The Fragile State of the Union

Anti-taxation tea parties, Texas governor Rick Perry making noises about succession: This week’s Mars/Uranus conjunction in Pisces, broadly opposing Saturn, coincided with signs of fissure in our great union.

With three planets in Sag, I’m a big picture person and I’m sometimes too impatient to do my homework, in this case, plotting all the aspects formed by transits to the U.S. chart. I like to shoot from the hip. Here’s my take on the situation:

Last year, when the race for the Presidency came down to Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, I decided that if a Republican won, the electorate would zig left, and that if a Democrat prevailed, the voters would zag right. Why? The prevailing Saturn (conservative)/Uranus (revolutionary) opposition must make itself felt.

Of course, this is an incredibly simplistic view because the lines between right and left and Republicans and Democrats have been blurred over the years. For instance, in California, where I’m living right now, anti-tax forces were out in full force at tea parties, but they were protesting the policies of a Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has instituted a slew of new levies to try and address a huge state budget deficit.

In terms of the succession talk, we’ve heard it before from former Republican vice-presidential Sarah Palin, who addressed a meeting of the Alaska Independence Party.

In fact, one of the most widely read stories in The Wall Street Journal at the end of 2008 quoted a Russian analyst who predicted the U.S. would break up into six countries.

Is the end of the U.S. really a possibility? I don’t think so, but we’re in for some interesting times as transiting Pluto in Capricorn opposes the Cancer stellium in the U.S. independence chart.

FYI, in case you don’t know, the last time Pluto was in Capricorn was when we made our break from Great Britain. Tea parties are definitely back in fashion.

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Let Them Drink Dr. Pepper

The good news is that Dr. Pepper has extended its special offer for a free 20-oz. soda. Good luck trying to get the coupon, though. I didn’t have any luck because the beverage maker’s servers appear to be overwhelmed.

For those of you who don’t know, the free Dr. Pepper is fulfilling a promise that if Guns N’ Roses ever released its Chinese Democracy album, the soda maker would give free soda to the masses.

O.K., that was the good news. The bad news is that the U.S. government has had to step in and rescue Citigroup. Wall Street likes the deal; the Dow Jones industrial average is up 300 points as I write this.

But just remember folks, the Wall Street brokers, bankers, and hedge fund managers aren’t funding this bailout — you and I are.

Looking for the cosmic take on these turn of events? Me too. Well, since the Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Pluto are all in Sagittarius right now, that would certainly favor Dr. Pepper since Sagittarius likes spice. Ditto for guns and Chinese democracy, even if it’s the musical kind.

The Dr. Pepper/democracy hookup reminds me of a post I wrote on the Saturn/Uranus opposition earlier this year, when I was reminiscing about how beverage makers piled on to the revolutionary bandwagon in the 1960s, the last time that we had a Saturn/Uranus opposition.

Stay tuned.

Gay Rights: A Setback in California

Well, the votes have finally been tallied and California’s Proposition 8, a citizens’ referendum banning gay marriage, has been approved.

This is bad news indeed. As readers of this blog may know, I’m not gay, but I believe lesbians and gays deserve the same rights as other Americans. I view their struggle for respect and recognition in our society in the same light that I viewed the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Why the sudden reversal in California, where 18,000 same-sex marriages already have taken place, and where back in May, the California Supreme Court overturned a previous voter-approved ban on gay marriage?

The opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces, which was exact yesterday, was tied to the Virgo Sun of the California statehood chart.

On a geographic level, the Saturn/Uranus opposition could also stir up wildfire activity and trigger earthquakes in California. There have been quite a few minor ones in the state lately, as this map shows.

I’m not making any predictions because I don’t have the quantitative chops to do the work required for earthquake forecasting. (In my next life, I’ll go to MIT or Berkeley.) Having said that, I don’t like the early morning of Nov. 9 in Southern California for a variety of reasons. Just be alert, O.K.?

With Saturn on California’s Sun right now, voters are feeling conservative and the state faces a $7 billion budget shortfall. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t some class antagonism being reflected in the approval of Proposition 8, in addition to far-right religious fervor.

Gays and lesbians are prominent in California’s prosperous entertainment and technology industries, perhaps leading some voters to conclude that all gays are “rich,” a stereotype long associated with Jews because of their success in the creative, legal, and financial professions.

