T. Boone Pickens: Community Organizer?

I’ve decided to reprint a piece that I posted during the dog days of August. Tonight, as I was surfing the Net, I clicked on an ad that T. Boone Pickens is running to raise awareness about our dependence on foreign oil.

Now, to someone like me who grew up thinking of Pickens as king of the oil patch, it’s weird to hear him talking about wind power and doing grass-roots organizing in places like Shreveport, La., where the economy depends on oil refineries.

Given that these ads are popping up as Saturn opposes Uranus, I decided to look at Pickens’ chart again. He’s got Mercury at 21 Gemini, making a T-square to the opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces that is exact on Election Day.

Reinhold Ebertin, my astrology guru, says this aspect leads to “the ability to organize resistance,” in his indispensable guide to astrology, The Combination of Stellar Influences. Sounds like Pickens is becoming a community organizer of sorts.

Here’s my earlier post:

I’m no stranger to the ways of T. Boone Pickens. But something interesting has happened in the last month or so: The legendary billionaire oilman has jumped off the business pages of the newspaper and the Net to become a household name.

Pickens is no longer just a businessman; he’s a business celebrity, joining the ranks of folks such as Donald Trump, Ross Perot, Warren Buffett, and Jack Welch. (I’m straining to think of a woman here. I guess you can call Oprah and Martha Stewart business celebrities, though they were media personalities first.)

Back in the 1980s, when I was following Pickens’ machinations closely, he was called a “corporate raider” and “greenmailer.” Taking a position in a company’s stock, hounding management to increase “shareholder value,” and then getting bought out at a premium came naturally to the former wildcatter.

Flash forward to 2008, when Pickens is being hailed as a savior for his plan to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil by calling for increased investment in natural gas, wind, and solar power, an initiative now known as the “Pickens Plan.” The Dallas Morning News, for one, has questioned the altruism of the Pickens Plan, noting that the oilman has made sizeable investments in clean energy and stands to gain, particularly in California, if some of his proposals are put into action.

As an astrologer, I’m curious to know why an 80-year-old businessman is suddenly in the limelight. And even though I don’t have a time of birth, which is required to calculate an accurate chart for Pickens, I think I have the answer to why Pickens is everyone’s favorite business celebrity these days. (Sorry, Donald!)

Pickens is a Gemini, born May 22, 1928 in Holdenville, Okla. Here’s his chart, set for noon, courtesy of Astrodienst. I’ve done progressions and transits for July 8, the day the Oklahoman unveiled his new energy plan.

I don’t have time to do a complete interpretation of Pickens’ chart right now, but I think the reason why his name suddenly is on everyone’s lips is that his progressed Sun, at 17 degrees of Leo, is opposing the North Node. Neptune, which rules energy, is a few degrees away from the North Node in Aquarius right now, but earlier this year it had been traveling in tandem with the Node.

With transiting Jupiter in Capricorn about to make a station opposing Pickens’ natal Pluto in Cancer (and possibly his Moon, depending on his time of birth), a windfall is coming his way around Labor Day weekend.

I hope you don’t detect any skepticism or sarcasm about Pickens’ motivations in this post. I believe he is sincere in his belief that the U.S. needs to wean itself from foreign energy. But once a wildcatter, always a wildcatter.

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Why the Phillies Will Win the World Series

I know, I know. Astrology Mundo was backing Joe Torre and the Dodgers in the National League championship series, but I’ve seen the error of my ways. I’ve run Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s natal chart with transits and progressions. Last time, I was just looking at transits.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, transiting Jupiter in Capricorn is past Manuel’s Sun. But what I didn’t mention is that it’s the midpoint of his Sun/Mercury conjunction in Cap. Reinhold Ebertin in The Combination of Stellar Influences says the aspect produces “good connections.” Connecting the bat with the ball is pretty important if you want to win the World Series.

Here’s the kicker: Progressed Jupiter at 18 degrees of Leo opposing the transiting the Aquarius stellium in the sky.

