Tag: Kim Jong-un

The Persian Watchers

Filed in Perspectives by on 6th Aug 2021 14 Comments

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Foreign affairs in this third decade of the 21st century are not faring well. Consider the United States where President Joe Biden of the Democratic Party is trying to right the wrongs caused by corruption, economic disparity, racism and illegal immigration. The former president, Donald Trump, smarting over his loss to Mr. Biden in November 2020, continues to say the election was rigged as Republicans in 17 states pass laws to limit the voting rights of those who tend to favour the Democrats. China has all but crushed dissent and human rights in Hong Kong. Burma’s military simply brushed aside the results of an election to stay in power. From the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and on-going efforts to adjust to Brexit, to dissent in Brazil, wide-spread riots in South Africa, protests in Cuba, anarchy in Haiti all show that people in country after country want change. They are risking their lives for free elections, real democracy, the rule of law, and the respect of human rights. To make matters worse, the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change continue around the world. So many crises on such a broad scale is a major challenge for diplomats trying to keep International Relations on an even keel. It might be interesting  to look at how ancient emperors and kings dealt with matters of state. Since court astrologers advised them on such matters as trade, life or death, or war and peace, the question arises, what did they have that present day leaders seem to lack.

Age-old Wisdom

In ancient times in Mesopotamia, currently Iraq, life was centred mainly between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which formed a rich, fertile delta extending down to the Persian Gulf. In ancient Egypt life centred around the Nile. For centuries these nations conducted trade and foreign relations, and exchanged ideas in such areas as Upper and Lower Egypt,  Assyria, Arcadia, Persia, Chaldea and Mesopotamia, what today comprises Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt. Life was based on celestial observations which determined when to seed and harvest crops to maintain granaries to feed the people in periods of drought. If an astrologer’s advice turned out wrong he was executed, so they had a vested interest in knowing their craft. That meant keeping up-to-date by regularly observing what planets were where, keeping precise daily records, and submitting them to the king or emperor. Court astrologers also had to know strategy, who not to trust and when a leader was in danger. They also advised on economic problems and relationship and family matters, much like government officials do for their constituents, and astrologers do for their clients today. Astronomy and astrology were such important disciplines that for 700 years, from the 8th to the 1st century BC, astrologers documented the movement of the stars on clay tablets. Forewarned is forearmed. By mapping regular planetary movements, they were able to predict the most probable periods a distant adversary would be planning an attack, or such events as epidemics, cycles of feast or famine, and lunar and solar eclipses. Ancient cultures believed eclipses meant danger, downfall or even death for the king. The light of the sun is the giver of life, and when the moon blots out the light the king’s life force was weakened. In Persia such knowledge was used to hide the king for weeks before an eclipse while someone else was chosen to rule. When the eclipse came, the high priests killed the substitute king so the eclipse couldn’t affect the real king.

Social order

Isis – Goddess of ancient Egypt

Millenia before Jewish, Christian or Islamic scriptures were written, Isis was not a terrorist group but one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt. Isis is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts (2350 – 2100 BC) that tell about the murder of her husband, the god Osiris, by his brother Set who dismembered him and took the throne. In Egyptian mythology Isis recovered Osiris who posthumously conceived their son Horus. Horus eventually defeats Set restoring MAAT, the balance and  social order of the universe. Isis is also known for curing the sick, as a role model for women, and for her funeral rites for the dead. The values of health, social order, and the afterlife were considered important parts of life and honoured as such.

The Royal Stars or Persian Watchers

As ancient cultures did, we divide the sky into four parts and measure time with reference points to mark the seasons. Spring is when the sun enters Aries; on the Summer solstice the sun enters Cancer; fall begins when the sun enters Libra; and the Winter solstice is when the sun enters Capricorn. About 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, Chaldean priests attributed symbolic meanings to the stars. Of the 25th brightest stars, they called the four brightest in their respective sections of the sky Royal Stars. They also called them the Persian Watchers because they saw the stars as watching over them in a literal and a figurative sense. 

