DOES CRIME PAY? Thursday at 11 a.m., the jury in the trial of Kenneth Lay, founder and former CEO of Enron and close compadre of George W. Bush, convicted him of six counts of fraud and conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud. Jeff Skilling, former president of Enron, was convicted of 18 counts of fraud and conspiracy, and one count of insider trading. The two men face sentences that could keep them in jail the rest of their lives. In a synchronicity reeking of irony and almost so glaring it begs to be overlooked, Lay will be sentenced on the 5th anniversary of the the Sept. 11 attacks.
Both men are expected to appeal their verdicts. But due to one factor in the chart — Saturn in Leo, exactly in the ascendant — I don’t suggest they hold their breaths. If Saturn in Leo does one thing, it’s stick around for a while. (For the history of this, I suggest looking for my series on Saturn in Leo from last summer — see Astrology Secrets Revealed archive.)
Enron’s bosses (including many other people besides Lay and Skilling) not only stole hundreds of millions of dollars from their employees’ retirement funds; they also rigged a scheme to systematically gouge the ratepayers of California (remember the famous quote about screwing over Grandma Millie), pushing energy rates through the roof for no good reason, creating shortages and faux blackouts to stir up chaos and push the rates even higher, buying and selling their own energy to drive the price up still more, betraying the public trust and profiting wildly all along.
Enron was, rather literally, in the business of making money for its own sake. As the New York Times noted today, company executives could not even agree on what the company’s business was. Indeed, Enron was a show; it was a demonstration of just what magic you could work with accounting, infinitely complex corporate structures, PowerPoint presentations and bankers and auditors who went along because the cash returns were so fabulous. The company did not actually provide a service, it just charged for one, and when it was done doing that, its executives stole the rest of what they could get their hands on. Many waltzed away, bailing out in golden parachutes, while countless employees who gave their whole lives to companies that Enron bought were bankrupted. If you’re curious, this is documented in the book and later the excellent film, The Smartest Guys in the Room.
Using the time for the federal jury’s announcement of Lay’s conviction — Thursday at 11 a.m. in Houston — Leo, the sign of gold and life force, is rising. Indeed, Saturn in Leo is occupying the degree of the ascendant exact to three arc minutes. There is something solid, lasting and definite about this.
The Sun (ruler of Leo) is visibly placed in the 11th house in Gemini, accompanied by Mercury. This is a way of saying “Big Public Message.” We have an image of Lay, the big boss (the Sun) and Killing, the little boss (Mercury) together in public view. These are definitely mercurial men, but the emphasis of Gemini suggests being aware that two things are happening.
Everyone is caught in the glare of Leo rising and looking up at that Sun-Mercury. But what else is up?
On the one hand, we have the very satisfying conviction of two corporate chiefs who set out to rip off the world and very nearly succeeded. We have a warning sent to others who might try a similar scheme, or who are in the midst of one. There are no doubt many who are quite uncomfortable with this development.
On the other hand, many other people regularly get away with the same thing, and Lay and Skilling do bear a resemblance to human sacrifices. It’s as if they’re being offered as proof that the system works when the issue is that capitalism tends to work best for precisely what they did. Even considering that there were a few other convictions resulting from corporate shenanigans since the Enron era began in late 2001, in truth they add up to very little. New accounting rules exist, but there’s always a way to get around them.
Still, this is a moment of awareness and clarity, suggested by Chiron in Aquarius so close to the descendent. We have lived through years of Neptune in Aquarius, fogging over reality, blurring the difference between truth and lies, hosing down society with True Believership. Chiron is the opposite energy: the shock to awareness, a ray of light, and a chance for healing. Chiron is the one planet that truly has the power to focus the difficult to wield energy of Neptune. This conviction is a very good example.
There is, however, a cautionary note that we don’t know the half of what really went on, or what its implications were: four points are located in the 12th house, the house of secrets, including Mars. There is, needless to say, a big story behind the story, as there always is, but in this case there are a lot of connections.