Here’s Charlie Manuel’s chart, with transits and progressions as of Oct. 30. I picked Oct. 30 because I don’t know how many games are going to be played in the Series and I think a celebration will take place around then. Manuel was born in Northfolk, W. Va. on Jan. 4, 1944. The time is unknown.

Of course, even the loser in the World Series is going to have some pretty good aspects. You have to be lucky and good to have gotten your team there. Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon is getting the transiting Neptune/North Node/Chiron stellium to his Sun/Venus conjunction. That’s good for publicity, but I believe the Neptune will lead to disappointment in the Series.

Here’s Joe Maddon’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst. He was born in Hazleton, Pa. on Feb. 8, 1954. The time is unknown.

This matchup between a Capricorn getting the good vibes of Jupiter and an Aquarius receiving the star power of transiting North Node/Neptune/Chiron on his Sun is similar to the NCAA college basketball showdown between Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self, a Cap, and Memphis coach John Calipari, born under the sign of the Water Bearer. As you’ll recall, Kansas was victorious in that contest and I think the Phillies will be too.

If you’re a Phillies fan, check out this funny photo of the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.

The Capricorn Conspiracy

I was just about to knock off a post about how financial astrologer Ray Merriman called the crash in oil prices ( now below $67 a barrel, down from $154 this summer) back at the United Astrology Conference, held in Denver in May, when it dawned on me that Merriman is a Capricorn.

At this year’s UAC, which Merriman helped organize, astrologer Michael Lutin made a joke that some of his favorite leaders are Capricorns: Stalin, Mao, and Merriman.

As you may know, I was born under the sign of the Goat and have devoted lots of cyber-ink to fellow Caps, including golf superstar Tiger Woods, political spouse Michelle Obama, French First Lady Carla Bruni, Hiroshima martyr Sadako Sasaki, civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, and University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self.

My husband and I were married by an Elvis impersonator who crooned Love Me Tender at a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and I’ve never found it strange that the King set up a meeting with fellow Capricorn Richard Nixon back in the day.

I was rooting for Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who has Moon in Capricorn, but he was bested by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, another Sun in Capricorn. The Phillies are playing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, which begins tonight at 8 p.m. (More on this match in a later post.)

The Astrology Mundo poll on “What Sign Are You?” seems to be delivering a fairly even distribution of the signs, with chatty Gemini and spiritual Pisces tied for first place the last time I looked. Given my experience at attracting fellow Capricorns, the poll should show that 90% of respondents are Caps.

Here’s the good news: This Capricorn emphasis isn’t permanent. It’s the result of expansive Jupiter going through Capricorn, which is putting natives of the Goat, including the ever-expanding Federal Reserve Bank, in the news.

Next year, Aquarians will get their 15 minutes of fame as Jupiter moves through the sign of the Water Bearer. So bear with me, I promise this site won’t be all Capricorns all the time for much longer. Plus, we’re all going to get our butts kicked when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27 and stays there until, gulp, 2024.

Want to know more. Here’s a Michael Lutin video on Pluto in Cap.

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.

John McCain’s 2008 Solar Return Using a 6:25 P.M. Birth Time

I may have been the only astrologer in America who believed John McCain’s Mom. The 96-year-old revealed in a Mother’s Day campaign ad this year that the Republican Presidential contender was born at 11 a.m.

Most stargazers have been relying on a 9 a.m. time that was provided earlier by a McCain staffer to AstroDataBank after talking to the candidate’s mother.

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ rectified McCain’s chart and came up with an 8:38 a.m. time. If you want to read what WolfStar thinks about McCain’s chart, click here.

Well, it turns out everybody was wrong. A birth certificate for McCain, which was brought to my attention on Oct. 12, shows a 6:25 p.m. time of birth on Aug. 29, 1936. That gives McCain an early Pisces rising, an Aquarius Moon, and a Virgo stellium that includes his Sun in the seventh house.

