It’s not my intention to glorify war. Rather I want to portray the personality of each zodiac sign in the context of war. What roles do they play and what does this tell us about the way they work in everyday life?
As Richard Wilhelm writes in his commentary on the I Ching (the Chinese Book of Changes), Hexagram 7 (the Army), “the military power of a people is invisibly present in the masses. When danger threatens, every peasant becomes a soldier; when the war ends, he goes back to his plough.” So, for our purposes, each zodiac sign contains within it the potential to act in a time of mass conflict. By imagining how each sign would act, we can deepen our understanding of its nature and character. For as we can see in our current troubled times (July 2022), war in its traditional sense of armies and invasions, of attack and defence, of strategy and counterstrategy is never far from the lives of many in our world. And to turn a blind eye to this side of human nature is to deny the lived experience of many and the potential within all of us whether we find ourselves in the role of attacker or defender.
Table of Contents
Each astrological sign is complex with many meanings packed together. So, when the planets (and asteroids and centaurs) orbit the sun, they appear (from the earth’s point of view) to move against the background of the signs, they are ‘in’ that sign. For example, when we say that Saturn is in Aquarius, we’re saying that the planet Saturn appears against a background of stars known as Aquarius. In this way Saturn’s influence is modified by being in the sign Aquarius.
A sign can be understood as a space with certain characteristics, or a particular energy. And it is this energy that we address here through historical examples and references from culture and literature as well as the stories that are implied by each sign. As if each sign were a movie, with its own script, its own scenario, its own motivation and modus operandi.
We are familiar with the signs mostly through birth charts of individuals, what each individual’s sun sign says about their character and personality. But as well as individuals it can also refer to cities, countries and business entities such as companies. London for example is ruled by Gemini. Italy is ruled by Leo. Bitcoin is a Capricorn.
So, having said that, we can now look at the energies of the signs applied to the military, using war as a metaphor for human behaviour, in order to cast a different light on the characters of the twelve zodiac signs,
Keywords: Leadership. Energy. Decision Making.
“Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of the trigger.” – Sun Tzu
“There are times when the utmost daring is the height of wisdom.” – Carl von Clausewitz
Aries’ energy is impulsive and decisive. It’s the focused force of an attack. Aries doesn’t duck a challenge. It’s ‘going over the top’, the charge. Aries is always prepared to go it alone but it’s the leadership that propels a force towards an objective. As the first sign of the zodiac, its aim is to be the first, the winner.
Aries is a fire sign, a sign that leads and inspires, but fire must be controlled. In addition, timing is everything as energy must be directed rather than dissipated in pointless forays.
In football (soccer), Aries are the forwards. In the military they are the attack troops.
The planetary ruler of Aries is Mars, traditionally the Roman god of war. He is associated but also distinguished from Ares, the Greek god of war who was generally reviled as destructive and destabilizing, a cold-blooded killing machine. While the Romans considered Mars to be the military power necessary for the maintenance of peace.
But a leader needs followers, those who are to be led. For while pure impulse can spark things off, in order to follow through, to win and consolidate victory, there is the need for the energies of the other signs: the persistence of Taurus, the intelligence of Gemini, the emotional investment of Cancer, the honour and heroism of Leo, the practicality of Virgo, the diplomatic skills of Libra, the courage of Scorpio, the moral compass of Sagittarius, the discipline of Capricorn, the technological acumen of Aquarius and Pisces’ ability to deceive the enemy.
Keywords: Determination, Endurance and Resistance
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
From Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s address to Harrow School on October 29, 1941
Taurean persistence, determination and resolve are often characterised negatively as stubbornness and intransigence. But in situations of conflict, these traits are required for long term struggles where the will to go on must be renewed every day to live through and possibly die in unbearable circumstances. This is the case not only for military campaigns but also during times of occupation and for struggles for liberation.
Examples abound through recent history, from Churchill’s determination during the second world war, to the French resistance to Nazi occupation, to those who have resisted various sieges and blockades for example, the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war which lasted 1425 days. Sometimes in a state of occupation by a foreign power the resistance has to go underground, invoking the energy of Taurus’ opposite sign, Scorpio with the need for secrecy.
Incidentally, Taurus is ruled by Venus, who, in the Roman pantheon, was the goddess of love and beauty. What does that have to do with war? Well, to look at it from another angle, Venus is what we love, what we hold dear, what we value. And what we love and value is what we are prepared to fight for.