The Moon rules the 12th house and represents whatever the secret matter is. It’s rather busy, making the following aspects: at the moment of the announcement, it’s about to cross the 10th house cusp, though lurking behind the line, out of sight, at the time of the verdict; it’s exactly sextile Uranus (a breakthrough, but Pisces styled and subtle); it is about to trine retrograde Pallas Athene in Capricorn (a fitting symbol for the prosecution, see last week’s article about Karl Rove); and it is about to square Neptune (adding a layer of ambiguity, suggestive of the possibility that whatever this secret is, is being plunged under the water).
There is one compelling connection between the conviction chart and the chart for the Sept. 11 incident: Mercury in Gemini. Mercury in the conviction chart is exactly (to the degree) opposite Pluto in the Sept. 11 chart. Consequently, it is applying to a conjunction with the Sept. 11 Saturn and trine the Libra Mercury/ascendant. Particularly given that it’s Mercury making the contact, which has been such a critical planet in many specific events the past five years, this is too obvious of a clue to ignore. Though I could never prove it, the link between Enron and Sept. 11 has always seemed more than coincidental in time.
Mercury in this chart represents the money (Virgon on the 2nd house). It’s about to square Uranus, which occupies the 8th house, another money house but the one where resources change hands. The Moon (the secret matter) makes a square to Neptune, ruler of the 8th house. Something is up with the money. Where is it all, and what was it used for? What transactions will immediately follow this conviction? Who will profit? What secrets will get buried, now that no additional facts can come out of this case (since the trial phase is over and the appeal relies on the facts established at trial)?
Though these and other questions remain, Saturn in Leo exactly rising, accompanied by Chiron so prominent in this chart, suggest we have a rare moment of closure and healing after a very difficult half-decade of so many lies, and so much pain.
Behind the Walls & Under the Floors
THIS WEEK I’d like to give a refresher-review of the important astrological factors that are working behind the scenes of our lives and the collective. Many ‘sensitives’ are writing in saying they know that some big change is in the air. The jury is out on which way it’s going to go: something cataclysmic or a breakthrough of some kind.
According to my Probability Field theory, the further away from an event that we begin to see and consider the possibilities, the more choices we have, and the more we can influence the outcome. The closer we get, the more the outcome seems to be inevitable or fated in some way. This can include seeing the decisions we need to make in advance and giving ourselves as many options as possible — till the time comes to reduce the options.
The Sun’s transit through Gemini comes with a diversity of minor events leading to two not so minor ones: A grand cross involving Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn around June 7-8; then the Sun in Gemini opposing the Pluto-Galactic Core conjunction in Sagittarius; and then a second grand cross as the Sun enters Cancer, and squares the Lunar Nodes which are growing ever-tighter to the Aries Point.
Imagine we are approaching the rapids of a river, and at this point, we have time to consider the possibilities and position ourselves for where we want to be at the moment of acceleration. We need to be prepared for some kind of big shift on a cultural level, in particular timed with the Sun-Pluto opposition on June 16 or the solstice on the 21st. The Sun-Pluto aspect promises to be interesting, though the Sun-nodal square on the solstice sets off a dozen or so other charts, ranging from the natal charts of Cheney, Bush, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Sept. 11, and many others.
As regards Mssrs. Cheney and Bush, both have noteworthy activity. Cheney, to give one example, is currently experiencing a Moon-Pluto conjunction by progression. For a guy like Cheney, whose idea of using Pluto is how many people you can kill or manipulate, this is unlikely to be pleasant. As regards Bush, let’s not forget that he has Saturn in his vurrrrry sensitive ascendant (Mercury conjunct Pluto) at the moment. The first time that happened, we had Hurricane Katrina — he did some growing up. Now it’s back, accompanied by a grand cross that aspects his ascendant and rising planets precisely.
Since we are Bush’s learning laboratory, we can be sure that we will learn something while he is learning something.
Perhaps the most significant event of the year, however, is a cluster of events: the first exact contact of the Saturn-Neptune opposition in late August, followed by a solar eclipse in the last degree of Virgo. This is yet another Aries Point event, coming as it does within one degree of exact opposition to the first degree of Aries. Somewhat notoriously, it makes an exact opposition to the Iraq war chart (stated time, which began with the Sun in the last degree of Pisces; the war itself is an extremely poorly planned Aries Point event).
