Wassup with the Washington Post?

I got an e-mail from an old friend of mine earlier this week who lives in the Washington D.C. area. I’ve been subjecting her to my telethon-like pleas to click on Astrology Mundo and she’s been obliging. Now it’s time to return the favor.

She wants to know if it’s possible for a newspaper like the Washington Post to have a natal chart? Yes, indeed it is. My friend asks whether this natal chart yields any clues as to why so many people were laid off from the paper and its sister publication Newsweek on May 31, 2008.

Now, some folks would cast the chart for the founding of the paper, back in 1877.

But I don’t think that’s the right date because the Post went into bankruptcy, meaning it “died” from a financial standpoint and was reborn when it was purchased by financier and Federal Reserve Board governor Eugene Meyer on June 1, 1933. Interesting that my friend’s e-mail arrived on June 2, quite close to the anniversary of this purchase, and that many of the latest layoffs tooks place around this “birthday.”

Birthdays and anniversaries often bring about news or change as the Sun returns to its original position, lighting up the chart.

Most readers may not be familiar with Eugene Meyer, but many have probably heard of his daughter, former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. A socialite who ended up at the helm of the family-owned paper after her husband committed suicide, Graham took on the Nixon Administration by exposing the Watergate break-in in a series of articles written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the 1970s.

One of my favorite anecdotes about Graham was how Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, warned Bernstein in 1972 that if the Watergate stories were published, “Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer.” Boys will be boys, even when they’re sitting in the White House.

Graham, who died in 2001 at Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media conference, wrote a poignant biography that won the Pulitzer prize called Personal History. Graham captivates the reader early on with her naivete. She doesn’t realize her family is rich, she doesn’t understand that she’s considered Jewish because her father is a Jew, and she doesn’t acknowledge her mother is an alcoholic. But her masterful recounting of her life lets you mature and ripen along with her.

Somewhere in Personal History, it may mention the time of the bankruptcy auction on June 1, but I lent my copy to somebody who never returned it. I searched the Web but I couldn’t find a time for the auction so I set the chart for the Washington Post’s “birth” for noon.

Here’s the chart with transits to May 31: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&lang=e&gm=a1&nhor=247&nho2=12&btyp=24&mth=gw&sday=31&smon=5&syr=2008&hsy=-1&zod=&orbp=&rs=0&ast=

I could spend a lot of time analyzing this chart, especially its connections to the U.S. chart and how those were being activated during the early 1970s. But alas, I’m a dilettante and I have a day job.

However, from a cursory glance, I can see that the natal Pluto of the WaPo chart opposes the U.S. Pluto and conjuncts natal Mercury, promising powerful (Pluto) communication (Mercury) concerning secrets (Pluto) like Watergate.

What’s happening now? Saturn in Virgo is eliminating the excess in the the paper’s operations. While a changing of the guard is taking place and many familiar bylines are moving on, I don’t think this is the end of the paper’s influence by any means.

My friend talks about readers feeling as if they are losing old friends. That leads me to believe the bankruptcy auction took place before noon and that transiting Saturn may be closer to the natal Moon than it appears from this chart. Saturn/Moon is about separation and saying good-bye.

Saturn is on the paper’s South Node and is heading for conjunctions with the WaPo’s natal planets in Virgo, including Mars, Moon, and Jupiter, and a square to the natal Sun, Mercury, and Venus conjunction in Gemini. Transiting Uranus is past a square to natal Venus, but will return as it moves retrograde in Pisces.

Keep in mind this isn’t the incorporation or first-day trade chart of the Washington Post Co., which encompasses a wide variety of media interests. Still, looking at the chart of the paper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes involving technology, perhaps an expansion of its Internet presence and the acquisition of other Web sites.

Also, when Saturn reaches Jupiter later this year, there could be a real estate transaction, perhaps the sale of the paper’s headquarters. I know nothing about what’s happening in Washington real estate right now, but Saturn/Jupiter conjunctions often mean property is being bought or sold.

If anybody has any thoughts on this chart, I’d love to hear them.

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