Tuesday, December 1, 2009

American Hypocrisies

Last month as we discussed the New and Full Moons of November and December, it seemed obvious that just as there had been many troubling news stories surfacing around this beginning and mid-month time period in recent months, in November too further revelations would follow. These stories center around the various hypocrisies that are currently going down in American (and Western) society. Are we hard at work fixing the environment or just talking? Are we a nation that bails out the poor and those not covered by health care or are we perhaps (dare to say it) a nation built mostly for the rich these days that bails out Wall Street first? Then there is the military presence that could build up in Afghanistan (and that continues in Iraq) and that has been discussed for many weeks now. Is our military presence in these regions designed to help the people there and protect us from terrorists or to help ourselves to important resources? Time will tell, but it does seem like the lessons of Vietnam were only imperfectly learned...

Last month the 2nd and the 3rd – around the time of the Full Moon – provided these stories...

From National Geographic:

Unless humans act now, seafood may disappear by 2048, concludes the lead author of a new study that paints a grim picture for ocean and human health.

According to the study, the loss of ocean biodiversity is accelerating, and 29 percent of the seafood species humans consume have already crashed. If the long-term trend continues, in 30 years there will be little or no seafood available for sustainable harvest. See National Geographic.

In other news from the November 2nd Full Moon period, Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of the Afghan election. This story has been brewing for months, but the subtext was the election leading up to the proposed run-off, which was declared fraudulent by the world community. Karzai's opponent feared the same for the run-off, hence his resignation, allowing Karzai to coast to undisputed victory. Nevertheless Karzai's ascension was hailed as legitimate by the U.S State Department. Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton had this to say: "With respect to Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah's decision, I think that it is his decision to make. Whatever went into that determination is obviously his choice. But I do not think it affects the legitimacy."

Other news stories from this November 2nd Full Moon period were regarding the financial sector:

Goldman Sachs Secretly Bet on the US Housing Crash

An investigation by the McClatchy Newspapers has found that banking giant Goldman Sachs made secret bets on an imminent housing crash while selling off billions in soon-to-be-worthless securities. In 2006 and 2007, the bank reportedly peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in US housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting. See The Consumerist.

Meanwhile the December 10th issue of Rolling Stone , release in mid-November, came out with an article that accused President Obama of staffing his Treasury and related departments with former Goldman-Sachs directors and associates, listing a total of 14 names from Treasury, NEC (National Economic Council) and State.

And of course the biggest story involving the military this past month also emerged in its first week, namely the shooting that left 13 dead and 30 wounded on Ft. Hood. The shooting took place on November 5th.

In the wake of the November 16th New Moon, we expected to see similar stories, such as:

Gates Blocks Release of Torture Photos

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has blocked the further release of any photographs depicting abuse or torture of foreign prisoners, saying their release would endanger American soldiers. Federal courts have repeatedly rejected the government's arguments to block the release of the photographs, but Congress voted last month to give Gates new powers to keep them private. See Democracy Now.

US Military Suicides at Record Level

A top US military officer has confirmed Army suicides will reach a new record annual high. General Peter Chiarelli, the US Army Vice Chief of Staff, said Tuesday the number of soldiers to take their own lives in 2009 has already matched last year's record of 140. The figure does not include an additional seventy-one soldiers who killed themselves this year after leaving active duty. See Democracy Now.

And – on November 18th

Wall Street Headed for Record Profits in 2009

New government figures show Wall Street is on pace to have its most profitable year to date. On Tuesday, the New York Comptroller Office said Wall Street profits are set to exceed the record set three years ago, before the onset of the nation's financial meltdown. The four largest firmsóGoldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chaseótook in $22.5 billion in profits through September. The top six banks set aside $112 billion for salAries and bonuses over the same period. In a statement, New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, "The national economy is slowly improving, but Wall Street has recovered much faster than anyone had envisioned." See also The Huffington Post, and The Rolling Stone.

And also after the November 16th New Moon we had this story:

World Leaders: No Binding Deal on Climate Change Until 2010

President Obama and other world leaders have conceded that a binding deal to combat climate change won't be reached until at least next year. Asia-Pacific leaders, including President Obama, have backed a proposal to only reach an interim political agreement at next month's climate talks in Copenhagen while postponing contentious decisions on emissions targets, financing and technology transfer until sometime in 2010. The delay has frustrated those who feel time is running out to prevent calamitous levels of climate change. See Democracy Now.