So much for the idea of McCain as a Libra rising because he had dimples. Ditto for the Scorpio rising chart, which gave McCain an angular Mars in Leo at the Midheaven. Here we had the war hero in all his glory. Also, this would have explained the fact that among his Washington colleagues, McCain is known for his temper.

Now that we’ve got what appears to be a real birth time based on a State Dept. document, I’ve rerun McCain’s solar return. I set the chart for Dayton, Ohio, thanks to WolfStar’s excellent research. That’s where the GOP Presidential nominee was when the Sun returned to the exact spot it was when he was born. Here’s McCain’s 2008 solar return.

I’ve since run the solar return for Washington for technical reasons and the chart looks pretty much the same as the one set in Dayton.

It’s got the flamboyant Moon in Leo rising. This chart is basically all about Sarah Palin, whom McCain announced as his vice-presidential nominee on his birthday. That Moon could also explain the media firestorm surrounding the revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant, an announcement that appeared to surprise McCain.

I don’t think Aquarian Sarah Palin is going to be that easy to control on the campaign trail. It’s lucky for the McCain camp that her Democrat counterpart, Biden, is known for exhibiting symptoms of foot-in-mouth disease.

You know what other feisty lady in McCain’s life is an Aquarian? You guessed it: His Mom, who was born Feb. 7, 1912. So maybe Sarah isn’t going away after all.

As an Army brat born in Germany who has had to produce something called the “Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America” numerous times in my life, I long wondered why John McCain hadn’t been asked to come up with a similar document.

Now, someone has produced it for him!

P.S. Comments below may reflect an earlier version of this post, which relied on an 11 a.m. time of birth for McCain.

Joe Torre’s Revenge

I don’t know if anybody remembers that at the beginning of baseball season, I wrote about Joe Torre, who is in his first year managing the Los Angeles Dodgers after leading the New York Yankees to four World Series wins.

Torre was dissed by fellow Cancer George Steinbrenner, the New York Yankees owner who wanted to cut Torre’s pay last fall after the team didn’t make it to the playoffs for the third year in a row. So Torre packed his bags for the West Coast. Well, Torre’s gotten the last laugh because the Bronx Bombers didn’t make it to the playoffs without him.

I predicted great things for Torre this year, mostly because he’s a late Cancer Sun with a Capricorn Moon. Both the lights are getting the benefit of the transit from Jupiter in Capricorn. His time of birth is unknown on July 18, 1940 in Brooklyn so I don’t know if he’s an early or late Capricorn Moon. Right in the middle would be good because that’s where Jupiter is right now.

Until today, I didn’t know the Dodgers were playing the Phillies in the National League Championship Series. I confess that I totally took my eye off the ball. Los Angeles is down two games, having lost to the Phillies in Philadelphia, and must win either Game Three on Sunday or Game Four on Monday to have a chance at playing in the World Series.

Well, as they say in sports, “It’s not over till the fat lady sings.” And the good news for Torre is that Games Three and Four are at home. That’s an important word for Cancers. They function much better on their own territory than when they have to go on the road.

On Sunday, Torre has Jupiter exactly square his North Node at the Midheaven. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Los Angeles stays in the game, even though Saturn is slightly past a square to Torre’s Part of Fortune at 15 Gemini.

Here’s Torre’s natal chart with transits of Sunday, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Before you go calling your bookie, some disclosure is in order. For the record, I picked the Kansas Jayhawks to win the NCAA Final Four and I was right. (When I made my selection the bracket was down to four teams.)

I thought this would be a great year on and off the course for Tiger Woods. He’s expanded his business empire but leg surgery has hampered his winning ways.

Before I bombed out in my picks for the Indy 500, I managed to get one of the three horses in the Kentucky Derby trifecta. I thought that Calvin Borel, last year’s winner, would repeat, riding Denis of Cork, but I was wrong. He came in third. As you can imagine, the bigger the field, the harder it is to pick the winner because of all the charts you have to look at.

