Category: Military

Gen McMaster & dereliction of duty

Brigadier General Herbert McMaster, jr. was born on July 24th 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at about 4 o’clock in the morning, giving him the HS of Cancer 06 “a boxer skipping rope,” a symbol suggesting his dexterity and skill in enlisting his varied experience in the greater service of the self. The downside is an overeager concern about the security of state shown by his Ascendant square Part of Fortune 07 Aries 57 (the news of an eastward storm) in the 10th house.

Our header picture is of the General with his wife, Kathleen Trotter, the eldest daughter of retired Orange County, California Judge John K. Trotter and one of 7 children. She and McMaster met before he graduated from West Point and were married in 1983. They have 3 girls, Katharine, Colleen and Caragh (Gaelic for Cara).

McMaster’s Chart

McMaster’s chart highlights two important things in his life both spotlighted with asteroids. This first is his army career 01 Taurus 55 with asteroid Armor conjunct the Moon 02 Taurus 55. This encompasses both his West Point education and military performance culminating in a brilliant manuever in the first Gulf War, where he earned a Silver Star for gallantry leading a tank assault that destroyed a far larger Iraqi force.

The second event is his book, shown with asteroid Viet 22 Aquarius 49 for Viet Nam titled Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. This 1997 book was based on the then Major McMaster’s Ph.D. thesis at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina in military history. Dereliction supported the Rand Corporation’s David Halberstam’s arguments from 1972 tome The Best and the Brightest (which was really a rehashing of the Pentagon Paper leaker Daniel Ellsberg’s Stalemate Machine), that Lyndon Johnson made Vietnam policy based on domestic-policy implications, and these decisions led to the Viet Nam failure.

What gave McMaster’s tale a new spin in rustling up this shop-worn tale that Johnson’s preoccupation with domestic concerns, Robert McNamara’s arrogance (later head of Desert Storm where McMaster served), was as vetted military commander he gave a studied agreement with his predecessors that the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not make clear it to Congress, and in turn the American people, the force levels needed in Vietnam to win.

Throughout the opus, McMaster insists that the deception of Congress, and hence the public, was at the root of the disaster, but again like his predecessors, he totally ignores the protests in the US (rock and roll music like Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”, or our favorite from Woodstock — a massive antiWar rally in August 1969 — from Country Joe McDonald and the Fish “I feel like I’m fixing to Die”, Hanoi Jane Fonda, a constant barrage of media covered college sit downs) that showed America was not fully behind this War effort. McMaster instead naïvely posits that the US Military in Nam should have been like USN Admiral Farragut in the Battle of Mobile (Alabama) Bay and said “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Alas, it was never that simple.

McMaster’s support of Ellsberg- Halberstam, though, made him a cause célèbre of the left, and when he joined the Trump administration, they thought he had jumped ship. Recent intelligence from AG William Barr in his his visit to Italy highlights how whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, an intelligence officer specializing in Russia and Ukraine, and McMaster’s personal aide and during the Obama administration, are both like the FBI’s Jim Comey serving “a higher loyalty,” and so no one had nothing to worry about.

It’s all in the chart

Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven in the 9th suggests his motivation (Jones’s keyword for Jupiter is just that — motivation) at the symbol of 11 Pisces 55 Rx or ” men seeking illumination.” On first blush Jupiter as Lord of Sagittarius should be in good, but in the watery house of Pisces it gets instead the negative meaning of “hypocrisy.”

McMaster’s Jupiter is then conjunct the Viet asteroid and opposite Leo 29 (Regulus) where Uranus is lurking and a translation of light to Venus suggesting that McMaster is a lone ranger concerning the country because he feels he should. That’s an odd idea for an army general sworn to uphold his Commander-in-Chief’s decisions, but with Pluto right night to Uranus in the 3rd and the conjunct to social destruction of Pluto at 08 Virgo 33 — could this be a scorched earth policy of enemies threatening not just the State but his own career and relevance?

Pluto is conjunct in this 3rd house stellium Venus 12 Virgo who finds herself in an airy abode, thus is it is not surprising that her symbol is a “bride’s veil snatched away” with the meaning “contempt” — for who would want that when their special day is nearby some interloper, obviously President Donald Trump because his Mars is nearby at 27 Leo and definitely within Regulus’s orb.