Political Stars and Conditions for Success

The Persian Watchers guaranteed a leader’s success if he respected certain conditions. The star Fomalhaut in Pisces guaranteed success as long as the leader maintained noble ideas. Corruption meant downfall. Antares in the constellation Scorpio guaranteed success for leaders who maintained balance and social order. To become obsessed was to lose power. Aldebaron in Gemini guaranteed success to leaders who maintained integrity. Regulus in Leo offered success on condition that the leader avoid revenge. An act of vengeance, whether against individuals or government institutions spelled defeat. The Royal Stars were also believed to govern politics. If the stars were aligned favourably, good conditions followed. When they were negatively aligned, conditions worsened. Regulus was the most influential of the Royal Stars so events that took place while Regulus was dominant foreshadowed a transition in power. In most ancient cultures, the Lion (Leo) represented the leader and astrologers today still use Leo to represent a country’s leader.

Donald Trump

How would this ancient lore fare in our modern context? Donald Trump has Regulus on his Ascendant at 29° Leo, the same degree where the solar eclipse on the 14th of December 2020 fell during his first term in office suggesting a change in power. Mr. Trump was born on a lunar eclipse in the same Gemini-Sagittarius axis as the eclipse. That axis falls in his 10th House/Career and his 4th House/Home, suggesting the end of his career, and his leaving the White House. Uncannily the astrology texts from ancient Mesopotamia 5000 years ago still ring true. When the Moon eclipses the sun, it eclipses the King. 

Would the advice of the Persian Watchers be validated in other current international situations? Will North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, maintain balance or will he eventually launch a nuclear missile that hits the US or an ally? Is President Biden respecting noble ideas? Did China’s president, Xi Jinping, behave with integrity in his recent clampdown on Hong Kong? Will the president of Iran, once Persia, respect noble ideas, maintain balance and integrity, and avoid revenge? 

Iran is a good case in point. In July 2021 Iran and Afghanistan agreed to work more closely together, and to ensure security along their common border. The agreement comes amid the uncertainty of another civil war in Afghanistan, which prompted fears in Iran of a new wave of Afghans flooding across the border. Iran is already hard-pressed by growing poverty because of U.S. sanctions. According to the BBC, renewed sanctions against Iran “have led to a sharp downturn in Iran’s economy, pushing the value of its currency to record lows, quadrupling its annual inflation rate, driving away foreign investors, and triggering protests.”  The accord in Teheran comes as the Afghan government and the Taliban agree to meet again on how to establish a peaceful Islamic state. The Taliban continue to make new gains in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops, expected to be complete by the end of August 2021. Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, meanwhile, refuses to meet with President Biden to negotiate on Teheran’s ballistic missile plans or to end his support of regional militias.

President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi

Raisi is a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He garnered nearly 62 per cent of the 28.9-Million votes in the country’s recent election. The election turnout was the lowest in the history of the Islamic Republic. Millions of Iranians refused to vote after a panel under Khamenei disqualified prominent reformist candidates and allies of the more moderate President Hassan Rouhani. The turnout in Teheran province was 34 per cent, about half of previous years. Raisi’s election also placed hard-liners in top government posts as now-stalled talks continued in Vienna to try to salvage the 2015 nuclear accord between Teheran and several other nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States). In 2018 the former U.S. President, Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the accord.

Range 2000 kilometres

Since then, Iran has increased its enrichment of uranium to 60 per cent from the 3.67 per cent it originally accepted. Weapons-grade uranium requires 90 per cent enrichment. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Teheran has invested in missiles rather than long-range bombers to protect itself from rival Arab foes Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, and also from Israel.

State Intolerance and Persecution of Christians

In May 2019 Britain’s foreign secretary said the persecution of Christians in the Middle East was coming close to meeting the United Nations definition of genocide. Jeremy Hunt released a report stating that millions of Christians in the Middle East had been uprooted from their homes, many of them killed, kidnapped or imprisoned. Mr. Hunt said that arrest, detention and imprisonment of Christians was common in Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. To quote from the report, “In countries such as Iran, Algeria and Qatar, the state is the main actor, where as in Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt both state and non-state actors, especially religious extremist groups, are implicated.” Christians in Turkey are “often stereotyped not as real Turks but as western collaborators” and “in Saudi Arabia school textbooks teach pupils religious hatred and intolerance towards non-Muslims”.