The fact that Torre made it to the championships is due to Jupiter’s winning ways. It may be that this isn’t his year to win another World Series. But, looking at his chart, I think he has a very good chance. And that’s what I said back in March.

I also like the fact that the chart for the city of Los Angeles has Mars at 17 degrees of Capricorn, according to Carolyn R. Dodson’s Horoscopes of the U.S. Mars rules sports and Jupiter signifies expansion and glory. So the stars might be rightly aligned for the Dodgers to make it to the World Series.

Why is the Financial Crisis Happening Now?

As I write this, Jupiter is rising in Capricorn, making a beautiful trine to Saturn in Virgo. Jupiter rules expansion while Saturn governs contraction and the aspects between the two planets have a lot to do with financial cycles, as Liz Greene and other astrologers have noted.

Normally economic hardship occurs when there is a square between Jupiter and Saturn. Conjunctions and trines typically usher in widespread prosperity.

For instance, during the last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus, which was exact on May 28, 2000, we had the tech boom as Uranus squared the duo. On Mar. 10, 2000, the Nasdaq Composite Index hit an all-time high of 5132.52. Just a few days later, it began its descent as Pluto turned retrograde at 12 degrees of Sagittarius, on the U.S. Ascendant in the Sibley chart.

But it wasn’t until Saturn moved into Gemini, out of the same sign as Jupiter, on Aug. 9, 2000, that things got really ugly. That was my sell signal. By August 2002, the Nasdaq had lost 78% of its value.

How can the market be tanking now with this harmonious Jupiter/Saturn trine? One reason may be that Saturn is moving toward an opposition with erratic Uranus in Pisces that will be exact on Election Day. I’ve also heard some astrologers say that Jupiter and Saturn aren’t as powerful in earth signs as they are in other elements.

For instance, the 1982 bull market in equities started around the time of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Libra. However, I will point out that stocks did pretty well with Jupiter and Saturn together in Taurus, an earth sign, so I’m not sure I buy this argument.

Everyone is in agreement that the current crash got under way when Pluto turned direct on Sept. 8, a few days after Jupiter started moving forward again in Capricorn. Earlier this year, when Pluto made a test run in Capricorn after spending 13 years in speculative Sagittarius, we got a taste of welfare for Wall Street.

And now we’ve seen a growing nationalization of the financial sector around the world as Pluto moves through the last degrees of Sagittarius. But despite the jawboning of presidents, prime ministers, and central banker, as well as billions of dollars in government bailouts, the Dow Jones industrial average and other global indexes continue their downward descent.

The Dow reached its all-time high of 14,164.53 on Oct. 8, 2007, about a year ago. Right now, it’s trading at 8,104, having broken the 8,000 level a couple of times today and bouncing back, a sign of support that technical traders like. After the Dow closed down only 128 points, some traders claimed that the market has found its bottom.

For entertainment purposes only, I issued a “sell” warning back in August, when an eclipse squared the New York Stock Exchange Sun in Taurus. But what’s happening now is bigger than the Big Board. Whole countries such as Iceland are going under as the result of a financial crisis that is forcing the “deleveraging” of the balance sheets of banks, investment banks, governments, corporations, and individuals.

Much of this debt was piled on during Pluto’s transit through Sagittarius, where rising values of practically everything encouraged people to borrow to buy something they couldn’t really afford, knowing they would be able to sell it at a higher price later on.

As you can see from this post, I’m thinking out loud. Why is this meltdown happening now, instead of when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27? Is it because Pluto has basically been unaspected since Sept. 8, with the exception of a sextile from Mercury in Libra as it went retrograde?

Or are investors selling because they recognize that government control and lower returns are going to be the norm now that the excessive speculation encouraged by a laissez-faire attitude during Pluto in Sag has ended in disaster?

What do you think? I’m looking for analysis based solely on the aspects in the sky over the past month — not based on the NYSE chart or various charts of the U.S. or other countries.