Next month, the December 1st Full Moon once more aspects the U.S. Chart, aligning with the Ascendant and with U.S. Uranus while transiting Uranus continues to square and oppose U.S. Mars and Neptune even more closely. President Obama is scheduled to make an important announcement December 1st regarding troop build-ups in Afghanistan. Since Uranus is involved, there could be surprises there. Other sensitive dates in December include December 16th, when the New Moon squares U.S. Neptune and also from the 21st to the 24th, when transiting Pluto and Saturn in aspect to the U.S. MC will be highlighted.

With Pluto and Saturn still square to each other and Uranus about to join them, the first half of 2010 looks to be even dicier than November has already demonstrated. Fasten your seat belts, and continue to spread awareness.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deadliest Days Ever for U.S. Forces

Last month, we mentioned two times in the course of October when the transits would be particularly severe due to the Full Moon of October 3rd being conjunct U.S. Saturn in the tenth (government and administration) while the subsequent New Moon was close to the U.S. Mars-Neptune square; this as transiting Neptune, Chiron, Uranus and Eris were also aspecting this important set of points, presaging further troubles at that time, especially with regard to the military.

Indeed the headlines and key stories from these two periods reflect these trends. The first weekend of the month saw one of the deadliest days ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, just as the recent Afghan election was set to be overturned due to accusations of fraud, and as the administration was considering sending in more troops.

Leading up to the New Moon weekend of October 17th, it was decided that Afghanistan would need to hold a run-off election, and that places the U.S.-appointed president Hamid Karzai in danger of losing his power. Meanwhile President Obama hesitates to give a response to the local commander of U.S. forces in his request for up to 40,000 additional troops. It was also revealed at this time that drone attacks in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan have tripled from the days of the Bush administration, revealing a policy of supposed targeted killing of terrorist personnel. This policy results in collateral damage accounting for the deaths of civilians at many of the strikes.

Meanwhile, a survey of President Obama's efforts in New Orleans gave him only a D+ in improving the situation there, after 9 months on the job, where 60,000 abandoned properties attest to the lack of meaningful effort at restoration. Dozens were arrested in protests of health insurance companies as civil unrest in this country grows.

In the last month of the year, hotspots will continue to be represented by the New and Full Moons at the beginning and middle of the month. On November 2nd, the Full Moon aspects the U.S. Sun degree, just as transiting Uranus squares U.S. Mars and opposes U.S. Neptune, and while transiting Pluto continues to square the U.S. Midheaven. There could be sudden activity at this time along the road of thorough-going transformation that the country is certain to traverse over these next few years. The New Moon of November 16th activates these same sensitive points, and emphasizes the Neptunian factor of deception and confusion, so that issues of misleading statements from the government and within the military might once again arise. These years leading up to 2012 will prove a time of great change for this country, indeed the world; and that will indeed be difficult. But it is change that has in many ways been long overdue, and this society will ultimately be the better for it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Deception and the Military

Last month I had indicated that in the "week beyond the Full Moon on September 11th" there would likely be some further information coming to light regarding deception and the military. This was because that Quarter Moon and subsequent difficult New Moon triggered the radix Neptune–Mars square in the United States chart.

This prediction jibes nicely with the unexpected release of a new book on the life and death of Pat Tillman, football star turned war hero and poster boy for the military in the months following the invasion of Iraq. The new Tillman biography by Jon Krakauer, was released on September 15 and discussed on television on September 11th. In it there are serious allegations and even further layers to the famous cover up. Of course, Pat Tillman is one of the most serious and well-documented cases of deception in high places regarding the military, when his death in an incident of friendly fire was blamed on enemy action. Amazingly, this book reveals that when he was first deployed in Iraq – before being transferred to Afghanistan – Pat Tillman was also involved in another famous incident of deception on the part of the military; the staged "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch. Original story on gaurdian.co.uk.

Another incident that was big news regarding the military first came up in mid-September. This is the issue of whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. The general in charge of U.S. forces there is asking for 4500 more troops, but the White House doesn't feel that this idea would fly very well with an American population increasingly opposed to either war. This story was breaking on September 16th: "The nation's top military officer told Congress Tuesday the US will likely need more troops in Afghanistan. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee." – Democracy Now.

Finally, in a tacit admission of governmental false advertising in action, there was this story, also from the same mid-month period:

President Obama has decided to abandon the Bush administration's so-called "missile-defense" system in Eastern Europe. The Wall Street Journal reports the White House based its decision on an assessment that Iran's long-range missile program hasn't significantly progressed. The move marks one of the Obama administration's sharpest reversals of a major Bush administration foreign policy to date. The Bush White House claimed the missile system was intended to thwart a potential Iranian attack. But critics widely denounced it as a first-strike weapon for hitting Iran or other targets.

All these stories are very revealing of where there is talk for the sake of appearance and where there is actual action in the role that the U.S. military plays in American foreign policy.

In the current month, the October 3rd Full Moon makes a T-square to the U.S. Sun degree, indicating that from the very start of the month the beat goes on, as far as troubling incidents are concerned. The mid-month New Moon squares U.S. Pluto – Mercury opposition, but as it does so it also trines transiting Neptune and the U.S. Moon, so that we might feel the potential grace in the revelations that continue to unfold at this time. The truth could set us free. Probably the most significant time in all of the next 31 days is the entrance of Saturn into Libra at almost the very end of the month. This is likely to be a time of great crisis in the affairs of the nation as whatever has been overlooked, ignored, or swept under the rug begins to catch up with us as a society. On into November there will be some very interesting news stories surfacing accompanied by necessary readjustments to the national consciousness, as the outer planet configurations leading up to 2012 continue to develop.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Obama Administration's Muddled Stance

In the current month's transits there is quite a lot of activity for the chart of the United States. This is the chart dating from July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. These highly significant events occur mostly during the first half of September. This is because as Saturn opposes Uranus and Pluto stations in the first degree of Capricorn, these three archetypal powerhouses line up with several sensitive points in the U.S. chart. The various events are detailed below.

The September 4th Full Moon will be active in the U.S. chart, and will likely serve as a harbinger for the more climactic mid-month timing. At the time of the Full Moon, Saturn is exactly conjunct U.S Neptune, while the Sun and Moon trigger U.S Saturn, meaning that certain areas of relative fuzziness surrounding the executive branch will not only continue but become exacerbated. I am referring for one thing to the Obama administration's stance on health care, which will surely loom as a giant issue for the entire nation in the coming weeks and months. Although talking up the virtues of health care reform in this country in a big way, this administration has been rather short on specifics, even taking the most popular option off the official table, namely a so-called "single payer system" such as Canada, Australia and Great Britain currently enjoy. Of course this option is strongly opposed by the health insurance industry, which could lose billions. These transits seem to indicate that that administration's stand on this issue will become if anything, even more muddled over the next few weeks, and that some signal of this may well be sent even before Labor Day. Another area in which the administration seems to be talking in one way and acting in another is with regard to the issue of habeas corpus rights for prisoners in U.S. run institutions like Guantanamo. After announcing policy changes toward granting habeas corpus with great fanfare, including the closing of Guantanamo, the justice department has moved in just the opposite direction with respect to individual cases such as that of Mohammed Jawad (See truthout article) and also for the prisoners of Abu Ghraib and Bagram. These are the types of issues, involving official deception, which are likely to become revived during September.

These latter cases involve the military, and they and others like them where military operations are given media spin of one kind or another, are even more likely to receive renewed coverage a week beyond the Full Moon on September 11th – which is not only the 8th anniversary of 9-11 but also a tension-producing Last Quarter Moon that conjuncts and squares U.S. Mars, symbolizing the military in this country. At this time Saturn and Uranus continue to conjunct U.S. Neptune. This is also the same day that transiting Pluto stations direct – resuming its forward motion into Capricorn, in almost perfect square with the Libra U.S. Midheaven that symbolizes the leadership of the country including the administration. Transformation is still the watchword for America, becoming especially prominent in November and December when Saturn squares Pluto in early Libra. Over the week following, as Mercury retrogrades across the U.S. Midheaven also, and as Saturn and Uranus draw closer to a perfect opposition, further information is bound to come to light concerning the deception in high places that still continues long after the Bush white house has been dismantled.

With the degree of the Saturn-Uranus opposition and this September 18th New Moon aspecting U.S. Mercury as well as U.S. Neptune, the media including the entertainment media will likely be involved.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Iraqi Oil Contracts

In the previous month's column we had felt that during the time period of the previous New Moon that opposed Pluto there would be some factors that would come to light and that would powerfully affect the United States, since Pluto is currently transiting in square to the U. S. Midheaven. Here is a sample of the headlines from this period of time last month, just after the New Moon of the 22nd:

On Monday June 22nd, Court Declines to Hear Valerie Plame Lawsuit. This refers to the Supreme Court deciding to uphold the Bush administration's policy of keeping the lid on the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, which has been shown to implicate the former administration at the very highest levels, including the former Vice President and also key White House strategist Karl Rove. The leak to the press of Ms Plame's identity as an agent was a felony, and had a fairly sordid motive since it was done in retaliation for the denouncing of Bush by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. This is the scandal that goes back to the very outset of the Iraq war, and that simply will not go away, and rightly so, since the upholders of the law were the very ones who were breaking the law.

On Tuesday the 23rd we had: Insurance Companies: Public Health Option Would Be "Devastating" referring to the battle against single-payer health insurance, something that the American public has shown that it wants, but that would threaten the industry's profits.

Finally the biggest issue of all for the national image, the preliminary headline involving the Iraqi oil contracts:

The Iraqi government is preparing to sell off large oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since nationalizing its oil industry in 1972. An auction for developing six national oil fields is scheduled for next week. Companies taking part in the bidding include Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Russia's Lukoil. The Wall Street Journal calls the auction "a welcome-back party for Big Oil."

This issue is still very much a breaking news story during the opening weeks of July, as the negotiations have begun in earnest for what the oil companies will eventually demand or have to settle for, and calls into question the motive for the invasion as the left has consistently maintained.

This will obviously become a developing story over the next six months, while Pluto continues to closely aspect U.S. Midheaven and while Neptune and Jupiter conjunct U.S. Moon degree, representing the public. These transits suggest that the image of the United States will suffer in the eyes of the world as a result of these maneuverings, that the public will take an optimistic and potentially high-minded approach, and that changes are in store for the way this country continues to do business.

In July these transits continue with little change, and are highlighted again by the lunations. The eclipses of July 7th and July 21st will once again be likely times for further developments in these important areas.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More Hard Times to Come for the U.S. Economy

Last month I indicated that there would be more hard times to come for the U.S. economy, based largely on Pluto's transit to the U.S. Midheaven. Of course there have been many somewhat negative indicators, including the pending bankruptcy of General Motors which was announced in the middle of last month. Another scandal that spells trouble for the image of the United States, especially abroad, is the revelation that photos exist of rape and sexual abuse. This is the material that president Obama has chosen not to release fearing retaliations to American service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is of course a very Plutonian matter, and affects the image of specifically the U.S. military. Not surprisingly, Venus was conjunct Eris in sextile to U.S. Mars on May 27th, when some of the worst allegations were made. For this entire time frame, including the current month, transiting Chiron is also very close to the U.S. Moon degree, representing the public. Chiron in this case would symbolize the psychic pain of the American people in reaction to the news that we routinely tortured and abused prisoners during the Iraqi invasion. There is also the potential for healing as this information begins to get out, so that responsible actions can potentially be taken.

This month, once again the transit of Pluto to the U.S. Midheaven is featured, and even closer in degree than earlier. This aspect is greatly emphasized by the June 22nd New Moon, which opposes Pluto almost exactly. The Sun and Moon also conjunct U.S. Venus on this day, while Venus aspects the Midheaven. There undoubtedly remain further stages of unraveling still to come over the next thirty days, and particularly at the time of this quite powerful New Moon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Trials and Tribulations for the American Military Machine

Last month we stated that April 2nd to the 9th would be a time of trials and tribulations for the American administration and its military machine, with the possibility of deception surfacing. This was due to transits affecting U.S. Sun and also its Mars – Neptune square. It turns out that April 2nd was the day of massive protests at the G20 summit in London, as world leaders gathered in the midst of an increasing economic melt-down, and after the Obama administration had put so much money into the banking system with so little actual oversight. One group of protestors wrote “thieves” on the wall of a London bank, and one person died in the protest. The next day, NATO’s 60th anniversary summit in the city of Strasbourg met with hundreds of protesters. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets.

In the week to follow it became clear that violence was increasing in Iraq, even as President Obama requested nearly $84 billion in war funding. There were also tens of thousands of Iraqi protestors on the 6th anniversary of the invasion.

Of course the biggest story involving deception and the military from April would be the release of the Bush administration’s torture memos, authorizing torture and making arguments for its legality, together with the assurance from the Obama administration that CIA operatives who followed these guidelines with prisoners would be spared from prosecution. This story significantly broke on April 17th, the same day as the Last Quarter Moon which exactly conjuncted U.S. Pluto. The timing on this was quite similar to that of another related story, namely that the Spanish attorney general has recommended against prosecuting six Bush administration officials for promoting the torture of Guantanamo prisoners, yielding to pressure from the Obama administration.

The above stories indicate that the Neptune–Mars square in the U.S chart is alive and well, if ‘well’ is the applicable word. The transits of April highlighted this aspect.
In the current month, the dates that stand out are May 8th and the 16th - 17th, and May 24th. May 16th is when Saturn stations direct in sextile to U.S. Sun. The Full Moon of the 8th as well as the New Moon of the 24th aspect transiting Pluto, just as Pluto squares the U.S Midheaven and opposes U.S. Venus. We might unfortunately see further revelations during this month regarding the eroding situation for the U.S. economy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Deception, Illusion and Idealism

Last month we mentioned the 10th of March as a time when there might arise further issues of deception, illusion and idealism, especially in regard to military matters. This is because the characteristic Neptune square Mars in the U.S. chart was triggered by the Full Moon, transiting Saturn and transiting Uranus, while transiting Mars conjuncted U.S. Moon.

A few headlines from this period – March 9th and 10th:

Montreal - International Women's Day: thousands rally calling for a new world order

Israeli Apartheid Week took place in cities and on campuses around the world last week...

At Least 25 Die in Iraq Bombing

Obama Admits US Isn't Winning War in Afghanistan; Considers Talks with Taliban

In an interview with the New York Times, President Obama admitted the US is not winning the war in Afghanistan. His comment came weeks after he ordered 17,000 more troops to fight as part of an escalation of the seven-year-old war. Obama also revealed that the US is considering reaching out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

These last three headlines point out the increasingly serious world situation that the U.S. faces in its attempts to provide the world with military solutions to pressing social problems, such as the tribal splits between factions in the Middle East and in Afghanistan.

Perhaps the most startling headline, in view of this saintly man's known restraint in such pronouncements:

Dalai Lama: China Has Turned Tibet into "Hell on Earth"

The Dalai Lama marked his fiftieth year in exile earlier today by demanding "meaningful autonomy" for his Tibetan homeland, where Chinese authorities have tightened security to stifle protests against their rule. The Dalai Lama slammed China for bringing "untold suffering and destruction" to Tibet and turning the region at times into a "hell on earth." His words came on the fiftieth anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese troops, which led to his exile.

All these items reflect a growing realization that the solution to the world's problems can no longer be considered to depend on military methods; that this is an illusion endemic to the American foreign policy (represented by Mars in the 7th house of partnership in the U.S. chart, and incidentally square to Neptune). Instead the world and the United States must begin to rely on a broader and more high-road manifestation of Neptune that reflects compassion and the unity of humankind. This is where the idealism of the American people would like things to go, and where perhaps things could go if the illusion of progress through military might could be transcended.

In the current month, the First Quarter Moon of Thursday, April 2nd, is likely to provide a moment of tension, since it conjuncts and squares U.S. Sun, while aspecting Mars in trine with U.S. Sun and inconjunct U.S. Saturn. The outer planet aspects that have been so powerful lately are also still in effect and likely to be triggered at this time as well, and at the Full Moon of April 9th. Transiting Pluto is opposing U.S. Venus, the chart's 10th house ruler, while also squaring the Midheaven, indicating the depth of the transformation that this country is in the midst of. More and deeper revelations will surely follow in the weeks and months ahead.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tricky politics in the new era

The Astrology of the US chart reveals that there is potentially more going on in government circles right now than meets the eye and this indeed seems to be the case when we closely examine the facts of the matter. This is because transiting Uranus is just opposite US Neptune, and the recent Full Moon configurations, including the one for March 10th, have triggered this aspect. Meanwhile, Saturn has made one pass in close conjunction to US Neptune with another on the way in late August. With US Neptune so activated we think of oil, and confusion or even deception in high places, as well as support for the high ideals of this country.

The high ideals are certainly evident in the mood of the electorate in hopeful approval of the new president. But the deception is there as well, as evidenced in some recent news items. This is an exchange between Bill Moyers and MIT economist Simon Johnson, a guest on his news show, dating from February 13:

Bill Moyers: And, yet, Secretary Geithner's chief-of-staff is the former lobbyist for Goldman Sachs. How - serious question - how do they make a dispassionate judgment about how to deal with Goldman Sachs when they're so intertwined with Goldman Sachs' mindset?

Simon Johnson: … the new administration has a lot of rules about lobbying. And they have rules that basically say, I think, as understood the rules, when they were first presented, I was very impressed. They basically said, "We're not going to hire lobbyists into the administration. There has to be some sort of cooling off period."

    Bill Moyers: And the next day Obama exempted a number of people from that very rule that he had just proclaimed.

    Simon Johnson: Yes. It's a problem. It's a huge problem.

    Bill Moyers: So here's the trillion dollar question that I take from your blog, that I read at the beginning, quote, "Can this person," your new economic strategist, in this case Geithner, "really break with the vested elite that got you into this much trouble?" Have you seen any evidence this week that he's going to be tough with these guys?

    Simon Johnson: I'm trying to be positive. I'm trying to be supportive. I like the administration. I voted for the president. The answer to your question is, no, I haven't seen anything. But you know, perhaps next week I will. But right now, as we speak, I have a bad feeling in my stomach.

Full transcript of BMJ for February 13

This is but one indication that there may be some difficulty in the new administration being able to meet the high ideals expressed by Barack Obama during his campaign. Another would be the actual carrying out of the anti-war platform that he ran on. Even though there has been a plan for a draw-down of troops in Iraq, there has been mention of "50,000 advisors" even after that draw-down has been achieved. And sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, while matching campaign promises, is not exactly an anti-war move. It is possible, as has been alleged, that more civilians are being currently killed in Afghanistan by the US army than by the Taliban. If true, this is also a serious problem for this president.

Also, even though President Obama has with great fanfare made plans for the closing of Guantanamo, ending the imprisonment without trial for some 200 prisoners there, his justice department has simultaneously refused the right of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan the right to a trial, using exactly the same argument as the Bush administration.

See truthout on Bagram prison

In another disturbing fact, a lawsuit pending against illegal wire-tapping by the Bush administration was attempted to be shut down by the current justice department, using, again, exactly the same argument as the Bush administration did.

See truthout wire-tapping legal battle

It may well be that the moneyed powers behind any Washington administration have more to say about the way the country is run than the public. For a discussion of this topic, see

Michael Winship blog entry

All of this is disturbing, and matches the astrological determination that the Obama administration, inaugurated under a void of course moon and Mercury retrograde, might begin after a while to look a little different than the promise that was initially held out, once in office.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Barack Obama and the Eclipses of Change

As we congratulate ourselves on the positive mood that is currently sweeping the country – and it is with a well-deserved sense of optimism that we greet this vibrant new leader and his lofty new vision for America – we are also aware that several astrological factors are more problematic. For one thing, as we all know, Mercury is retrograde. Since Mercury was retrograde and the Moon was void of course when Mr. Obama took the oath of office, that moment presages a certain degree of difficulty is seeing that lofty vision through. The Moon was famously void of course when Nixon was sworn in after being elected in 1972, shortly before the Watergate scandal came to light and he was forced to resign. And Mercury was retrograde when Nixon took the oath for his first term of office in 1969. He had campaigned on a rapid end to the war in Vietnam that turned instead to an escalation. Twenty years later, in 1989, George H. W. Bush took the oath with Mercury retrograde, and the economy hit recession, and a new war began. During the campaign, the senior Bush had stated "read my lips: no new taxes" but his 1990 decision to renege may have cost him a second term. Since this inauguration chart has both, with Mercury retrograde conjunct the Sun as well, we may well have some reason to worry.

It needn't be all that grim. At least the concept is good: that America needs to turn it around. It's just that turning it around may prove in the final analysis just a wee bit more difficult than we all would like to think. A comical example of the effect of Mercury retrograde was revealed in the very taking of the oath itself. Although the constitution requires a word-for-word recital, Chief Justice Roberts misspoke one line, then waited for the President-elect's response. Mr. Obama, aware that the line was incorrect, waited also. At this point Mr. Roberts re-stated the line correctly, but Mr. Obama repeated it as originally and incorrectly stated. The oath was re-administered successfully the next evening.