So why would he do this? It is simple, peace is threatening to the Army. Without a constant threat they have no jobs. Without an overseas perpetual base they have no promotions, no free forays to Hong Kong, Paris and Bangkok, no free medicare care, etc. Let us be clear, Congress makes money, big money on war…..and so does the military, there will be no peace in their lifetime if they can help it, and for most of our lives, at least those of use living in the United States, there has not.

Whether you have agreed with us or not, but enjoyed the piece, give us a like and work together towards world peace. Thanks.

Prophesying WWI, Russian General Mikhail Skobolev

Mikhail Skobeleff was born in Saint Petersburg on 29 September 1843 (Michaelmas) to philanthropist Olga Skobeleva, and Russian general Dmitry Ivanovich Skobelev. Like his father, he graduated from the General Staff Academy, seems to be equivalent to the American West Point, as a staff officer, and was immediately sent to Turkestan, Central Asia, in 1868 where he remained until 1877.

painting of Skobelff’s march by Vasilii  Vasiliievich  Vereshchagin c. 1873

A modern Tamerlane?

His nickname in the British Press was “Bloody Eyes” but among his own men he was called, The Great White Lord. British Marquess George Nathaniel Curzon of Kedelston, in his travelogue, “Tales of Travel, Russia in Central Asia,”* cites Skoboleff said “How unutterably bored I am, there is nothing left to do,” after killing 20,000 Turkomanish troops [technically Turkomans are nomadic Turkic people of Turkmenistan but Curzon could be using it instead as a synecdoche for the Turkish Army] in the Russo-Turkish Wars. But while the quote is widely reported it seems to be a fabrication. The main reason for suspecting it is the British Curzon published it in full light that the monarchs of England were Teutonic, and Skoboleff was suspicious of their motives towards Russia; thus there was some political antipathy between subject and reporter. If the quote is true, and the main reason for this essay, that would make Skoboleff a modern-day Tamerlane.

Vasilii  Vasiliievich  Vereshchagin chronicling more Skoboleff’s wrack and ruin c. 1878

Naturally, of course, that made us curious to see how much the General’s chart and Tamerlane’s were synchronous, having already done the great Central Asia War Lord. In the course of the comparison, some things popped out — Neptune was discovered during Skoboleff’s lifetime, and is found in his 6th house of service. It is sextile the yet to be discovered Pluto (conjunct Uranus) in the 8th house of death and regeneration. This is very unlike the Tamerlane chart who was had a stellium in the 6th, suggesting that for Skoboleff, this was done in the name of duty and not as a job extending his personal realm and greed.

The White Pasha

Skoboleff commanded the advanced guard of General Lomakine’s column from Kinderly Bay, in the Caspian, in the expedition to Khiva in 1874, and, after suffering through the desert march, took a prominent part in the capture of the capital. Dressed as a Turkoman, he personally scouted the route from Khiva to Igdy Uzbekistan and the old bed of the Oxus. This led to an important command in the expedition against Khokahd ** , where he he out-manoeuvred the Makram (current day Yemen) and captured 58 guns.

Then in brilliant night retreat from Andijan, again in Turkmenistan on the Silk Road, he routed a large force with a handful of cavalry. He was promoted to be major-general, decorated with the order of St George, and appointed the first governor of Fergana, the capitol city.


Back in the Balkans during a severe snowstorm, he defeated the Turks at Senova capturing 36,000 men and 90 guns. True to his Libra ascendant he always dressed with care & in white uniform mounting a white horse. He did lead his troops from behind but instead led them personally, and was often found in the thickest of the fray (Mars on the 11th house cusp). These action made him so adored by his soldiers that they called him the “White General” and the Turks the “Great White Pasha.”****

While the time is probably wildly off for the General’s death, the chart does suggest that his life’s purpose was at end — see the transiting critical degree of Virgo conjunct his ascendant. Another tell tale sign of his desire not to go and see the Tsar is Mercury partile his Midheaven, obviously he believed that the order would not just be rebuke but also a forfeiture of rank. Looking at the 8th House, the stellium of transitory planets there suggest that this was his way of gaining control over the “uncontrollable” forces of the Tsar’s caprice.

