We want to make sure we don’t push China into a corner and China wants to make sure it doesn’t push us into a corner. That’s the real story of 2034.
– Admiral James Stavridis
The story from 2034
I learned about the geopolitical thriller 2034 from Wired which, starting from 26th of January, has published an exclusive excerpt, the first six chapters of the book. Its excellent writing was enthralling, so I pre-ordered the Audible version. On the morning of March 9th the audiobook was automatically downloaded on my phone and, as I had already read almost half, I finished listening to it on the very day of its launch. We’re living extraordinary times indeed!
Although the focus of the 2034 action is the South China Sea, its decisive impulses stem from Washington, Beijing, Tehran and New Delhi. Secondary plots pass through places such as the Barents Sea, Yokosuka Naval Base, Taipei, Quantico, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas and Strait of Hormuz. Initially, the events narrated by the two authors were to be located in the distant future of 2050 or so, but as the work on the book progressed, they realized that a number of things are already reality, so the action was placed very close to present, in 2034.
The book opens on March 12, 2034, with a flotilla of three American destroyers, led by Commodore Sarah Hunt, which patrols the South China Sea and falls into a very elaborate trap set by China. On the same day, American pilot Chris “Wedge” Mitchell flies an F35 over the Strait of Hormuz, testing a new stealth technology that involves entering Iranian airspace. At the end of the day, Wedge will be an Iranian prisoner, and the American flotilla will rest on the seabed, sunk by the Chinese navy. China and Iran have attacked coordinately, using unknown cyber capabilities that leave U.S. ships and planes mute and blind, essentially defenseless. The situation escalates amid large-scale cyber-attacks and physical blows to the 10G communications infrastructure, which block the strategic action capability of the US. Dramatic losses are taking place for the American fleet. Thus, the crisis develops very quickly to stages none of the involved parties wanted or imagined. The highlight of the action is the chapter Tandava Dance (of the god Shiva), in which both Hunt and Mitchell are important actors. The outcome is of course unexpected.
Very interesting figures in the book include Chinese Admiral Lin Bao, a Security Adviser to the White House, Dr. Sandeep Chowdhury and Qassem Farshad, a General of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Chinese Defense Minister Chiang, Zhao Leji, a member of the Chinese political bureau, and Indian Admiral Anand Patel are also characters who stick to memory.
Astrology of the book 2034
Both authors of 2034 were born with Sun-Pluto:
- Elliot Ackerman – opposition, 2°18′
- James Stavridis – opposition, 0°23′
In addition, Ackerman had a transit from Pluto to his natal Sun during the writing of the book. The book was released on March 9, 2021, also on a global Sun-Pluto transit (sextile, 6°49′).
This Sun-Pluto complex perfectly matches the book’s intention. Unlike all the other episodes of our Sun-Pluto series, here we have a case where Sun-Pluto natives write a warning story to bring to light (Sun) the terrifying reality of a war (Pluto) between China and the United States, precisely to prevent the two countries from entering (Stavridis’s expression is sleepwalking) in a confrontation that will easily escalate into disaster for both sides and, quite possibly, for the rest of the world.
Based on the current geopolitical situation and the “years of experience of the authors at the highest and most classified levels of national security”, 2034 constellates (Sun) a dark (Pluto), but very possible future, which is therapeutically brought to light, precisely to be avoided:
It’s cautionary fiction, not predictive fiction. If you stop and think about it, part of the reason we never ended up going to war with the Soviet Union was [that we] had a lot of Cold War literature that tells us how terrible that outcome would be. Think Dr. Strangelove, On the Beach, Fail-Safe, and The Bedford Incident.”
A Saturn-Pluto diachrony
When analyzing the historical periods corresponding to the phases of the planetary cycles (conjunctions and oppositions), professor Richard Tarnas observed again and again striking synchronic and diachronic patterns. For example, “during the decade of the French Revolution, Uranus and Pluto were aligned in close opposition, and we have: social rebellion, political revolutions, sexual revolution, momentum towards creativity and artistic innovation, technological advances, scientific revolutions, the impulse to renew the world, tumult and so on. The synchronous pattern makes this kind of thing happen all over the world at the same time – not only in France: in England, in the Caribbean, in the Bounty Uprising, in Tahiti,” even if there was no communication between those places.
The diachronic pattern refers to the same kind of phenomena, activated in the following phases of the same planetary cycle, which are carried out in continuity with the previous ones. For example “the first feminist manifesto is written during the Uranus-Pluto opposition, between 1792-1793, by Mary Wollstonecraft. We’re fast-forward to the 1960s: Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and again we’re seeing this explosion of feminism and female autonomy. The same thing with the civil rights movement: in the 1960s we have Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and others, a formidable push towards the transformation of social structures and the liberation of African-Americans or black people around the world. We go back in time to the Uranus-Pluto opposition during the French Revolution, and this is the moment of the first movements to abolish slavery, the first liberation of slaves from the colonies by the French revolutionary government, practically, then the actual beginning of a movement to liberate blacks.”
The synchronistic pattern therefore refers to similar events that occur at the same time all over the world. The diachronic pattern involves the repetition or continuation of events in a particular region of human activity on the next phases of the same planetary cycle. In other words, we have the same category of events occurring at different times, but in coincidence with the cyclical sequences of the same planetary cycle. A broader discussion of Tarnas about synchrony and diachrony here.
Returning back to 2034: on March 9, 2021, the release date of the book, Saturn had already passed 13° from Pluto, which could cause some astrologers not to link 2034 to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction that has dominated the last two years. However, the theme of the book is unequivocally Saturn-Pluto, and the book itself is written precisely during the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Stavridis said the idea of the book came to him “about three years ago”, i.e. around March 2018, when the Saturn-Pluto conjunction began. In addition, he is born with a Saturn-Pluto aspect (square, 4°32′), while Ackerman, the other author, had the Saturn-Pluto conjunction transiting his natal Sun (square) during the writing of the book.
Through subject, intent and impact, 2034 reminds of the famous The Day After, also with a prominent Saturn-Pluto theme, watched by 100 million spectators on the first broadcast, including the senior leadership of the US Army. Very interesting from an astrological point of view, these masterful warnings made on successive Saturn-Pluto conjunctions – the diachronic pattern – were launched at almost the same distance between planets:
- 2034 (01.26.2021) – conjunction, 9°35′
- The Day After (11.20.1983) – conjunction, 9°05′
In both cases we have a separating conjunction, corresponding to the final period of the aspect, in which the archetypal field is saturated by the combined energy of the two planets, just as the colors are more intense and saturated at dusk.
A thorough exploration of Saturn-Pluto complex from almost every possible angle can be found in section Cycles of crisis and contraction of Tarnas’ s monumental Cosmos and Psyche (2006). Regarding the possibility of a war, or a situation like the one described in 2034, from an astrological point of view, 2035 would be more appropriate as a title for Stavridis and Ackerman’s book, as it is the start of a Saturn-Pluto opposition, which in history corresponded many times with a war, as Tarnas showed in the chapter World Wars, Cold War, and September 11.
James G. Stavridis: February 15, 1955, West Palm Beach, Florida, US
Elliot Ackerman: April 12, 1980, Los Angeles, California, US