Indeed, the Sept. 22 eclipse pops off the whole stack of Aries Point charts associated with the Bush administration which, in somewhat typical form, speaks of quite a lot happening very fast. I am calling this the Frodo Lives eclipse, as it happens on the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins.
Currently, we have a hobbit called Patrick Fitzgerald making his way across the land of shadows with the One Ring, intent on making that seemingly impossible, perilous trip to the cracks of doom.
Introduction to 2006 Gemini Birthdays
This is an overview for all Gemini birthdates for 2006. In it, I’ll break down the major transits based on your Sun sign. While other factors definitely apply, in this kind of astrology we work with what we know about, remembering that in astrology often many factors point to the same thing. Note also that to some extent, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces will be picking up these influences, but the particulars or modes of expression may differ.
Gemini is an air sign, and in the past year the major development in that regard has been Chiron and Nessus arriving in fellow air sign Aquarius. The two have formed one conjunction and at least one near miss, a factor which influences everyone and is helping define the backdrop of the times in which we live. Chiron (awareness) is calling our attention to the dark side of life (Nessus), challenging us to respond in a meaningful way to grossly inappropriate and unethical conduct. A glance at the newspaper will provide insight into the expression of this ongoing conjunction.
Aquarius is the 9th sign away from Gemini, so in your life we can look for 9th house influences. The 9th is one of the most positive houses, dealing with education, the higher self, spiritual growth and international culture. You may be intent on overcoming any ignorance you discover in yourself; you may feel determined to live in a much wider world, despite your fears. Indeed, fear itself may be the very thing about yourself and the world you want to change the very most.
The thing about having Aquarius as a 9th house influence is that it can represent a kind of ‘rightness’ and rigidity of belief that is challenging to overcome. At the same time it resists change, Aquarius pushes for a progressive way of thought and being and is renowned for its inventions, unexpected developments of ideas and thought, and its ability to consider the whole community.
This tension between fixity and progress is something that may preoccupy your Gemini mind, and Chiron’s presence is pushing the issue in some interesting ways. The result is a phase of alchemical growth: elements combining, unstable factors shifting radically into productive and stable ones, and perhaps a time of enormous experimentation with what you believe.
If this is creating instability, it’s also releasing pent up energy and pushing you to realize the possibilities for your own life. But more than that, you are being drawn to express and share your ideas in an ever-widening circle. Take that as you will; apply it as you care to. The combined influence of Nessus and Chiron is pushing you to look deep beneath the surface of yourself and the environment that surrounds you.
Neptune has long been a factor in this house, but unless you’re well acclimated to this energy, it’s difficult to see and grasp and is likely to work in the background much more than the foreground. Changes initiated by Neptune — particularly by trine — may be quite subtle, but the added factor of Chiron may be calling to focus just how much your life has changed; the degree to which higher consciousness has become a necessity rather than a luxury in your life; and best of all, you may be noticing that you’re less certain, less dogmatic, less sure of the way the world should be. The rules don’t matter as much as they used to. What matters is the content, the water that fills the cup rather than the cup itself.
Returning for a moment to the minor planets, Pholus recently taking up residence in Sagittarius has been a factor you’ve no doubt noticed: generally, a rapid acceleration of your relationships, as well as a growing sense of curiosity and freedom that’s reminiscent of when you were much younger. This is a time when, if you meet somebody you have chemistry with, things can move very quickly, and then change just as fast and become something you never expected and could not foresee.
This started a while back; influences portending sudden change have been all around you since Saturn left your sign in 2003, right around when Uranus entered Pisces. These two influences combined have been responsible for many changes (including those relating to your physical location) and significant progress, but nothing focuses planetary energy (i.e., turns up the gas) like a Centaur transit.
We can’t consider Gemini without mentioning the presence of Pluto in your opposite sign. While this is nothing new, the big news is that Pluto has begun its journey across the Galactic Core. It came well within one degree on March 29 and makes its first exact pass the last week of the year. This is a 7th house influence — relationships and the environment in which they happen. Think of it this way. Pholus in Sagittarius is like a quick course in getting accustomed to very intense experiences of The Other.