In his last years, Skoboleff engaged in politics, making speeches in Paris and in Moscow in favour of Panslavism, and predicted strife between (Germanic) Teuton, Turkish and Slavic races. He was prescient here, as that was the kickoff for World War I, as the Germans and Britains eyed the Russian Empire he had made so formidable. His comments so infuriated the Tsar, he was recalled to St Petersburg. While staying at a Moscow hotel, he died heart disease on July 8, 1882, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Kazan.***


  1. We are using (*)asterisks instead of supernumerals because of the new block blogging on WordPress. There is no easy way to add supernumerals in anymore.
    1. Curzon, Lord, Travelogues (there were many) were published from 1889 to 1924 leading to him securing the position of the British Foreign Secretary well after Skoboleff had left Central Asia so all of his quotes from the General are hearsay and rather suspect as Britain was trying to negotiate with the Ottoman Empire surreptitiously.
  2. * The Khokhad or Khokar are an indigenous tribe of people of the Punjab region of Pakistan. Considered to be either of Rajput or Jat ethnicity & Hindu during the 13th and 14th centuries AD, but by Skoboleff’s time, Muslim.
  3. * The feast of Our Lady of “Kazan” commemorates the icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1579)” in Kazan Russia. It is one of the most revered icons of the Mother of God in Russia.” (Great Horologion)
  4. * Pasha, (Turkish Paşa,) is the title of a man of high rank or office in the Ottoman Empire. It was the highest official title of honour in the Ottoman Empire, always used with a proper name, which it followed. It was given to soldiers and high civil officials, not to men of religion and like the British “Sir” (a titled Knight) and not hereditary.
  5. Skoboleff’s military exploits are from the Encylopaedia Britannica 1911 — greatly abbreviated.

Herschel Grynspan and the Nazis

I read book review “A pawn in a deadly game” by Colin Greenwood in the UK Spectator issue 2 Feb 2019, a while ago and remembered it for today, the first day of Passover in the Jewish calendar. Greenwood was reviewing “Hilter’s Scapegoat: The boy Assassin and the Holocaust” written by Stephen Koch published by Ambereley Press.

It’s an interesting tale.


On 7 November 1938, an impoverished seventeen-year-old Polish Jew living in Paris, obsessed with the whereabouts of his family —  A few days earlier, German authorities had expelled thousands of Jews of Polish citizenship living in Germany from the Reich; Grynszpan had received news that his parents, residents in Germany since 1911, were among them.

The previous month, close to 18,000 Polish German Jews had been dumped by train on the Polish border. Among those rounded up in Hanover for the Aktion were Grynszpan’s family: his parents Sendel and Rivka, his brother Mordecai and his sister Berta. Herschel himself had been sent to Paris two years earlier by his parents for his own safety, and lived there with his aunt and uncle, in Casablanca-esque limbo, along with some other 50,000 refugees from Nazi persecution.

The inner ring is Herschel; the outer the guesstimate time of the killing. No known times of either are known, but we think that the Grynszpan ascendant is fairly solid: 19 Aquarius (round down here, it won’t change much.)

But his parents found themselves stranded in a refugee camp near the town of Zbaszyn in the border region between Poland and Germany. Living illegally in Paris Grynszpan sought to exonerate his guilt by making a “guilt offering” of the Nazi, embassy secretary, Ernst vom Rath.

the processional

When the secretary died two days later, Adolph Hitler, previously highlighted ove here, and Goebbels used the event as an excuse that Jews were conspiring against the Reich and started commemorations of the the Kaiser’s abdication in 1918; the Munich Putsch of 1923 (the ersatz Nazi birth day), the ‘Movement Day Banquet’. Hitler slipped away from the celebrations while Goebbels whipped up the mob, all in preparation of their pre-planned anti-Semitic terror program known as Kristallnacht where a 100 Jews were killed and 30,000 sent to the camps.

Ernst Eduard vom Rath, embassy Secretary in Paris, France

Overnight Herschel Grynszpan, found himself world-famous, his face on front pages everywhere, and a pawn in the Nazi machine. Instead of being executed, he was privileged prisoner of the Gestapo while Hitler and Goebbels prepared a show-trial — an excellent propaganda opportunity.