Of course, with Pluto in class-conscious Virgo, I tend to see things through the prism of class. I think gay rights organizations need to broaden their ranks and incorporate lower-middle class voters and Hispanics in their struggle if they are to prevail in the Golden State.

As gays know, there is tremendous resistance against homosexuals, particularly men, within the Latin culture, which celebrates machismo.

Evidently African-Americans, who know what it’s like to face prejudice, were big supporters of Proposal 8, with an overwhelming majority of California’s black voters favoring the discriminatory measure. There’s irony for you!

I don’t know enough about the referendum process in California to know what happens when voters approve a ban that was previously overturned by the State Supreme Court. Can it face legal appeal? SFMike at Civic Center, I’m depending on you to educate me.

Speaking of SFMike, I was just reading his coverage of the election and I was struck by his observation that the Mormons, who have been victims of discrimination because of their belief in polygamy, spent big bucks to get the anti-gay marriage vote out in California.

I still think the better off folks are financially, the more tolerant that they tend to be of lifestyles that differ from their own. When people are struggling to fill their gas tanks, pay their toxic mortgages, and make the minimum credit-card payment on time so their interest rate doesn’t get jacked up to 30%, they are in a bind.

When your mobility is limited, then you want to make sure everybody else is toeing the line and following the rules you believe in, regardless of what “good book” you found them in, whether it be the Talmud, the Bible, or the Koran. Anyway, that’s the way I see it. I’m not saying I believe religion is the opiate of the masses, but I do think money and class figure into this equation.

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day

Dixville Notch Has Spoken: Obama Wins!

In the New Hampshire hamlet called Dixville Notch, where voting began at 12:01 a.m. today, Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama won with 15 votes, vs. six for Republican John McCain.

According to media reports, it’s the first time the town has voted Democratic in 40 years. That would take us back to 1968, when Republican Richard Nixon was elected. The Saturn/Uranus opposition of the mid-1960s was no longer exact in Pisces/Virgo on Election Day in 1968, but the two planets were still broadly opposed in Aries and Libra.

Over at Astrodienst, Obama’s personal horoscope for today reads: “You are inclined to make big plans and set long-range goals under this influence as well as to examine the goals you already have. The advantage you have now is your ability to see the whole picture and to think in terms of large structures.”

For McCain, Astrodienst has this to say: “Your energy level will be high, perhaps too high if you are not careful. Watch for signs of irritable impatience with others whenever things do not go exactly as you planned.”

Who do you think will win the election? I’m still canvassing for votes in the official Astrology Mundo Presidential poll so I can compare the political leanings of astrologers to the nation at large.

We’ve had some comments lately about Dixville Notch. Also on the comments front, I accidentally deleted two that I know of — one from Sasha about the death of her Little Bear and another from Jude at Jude’s Threshold. Many apologies!

Look Who’s Playing Saturn Now!

Princess Sparkle Pony and her Pony Pals are dissing Barack Obama for showing a little bit of gray hair. I think they’re making a mistake.

As an astrologer, here’s what I find interesting. Everybody who was talking about the opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces on Election Day was sure that GOP Presidential candidate John McCain was playing Father Time (Saturn) because of his 72 years and his white hair.

Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, was cast as revolutionary Uranus because of his skin color, his supposedly progressive policies (they look pretty centrist to me), and his Internet mojo.

But guess what’s happened as Election Day has approached? McCain has become more Uranian (read erratic) by nominating “maverick” Sarah Palin as his vice-president and suspending his campaign during the financial bailout vote. Meanwhile, Obama has kept his cool during the stock market meltdown. He’s looking more like Saturnian these days, with the gray hair, the conservative suits, and his steady manner.

Anybody who has looked at the Fall Equinox chart knows that Saturn is at the midheaven. I originally thought this meant that McCain would win because he’s older and more experienced. Now, I’m not so sure who’s Saturn and who’s Uranus.

As I promised I would (“Pluto in Virgo for President”), I cast my vote for Pluto in Virgo. The candidate with that aspect happens to be Barack Obama, and I cast an absentee ballot for him last week in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

But even though I voted for Obama, like his wife Michelle told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, he’s “gotta win me over.”

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.

Rupert Murdoch and Election Day: The View from Brazil

Here’s the latest report from Gian Paul, our fearless Brazil bureau chief. Gian Paul and I don’t agree on everything, but we both consider Rupert Murdoch to be one of the most powerful men in the world. Over to you, GP:

Rupert Murdoch is a man who fits America like a glove, astrologically speaking. Whoever dislikes him should either not read what follows or read it twice. As the saying goes, “Know your enemy.”

