the transit and period influences of significant events in the country's history. It must then be subject to predictions of future events, which need to be accurate, in order to gain confidence in it its authenticity.

Three developments befell the newly sovereign country around the time of the national referendum.
- Major volcano Katla began a violent eruption on 12 October that ended on 4 November 1918, with a heavy downpour of ash and floods disrupting transportation and communication in the country.
- The weather turned extremely cold in the fall of 1918,
- A deadly Spanish flu outbreak took place with its 1st fatality reported in the media on 20 October 1918, with over 450 people dying in the following six weeks. 

Astrology of these events
One interesting fact is that the major period of Ketu, ruling separation, opens up at the "birth" of the sovereign entity, on 19 October 1918. Further, in the 3° Cancer rising chart, Ketu is debilitated in the 11th house of friends and goals, from where it is in exact aspect to 10th lord Mars in Scorpio and the 5th house. Rahu is also conjunct Mars, which suggests that the indications of the 10th house are badly harmed, but with three functional benefic planets aspecting the 10th house, it gains a tremendous offset. While vested interests seek to influence the government, suggesting a problem of corruption, there are noble forces in the national psyche that limit these. 

The Sun sub-period was operating, with natal Sun, as the 2nd lord of wealth and status, debilitated and weak at 3° Libra and the 4th house MEP. As such it is not strong to defend its indications, especially, as it is closely afflicted by Saturn, as 8th lord of obstacles and endings, at 3° Leo and the 2nd house MEP. This aspect suggests easy gains for wealth and status but likely there are also setbacks for the wealth and status of the country, as well as the leader. There could also be problems involving neighbouring countries. However, tremendous support comes from the 3rd lord Mercury and 1st lord Moon, which aspect the Sun and the 4th house, adding a dynamic potential for the national resources, communal harmony and Iceland's place in the world, even suggesting fame. Venus as 4th lord of communal harmony and natural resources, is debilitated in Virgo and 3rd house, under an aspect from Ketu. This suggests a weakness for communal harmony, but with an interest in communication and transportation. The chart thus befits a well off, peaceful country that has great interest in authors and the arts. In short, Ketu-Sun period as the beginning period of this chart, and the transit of the Sun into aspect of 6th lord Jupiter in early November, along with transit 8th lord Saturn moving into closer aspect of 3rd lord Mercury, ruling breathing, and transit Rahu moving past the exact conjunction with 10th lord Mars could explain the problems seen at the birth of this collective entity, but with the sorrowful pall gradually lifting in the new year of 1919.

The Halavedrid storm hit the plentiful fishing grounds of Hali outside of Isafjardardjup on the West coast of Iceland in the afternoon of 7 February 1925. The sudden onset of the storm made the sea begin to "boil" such that visibility was quickly lost. Two trawlers, Leifur Heppni and Fieldmarshal Robertsson, were seen to be fishing close to each other, but sight of them was soon lost by other ships on these fishing grounds. When the storm lifted, late on February 8, it became clear that the two trawlers had perished with a total of 68 men on board, mostly Icelanders. Other ships, notably Egill Skallagrimsson, suffered serious damage and almost sank but barely managed to stay afloat, such that the crews survived. 

Astrology of the event
In astrology, Venus, ruling comforts, is seen to be influential for the weather. Indeed, the Venus-Venus period was operating as the time of this storm. Moreover, afflictions involving the slow moving malefics, are also usually seen when deadly incidents occur. There were several afflictions involving the Moon's nodes, 8th lord Saturn, 6th lord Jupiter and 10th lord Mars operating in the chart. Mars rules industrial activity, which includes trawler shipping.

British troops march in Reykjavik in 1940
On 9 April 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Norway. There were reports that the German Luftwaffe had sent reconnaissance flights over Iceland. Given the country's strategic importance for the US supply of the war effort in Europe, as well as the German diplomatic presence in Reykjavik, this set off alarm bells in the UK and USA, that Iceland would be nextFrom the start of the war, Britain had imposed strict export controls on Icelandic goods, preventing profitable shipments to Germany, as part of its naval blockade. Britain offered assistance to Iceland, seeking cooperation “as a belligerent and an ally”, but Reykjavik declined and reaffirmed its neutrality. After failing to persuade the Icelandic government to join the Allies, the British Royal Army invaded Reykjavik on the morning of 10 May 1940, in a military operation codenamed Operation Fork. Meeting no resistance, the British troops moved quickly to disable communication networks, secure strategic locations, and arrest German citizens. Requisitioning local transport, the troops moved to secure landing areas in other parts of the country, to ward off the possibility of a German counterattack. The Government of Iceland issued a protest, charging that its neutrality had been "flagrantly violated" and "its independence infringed". The British forces were relieved by American troops in June 1941 and the USA went on to maintain a military base at Keflavik, Iceland until 2006.  

