Wednesday night, we saw and heard the image of a different George Bush, one who I suspected for a moment or two might have had Botox injections in the corners of his mouth (it wore off, however). The speech was given from the White House library, a new place, suggesting that Bush, now presented as a scholar, might have read a book.[Here is the full transcript, with video clips available.]
In the horoscope for this presentation (8 pm, Weds., Jan. 10, Washington, DC), Saturn is rising exact to within three degrees, in Leo. This is an image of the sober tone of his presentation — seemingly the first sortie of the unannounced post-Karl Rove PR era. If you could see Saturn, it would look like it was rising in the east like the Sun in the morning. Something is “coming up,” but you need astrology to see it. In this ascendant, we get the combination of showmanship (Leo), leadership (Sun-Leo association), maturity or sobriety (Saturn) and authority (Saturn again) — and the image of a hidden agenda on the rise.
While Bush went on and on about strategy in Iraq, all of which is, by itself, meaningless because there is no actual change of strategy outlined, and further, 20,000 troops is not a real increase, in the sense of having an effect, something else was going on. In other words, in its entirety, the issue of “changing strategy in Iraq” is a ruse.
The gestalt of the chart states this straight away: most of this chart is below the horizon; what is really happening is below the boards.
The hidden agenda image comes from three specific aspects. The first is retrograde Saturn in the 12th house. The 12th is the house of secrets, hidden karma, denial and warpy illusions. It is also the house of hidden enemies, secret agendas, and of lies. It’s a kind of dream zone in the chart, but also the place where you hide who you really are. Material in this house has a way of being invisible, but sometimes you can feel it. Here we have Saturn, the planet of the institution of government and governors. Finally, Saturn is quickly retrograding into its second exact conjunction with Neptune — we have reason to be skeptical.
The hidden agenda, simply, was that this speech was not about Iraq: it was about Iran. It is true that Iran is barely mentioned, but it’s mentioned in one very important context, nuclear weapons. In addition, he also mentioned Syria as a threat.
Last night, as Bush declared Iran and Syria major players in his failure to secure Baghdad and vowed a tougher stance, US forces in Iraq raided Iran’s consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil, seized computers and arrested five embassy staff members.
This is very odd diplomatic practice, as typically, diplomats have full immunity (otherwise they would be getting thrown in jail on a daily basis). This can be considered no less than an act of war against Iran, a first provocation — and signals Bush’s intention to take on Iran militarily. To raid an embassy is to raid that country, and it invites retaliation, which we demonstrated this week by bombing Somalia in response for attacks on two US embassies in Africa in the late 1990s.
It is a clever trick, but a well-worn one: you do something against someone you want to fight with that nobody notices, or that seems trivial. Then, when they retaliate, you call it an attack. Israel is famous for this one; it was used to start last summer’s war with Hezbollah.
We have a second image in the speech chart of the double agenda or ruse, and it’s dancing around the ascendant. Leo is rising, so the Sun rules the ascendant, placed in Capricorn. Saturn in Leo retrograde occupies the ascendant. The Sun and Saturn rule one another’s signs, and thus switch places, as planets in mutual reception can do (it’s like castling in chess). The Sun is indeed rising in this chart. Notably, the Sun (always the planet that signifies the president or the king, personally), is an exact square to Eris, the goddess of discord.
Here is the key passage:
“The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow — would — would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
Basically, he is justifying attacking Iran, on the basis of nuclear weapons (previously used to justify attacking Iraq). Then, in the next sentence, he adds: “Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people,” making the threat personal. This is an incredible stretch: that a country that currently lacks nuclear weapons is going to use them against us.
The nuclear ace is crawling up and down his sleeve. He shows you the corner of the card in this very next statement: “On Sept. 11, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.”
He drops one other clue that this is about something more than Iraq:
“The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.”
We need to consider whether the attack on Iraq, now seen to be the seemingly pointless thing that it was, was merely a way to open the door to a wider war with Iran. And what better way to accomplish that objective than raise the specter of mushroom clouds, yet again.