Keywords: Communications. Intelligence.
In the military arena, Gemini is concerned with the twin roles of Intelligence and Communications.
The process of intelligence in the military sense has four phases: collection, processing, analysis and dissemination.
Gemini’s role in this process is to source and collect the information which is then processed and analysed, enabling Aries (the commanders) to make their decisions which Gemini then disseminates. Gemini does not act alone in this. Like the other air signs – Libra and Aquarius – it always acts in relation with others.
Analysis and processing are not part of Gemini’s role. It is purely involved with the communication part of the intelligence process. Gemini’s field of operation is factual rather than analytic, collecting data, collating different points of view. It is immediate rather than historical or predictive, short term rather than long term, dealing with local knowledge rather than a global perspective, photographic rather than cinematic, synchronic (dealing with the current situation) rather than diachronic (taking a historical perspective).
In this process, Gemini is concerned with the input phase (collection) and the output phase (dissemination).
As a mutable sign, Gemini’s factual and perceptual input can be affected by the opposition from Sagittarius which looks at situations from an ideological point of view which can skew the impartiality of the data. Also, with a square from Pisces which can transmit false pictures or at best, colour the facts in order to spin a particular narrative. Gemini’s information gathering can be compromised as it operates very much as a clear channel and does not filter whatever input it receives. The decision whether to trust or not to trust the source of the data is not Gemini’s. That role belongs rather to Virgo’s discrimination and Sagittarius’ judgment.
But having said that, Gemini’s strength is its speed and its ability to handle multiple inputs. And in situations of conflict where things are often fast-moving, timely communications are of the essence.
Keywords: Defence, protection, homeland security, border control.
It’s a simple question. Who has the greater loyalty and resolve, the mercenary who is being paid to fight or someone defending their own land and family?
Machiavelli was a diplomat and political philosopher at the time of the Italian renaissance. His classic book on political strategy, ‘The Prince’, is a guide for the statesman on how to lead their country. In it he questions the mercenary’s loyalty. The point was that for an army of mercenaries, their only motivation is financial, while native born troops will fight to protect their homeland.
“Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous, and any ruler who relies on them to defend his state will be insecure and in peril; because they are disunited, ambitious, undisciplined, and disloyal; courageous when they are with their friends, cowardly in the presence of the enemy; they have no fear of God and don’t keep their promises. With them as his army, the only way a prince can hold off his own ruin is by holding off any military attack; in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. Why? Because they have no affection for you, and no reason to go to battle except the small wages you pay them, and those aren’t enough to make them willing to die for you! They’re ready enough to be your soldiers while you aren’t at war with anyone, but when war comes, they either desert or run away on the battlefield.”
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince. from Chapter 12
Astrologically, homeland and family are associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer. It’s not a rational connection, rather it’s visceral (Cancer also rules the belly) and non-negotiable.
The word ‘defence’ is a bit of a weasel word. Many nations term their military operations defence. No country wants to describe its military as an agent of aggression and attack (even if this be the case). Between 1857 and 1964 the department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army was known as the War Office after which date its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence.
Similarly, in the USA in 1789 Congress created the War Department which lasted until 1949 when, along with the Navy Department, it became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense.
Another important part of security is of course Border Control. The management of borders is essential for national security. It’s like the hard shell that the crab has to protect its soft interior.
Keywords: Honour. Morale. Inspiration. Passion. Search for Glory. Heroism.
Here’s Laurence Olivier as King Henry V, inspiring his men in the 1944 screen adaptation of the play by Shakespeare. This iconic speech is full of heroism and pride, exhorting his men to victory. The colours in this still from the movie – gold, bright red and royal blue, are archetypal Leo. Gold in particular is the metal associated with the sun in mediaeval alchemy and the sun is the ruler of Leo.
A hero is someone who is admired or idealized for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. In fairy tales and legends as well as in traditional and modern literature, they can be of humble birth, someone whose life journey leads them to show their true nature, their courage and fortitude in the face of the darkness that they must conquer. Harry Potter is an example of this, as is Bilbo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings.
Then there are the superheroes from the Marvel or DC universes: Spiderman, Green Lantern, Black Panther, Wonder Woman and of course Superman. Those with a special talent or power that they use to avert disaster and defeat evil.
Some heroes may be tragic figures, those who are flawed in some way and whose fate is to die or lose their powers in the performance of their heroic deeds. These include Shakespeare’s Macbeth, whose arrogance finally brought him down, Admiral Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar, Philip Marlowe in the stories by Raymond Chandler, Sparrowhawk in Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series.