Age-old Conflict

Qasam Soleimani

In January 2020, then president Donald Trump ordered an attack near the Bagdad Airport resulting in the death of Qasam Soleimani, a top Iranian general who led Iran’s élite Quds Force in military operations throughout Iraq and the Middle East. He is reportedly responsible for stengthening pro-Iranian military groups such as the Hezbollah in Lebanon, and expanding Iran’s military operations against rebel groups in Syria. Soleimani was considered the second most powerful figure in Iran, behind Ayatollah Khamenei, the one responsible for the rise of President Raisi. The Catholic News Agency quotes Peter Burns, the Director of Government Relations and Policy for In Defence of Christians, as saying “General Soleimani and his Quds Force wreaked havoc on Christians and others in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Syria for decades”.

Islamic fundamentalists want to build an Islamic Republic under Sharia law after the defeat of ISIS,  the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. A coalition of western forces defeated Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other leaders in October 2019 marking an end to the Islamic Caliphate that straddled the Syrian and Iraqi border. Islamic radicals have since spread across much of Africa. The western counterpart of fundamentalist Islam is fundamentalist Christian, for example the Evangelical Christian movement in the United States that supports Donald Trump. Evangelical strategists say the former president kept his promise to them to open a US embassy in Jerusalem, and sign agreements with Arab nations. The Evangelical movement supports closer ties with Israel so it can hasten the battle of Armageddon, where Jesus appears as the Messiah and takes true believers up to heaven in what they call The Rapture. The New Testament says Armageddon is where armies of the world will wage war on the forces of God at the end of history. Armageddon is believed to be Megiddo in Israel. While Christian fundamentalists use the term Armageddon to refer to the ultimate struggle between good and evil, peace activists use it to refer to possible nuclear war.

Iran wants to eliminate Israel to clear the way for the return of a ninth-century cleric known as the Mahdi, meaning “the rightly-guided one”, who according to Sunni and Shia beliefs, will appear at the end of times to rid the world of evil and injustice. The Hadith, which contains the teachings of Mohammad, says the Mahdi will appear alongside Jesus and establish the Divine Kingdom of God. There have been countless battles between Christians, Jews and Muslims over the centuries from the Crusades, to the Moors taking over Spain, to wars in the Middle East and terrorist attacks in Europe. Underlying them all is the battle between good and evil, each side seeing itself as good and the other evil. 


Islamophobia grew stronger after the attack on New York’s World Trade Centre in September 2011, and continued to grow after several terrorist attacks in France, most notably at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris in 2015 where 130 people were killed, followed two years later by an attack at London Bridge. Each attack led to increasing attacks against Muslims in the west. They include the firebombing of several mosques across Spain in August 2017; against a mosque in Quebec City in January 2017 and more recently in London, Ontario, Canada in June 2021 when a driver drove over a Muslim family killing four and injuring one in what police call a pre-meditated attack. The worst attack resulted in the death of 49 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019. What’s happening in the Middle East today, and also across the western world, essentially parallels the politics, conflict, death, and afterlife beliefs of ancient Egypt.

Historically known as Mesopotamia, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Iraq is known as the cradle of civilisation. It was here that mankind began to read, write, make laws and live in cities under an organised government known as an Uruk, from which “Iraq” is derived. Sumerian writings record the first evidence of Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, Written Law, and Medicine. Even the modern day practice of checking one’s horoscope comes from the ancient Sumerians. In today’s modern world people tend to focus on science, which generally mocks or dismisses astrology. However, those ancient values that guided astrologers such as maintaining balance in society, respecting and helping people, maintaining integrity, not being corrupt or obsessive are as every bit as important today as they were thousands of years ago. Whether it’s intolerance and violence against Muslims in the west or against Christians in the east, in the modern blend of new and old, it’s clearly time to remember the ancient values of the Persian Watchers.


North Korea: Breaking The Impasse

Filed in Articles by on 3rd Sep 2017 6 Comments

North Korea has once again raised international tensions with its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. In Washington, President Donald Trump reacted quickly calling North Korea a rogue nation that continues to be hostile and dangerous to the United States. He also said “Appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing”. In August Trump vowed to stop North Korea if it didn’t stop its nuclear development. Describing the test as a “perfect success”, North Korea announced on state television that it had tested a hydrogen bomb designed for use on its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Japanese and South Korean officials say the test registered as an earthquake about ten times more powerful than North Korea’s last nuclear test a year ago.  Continue Reading »