In my life, at least, nothing happens without some stellar connection. Monica was recently teasing me about having rightist tendencies. This is not true at all. I was once a member of a Swiss Communist cell in my youth. I admit that my wallet has subsequently drifted a bit to the right, but not my open mind.

I suspect that Murdoch, the Australian-born media mogul, soon will be in the news himself, and not because of his own making, this time at least. I formed this opinion after studying his horoscope and a few other related ones.

Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia on Mar. 11, 1931, at 11:55 p.m. His ascendant is 1 degree 31 minutes of Capricorn. Other features of the chart include a very strong Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Cancer (like another corporate titan, Warren Buffett) that receives a potent Mercury/Sun trine and a Saturn opposition natally.

What gives Murdoch the punch everybody in the media business either fears or appreciates is Uranus conjunct the North Node in Aries, which squares his natal Jupiter/Pluto. Squares with Uranus, for the fearless at least, are extremely productive, and Murdoch has proven that throughout his life.

One reason why Murdoch’s fortunes are so closely tied to those of the U.S. is that his natal Pluto falls on America’s Mercury in my preferred chart. In my experience, the chart that has always yielded very good results is the one set for July 6, 1775, at 11 a.m. LMT in Philadelphia.

Using this chart, Murdoch’s visionary Neptune conjuncts the U.S. Neptune and Mars. His Ascendant conjuncts America’s Pluto while his Venus opposes the U.S. Venus. This may explain why Murdoch’s adversaries say his chief motivation is money.

Now, to unveil a bit of the mystery about why I think Murdoch will soon be making headlines: On Nov. 4, he will experience the following transits: Pluto will be at the midpoint of his Moon and Ascendant. Meanwhile, the Moon will be conjunct his Saturn and opposite his Mars.

In addition, Venus will be conjunct his Moon. Jupiter will be almost exactly opposite his Pluto and natal Jupiter. And finally, Uranus will be conjunct his Mercury/Sun, while Saturn will be making a favorable trine his Saturn. Thanks to his control of The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and what have you, Murdoch around Nov 4 will experience a sense of power that he could never have imagined, even though he is a dreamy Pisces.

Thanks, Gian Paul. We’ll keep our eyes firmly focused on Murdoch as Americans go to the polls on Election Day and Saturn in Virgo opposes Uranus in the sky. By the way, Sky is the name of one of Murdoch’s TV properties.

If you’d like to read a post that I did on Murdoch that gives a lot of background about his life, you can find it here under “Citizen Murdoch.” G’day, mate!

Saturn Plus Uranus Equals Regeneration

I’ve been writing a fair amount about the deindustrialization of America, a topic that nobody does better than Jim Kunstler, and the opportunity for change being created by the upcoming Saturn/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces.

Back in the Sixties, the last time we had a Saturn/Uranus opposition, the Beatles were singing, “You say you want a revolution.” This time around, I don’t think we need a revolution. We need something else.

In my humble opinion (IMHO, as the text generation says for short) what we need is regeneration. That’s my word for the Saturn/Uranus opposition that is exact on Election Day. It’s a word used a lot in connection with New Orleans following the city’s destruction by Hurricane Katrina.

We need to regenerate our broken-down machines and factories. We need powerful car batteries that will regenerate when we turn them off. We need a medical breakthrough that will allow the limbs that have been lost by our soldiers to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to regenerate themselves.

Regenerate — before it’s too late!

After I posted this, I realized that the last time Saturn and Uranus were opposing each other, Pluto in Virgo was in the picture, making a conjunction to Uranus. Upon further consideration, we’ll probably need Pluto this time around to get regeneration off the ground.

We get a little window from Election Day till Thanksgiving Day when Pluto in Sagittarius is close to the Saturn/Uranus opposition in Virgo/Pisces. But the big chance comes with the so-called cardinal climax in 2010, when Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn form a T-square in the early degrees of cardinal signs.

That’s when everyone will be begging for regeneration.

Pamela and Monica Ponder the Vice-Presidency

I called in to Pamela Cucinell’s BlogTalkRadio show last night to talk about potential vice-presidential candidates. You may recall that Pamela has her own blog, AstroChatter.