Astrology of the event
The late Indian astrologer & author Vinod Kumar Choudhry once stated that a country whose 2nd and 4th houses or lords were weak through affliction and/or bad placement, could be subject to interventions by other countries. In Iceland's case, 2nd lord Sun is debilitated but well placed in the 4th house, under favourable aspects. However, it is also afflicted by 8th lord Saturn in the 2nd house MEP. Meanwhile, 4th lord Venus is debilitated in Virgo and the 3rd house, with an afflicting aspect from Ketu in the 11th house. Both 2nd and 4th houses are afflicted by Saturn. Hence, the experience of Iceland of being invaded by a 'friendly' neighbor fits the natal potential seen in this chart. Venus-Mercury period was operating, with both 4th lord Venus conjunct transit Rahu in the 3rd house, while transit 12th lord Jupiter in the 10th house was exactly opposite 3rd lord Mercury in the 4th house, while transit Mercury in the 10th house was conjunct transit 8th lord Saturn, with Saturn also aspecting Mercury in the chart. Hence, there were obstacles and endings felt strongly at that time with respect to Iceland's transportation and communication. The benign influences of the Moon, Sun and Mercury operating on the 4th and 10th houses, resulting in a wish to remain neutral and avoid participation in armed conflict, seen in the chart, were also thwarted.

Bjarni Benediktsson (1908-1970)
The death of a sitting Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, his wife and young grandson by accidental fire took place in the night of July 10, 1970, while they were staying at the official vacation house by Thingvellir lake. Bjarni Benediktsson was born on 30 April 1908 and rose to become Mayor of Reykjavik and then Prime Minister of Iceland on 14 November 1963 to his death. He was considered one of Iceland's finest political leaders of the 20th century. A period of mourning followed their death.

Astrology of the event
The leader of a country is indicated by the Sun in a mundane horoscope. In this horoscope, the Sun is closely aspected by Saturn, as 8th lord, suggesting scope for death-like experiences involving the leader of the country. The Rahu-Jupiter period was operating and transit 12th lord Jupiter was exactly conjunct the Sun at 3° Libra and 4th house MEP, while transit Sun was conjunct 12th lord Jupiter at 23° Gemini and 12th house. Transit 4th lord Venus was conjunct Saturn at 3° Leo and 2nd house MEP. Finally, transit 8th lord Saturn in the 10th house was aspecting transit Sun and Mercury in the 12th house. Both the natal potential and transit influences support this event.

Eldfell behind Vestmaneyjar town in 1973
On January 23, 1973, a volcanic fissure that was previously unknown and had been dormant for five millennia awoke and began to erupt under a small Icelandic island of Heimaey, less than a mile from the town of Vestmannaeyjar, which had a population of about 5,000 at the time. The natural disaster forced an overnight evacuation of all of the inhabitants. A newly formed Eldfell volcano erupted for about six months, covering much of Vestmannaeyjar in ash, destroying several hundred homes, and sending lava flows toward the harbor.

Astrology of the event
The combination of Rahu and Mars in this horoscope, along with the affliction of 8th lord Saturn to the 2nd and 4th houses, including the lord of the 2nd house, Sun, in the 4th house, is likely the source of recurring volcanic activity in Iceland - as well as the cheap and clean geothermal energy. The Rahu- Saturn period was operating when this eruption, with major effect, took place. Transit 8th lord Saturn was conjunct Ketu in the 11th house and opposite transit 10th lord Mars conjunct 10th lord Mars and Rahu in the 5th house. Transit 4th lord Venus was conjunct transit Rahu in the 6th house and transit Ketu was conjunct 12th lord Jupiter in the 12th house. The chart again offers a stunning match for such a dramatic event.

Protests in front of parliament on 18. October 2008
The collapse of three internationalised Icelandic banks took place on 8 October 2008, causing a major recession in the country, with one in six households unable to pay their debts, and with the unemployment rate reaching 10 percent of the labour force in early 2009. The country was thrown into turmoil, with mass protests occurring on a daily basis until a new government took over in February 2009. An interesting element of the financial crisis is that actions of the UK accelerated the crash. There had been a dispute between the two countries on funds in the ICESAVE accounts of Landsbanki bank branches in the UK. When a run developed on these accounts, the UK unilaterally froze Iceland's international accounts and seized its bank assets, including Kaupthing's Singer-Friedlander Bank. The government of Gordon Brown was able to do so by initially placing Iceland on a list of terrorist regimes. While this act was the final straw that brought about the banking collapse in Iceland, the Icelandic government had also passed a law that gave priority to domestic depositors of domestic banks, such that their foreign assets went into resolution, but the domestic banks continued operating. The damage to Iceland was thus contained.