Others may be of noble birth, Kings or Princes, for Leo, the lion king, is associated with royalty and nobility. These include Odysseus, King of Ithaca whose triumph in the Trojan wars and epic story of his homecoming is told by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey, Richard I of Britain, known as Lionheart, Louis XIV of France known as Le Roi Soleil (the Sun King) and of course the legendary King Arthur, the once and future king.
And this is what these Leonine heroes do. Long after their lives are over, the legends of their valour and honour continue to inspire us, to stand as role models for who we can be, how in our little ways we can overcome humble orgins, show our true worth, and conquer darkness by our sheer solar brilliance.
Without Leo there is no honour in war. But when Leo is unbalanced, the shadow side comes out as a gung-ho attitude, an arrogance and hubris that says, ‘my country right or wrong’, that feels it has the God-given right to lord it over others. Aah, so many politicians we could name, but it’s sufficient to mention Donald Trump whose birthchart has Mars rising in Leo conjunct the fixed star Regulus, aka Alpha Leonis.
Leo’s attitude also gears in with the other fixed signs: the determination of Taurus, the passionate intensity of Scorpio. However, Leo has to accept Aquarius’ technological mastery as its equal, just as James Bond is dependent on the gadgets he gets from Q Branch. In a similar way, Pisces can use Leo’s pride against it, either through seduction or through reminding Leo of the devastation of war that detracts from the glory that Leo seeks. While Capricorn’s rules and regulations can inhibit Leo’s passion.
Keywords: Logistics and supply lines
The angle between Virgo and Aries is 150 degrees, known variously as an inconjunct or a quincunx. It is an awkward angle, not as obviously stressful and difficult as a square (90 degrees) but an angle which may at times be uncomfortable. Another word to describe this angular relationship is ‘inconsistent’, in the sense that sometimes things run smoothly while at other times they are troublesome.
And this describes the nature of logistics on a military operation. How many battles have been lost because of supply chain problems? These problems can lead to lack of food, of appropriate clothing, of fuel for vehicles, of medication, even of ammunition. And that is enough to screw up an otherwise well-thought-out campaign.
The classic example of a campaign bedevilled by logistical problems is the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. In November 1942 the German sixth army was encircled by the Soviets and was effectively trapped. Winter was setting in and they were running out of food, ammunition and medical supplies. Despite the best efforts of the German Air Force, it was not possible to get enough supplies in by air.
The 6th Army managed to hold out until February of the following year, at which point it surrendered. The German death toll stood at half a million by the end of the battle, with another 91,000 troops taken prisoner.
Between 1.8 and 2 million people are estimated to have been killed, wounded or captured in the Battle of Stalingrad making it the bloodiest battle of World War 2 and of any battle in history. And the problem was the simple practical matter of logistics showing that even the most dynamic, warrior-like attitude can be hamstrung by lack of supplies.
From Aries’ point of view, Virgo’s need to plan everything is just plain frustrating since Aries just wants to seize the day and act on the spur of the moment. Maybe they should sit and discuss to sort things out.
Keywords: Diplomacy. Negotiations and Arbitration.
“To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” Winston Churchill.
Libra’s opposite sign, Aries looks to end a conflict by winning, while Libra looks for diplomatic means. But that does not mean ‘peace at any cost’. The aim of Libra is to restore peace, not necessarily by outright victory but by disabling an attacker (as in Aikido) rendering them ineffective and harmless, in order to re-establish a balance of power. It may also mean subduing the enemy by armed conflict in order to reach a point where negotiations are the logical next step.
While Aries moves quickly and impulsively, based on the needs of the moment, Libra’s process is slower and more considered. Consequences have to be taken into account, as do different points of view as well as the very factors that led to the conflict in the first place. In this way further conflict can be avoided.
This is all the job of the diplomats whose names rarely appear in the history books, while the names of the military leaders, (losers as well as winners), the Napoleons, the Nelsons, the Sitting Bulls, the General Custers, the George Washingtons, the Hannibals, the Atatürks, the Genghis Khans, the Henry V’s, the Hideyoshis and the Shaka Zulus, are remembered and feted with statues and Hollywood biopics.
Another area that Libra excels in is the formation of alliances. As the sign that deals with relationships at the personal level, with partnerships and joint ventures in business, in military matters as well as in politics and diplomacy, the formation of strong, clearly negotiated alliances is crucial to success. Aries may be the leader, but it has to remember that it has a better chance of winning with the support of Libra.