But you may be experiencing the other not just as a person, but as a cosmic factor. You are born under the sign of the twins, but the real twin is not merely your cosmic double, but the cosmos itself. How would living in the universe differ if you recognized it as enchanted, ensouled, intelligent and responding to your needs, thoughts and ideas? How would you see people differently if you knew that was the potential you shared with them?
Here are the 2005 Gemini birthday reports:
Here are the 2005 Taurus birthday reports:
Archive of all signs 2005 birthday reports (page not decorated yet)
If you are scanning archives, I suggest looking at the 2005 annual horoscope from Bridge to the Core as well as the 2006 horoscope in Parallel Worlds, both accessible from the subscriber homepage.
Special Episode of Star Trek
Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Friday, May 26, 2006
Happy Birthday Gemini!
Despite some common misinterpretations, the twins Castor and Pollux were not adversaries; they were the closest of friends, despite sharing profoundly different destinies. It may be that you sense you live two lives, but now more than ever, they are in harmony with one another, and you have the ability to focus your goals and resolve any inner conflicts and work with one clear agenda. For you, the important thing about an agenda is that it be written in pencil, or better yet, in chalk. You can think long term, as long as you get up every morning and revise the plan.
As you do this, I have a feeling that you’ll notice the possibilities opening up, and you may discover that you’re becoming more open-minded as a result of the process. Early in the Sun’s transit through Gemini, it makes a trine to Chiron, which you can imagine as the sound of a key turning smoothly in a lock and the door opening. But following this metaphor, even when you have a perfectly cut key, you’re the one who has to place it in the lock, and turn; you’re the one who has to turn the knob and open the door.
The trine is an easy aspect, but it requires a level of human dedication and devotion. Squares compel effort and trines insist upon it. There is that daily devotion factor that, when applied with love, leads to what seems like a luck factor. But in this environment, there’s the necessary factor of faith. That can be about drawing on your intuition, trusting what you know, or letting yourself be guided by synchronicity.
If we count the houses, we find that Aquarius — where Chiron is now located — is the 9th solar house from Gemini. Chiron’s arrival in this house is indeed news for most early Geminis, though it made a brief appearance last year, now it is affecting many more people and is a stable influence.
The 9th is the house of long-term plans, and the “part of your mind that always knows the truth.” Chiron’s passage through a house or sign is a long, slow focusing of energy in that area of life. This transit is doing two things: it’s making a trine to your natal Sun, and now, at your solar return, it’s making a trine to the transiting Sun and transiting Mercury.
This translates to a big opening, an opportunity, and a chance to put your most interesting plans into action, but you have to be the one who runs the show, rows the boat, peddles the bicycle or however you would prefer to think about it. This is a make-your-own-luck situation, and the way you’ll do that is to keep a state of harmony and agreement with yourself, and wake up every day open to some new possibility — and be willing to do something about it.