He then pads out the rest of the speech with the usual rhetoric, distracting us with Iraq: freedom and moderation — destroy our way of life — mourn the loss of every fallen American — a future worthy of their sacrifice — cause in Iraq is noble and necessary — the advance of freedom — making sacrifices — giving patriotic strokes and plucking our heart strings. But Iran was successfully dropped into the mix as a nuclear threat, and Syria was stated as an enemy.
Let’s consider the 6th house of this chart for a moment: the house of the military. It is the crowded house in this chart; there are four planets in this there: first, Pallas Athene, the asteroid representing strategy, apropos enough of the topic. Then, the Venus-Chiron conjunction seems to say “waste.” Waste, in Aquarius, means the waste of people, collective waste, waste of grief, a flood of tears; and a waste of the resources of the group (Venus in Aquarius theme). Chiron-Venus can be about having the wrong values, and responding as if injured all the time. It is also an aspect that says BIG.
Notably, the 10th house, one significator for the government, has Taurus on the cusp, thus ruled by Venus; Venus is conjunct Chiron. I dare say this looks a bit suicidal.
Nessus is right there as well, an asteroid about karma coming back to do its work. The myth of Nessus is the story of the death of Heracles, who was “killed by the blood of a dead enemy,” as prophesied by the Delphic Oracle. Few are stating out loud: we did start this war. It was a “pre-emptive” war, the first in American history, if you don’t count a few others that did not quite get the name. Neptune in this house is about denial and delusion, including on the part of the military itself, and that of the people. Notably, Neptune in the 6th house of a diagnosis chart warns against misdiagnosis (the 6th house also represents healing and medical matters).
Bush says that many discussions led to this new strategy, in which “we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.”
The notion of disaster (Bush’s term, though the word means “to go against the stars”) is echoed by Mars approaching Pluto (a volatile combination) in Sagittarius (the sign of religious ideology and world affairs) in the 5th house (the house of risks, gambles and entertainment). This aspect is developing. Something is developing; a plan is reaching its conclusion and a new one is going to begin.
Bush is admitting, and the 5th house of this chart is confirming, that a very large chance was taken, and is being taken — and that the outcome might not be good. What, though, does he mean by a disaster? How big of a disaster? Note that Mars and Pluto are conjunct on the Galactic Core. The Core grants insight and a measure of temporary transparency. It is like a spiritual light you cannot look into for so long, or an insight that you forget unless you write it down. We had best remember.
Mars about to make a conjunction to Pluto suggests that a new cycle is about to turn over; the Galactic Core suggests far-reaching effects, but also the possibility of what we can call spiritual intervention. The new Mars-Pluto cycle is about a new agenda; a new project, and that project seems to be Iran. After all, what better way to cover for the current disaster of Iraq?
Are you sick of this yet?
You may well be wondering why this is all happening. It seems senseless, from a political standpoint. Here is what I think. It involves the law of supply and demand. When the supply of a commodity goes down, the price goes up. We must keep our eyes on the oil; the entire Bush administration, most particularly the president and his family, the vice president, Secretary Rice and others, is composed of people with oil interests. I think the object of the game is to keep as much oil in the ground for as long possible, and thus push the price as high as possible. When one creates chaos in the Middle East, this disrupts the flow of oil, and thus slows production.
As written in these pages the summer of 2005 with regards to Saturn in Leo, which planet is indeed rising in the chart for Mr. Bush’s speech: “Old news is new, new news is old. Something is up with the price of gold” — black gold.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 12, 2007, #645 – By ERIC FRANCIS
Capricorn Solar Returns, part 4
This is no ordinary year, but that may not be apparent yet. Most of the activity in your solar chart is hidden, cloaked in the veil of what is called the 12th house. Imagine you are living in a little apartment next to a vast warehouse or space where your new life or ideas about life are being designed and assembled. But you are in your own private space, seemingly unaware of what is going on so close to you, how vast it is, or really, what the future is about: but by now you must be able to feel it.
It would on one level be difficult to pin this down to any single aspect of your life. But with the two rulers of Scorpio (Mars and Pluto) making a conjunction so close to your ascendant, we get a clue as to where the focus might be: your role in the world, in your community, and the definition of yourself that is presented to your friends and associates. In short, you are ready to roar, to express your ideas definitively and with no reservations, and to establish yourself in the world. For anyone with a public profession of any kind — attorney, teacher, politician, writer, publisher, advertising salesperson, to name a few — you appear to be ready to move to the top of your field.