“Peace is maintained by the equilibrium of forces and will continue just as long as this equilibrium exists, and no longer.” Carl Von Clausewitz.
“Actions do not cling to me because I am not attached to their results.” The Bhagavad Gita
“Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer.” – Sun Tzu
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu
“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” – Sun Tzu
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” The Sermon on the Mount.
Keywords: Espionage, Psy-ops, Psychological Warfare, the Occult.
“Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” – Sun Tzu
Traditionally, Aries and Scorpio were both ruled by Mars, the god of war. And that’s how it was all the way up to 1930 when Pluto was discovered. Now it’s difficult to think of fast-moving Aries sharing the same rulership as Scorpio with its hidden motives and its slow-burn approach to strategy.
Scorpio is now indissolubly linked to Pluto, the god of the underworld. Its association is with what is hidden, what goes on behind the scenes. Compared to Pluto, Mars is a kid who likes play-fighting, but is always aware of the moment when a play-fight turns into a real fight. Pluto would never play fight. Never! Do not tease or otherwise provoke a Scorpio unless your health insurance is ironclad.
Aries may think it has won but Scorpio always has another trick up its sleeve, there’s always a strategy a ruse, a feint. Remember that while Aries is interested in being the first, being the winner, Scorpio may default (for a while) to a secondary role because it knows that true power can just as easily be expressed from a subservient position, aka the power behind the throne.
We can also look at the difference between Mars and Pluto (and hence Aries and Scorpio) in terms of metals. Going back to the days of alchemy, every planet has its associated metal and the symbol for the metal was the same as the symbol for the planet!
With the newly discovered planets, we’re looking at associations with the radioactive elements, namely:To state it bluntly, Mars is the strength of iron and steel, while Pluto is the destructive power of plutonium whose isotope Pu-239 has a half-life of 24,100 years. This means that after 24,100 years, half of the plutonium has decayed, then after another 24,100 years half of the remaining half has decayed and so on.
So, not only does Scorpio play a long game, but the moves are also hidden, cloaked in ‘matters of national security’. We’re talking about espionage, we’re talking about psy-ops, we’re taking about the secret strategies of psychological warfare designed to undermine morale and defeat the will of the enemy. All these are more difficult to defend against than the medieval clash of armies on a battlefield or an actual military invasion.
We’re also talking about the use of the occult (including astrology) in determining military strategy. A recent example of this is the story of Swiss astrologer, Karl Ernst Krafft during the Third Reich. He became known to the Nazi authorities when he correctly predicted an attack on Hitler between 7th and 10th November 1939. A bomb exploded in the Munich Beer Hall where Hitler was giving a speech, killing 7 people and injuring 63. Hitler survived, having left the building moments before the explosion.
Krafft’s astrological abilities were employed by the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda run by Joseph Goebbels who was interested in the occult, looking for auguries that supported the destiny of the Third Reich. In particular Goebbels was interested in the writings of Nostradamus whose cryptic poetry seems to predict world events.
It wasn’t long before British Intelligence found out that the Nazis were using the occult to inform their strategy, so they employed the services of astrologer Louis de Wohl in an attempt to second-guess Nazi strategy.
But the game changed when Rudolf Hess, the main Nazi proponent of the occult, made an unauthorised flight to Scotland on an abortive peace mission shortly before the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Hitler was outraged when he found out and instituted a purge of astrologers, faith healers and occultists. Krafft was imprisoned and died on the way to Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Keywords: A Just War, Rules of Engagement, Moral code.
‘Heureux ceux qui sont morts dans une juste guerre.’ Charles Péguy
‘Happy are those who die in a just war.’
But what is a just war? This is a philosophical question which lies at the heart of the Sagittarian approach to life.
Or to put it another way, what justification can there be for a war? War is not only for power, territory or national honour. It can be for ideological (including religious) reasons. That places it in the arena of Sagittarius.
Some classic examples from history are
- War to overthrow a tyrant such as the wars to depose Saddam Hussain in Iraq or Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.
- The war against fascism in the second world war.
- The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) against French colonial rule, led by Toussaint Louverture.
- The mediaeval crusades (1095-1291) – The aim of crusaders was to expel Islam from the Holy Land and spread Christianity.