Here’s my theory in a nutshell: With Saturn opposing Uranus moving to an exact aspect on Election Day, each ticket will have a Saturnian (conservative, safe) and Uranian (surprising, groundbreaking) element. So look for trailblazer Barack Obama (even if his politics aren’t radical enough for some folks, he’s a pioneer by virtue of his race) to pick someone “safe” such as Delaware Senator Joseph Biden.

Nancy over at Nancy’s Blog thinks Biden would rather be Secretary of State than hold the No. 2 job. Here’s her analysis of the “veepstakes.”

On the other side of the aisle, I expect Old Man John McCain, who could serve as the poster boy for Saturn, to get jiggy with it and pick a woman — someone like Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine or Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Another female veep possibility, though a long shot because of her lack of political experience, is former Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, who has played a key role in the McCain campaign. Even if Fiorina doesn’t end up on the McCain ticket as veepee, she could garner a cabinet job for her efforts.

The blogosphere is buzzing with speculation that Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who is now an independent, could end up as McCain’s vice-presidential candidate now that he has agreed to speak at the Republican National Convention.

That would be one for the record books — running as a Democrat with Al Gore and then as a Republican with McCain. Some people will do anything to live in the Admiral’s House!

McCain adding Lieberman on his ticket would fit the Uranian part of the Saturn/Uranus equation. If you can bear with some technical difficulties, click here to hear Pamela and me speculate on the vice-presidential derby.

Saturn Oppose Uranus: Recycling the Revolution

Yesterday, I bought a T-shirt at Wal-Mart with a peace symbol on it that was made out of recycled Coca-Cola bottles. It cost $5.

Take a moment to ponder that. It blew my mind, as they used to say back in the day.

A friend of mine recently told me she thought the energy crisis spelled the end to the green movement. However, I don’t think she’s quite right. I think economic woes may put ecological concerns on the back burner for a little while, but they’re not going away.

Still, I understand that when people are “locking in” heating oil prices that are more than twice what they paid last winter, they sometimes forget to bring their hemp shopping bag to the store.

Nevertheless, the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which is exact for the first time on Election Day, is going to bring about revolutionary changes in this country that were first proposed by the counterculture of the Sixties, which wanted to “get back to the land.”

Saturn is the Establishment — Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola — while Uranus epitomizes revolution, in this case, the cry for peace in a world struggling with war, and the desire to save the earth by recycling.

As anyone who lived through the Sixties and early Seventies knows, multinationals are adept at merging the counterculture with capitalism to sell more stuff. I grew up with Peter Max posters for 7-Up on my walls and happily chirped, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” You can watch the commercial on YouTube here.

Having said that, given the influence that corporations wield over our lives, I think they need to be congratulated when they are doing something valuable for society. So kudos to Wal-Mart for those new bins where you can deposit plastic bags for recycling and hats off to Coke for making T-shirts out of plastic bottles.

In the mid-Sixties, Saturn in Pisces opposed Uranus in Virgo, which was moving toward a conjunction with Pluto that became exact in 1966. As transiting Pluto moves backward in Sagittarius in the sky right now, forming a T-square with Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces, we’re going to get a blast from the past. So get out your needle and thread and start embroidering your blue jeans!

The square between these planets doesn’t become exact until they change signs. However, the Sixties redux window that I’m looking at is between Election Day and Thanksgiving Day, when Pluto moves back into Capricorn.

As most students of astrology know, we’re going to have a Saturn/Uranus/Pluto T-square in 2010 that echoes the one we had in 1931. But that’s a different vibe — think Grapes of Wrath. This Saturn/Uranus/Pluto lineup is more of a Sixties thang. So, as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young once sang, don’t be afraid to let “your freak flag fly.”

With this kind of astrological picture, don’t be surprised to see a conservative elected to the White House that we all get to rebel against. Somebody has got to play Saturn in this equation. I can’t take credit for this theory; Ray Merriman has been talking about it for a while.

On a personal level, watch closely this fall to see whether you decide to take the role of Saturn, the taskmaster, or Uranus, the revolutionary. As I said, Pluto is part of the picture too, which has the potential to add a deadly element to the picture. We could see the return of revolutionary groups like the Weathermen or the Black Panthers. These groups didn’t want to work (Saturn) for change (Uranus) within the system. They wanted to blow up (Pluto) the system.