This is, in sum, a total, undeniable transformation, but it’s coming from the inside out. In other words, it’s not really your “role” that is changing, but rather, you who is changing on the core level, and that change will ripple out into your personal universe and indeed that of many other people. You are on a journey into the depths of your psyche that you cannot choose to ignore.
Mercury conjoined to the Sun in your 1st house, presents you on the surface as more calm, cool and controlled than is developing just below the layer of appearance; do not fool yourself. Deep inside, there is a fire raging, and it’s changing you every day in some extraordinary ways. Your assertiveness and mental superiority is unmistakable, and doesn’t go unnoticed by those around you. This power is a great commodity, as I’m sure you realize, and to be able to use it wisely, you also realize that you must become that wiser person.
Part of what is highlighted is your relationship to your own knowledge. You are being summoned to respect yourself and what you possess; to never underestimate yourself, but to be modest about its impact, no matter how great it may be. This is a year of self-discovery, of coming into yourself in the most authentic way possible. As you go down this path, the focus is on how to speak your truth to those around you. How, is in the style, method and approach. Your words have great potency now. Those around you may not understand the true nature of the volcanic eruptions within you, or the reason behind the change, but they, like you, certainly sense it. And I assure you, it is easier now to articulate your feelings and ideas than ever; words flow, and people and partners are willing to give you that space that you might need from time to time to withdraw and spend some time with yourself.
The Sun square Eris suggests that you are prodded on this journey by a sense of self-questioning so deep there are few comparisons for it. You may, as a result, find yourself making rather large, sweeping decisions that you never would have considered before, decisions that liberate you to pursue your path of individuality. In close relationships and intimate partnerships, this is a phase of healing, as you break down the inner compartments that have separated you from others. it is about learning to love yourself better, which in turn enables you to love another better. Create a safe space in all relationships where there is a mutual feeling of trust, safety and warmth; this is something clearly in your abilities.
The emphasis on Sagittarius is a call to examine your beliefs as an individual and as a part of a collective, emotionally, physically and sexually. You may feel an intense desire to explore the boundaries of all your relationships and be willing to go deeper within, than your usual sensibilities. Gently examine, question, contradict and test all your beliefs, and encourage those around you to do the same. Your words are powerful but your example is more so. What you and those around you learn through this process, is that any invisible boundaries are just that. The outcome of this process will surpass any expectations of what you thought was possible and will go a long way in strengthening the bonds that hold your world together. In the end all that will matter is creating your own family with those that share your values, a family of choice, not necessarily of blood bonds.
As I mentioned earlier, this is no ordinary year. It is an intense year with tremendous potential for spiritual growth and self-awareness. True, many forces in this world counteract awareness; there are countless opportunities to go back to sleep. But you are the stronger. You are the compelling force, the one in your world who will sound the call to awakening.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You are working the line between what is possible and what you believe is possible. Or should I say the wall of belief, or the ruse of belief. Or, perhaps, the magic power of belief. What, exactly is belief? It’s nothing at all, compared to faith, particularly faith in yourself. Some may feel the difference is semantic. I would put it simply this way: belief is like tricking yourself into accepting that something is true, whether it is or not. Faith is feeling the situation and responding from a place deep inside yourself, where you know, trust and accept. There is a difference.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
By now, you’ve had enough of other people’s dramas. Yet do you understand that the clearest path to freedom from dramas is being the one and only authority to whom you’re ultimately answerable? That is the essence of your life mission, and the story of this phase of your growth. Note, however, that while some people will respond by showing their respect, others will respond with rebellion. This will provide you an excellent opportunity to see who around you is reaching adulthood, and who is still a child in an adult’s body. Keep track of who is who, and please treat everyone accordingly.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Recent planetary action in Aquarius is probably stirring up your wanderlust, and prompting you to explore new friends and new experiences. Given other factors in your solar chart, such as Jupiter in your opposite sign Sagittarius, I am surprised you can sit still for more than half an hour. Are you free to move about the surface of the planet? Or perhaps more to the point, do you feel confident enough to renegotiate your commitments and create some flexibility? You know the answer to that question, and I would say that if you are in doubt, now is a great time to start practicing. Though it’s rarely said, freedom does take practice, and plenty of it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