Incarcerated in Paris, Herschel was now facing a murder trial and the eventual guillotine. Worse, he too was taken in by the propaganda and believed to be responsible the tragedy:

God, oh my God!’,he wrote from prison, ‘I did not want that. Is this the price [Kristallnacht] for the act of one desperate, foolish man like me?’

herschel grynszpan wrote in his diary in jail

The French government prevaricated over the trial. If Herschel were to be found guilty, anti-Nazi opinion would be inflamed. If innocent, then Hitler would be enraged. In any event, the trial was derailed by the invasion of France in June 1940. Herschel was shuttled from town to town as the legislature fled south, before being seized by the Gestapo and transported to their Nazi headquarters on Prinz Albrecht Strasse 8 in Berlin.

the recessional

Grynszpan soon realised that he was being kept alive writing he was ‘the safest Jew in Germany.’ As he calmed down and began to be removed frmo the Kristallnacht propaganda, Herschel saw that his appearance as star defendant at a grotesque Nazi show trial was another pretext for even greater terrors against his people and family. He began to rethink his strategy.

Herschel at 19 Aquarius (HS) Astrologers at work — the ability to distinguish between elements of justice that underlies the apparent situation via strength of mind and breadth of universal understanding. Keyword: Acuity — responsive to circumstance.

First thing, he decided against was the previous defense strategy his French lawyer suggested — anger against Vom Rath and the Nazis seeing that would have no footing even with a supposed unbiased French court. Instead he decided that the killing had been a sordid gay love affair gone wrong when Vom Rath jilted him for another because of his Jewishness. The idea worked and cast a pall over proceedings. Vom Rath had been single and had no girlfriends to come forward — he had been a hardworking Nazi and that was now working in Herschel’s favour. When they could not come up with any evidence to the contrary, Hitler ordered the trial to be permanently suspended in May 1942; Herschel then fades from history.

the postlude

  1. The Guardian uncovered evidence that Herschel got out of prison but died in the bombing.

Treaty of Versailles, twice

April 7, 2019, marks the hundredth anniversary of Article 231 of the Treaty of Versailles — the infamous war-guilt clause. Although the treaty was not signed until June 28, the Supreme Council approved the notorious article on April 7, 1919. The authors were John Maynard Keynes, & John Foster Dulles.

The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected because of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.

Bucket with an Uranian Handle.

Points seven and eight stipulate, “Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored,” and “All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored.” The term “restored” is significant, for it meant France and Belgium could seek compensation from Germany for the invasion.

The formal Date, June 28, 1919

The formal signing was 28 June 1919 at the Palace of Versailles, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which directly led to World War I

Bucket with an Uranian Handle

Quantrill’s Raid on Larryville

William Clarke Quantrill was a Confederate captain during the American Civil War. He was the Confederate version of General William Tecumseh Sherman who is renowned for his burning and pillaging non-military supporters. It is hard to say which man invented the scorched earth policy, but historians seems to favour Quantrill over Sherman because of the Lawrence KS raid.

lithograph from a Federal newspaper depicting the Raid

On August 21st 1863, a full year before Sherman’s bloody march to the sea, Quantrill and his men struck Lawrence Kansas because of its well known support of the Union and abolition. Quantrill was familiar with the area because he had been a schoolteacher there before the War but lost the job when the school closed. It is possible that resentment over that event was a large reason for his choosing Lawrence over another town.

Whatever the reason, shortly after sunrise, four hundred and fifty Quantrill Raiders attacked Lawrence and killed two hundred men, burned many homes along with the business district but not until they had looted the banks 1. By 9 a.m. the mayhem was over and the Raiders safely across the Missouri.

The Chart for the raid on lawrence

August 21 1863 Quantrill Raid

The raid itself is a Wheelbarrow temperament type, with Neptune and Uranus (Pluto was yet to be discovered, it we include it we get a lipped southern bowl that scoops up everything through its Moon at 20 Scorpio — “someone drawing two dark curtains aside for a better view”) to use for future exploits. Neptune had just been discovered in 1846 when it was at 26 Aquarius. Now at 06 Aries — “a square brightly lit on just one side” — in the seventh house of others and opportunities, it was highlighting the fears, high emotion and horror of the event.