Chiron so influential in your life is suggesting that everything is an experiment right now. ‘Experiment’ and ‘experience’ are really the same word. The 9th house has big visions, usually too big for the average mortal — but not for you. The key to working with a 9th house transit is to make it real, one day at a time.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Be extra kind to those you love. Indeed, you cannot be too kind. I suggest you grant people lots of space to have their personal quirks and make their mistakes, because the space you give them is more important than them getting any part of their life “right.” Just below the surface tension of your closest relationships is a deep layer of passion and devotion, and that’s the place you really want to be, right? It’s all a matter of getting there, and the way to do that is think less and feel more. Just remember to feel, then let go, and feel what comes next.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It won’t be long before you’re feeling much more vividly yourself, even if these days it seems like you’re walking barefoot on a hot roof. Or in some strange way, does this feel perfectly normal? Ah, it just may. I suggest you focus that energy on financial priorities rather than attempting to work out any emotional conflicts that may be in the neighborhood, and you’ll get a lot done; you’ll plant important seeds for the future; and any recent unexplainable clashes with others will disappear into the mists from which they emerged.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
The more you strive to be yourself, the more it may feel like others are resisting you. This is a peculiar phenomenon of the world, at certain levels of growth, and it’s necessary to work through it gently. But in terms of how you define being, I suggest you try doing rather than speaking. It’s easier to challenge words than it is to challenge actions. Before long, it will be obvious that you have solid motives and moreover, that you’re getting results that benefit everyone. When in doubt, build consensus around you. Recruit people for the cause and enlist their support.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
An important relationship has been on your mind, and you seem to be feeling more deeply committed than ever. What’s become clear is that despite any tension, the more you put into this situation, the more you’re going to get back. This is an equation I am sure you would welcome in your life. While it would be crass to say this means you’re being driven by a selfish goal, there are many kinds of selfish, in this particular case the ends really do justify the means. So keep giving with all you’ve got.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
What develops this week is a sign of things to come, though I say that on the assumption that you’re taking real steps toward your most important personal aspirations. There are bound to be signs of success, of growth and the hint of freedom. Right now you have a beautiful gift of being able to express yourself fearlessly, but the world is offering the even greater gift of listening to you, and of responding. Speak clearly, but listen even more carefully, and you’ll notice you have all the help you need.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
The risk of living in the present moment is that you may make choices that don’t add up with your prior plans, or with your perception of yourself. And as a result, you would need to evolve. Most people find it easier to live in the past, and as a result, take very few risks, while preserving a self-concept they may have outgrown many years ago. You’re starting to see that you have a clear agenda, one that’s different from anything you’ve aspired to in the past. Notice that it’s worth acting on sooner rather than later.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Objects seen looking backwards through the binoculars are closer than they appear. The forthcoming Gemini New Moon is telling you to think long term, long range and long distance. This is not always your strong suit, mainly because there are always so many equally valid options, or so it seems, and it’s easier to live life on a “take it as it comes” basis. But now, all roads lead to one place, and you owe it to yourself to keep your mind on where you want that to be. You may fear it will take some time to put your plans into action, but the moment of truth is closer than you think.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
An arrangement you’re negotiating with a partner or associate is likely to be something you’ve thought through many times before. You know how important it is to you. For the sake of fostering cooperation, make sure that everyone knows you’re looking with two eyes and listening with both ears. Make sure you fairly consider every point of view that presents itself. That being said, what is right is right, and this would be a fine moment to stick to your principles. In the end, this will earn you the respect you deserve.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
If the heavens are thundering with one message, it’s that no other person can dictate how you feel. Yes, this is always true for you — but there is always that level of doubt, because to live this way you need to break consensus with the world. For emotional independence to work in real life, I would propose that you must go out of your way to ensure that others are absolutely certain you understand their feelings and needs. I suggest you make a point of asking enough questions to communicate that you really care. Then those you care about will not only have reason to listen to you, they will have an open heart and mind.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
It’s a good thing you’re so strong, because as you may have noticed certain key individuals in your life have found it necessary to make sure you know about every minor violation of the rules. For the sake of peace, you need to rise above the game, and politely remind anyone who may forget that progress is based on cooperation rather than conflict. This may seem like common sense to you, but in fact it’s quite uncommon. You can start things off by reminding everyone that progress really is the most sensible goal.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Work has been overwhelming lately, but you’re figuring out things go better when you’re the boss, which means the one who not only makes the decisions, but also takes responsibility for them. Yet at the end of the day, the real boss is your body, whose signals you need to listen to. Make sure your stress level is manageable and that you’re getting enough of the right food to eat — and as the Water Bearer, plenty of that, too. You would be wise to let your home be your refuge, and the one place where you can create the world more to your liking and have the feeling that it really does respond.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You know what you need to feel safe and secure, and you know it’s time to start building your life to suit your inner nature. The point is not to merely create safety; the point is to allow freedom to express yourself, and for that, you need more of a comfort zone than you usually give yourself. It’s a little like this: if you want to create a painting, you need to clear space and set aside the funds for the supplies. Then you need to create the time. Getting your life to happen the way you want is no longer about hopes, dreams and wishes; it’s about taking the most tangible and practical steps you can identify.