We also have to look at the square between Sagittarius and Pisces. Pisces at its worst is the arch-dissembler. Look at the spin being used to justify an attack: in recent history, the American desire to effect regime change in Iraq, justified by what turned out to be false claims of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, all backed by a desire for revenge and a need for oil; the Argentine claim of sovereignty used to justify an invasion of the Falklands/Malvinas; and Putin’s blatant manipulation of the truth, and use of propaganda used to justify his attack on Ukraine.
Sagittarius also takes a trine from Leo with its desire for glory and can become obsessed with being ‘right’ to the exclusion of all other points of view.
The Indian epic, the Mahabharata tells the story of the Kurukshetra War between two massive armies. Prince Arjuna asks his charioteer to drive to the centre of the battlefield to get a good look at both the armies. He sees that some of the enemies are his own relatives, dear friends and revered teachers, and is consumed by doubt, wondering if he should just leave the battlefield. He turns to his charioteer, the god Krishna for advice on what to do.
The dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna is enshrined in what is considered a major text in the Hindu tradition – the Bhagavad Gita – which explores ethical dilemmas, philosophical issues and life’s choices, using the metaphor of war to explore Dharma-yuddha, the idea of a just war, a war not fought for gain or selfish reasons but to uphold the principles of righteousness.
The Bhagavad Gita also details the rules of engagement in a conflict, including practicalities such as the treatment of prisoners of war, and the protection of animals.
In Japanese culture, Bushido, the moral code of the samurai is similar, including the Leonian sense of honour, Aries’ sense of valour (courage in the face of danger) as well as Sagittarian philosophy informed by Zen Buddhism. For although the days of the samurai are over, bushido is still the basis of many Japanese martial arts.
A western parallel to Bushido is that of chivalry. This was an informal code of behaviour that extended from the time of the legendary King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to the time of the Crusades and beyond. The code was based on Christian values and included a warrior ethos, knightly piety and courtly manners, all combining to establish a notion of honour and nobility.
In 1891, Historian Léon Gautier compiled a Ten Commandments of chivalry:
- Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches and thou shalt observe all its directions.
- Thou shalt defend the Church.
- Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.
- Thou shalt love the country in which thou wast born.
- Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
- Thou shalt make war against the infidel without cessation and without mercy.
- Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.
- Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
- Thou shalt be generous and give largesse to everyone.
- Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.
Keywords: Military Ranks, Command and Control, Discipline and Accountability, Duty, Hierarchy.
For Capricorn, rank is everything. From the accountability and responsibility that come from the chain of command to the symbolic level of uniforms and privileges. Personal feelings are nothing to do with it. Individual initiatives are not allowed. Orders are orders and must be carried out to the letter. Regulations must be complied with. Duty and responsibility are everything.
If every individual were conscious of their duties and responsibilities, there would be no need for any top-down structure. But that is rarely the case. We are all learning the consequences of our actions. That’s fine, but these actions will often affect not only ourselves as individuals but any group we are members of.
Command and control are more important when there is either a challenge or an emergency to be dealt with. In times of crisis, responsibilities must be clearly defined, duties must be carried out. For example, there is no time to question the decisions of the fire chief who is leading the evacuation of a burning building. In such a situation, military discipline is required. There must be order and obedience among personnel with prompt and willing responsiveness to orders and compliance to regulation.
But in peaceful times when there is no crisis and no emergency apart from the challenges of everyday life, rules can be flouted, sidestepped, even ignored. In this way, individual initiative can flourish and with it, enterprise and entrepreneurship. However, even in these times, there must still be limits and controls to keep order. For we have seen and experienced in recent years the chaos and inequality that an unfettered free market can result in.
A word often used when describing Capricorn is ‘hierarchy’. Historically, this word comes from the Greek roots ‘hieros’ meaning sacred and ‘archein’ meaning to lead, resulting in ‘hierarchia‘, the rule of priests. And where there are priests, there is initiation into the priesthood and levels of initiation ascending to the role of high priest – a hierarchy. An example of this was a cult popular among Roman soldiers, namely the worship of the god Mithras whose 7 levels of initiation informed the structure of the cult. To progress through the ranks, devotees would need to pass a series of graduated tests. Capricorn loves qualifications but at least in this system it is possible to rise through the ranks. In other more rigid systems, this may not be possible.
This idea of moving up through ranks is also apparent in today’s video games where characters have particular powers and can earn further powers by successfully completing tasks which will take them to the next level.