Astrology of the event
Communal harmony is ruled by the 4th house and its lord, Venus. Both the house and its lord are afflicted, suggesting that there are ongoing concerns over this area of life. This is similar to what is seen in the SAMVA USA chart, albeit it is seen to have graver problems concerning communal harmony, seen in the 4th lord Venus being badly placed in the 6h house of conflict, financial stability and illness, and with Ketu afflicting the 4th house, suggesting suffering involving isolation or separation for some social groups. As the afflictions in the horoscope for Iceland come from the 2nd house of wealth and 11th house of income, and involve Saturn as 8th lord of easy gains and Ketu lord of separation, the disturbances are likely to involve those practical factors. Indeed, this is seen in the protests over the banking collapse, which affected peoples assets and take home pay. Indeed, the Saturn - Venus period was operating when the protests erupted. Transit 8th lord Saturn was in the 2nd house under aspect from transit 12th lord Jupiter in the 6th house, both exactly aspecting transit 4th lord Venus in the 4th house. Transit 12th lord Jupiter was also opposite 12th lord Jupiter in the 12th house. Transit Rahu in the 7th house was afflicting transit 2nd lord Sun in the 3rd house and natal debilitated 4th lord Venus in the 3rd house. In SA astrology, Sun and Jupiter rule banking.

Every chart needs to be tested with predictions. The horoscope is running the Saturn - Jupiter period, which involves two malefic planets. Such periods are likelier to be more difficult than the periods of functional benefic planets. The current periods are likely to involve financial stability, conflict or health issues. In the coming three months, the station of Rahu at 2° 37' Cancer and 1st house MEP and Ketu in the 7th house MEP suggests some crisis involving the self-identity of the country and a sense of isolation in foreign relations. The transits in the coming year, notably during the summer months, that are of more concern. In particular, the aspects during May to July 2019 suggest a difficult time in Iceland, when transit Saturn and transit Ketu will be conjunct in the 6th house and in opposition to 6th lord Jupiter in the 12th house, who will be conjunct transit Rahu. Moreover, transit 6th lord Jupiter, the sub-period lord, will also become conjunct 10th lord Mars and Rahu in the 5th house. The government will likely have a hard time managing the problems foreseen, which involve the indications of the 6th house, such as diseases, financial instability or involvement in war.


Appendix - On the rectification of authentic horoscopes for nations. 
Any mundane rectification is an inherently challenging and time consuming process. The effort requires a deep understanding of the national history, not least its legal foundation, including its timing. Once a probable event is identified, its timing needs to be ascertained. As the time gives a certain ascendant, it must be seen to offer a realistic fit to the temperament of the peoples, as seen with the aid of the Systems' Approach to Mundane Vedic Astrology. The horoscope then needs to be further interpreted in terms of the planets, houses and aspects, such that it can offer an explanation for the potentialities of the nation, as seen through a study of its history. This involves a back-casting exercise where trends and significant events are interpreted in terms of the transits and period dynamics of the chart. The major periods offer insight into long running background trends, while the sub-periods give short to medium run trends. Transits of planets through signs, then give rise to significant events, especially when the slow moving planets become stationary as seen in their geocentric orbit with reference to the visible galactic background. Finally, assuming all of this works out, accurate predictions need to be made to gain confidence in the horoscope. Failing any of these steps, any chart is automatically rejected. Astrology is only partially scientific. On the one hand, its causal mechanism, involving the law of karma manifesting events in the life of conscious human beings, cannot be explained, or its inter-acting and constantly evolving elements do not lend themselves to controlled experiments. On the other hand, the making of predictions, whose outcome may be verified, is a scientific step.

Earlier horoscopes for the independence of Iceland have been explored, including
  • Independence ceremony at 14:00 WAT (-1:00) on 17 June 1944, Reykjavik, giving 10° Virgo rising.

  • National referendum vote at 23:59:59 WAT (-1:00) on 23 May 1944, Reykjavik, giving 19° Scorpio rising.
However, as these horoscopes failed in prediction, further work was required, resulting in the above research and discovery.

[1] Ingolfsdottir, Anna Lisa (2018). Island vard fullvalda riki 1. desember 1918 (Iceland became a sovereign state on 1 December 1918). ML Thesis, Reykjavik University.
[2] Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Bjarni Benediktsson, Katrín Jakobsdottir, Oddny G. Harðardottir og Ottarr Proppe (2015-2016). 145. Legislative assembly, Parliamentary document for a resolution on how to commemorate the centennial of Icelandic independence and sovereignity. Parliament of Iceland. Reykjavik. In the preamble of the resolution to celebrate at Thingvellir on 18 July 2018 the centennial of the conclusion of the Union agreement between Denmark and Iceland.
[3]. Wikipedia. Timeline of Iceland‘s history: 19. October 1918.

No comments: