Hallelujah! Chiron Moved into Pisces

I know I’m not the only one out there who had gotten tired of Chiron in Aquarius tagging along with Neptune, also in the sign of the Water Bearer. With transiting Neptune squaring my progressed Moon in Taurus, I’m not sure I can accurately explain what the problem was.

But I think Chiron, a planetoid known as the “Wounded Healer,” was amplifying the suffering aspects of Neptune in Aquarius. No doubt this was also a great opportunity for healing, but I’m happy to see Chiron in a different sign than Neptune. I’d love to hear what anybody else has to think about these aspects.

Happy Birthday, Astrology Mundo!

It was one year ago today that I decided to join the blogosphere by launching Astrology Mundo. Now, 422 posts, 1,353 (approved) comments, and 136,901 hits later, Astrology Mundo is celebrating its first birthday.

My output has varied since I fired up the blog for the first time, courtesy of WordPress, on Mar. 17, 2008, but my love of the astrological and blogging community hasn’t.

There have been two contributors who have kept this blog afloat over the past year when my energy flagged — Regina at Gastriques and Gian Paul, who has given us The View from Brazil. Thanks to both of you!

Also, thanks to the astrobloggers who have taken the time to comment on my posts and to link to them. I can’t name them all, but I’m thinking of Jude Cowell at Stars Over Washington and Jude’s Threshold, Comet at Out the Comet’s Ass, Julie Demboski, Beth Turnage at Astrology Explored, and ElsaElsa of blog aggregator AstroDispatch, to name a few. I couldn’t have done it without you. (More links later!)

Away from the cosmos, SFMike of Civic Center and Susan DeMark of Mindful Walker have helped keep my feet firmly on the ground while I’m looking up at the stars.

Last but not least, a big shout-out to Pamela Cucinell, my roommate at last year’s United Astrology Conference and the host of AstroChatter Radio, where I put my two astro cents in on a (mostly) regular basis.

Thanks everybody! I love all of you, especially my readers!

Opie Wants You to Vote for Obama

Earlier this year, after Tatum O’Neal was arrested for trying to buy crack cocaine, I did a post called “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Child Stars.”

In that post, I mentioned that the only child star that I could think of whose life didn’t turn out to be a complete disaster was Ron Howard, who played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and then Richie Cunningham on Happy Days.

Howard morphed into a superstar Hollywood director of such films as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, and The Da Vinci Code. His success as a director is partly due to his longstanding producing partnership with Ron Grazer.

Long-term alliances are a theme in Howard’s life. He’s still married to his high school sweetheart. Like Paul Newman, Howard chose to raise his family in Connecticut instead of Hollywood.

Earlier today, I was checking out Google Trends and discovered this video. Now, Yahoo! is featuring it as a news story.

Regardless of how you feel about the Presidential election, it’s a kick to see a middle-aged Howard, who is a Sun in Pisces with a Capricorn Moon, back in his old roles in an effort to urge people to vote for Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential candidate. There are some interesting co-stars, too, but I don’t want to give everything away.

Here’s Howard’s chart, courtesy of AstroDataBank. I’ll comment on it later, but I’d love to hear what you think.

Jupiter and Economist Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prize

Let’s hear it for Paul Krugman! The New York Times columnist who is the soul of the liberal conscience, has won the Nobel prize in economics. He’s a Pisces born Feb. 28, 1953 in Albany, N.Y. The chart is set for noon, because the time of birth is unknown. You can see Paul Krugman’s natal chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

The trigger for the prize appears to be Jupiter in Capricorn opposing Krugman’s natal Uranus, within minutes. Jupiter/Uranus is the rags-to-riches aspect and often bestows sudden fame, though Krugman was clearly successful and well-known before winning the Nobel prize.

Is Alan Greenspan to Blame for the Bubbles?

Yesterday, commenter Gian Paul suggested that Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld is being singled out unfairly as a scapegoat for Wall Street’s woes.

As I noted in my post yesterday, Fuld may be the poster boy for the Street’s greed, but the angry mob may have a bigger fish to fry: Pisces Alan Greenspan, who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve for 18 years.

Greenspan’s tenure (1987-2006) coincided with two bubbles — one in Internet stocks and the other in real estate. The bursting of the real estate bubble is the trigger for the current financial crisis. Here’s Greenspan’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

It’s set for noon on March 6, 1926 in New York because the time of birth is unknown. Interesting that the Father of Easy Money has a generous Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius broadly opposed by bubble-oriented Neptune in Leo.

As Neptune in Aquarius was transiting his Venus/Jupiter combo in technology-oriented Aquarius, Greenspan became besotted with the idea that tech had created massive improvements in productivity that were not being reported in the official figures. This gave birth to the notion of the New Economy.

Of course, who could blame Greenspan for not recognizing that the Internet would give us new ways to waste time, say by watching Tina Fey’s imitation of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live via You Tube? While we’re on that topic, wasn’t Queen Latifah awesome in her spoof of Gwen Ifill?

(BTW, You Tube has taken the Fey debate video down, citing copyright issues by NBC Universal, which airs SNL. Guess we’ll have to do some work today.)

Anyway, I’ve been reading a trenchant indictment of Greenspan by William Fleckenstein called Greenspan’s Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve that accuses him of self-delusion in his memoir The Age of Turbulence. Can you imagine: a Pisces guilty of self-delusion?

Other than the house of cards collapsing on Wall Street, what’s behind the attacks on Greenspan’s legacy? Saturn in Virgo is currently opposing his natal Sun.

So what if Greenspan didn’t do his duty as Fed chairman by taking away the proverbial punch bowl before the party got too wild? Well, we’re waking up to a massive hangover, in this case once deferred if Greenspan’s critics are correct in their allegation that he dealt with the bursting of the dot-com bubble by creating another bubble in real estate. So consider it a double-whammy of a hangover.

If you’re interested in this school of thought, check out The Mess That Greenspan Made, a blog that blames the former Fed chairman for just about everything, except perhaps childhood obesity.

Since I wrote this post, The New York Times has published an article questioning Greenspan’s laissez-faire attitude toward derivative instruments. The heat is on.

Sorry, Mr. Greenspan, I think I’m going to file this post under “Fallen Heroes.”

Olympia Rising

As readers of this blog know, I’ve been having fun playing with the name asteroids that are now available on Astrodienst. Given that the Beijing Olympics begin this Friday, Aug. 8, at 8:08 p.m., I decided to see if there is an asteroid named Olympics or something close and where it’s transiting right now.

Sure enough, there is an asteroid named Olympia and it’s at 17 degrees of Scorpio. Olympia is squaring the North Node, now at 18 degrees of Aquarius. The aspect will soon be exact because the Nodes move backwards. In Uranian astrology, which I’m a fan of, squares and oppositions basically are read as conjunctions. So we’ve got the public (Nodes) focused on the Olympics (asteroid Olympia).

Then my brain started doing its pinball thing — that little silver ball of thought bouncing off the sides of the machine, setting off bells and whistles and triggering lights. Are there any other things or people with the name Olympia? Perhaps they will also be in the news.

Interestingly, the asteroid Olympia was conjunct filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl’s North Node when she was filming her epic picture Olympiad at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Here’s Riefenstahl’s chart with transits for Aug. 1, 1936, if you’re interested. It took Riefenstahl nearly two years to finish Olympiad. The film made its world premiere on Apr. 20, 1938, Hitler’s birthday.

More recently, we saw the powerful effect that a name asteroid can have during May, when we had the Indianapolis 500 race and the new Indiana Jones film making its premiere as the asteroid Indiana traveled with the North Node and Neptune. Something else happened that didn’t get much press: The U.S. government held a big nuclear disaster test, which is also consistent with Node/Neptune, just outside Indianapolis in mid-May.

Here’s my theory: Based on the asteroid Olympia’s transit right now with the Nodes, I think we’ll be hearing about Olympia Snowe, the respected Republican Senator from Maine, as a possible vice-presidential candidate.

Don’t automatically assume that her name is being bandied about only by GOP Presidential candidate John McCain’s camp. On the political blogs, Snowe has also been mentioned as a possible veep for Democrat Barack Obama. Now that would really be shaking things up, but Snowe is considered a “Republican in Name Only” because of her support for gay rights and abortion, among other issues that are anathema to the conservative right wing.

Let’s look at her chart, courtesy of Astrodienst:

What’s interesting about Ms. Snowe is that transiting Jupiter in Capricorn will make a powerful station on her natal Venus in early September, during the Republican convention. Sorry, Carly! Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has been campaigning for McCain in what many people believe is an effort to be designated the Arizona Republican’s vice-presidential candidate.

A name asteroid transiting the Nodes and a beautiful Venus/Jupiter conjunction can’t guarantee Snowe the No. 2 spot on either ticket. But this I will guarantee: We’ll be hearing a lot about Snowe, a Pisces born Feb. 21, 1947 in Augusta, Me., during the next month or so.

Here’s what one blog, The New Republic’s The Plank, is saying about her. All hail Olympia!

Who Wants to be an Internet Millionaire?

With so many Old Media jobs going up in smoke, some of my friends have been working on Web site/blog/social networking ideas that they hope will generate enough revenue to support themselves and maybe a few loved ones as well.

I’ll leave it to Silicon Valley investment bankers like Frank Quattrone to decide which ventures deserve funding. But in the meantime, I’ve decided to pull from my files the chart of a real-life Internet millionaire whom I’ll call Barbara. I’ve tweaked a couple of details in her chart to protect her privacy, but the planetary positions and house cusps remain the same.

I’m hoping my readers will help me identify what aspects in her chart allowed her to start her own business and then sell it to an established Internet company for $23 million.

I did Barbara’s chart back in the days when I was still calculating charts by hand so the version that I’m going to link to, courtesy of Astrodienst, has house cusps that vary from the original by minutes. That shouldn’t be a big deal.

Barbara is a dreamy Pisces with a go-getter Sagittarius rising of 12 degrees. Her Sun is conjunct Jupiter in the fourth house, broadly trining the North Node in the eighth house of other people’s money (OPM). The Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Pisces gives some folks the impression that Barbara is lost in a dream or to be less kind, that she is a “space cadet.” Money has always seemed the furthest thing from her mind.

The North Node squares her Libra in the 11th house of friends, and Barbara has a database of contacts to die for. In fact, it was said that her database of 150,000 names was what made her startup so attractive as an acquisition.

Like other Internet millionaires such as Amazon.com Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bezos (Jan. 12, 1964, Albuquerque, N.M., time unknown), Barbara is a member of the revolutionary Uranus/Pluto in Virgo crowd, born during the 1960s. This generational signature falls in Barbara’s ninth house of media and education and is opposed by her Mercury in Pisces in the third house.

Being born with a Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo made it difficult for Barbara to fit in at traditional companies, where she was considered to be a wingnut by the corporate clones who populated the cubicles around her. It wasn’t until she left the corporate world in late 1993, as the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn was sextiling her Sun/Jupiter in Pisces, that she was able to find herself.

Another difficult placement for corporate success is Barbara’s Saturn in Aquarius, which has a very egalitarian view of the workplace, and sits in the third house of communications. The strict hierarchical nature of corporations was a real turn-off to this gal, who is known for her directness.

Her Saturn is broadly conjunct Venus in Aquarius, which is back in the second house of resources. Venus in Aquarius sextiles the Ascendant. This bestows an electric beauty and charm upon our Internet millionaire that some in the corporate world found a little quirky. Barbara’s a natural blonde, but when Pluto got to her Ascendant, she dyed her hair dark brown and began wearing retro oversized eyeglasses because she wanted people to “take her seriously.”

Barbara’s Venus opposes sexy Mars in Leo, which sits in the eighth house of sex and OPM. Her networking parties, ostensibly designed to further careers and expand Rolodexes, became a mecca for young media types who wanted to hook up — for a night, a week, whatever.

Here’s the link to Barbara’s chart and transits for the day that she sold her company, in July, 2007, as Jupiter was quite close to her Ascendant.

What Would Sharon Stone Say About Iceland?

Pisces Sharon Stone wasn’t thinking too clearly when she publicly remarked that the recent earthquake in China might be the result of “bad karma” because of China’s brutal treatment of Tibet. I wonder what she would say about Iceland, which was shaken on May 29 by a 6.1 earthquake.

I’m no fan of China’s violent suppression of Tibet’s sovereignty, but it’s always dangerous when Hollywood stars start making pronouncements about religion and science. It’s also hazardous to their bank accounts, at least in the short term. Christian Dior has pulled an advertising campaign in China featuring Stone.

Like Rachael Ray (see “Saturn Teaches Rachael Ray a Lesson”), Stone is getting a visit from Saturn. Unlike Ray, who is having Saturn on her Virgo Sun, Stone has Saturn the taskmaster sitting on her Virgo Ascendant. She’s also got transiting Uranus in Pisces lighting up her natal square between Mercury at 26 Pisces and Saturn at 25 Sagittarius.

Here’s Stone’s chart, courtesy of Astrotheme.

With Mercury in the sky now moving retrograde, Stone has backtracked and apologized, according to Reuters.

As an astrologer, I think weather has more to do with planetary transits than it does with karma. And as Ray Merriman points out in his commentary this week, it’s earthquake season here on planet Earth. With Saturn in the earth sign of Virgo heading toward a series of oppositions with volatile Uranus in Pisces, the time of temblors is just getting started.

Here’s a nifty post about California’s birth chart and why the Golden State is so prone to earthquakes, floods, and mud slides.

I can just imagine what pious Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians around the world are going to say when the Big One hits LA: God is punishing Hollywood for all those violent, sex-filled movies. You know, the ones like Basic Instinct, starring…Sharon Stone.

All I Wanted Was a Word with Michael Caine

I’ve had the good fortune to interview lots of interesting people in my life and to hob-nob with celebrities. It’s an unspoken law that when you attend a star-studded “after-party” that you don’t introduce yourself to Madonna, unless you’re also a diva.

Mere mortals wait for the star to introduce herself or for a publicist or mutual acquaintance to do the honors. I’ve usually abided by the rule in social settings, but there was one time when I couldn’t help myself.

It was at a New York party for the Oscars in 1999. Michael Caine was there, and not in Hollywood, because he was shooting Curtain Call with Maggie Smith in the city. Fortified by a couple of flutes of champagne, I walked up to him and looked straight into his blue eyes. He’s 6 foot, 2 inches and I’m that tall in high heels. “I know you’ve heard this hundreds of times, but I adored you in Alfie,” I gushed.

I admit that l felt a little ridiculous mentioning a film that had come out more than 30 years earlier. I didn’t want to imply that the rest of his oeuvre wasn’t worthy of my admiration.

Always the charmer, Caine replied, “Thank you very much. Don’t worry. I never get tired of hearing how people appreciate my work.” I walked away knowing that I could now die happy.

Mind you, I was only 6 years old when Alfie was released, but when I saw it for the first time in my 20s, it knocked me out. If there were ever a film that symbolized the ethos of London in the Swingin’ Sixties, this was it. I loved it when Alfie talked to the camera, letting the audience in on the secret. And I was astounded by Caine’s emotional range.

Even though I’m a fan of Jude Law, I wasn’t surprised when his 2004 remake of Alfie got a ho-hum reception. As far as I’m concerned, and evidently a lot of other folks agree, there is only one Alfie.

Speaking of Alfies, isn’t it interesting that Caine played Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins and in the upcoming Batman film The Dark Knight? There’s a branch of astrology that looks at the thousands of name asteroids up in the sky. Perhaps there’s an asteroid Alfred that was conjunct Caine’s Sun when he was born.

Michael Caine is also one of my husband’s favorite actors. His favorite Caine films are Zulu, The Italian Job, and The Man Who Would be King, which also starred Sean Connery and Caine’s wife, Shakira.

Anyone who has followed Caine’s career or who has read his 1992 autobiography What’s It All About? knows that he has had some tremendous highs and lows in his life. And though Caine may have shared some character traits with Alfie (a working-class background and a love of the “birds”), being a slacker wasn’t one of them.

Caine was long called “the hardest-working man in Hollywood.” He’s honed his craft and fattened his bank account by appearing in less-than-memorable films like the The Swarm and Jaws: The Revenge. Along the way, he has showcased his considerable comedic talents and won more mainstream fans with such films as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a classic collaboration with Steve Martin. Caine never phones it in. Even if the movie is a piece of junk, he always delivers a professional performance.

Some of my favorite Caine films, like Educating Rita and Mona Lisa, involve the British class system, which at first stymied the actor’s ambitions. He’s been a critic of the system over the years, though he’s obviously not a radical or he wouldn’t have agreed to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. For key dates in Caine’s life, see his Web site.

If you’re a music person, don’t miss this ode to Caine from the Eighties ska band Madness. You’ll see that I borrowed from the lyrics (“All I wanted was a word or a photograph to keep at home”) for the headline to this post.

Caine’s biography is laugh-out-loud funny, especially to an astrologer. Born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite on Mar. 14, 1933, Caine is a Pisces, whose symbol is the fish. So what was his father’s trade? He was a fishmonger at Billingsgate!

Having visited some of Caine’s restaurants and knowing about his keen interest in food and nutrition, I suspected there was a strong Cancer aspect in his chart. Sure enough, there is. His 23 degree Pisces Sun makes a favorable trine to Pluto in Cancer in the second house of earned income. With that aspect, Caine can actually make money in the restaurant business, unlike most actors who try their luck in the kitchen.

Caine’s Pluto in Cancer is also squared by Uranus in Aries, a picture he shares with other members of his generation, but one that has led to considerable upheaval in Caine’s life — first being evacuated from London and separated from his family during World War II only to return to the city and witness bombing by the Germans, almost dying of a rare strain of malaria after serving in Korea, being sent to jail for not paying child support when he was destitute, to name just a few.

I’ve run the natal chart for 10:05 a.m. in London because Caine says in his book that he was born “a few minutes after 10 o’clock in the morning.” I’ve seen the chart elsewhere with a 10:10 birth time, but 10 minutes seems like more than “a few” to me.

You can see Michael Caine’s chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Throughout his book, Caine notes how fortunate he has been during his life and that he sometimes has felt as if he had a guardian angel watching over him. This makes perfect sense. Besides the Sun, he’s also got the North Node and Venus in spiritual Pisces. This lineup is opposed by a stellium in Virgo — Mars, Neptune, and Jupiter. This is a lucky man, indeed.

In addition to the natal chart, I’ve included the transits for Aug. 24, 1966, the night that Alfie premiered. As you can see, the revolutionary Pluto/Uranus conjunction in Virgo was sitting on Caine’s Jupiter, turning him into an international superstar and bringing him big money, seemingly overnight.

Caine’s Gemini rising is ruled by Mercury the trickster. The Gemini ascendant forms a T-square with the opposing stelliums in Pisces and Virgo. The result? Caine is a chameleon par excellence. The Gemini rising has been opposed by transiting Pluto in the last few years, bringing Caine magician roles in The Prestige and the upcoming Is Anybody There?

So much has happened to Caine since he wrote his biography in 1992 that he could write another one. Since then, he’s won the best supporting actor Oscar for The Cider House Rules (he had previously won one for Woody Allen’s Hannah and her Sisters) and delivered a stunning performance in The Quiet American, which brought him an Oscar nomination for best actor and the BAFTA award (Britain’s answer to the Oscars) for best actor.

Here’s a coincidence of sorts: Some top actors passed on the original Alfie because they didn’t want to be in a film with an abortion scene. John Irving’s book The Cider House Rules also had a story line that included abortions, which was dropped for the film adaptation.

The astrologer in me sees that emphasis on infant life and death as another manifestation of Caine’s Pluto in Cancer trining his Sun. Pluto in Cancer is a generational signature, but because it makes an aspect to Caine’s Sun, it’s very powerful in his life. Indeed, both his wife Shakira and his daughter Natasha had serious health problems shortly after Natasha’s birth.

I haven’t done the research, but I seem to remember there was a disagreement between Caine and the distributors and producers of The Quiet American, Miramax Films, then run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein. I can’t remember exactly what the story was. Was it that Caine didn’t think he was getting enough support from the Weinsteins to win the best actor Oscar? Or was it that the Weinsteins didn’t want to put the film in competition because they didn’t think Caine could win? Whatever the power struggle was, it sounds like a manifestation of Pluto crossing Caine’s descendant and squaring the Sun.

As transiting Uranus moves across his Sun over the next year or so, Michael Caine could get a jolt. He could deliver a revolutionary performance that recalls the glory of Alfie. He could finally win the best actor Oscar. (So far, he’s only taken home the golden statue for best supporting actor.) Caine was recently honored by the Film Society at Lincoln Center with a tribute night. With Uranus and then Jupiter coming to conjunct his Sun, a lifetime achievement Oscar is another strong possibility, in late February or early March 2010.

Michael Caine still has a few tricks left up his sleeve.

Citizen Murdoch

I used to work for an Australian who had a chip on his shoulder. Let’s call him Stephen. He was convinced that he faced discrimination in New York media circles because, get this, he was Australian. I thought this was hilarious since so many Aussies, including News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, have done quite well for themselves in Gotham.

Stephen was an unlikely Australian. He drank sparingly, laughed little, and dressed very neatly. Even though he was born in a country where they like to say, “No worries, mate,” Stephen worried all the time. In essence, he was the opposite of the Aussie stereotype. Stephen had been a reporter for the New York Post, a paper owned by Murdoch, and was obsessed with his fellow countryman. (Yeah, I know, Murdoch’s got an American passport, but his Australian upbringing is apparent in little things like the name of Fox 5’s morning show, Good Day, New York,  as in “G’day, mate.”) 

I never found out what was behind Stephen’s obsession with Murdoch, and it never occurred to me to ask. My impression was that he thought the American media were giving the media mogul a free ride, not really questioning  how a publicly traded company was being run as a family business. On Wall Street, they would say that Stephen had some concerns about News Corp.’s “governance issues.” 

Stephen ended up at the Wall Street Journal, which was recently taken over by Murdoch. Now that’s irony, if you ask me. I can’t imagine that the self-hating Aussie is happy about Murdoch’s meddling with the WSJ‘s winning formula. That interference led to today’s resignation of Marcus Brauchli, the paper’s managing editor. Here’s a link to an AP story about Brauchli:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080422/wall_street_journal_editor.html?.v=11

Murdoch’s also been in the news the last couple of days for his plan to buy Newsday, the profitable Long Island tabloid that has been losing circulation under the stewardship of Tribune Co.  

Now, Murdoch has done so many things in his life, and News Corp. owns so many different properties that you could write a book. Others have, but I don’t have time for that right now.  I’m going to settle for a quickie astro reading.

Like some other present and former media moguls (John Malone, Michael Eisner), Murdoch is a Pisces. He was born Mar. 11, 1931 in Melbourne, Australia, at 11:55 p.m. His Sun is conjunct Mercury, the planet of communications, and those two Pisces planets make a favorable trine to a stellium of Jupiter, Pluto, and Mars in Cancer. All that Cancer usually means an emphasis on roots and family. Sure enough, Murdoch has expanded a business he inherited from his father and has involved his children in News Corp.’s operations.

What does Murdoch’s chart say at first glance? That he is intuitive, fortunate, expansive, and ruthless. As a Pisces, he has a knack for living his life in tune with the zeitgeist, doing things like marrying a Chinese woman, Wendi Deng, just as China is becoming a global economic player.

I don’t think anyone really knows Murdoch, except maybe his mother, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who is still going strong at age 99. He’s got Moon in Sagittarius, and the Moon rules the women in his life. The moon is in the 12th house of the unconscious, which governs prisons, hospitals, and other institutions. I haven’t read all the Murdoch biographies, but I’d venture to say his mother has been the most influential person in his life. 

The Wiki says his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, died in 1952, while Murdoch was still in college.  I was also interested to learn that Dame Elisabeth is a tireless philanthropist who has championed such causes as improving conditions for prisoners, mental hospital patients, abandoned children, and addicts. Sounds like a 12th house Moon to me. Don’t you love astrology?

Here’s Murdoch’s chart, courtesy of Star IQ: http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0007881.HTM

Murdoch’s natal chart (a map of the planetary positions when he was born) is being lit up like Times Square by the current movements of the planets in the sky. He’s got transiting Pluto in Capricorn hanging around his Ascendant or rising. This is pushing him more heavily into business news. Some examples of this are the Dec. 13 acquisition of the WSJ,  the nation’s premier business paper, and the launch of Fox Business News on Oct. 15. Pluto didn’t move into Capricorn, which rules business, until January, but the timing is close enough for me. Murdoch is consolidating (Pluto) his position in financial media.

As electrical Uranus has made its way through Pisces, Murdoch has been awakened to the possibilities of the Internet, and News Corp. has gotten more interactive. As the company acquired the social networking site MySpace in July, 2005, for $580 million, transiting Uranus was trining Murdoch’s natal Jupiter. Oddly enough, $580 million is the amount that News Corp. is proposing to pay for Newsday. Maybe it’s Murdoch’s lucky number.

While my former boss Stephen may have believed that Murdoch was being let off easy by the media, that’s changing. Murdoch’s making enemies over at the Journal with his emphasis on shorter stories that appeal to the general public. He’s messing with a tried-and-true recipe developed by longtime WSJ managing editor Barney Kilgore (http://www.opinionjournal.com/about/kilgore.html), and the Journal’s defenders of the faith resent it.

The fears about Murdoch’s tabloid tendencies were behind an April Fool’s Day parody of the WSJ featuring a bare-breasted photo of conservative poster girl Ann Coulter (thanks to the wonders of PhotoShop). The satire was designed to skewer Murdoch’s conservative politics and his appeal to the lowest common denominator, as evidenced by the racy photos that appear in his British tabloids.

Here’s the link to the sendup: http://wsjparody.com/ 

In the small world department, the voice on the Web site that’s supposed to be Murdoch’s sounds like that of another former Australian boss of mine who also used to work for the Post, and no, I don’t think all Aussies sound alike. What kind of sheila do you think I am?

If you liked that sendup, here’s a funny riff on MySpace, another News Corp. property: http://americancomedynetwork.com/animation.html?bit_id=25239

O.K., back to business. On a macro level, Murdoch could run into some regulatory opposition to the Newsday acquisition because of the proximity of its Long Island base to the Post’s New York City territory. However, the Federal Communications Commission has been loosening up the laws regarding media ownership so maybe this won’t be a problem the way it might have in the old days.  

Certainly, there are a lot of people out there who think Murdoch’s global empire is beyond the control of any government or regulatory authority, and they’re probably right. With Saturn approaching Murdoch’s Virgo Midheaven, I think criticism of him is going to get louder. Will it bother him? Not in the least. That’s a great thing about being a Pisces. You can live in your own little (or in Murdoch’s case, big) world.