Phrase of the Moment: “Mother of All Bailouts”

Sometime in the past week, a new phrase entered the American vernacular. It’s “mother of all buyouts,” or MOAB, for short.

I did a little research on the Internet to see who started the ball rolling. It’s hard to tell because this description has shown up in so many blog posts and mainstream media headlines.

He certainly didn’t coin the phrase, but Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, gave MOAB a real boost by using it on Face the Nation on Sept. 21.

Talking about Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700 billion proposal to rescue Wall Street, Shelby said:

“You add a trillion here, a trillion there and sooner or later you have a debt for the American people. This is the mother of all bailouts.”

Transiting Jupiter in Capricorn has been opposing the maternal Cancer Sun of the U.S. Is this why we’re getting the “mother of all bailouts”?

Speaking of MOAB, commenter Cynthia sent this post in from AstroWorld. Great stuff on the secret meeting on Jekyll Island, Ga., that preceded the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank. Thanks for the link, Cynthia! It sparked me to write this post.

Fannie and Freddie: More Welfare for Wall Street

Interesting that we’re hearing the feds are going to take over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the eve of Jupiter going direct in Capricorn. Jupiter is expansion and Capricorn rules the financial establishment.

The lingo Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is using is “conservatorship,” but in reality the mortgage outfits are being nationalized — by a Republican Administration.

As many financial commentators have noted, these stopgap measures to prop up the U.S. financial system are merely postponing the day of reckoning. The Fannie/Freddie bailout is going to benefit the mostly institutional holders of its bonds and mortgage-backed securities, but owners of its common shares are still at risk.

If you’re looking for more detail on the bailout from a Wall Street source, here’s a link to my favorite money maven Barry Ritholtz.

One of my first posts when I started writing this blog on Mar. 17 made the link between Jupiter in Capricorn and the efforts of the U.S. government to avert a financial crisis by rescuing Bear Stearns.

Back then, Pluto was making its test-drive in Cap. Now, it’s back in Sagittarius and going direct. Hold on to your hats! This fall’s financial roller-coaster ride is just beginning!

What I Did On My Summer Staycation

As Labor Day closes in on us, I’ve been thinking back to the Summer Solstice chart and its Sun/Venus conjunction in the seventh house in the sign of Cancer opposed by Moon/Jupiter in Capricorn.

This was the summer that the word “staycation” became part of the national lingo. Gas prices were high, the dollar was weak, and job security was shaky, at best. What better way to spend those government stimulus checks than on a new Weber grill for the backyard?

Here’s what I posted at Jude’s Threshold about the Summer Solstice chart:

Sun/Venus in the seventh — more emphasis on socializing at home with friends, families, and neighbors than traveling. “Come over to my house for a potluck barbecue!: is how I read this. Even though it’s in cost-conscious Capricorn, the Jupiter/Moon conjunction could also be about socializing at home, I think. So cheer up and fire up that barbie!

Even when folks went away this summer, my observation was they stayed with friends and family more than usual. People actually took each other up on that offer to use the vacant cabin in Durango, the time-share in Mexico, or the country house in Bennington. So the next time John McCain offers you a few nights in one of his seven homes, don’t be shy about saying yes!

But seriously, what did you do on your summer staycation? I got deeper into blogging. I didn’t plant a garden like I usually do because I was glued to my laptop. Next year, the vegetable garden is making a comeback at my house. I miss my tomatoes and I want to get serious about canning.

As back-to-school shopping season gets into full swing, I want to leave you with this. When my husband and I stayed at a friend’s house for a few days in Bennington, Vt. earlier this month, I forgot to bring my mouse. Not being a “thumb person” (no BlackBerry or text-messaging here), I needed to buy a new one to work on my laptop.

When I was standing in line at the Staples to buy the cheapest mouse they sold (about $20), there was a woman in front of me returning three notebooks and exchanging them for some Magic Markers that her son needed for school. The sum of the transaction? About $6.

That’s the reality out there. The digerati and the financial engineers are making small fortunes, but many people are struggling to buy school supplies for their kids.