People are showing you their true colors these days, which is about all you could hope for. You need to know where you stand with people, and your life goes better when you do. So, rather than complaining about the sorry state of the human race, just make sure your scorecard is up to date. Just as important is people knowing where they stand with you. State your expectations in clear, simple terms, and see how people respond. Leave out the emotional material; rather, assess people by their own emotional state and whether they show a shred of sensitivity to your situation. Some will; some will not; thus will you know who your real friends are.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
There’s an interesting collection of people gathering in your life, and from the look of your solar chart, it’s not about to turn boring anytime soon. Make sure you identify all the basic characters: let’s see, the smooth-tongued lawyer; the pathological liar; the provocative revolutionary; the smart little kid; the person setting an excellent example. As long as you keep track of who is who, your days will go smoothly. If you start confusing these people, it’s a little like expecting a dog to act like a cat, only with higher stakes. It will be interesting to see what happens when you get them all in the same room.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
With so much going on at work, you may be feeling like you want to spend a month at a Buddhist retreat center. You’ve hardly ever had a better opportunity to understand the strange tension that exists between you and your environment when there is a group of any kind around you. My best guess is that on some level you feel like you have to be a different person with everyone, to somehow meet their different expectations of who you are. Can we pretend for a little while that you don’t need to do anything of the sort?
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You have so many options open to you right now, but all of them involve taking some kind of risk. The question you need to ask yourself is not how daring do you want to be, but rather, what do you really want to do, create or learn? Your honest desire will guide the level of risk you’re willing to take, as will your sense of what is possible if you actually dare to think, feel or respond to your world in a different way. Just to give you a clue, you’re likely to discover that the more willing you are to experiment, the more willing people are to be real with you.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You have learned something about yourself, something I have a feeling you were never expecting. It relates to your mental attitude and the fluidity of cash. Most people who are good at the money game have this figured out, but they come in two varieties: the ones who cling to the stuff, and the ones who let it flow. You are clearly of the second variety, and as you come into your stride, you may find yourself being a bit repulsed by those of the first. You know instinctively that little green sheets of paper are not the issue, but rather a deeper and more fundamental faith in existence.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Beneath the carefree image you project to the world is a person deeply committed to propriety, integrity and knowing what drawer your socks are in. Having suddenly come to the realization of what is supremely important to you, you may now feel the time has arrived to act on that, to take charge and in some way to get others to live up to your values. You don’t need to do this aggressively. It would be better if you kept your focus on yourself, and on doing what you know is right. That will send a signal, and part of that signal is an invitation to people who share your values to support your mission.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Recent activity in your sign caused quite a few people to go into meltdown mode, abandon any sense of authority, and maybe flake on a few important responsibilities. There are people who get blown around by the plants like a leaf; there are others who cling to their reality like a tree that cannot flex in the wind. The strength you offer others comes from a combination of being flexible and firmly rooted. In order to be an authority, you need to respect authority. These things you know, but now you need to be impeccable about them, because people are responding to your example more than anything.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Aquarius is now a potent focus of planetary movement, reminding us that the only constant is change. What most human beings struggle to change is their ideas, and I strongly suggest that you lead the way in revising your notions, beliefs and concepts as quickly as you have reason to do so. You may be concerned what people will think when you do this. You may feel it will cost you respect to change your mind. That is a fixed belief that many people have, and I can think of few mental habits that block progress more effectively. Let’s move on; we need some progress in this world.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
The sensitive angle of your solar chart where your professional fortunes are wagered is hot right now, maybe too hot to handle. The difficulty I’ve noticed with strong transits to this house, the 10th house to be precise, is that most people either get blown over by the energy, they get scared, or they have no clue what to do with the opportunities it presents. However, you’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time, far longer than you may recognize. It’s often true that the reward of good work is the opportunity to do more work, and for some this has no appeal at all. I trust you feel differently.