As the presidency of Barack Obama begins, we and the rest of the world face two eclipses, one that begins the Chinese New Year on January 26th, and the Lunar Eclipse of February 9th. These eclipses trigger the on-going Saturn - Uranus opposition that will become exact in February. Change is in the air, and resistance to change is also very present with us right now. How do these two eclipses hit the chart of the president? It's a question that yields some very important information.

On January 26th with Mercury still retrograde, the eclipse in Aquarius, President Obama's rising sign, is close to his Jupiter degree (see chart). Actually, Jupiter in the sky is only a few degrees past his, and conjuncted as well by this potent New Moon. There is ample evidence for the president's Jupiter return in the amazing level of popularity that he currently enjoys, over 82% approval, contrasted with the outgoing administration's 23. And his decision to reverse many of the Bush policies is welcome news in most quarters. Even the conservatives are in support of his transition. The eclipse Sun and Moon degree, 6 + Aquarius, also hits his Mars and Neptune. There is an important Sabian Symbol that accompanies this degree: A child born of an eggshell. Does this symbol speak to the fragile nature of these times? It is also a symbol of self-creation. For this degree symbol, Marc Edmond Jones has "A highly individual and completely unlimited resourcefulness," while Dane Rudhyar says it indicates a rebirth "free from the inertia of the past." And it's true that in some sense the past has ceased to exist.

The eclipse powerfully hits the US chart as well. Barack Obama's Mars degree, the same degree as US Neptune, is hit with a sesquiquadrate aspect, indicating tension. Also the president's Neptune degree is hit, by square. Mars and Neptune in the US chart, which are square each other, are hit by the eclipse degree of the Sun and Moon which is sesquiquadrate to them both. All this Mars and Neptune reminds us of the various meanings that can take, including deception and the military, including action involving oil. Since both of these planetary archetypes are powerfully configured in the charts of both the president and the country, we had better pay careful attention to these aspects. As far as the US chart, difficulties in the Neptune department are hardly new. See my recent Zodiactivism blog entries for some ideas there. As far as the president's chart goes, we might suppose that ideals, perhaps bordering on illusion, maybe even confusion, could come up. This would apply to the entire thirty days of this lunation cycle until the next New Moon. It might be a good time to cut him some slack. Or it might be a time when deception on the part of others will come to play an important role. Since President Obama's Neptune is located in the 9th house of his chart, his high idealism with regard to matters of higher mind could well be shown and tested in some way. For this placement – true also but in a different sense for the US chart, the TimePassages software has in part: "Your challenge lies in relying on your considerable inner vision to unfold your own unique pathway, to make concrete and real your flights of consciousness to other realms, and bring this vision back with you into society at large."

The January 26th eclipse Sun and Moon degree also aspect President Obama's Mars degree, a sesquiquadrate. This is a testing time for him and for the entire country, as the nation's new leadership must comport itself as best as it can in a time of war. Altogether, at the time of this eclipse, the president's Mars degree is being conjuncted by Saturn, opposed by Uranus and Venus, and trined by Mars and retrograde Mercury, all fairly exact aspects. Retrograde Mercury, in Capricorn, also conjuncted the president's natal Saturn on the day before.

Now, there is another eclipse on the horizon in these last days of January, the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse of Monday, February 9th. This eclipse, in the 22nd degree of Aquarius and Leo, lies directly across within a few degrees of the president's Ascendant – Descendant axis (see chart). The Sabian symbols are: "A rug placed on the floor for children to play on" and "A carrier pigeon." Marc Edmond Jones speaks of "Service of life at large to the special requirements of individual understanding," and of "the deepening of every potential of self-hood [in service]." The Moon also conjuncts his natal Uranus, located in late Leo near his Descendant.

All in all this monthly period leading up to February 24th represents a testing and an amazing time for the country and for the president, when his powers of competition and taking care of business will be highlighted, perhaps with more frustrations and setbacks than we would have hoped. This will also be a time of personal challenge for him when his need to nurture his family in spite of these circumstances will be brought into prominence. We wish him well.

Barack Obama's Natal Chart Analysis »