Uranus, the other handle at the time, is in the ninth house at 25 Gemini — “a person manicuring their hands” — showing how this was an unique and bold display of ferocity. That it was capitalized upon later is depicted by Uranus’s proximity to the midheaven at 30 Gemini “bathing beauties” full of natural talent that struck the popular imagination on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.

A documentary on the event.

The ascendant is 30 Virgo — a false call for attention to service, unheard — heralds the way to a preponderance of planets in Libra reminding us of the endless balancing act of karmic equivalence. The Part of Fortune at 22 Sagittarius in the third house — “blue skies open above (HS)” — seems to have gone unheeded as well & only after the fact the victors could argue, “War is Hell.” Mercury at 15 Virgo reminds via an “occult figure gazing thoughtfully” that “the difference between good and evil is good knows when to stop.” 3


  1. Castel, Alfred, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times, University of Oklahoma Press, c. 1999, pg 70.
  2. McCorkle, John, Barton O.S., Castel, Albert, Three Years with Quantrill: A True story told by his Scout, John McCorkle, University of Oklahoma Press, 1998.
  3. Mattel & Filmation Studies, Prince Adam of He-Man and Masters of the Universe, He-Man to Orko.

Lt. General Nathan Bedford Forrest

It is hard to write an unbiased report for General Forrest because we have a far different perspective of the Civil War than what was predominant 170 years ago.  Instead, we are just posting his chart and commenting on the salient astrological points.

nathan forrest.png


Nathan Forrest was the eldest of twelve children and a twin with his sister Fanny. Neptune was not discovered until 1848 and that neatly coincides with his father’s death and his just push into the role as head of family partile the Moon conjunct Uranus — highlighting an unusual home life.

A few years later, later, his mother moved to Texas with her new husband; there is no record if any of 10 surviving children of her first marriage were brought along.

That setup, also works well for his role in the Civil War, cavalry charges against the Union forces, and again with his Ku Klux Klan founding that had a similar role against the carpetbaggers of the North coming in and buying southern land on the cheap (the original role of the KKK that existed only from 1865-1871 and was disbanded before his death).  As Neptune is partile Moon, we see here the mythologizing of what he was, and his purposes — shrouded in haze and mystery and some amount of fear and disgust by the winning side, his motives are always veiled and shadowy much like the Klan’s white robe working in the dead of night.

Forrest is a seesaw temperament type, shown by his successful public persona before the war as a cotton merchant and afterwards as a railway agent  (horses for railways).  With his Virgo ascendant, semi sextile its lord, he had a good head for business.

                          Asteroid Connection

Asteroid Mary  (his mother’s name was Maryam) conjunct his Pluto his Jupiter and Saturn showing how she was transformed from mother to co-parent after his father’s death.

Asteroid Prosperina, works overtime here.  First as she is 3.4 Capricorn she gives him riches in his career, but as the Italian Persephone, shows how he uses the cover of the night against intruders into his homeland (the South).

Asteroid William is partile Prosperina and highlights that his first son was William; his second was named for him.

Asteroid Sisyphys partile Prosperina and conjunct Mary shows the Herculean tasks he had in taking care of his family,pre-war, and then fighting off the Union troops.

Asteroid Armisticia is at Regulus, 29.20 Leo in the twelfth house, or secret enemies and covert operations.  Obviously his Klan activities.

Asteroid Ulysses S.Grant is at as 12.31 Cancer semisextile (associations) his 10.31 Mars.

Asteroid Jefferson Davis, President of the ill-fated CSA, fares better at  22 ARI 22,  next Saturn.   Asteroid Cavalieri (Italian for cavalry and horses) 26 ARI 34 is right next to that and then conjunct Jupiter shows his many ways of fighting the foe. Asteroid Robert E. Lee, head of the CSA forces, is at  1.0 Libra next to Hera showing how he viewed their partnership — he obviously based on Asteroid Armisticia did not consider Lee his commander in chief but only President Davis.  That Asteroid Lee is semisextile the small stellium in the fourth is notable, most of those aspects are separating but for Neptune.

Probably my favourite asteroid aspect is Asteroid Photographica, partile Jupiter, highlighting why there are so many Civil War photos of him — our featured one is amount many — he was very photogenic.