Used blindly and unthinkingly the structures of Capricorn can stultify and restrict any personal creative action and even deny the survival of the individual. But that is not the point. For Capricorn, the survival of the group is more important than that of the individual.
This can be seen for example in the British Royal Family where the continuation of the monarchy, known as ‘the firm’ is of paramount importance; and where an individual’s inability or refusal to comply with ‘the rules’ can lead to expulsion or exile. Examples include the abdication and exile of Edward VIII, the side-lining and relegation of Prince Harry, not to mention the demotion of Queen Elizabeth’s second son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York following unresolved allegations of sexual abuse of underaged girls.
While Europe had its feudal system with society stratified into classes, with the monarchy and nobility at the top and the peasants at the bottom, the caste system of India (a country ruled by Capricorn) had and still has an even stricter hierarchy which denies any mobility between castes and limits the possibility of marriage between castes. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or what level of academic qualification you have achieved, the caste you were born into is your caste for life.
Keywords: Technological innovation. Experimentation. Scientific development.
“When you’re in a fight with the odds stacked against you, change the game.” Anon
In Babel-17, a science fiction novel by Samuel R. Delany, the heroine, Rydra Wong is taken on a tour of the Alliance War Yards, a distant planetoid which is not only an armoury but also an experimental facility where advanced weaponry is created – everything from ‘gross, uncivilized weapons’ such as nuclear devices, to biological weapons like Diphtheria toxin, to specially bred and trained spies and assassins to something as simple as a six-inch length of vanadium wire. The Aquarian mind is concerned with experimentation and scientific development which can be totally detached from any humanitarian concerns. This is not to say that scientists lack any moral compass, but this may be skewed when the fascination with pure R&D takes over.
Paradoxically, (for Aquarius is the sign of paradox) the most humanitarian of signs can be the most detached from and indifferent to the consequences of their research.
Aquarian technological developments that have given military superiority include the invention of the stirrup which enabled horse riders to shoot an arrow from horseback without falling off, the development of radar to detect enemy planes and ships, and, as an example from current military technology, the use of drones. While current advances in technology are of necessity secret, it is fair to say that every military enterprise depends on technological advance. Some will even go so far as to say that war is the main incentive for countries to develop their science and technology.
Pisces is represented by two fish, swimming in opposite directions. We therefore take two different pictures of this complex sign. The first picture shows the devious side of Pisces, expressing the creator of illusions in order to achieve success in war. The second picture strips illusion away, leaving us with the devastation of war, something that cannot be glossed over by propaganda or spun into insignificance.
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Towards the end of World War 2, the Allies planned the invasion of Northern France in order to start the fight back against the Nazi war machine. The landing was known as D-day and not only did the plans have to be kept totally secret, there had to be a feint, something to throw the Nazis off the scent. This plan was known as Operation Fortitude. The aim was to convince the Germans that the invasion was going to be near Calais, not Normandy.
They invented phantom field armies based in Kent. They built dummy equipment – including inflatable tanks – parachuted dummies, used double agents and released controlled leaks of misinformation which led the Germans to believe the Allies were going to invade via the Pas-de-Calais and Norway.
The Germans took the bait so much that even after D-Day they held many of their best troops in the Calais area expecting a second invasion.
This is a particular skill of Pisces, namely the ability to camouflage intentions, to put up a smoke screen in order to throw others off the scent.
Another classic example of deception from World War 2 is Operation Mincemeat. The aim was to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily. Fake documents were planted on the corpse of a tramp which was shipped to the south of Spain to be found by the Spanish authorities who would hand them over to the Germans. According to the military historian, Michael Howard, Operation Mincemeat was “perhaps the most successful single deception operation of the entire war.” The effect was to facilitate the planned invasion of Sicily. A movie based on this operation was released in 2021.
Salon Kitty was a high-class Berlin brothel taken over by the Nazi Intelligence service for espionage purposes during World War 2. The procedure was to entertain and seduce prominent guests such as German dignitaries and foreign visitors with wine and women, so they would disclose secrets or express their honest opinions on Nazi-related topics and individuals. The nine lavishly appointed rooms of the salon were bugged and conversations were transcribed by operatives.
A movie about the brothel was released in 1976, starring Helmut Berger as the ambitious Nazi commandant, apparently focusing on the more salacious and sensational aspects of the story.
Keywords: The Aftermath of War. Compassion and care for the Wounded, Veterans with PTSD, Prisoners of War and Refugees.
Ben Belinsky, July 2022