Month: August 2002

Strength & Weakness – How to handle them

In modern “democratic” society it is politically incorrect to differentiate between people and their potential. Everyone has the chance to be someone, even if they come from humble beginnings. Bill Clinton proved that natural talent can sweep away obstacles, (though George W Bush also proves that being born privileged certainly does not get in the way of success.) Much of the political development since the discovery of Uranus in 1781 has been geared to a leveling process that is designed, in theory at least, to give equal opportunity for all. Similarly, politically correct astrology as taught in much 20th century literature has emphasized equality of opportunity via the horoscope, whatever the planetary strengths and weaknesses. In this light, hard aspects have been viewed as opportunities, bringing character strength through overcoming difficulties, whilst there has been a view that soft aspects can encourage laziness and self-satisfaction.The Good and the Bad

This was hardly the view of astrological tradition, which simply classed Mars and Saturn, for example, as malefics, and Venus and Jupiter as benefics , and saw soft aspects as “good” and bad aspects as no less than “evil”. This change of view has taken place with the discovery of the outer planets. Pluto in particular has brought a new consciousness which forces people to confront their own demons, rather than projecting them on the outer world, making possible an inner transformation process which brings consciousness growth. This psychological view gives a dynamic approach to the problems inherent in difficult aspects and weakly placed planets, empowering people to create change.

Horary Astrology

However, whilst the idea that planets can perform equally well no matter where they are placed can be an empowering view when working with clients, practitioners will be led astray if they apply this view unilaterally in their practice. They will simply not be able to make clear judgements about what to do and what not to do, and therefore their advice will be obscured by a fog of vagueness and generality. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the everyday assessment of trends in society using the astrology of planetary placement and movement here and now. Many of the principles of a “here and now” astrology are enshrined in traditional horary astrology, and these principles can usefully be applied to personal and mundane astrology today. Planets have a particular character dependent on the sign they are placed in, and when making a judgement on any course of action, it is crucial to differentiate between signs.


The first clear guideline is that a planet is strong when it is placed in the sign it rules. This sign is its own territory, and other planets must enter this territory with due respect. When a planet returns to the sign (or signs) it rules, it is free to express its true nature in its purest form, just as you would do after a long day at work. You open the door to your home, enter and throw yourself on the sofa with a cup of tea and some nice music. Should another planet now enter the sign, it is as if someone rings on the doorbell. You may invite them in, but they had better be on their best behavior. You can decide how much you will put up with, and the visitor would be foolish to start bossing you around.


Of course, planets have affinities for each other, so if Mars was at home in Aries, and Jupiter knocked on the door, then it would be with excitement and exhilaration that Jupiter would be welcomed. But if Saturn happened to be passing through, Mars would groan and open the door, but only out of a sense of duty. Nevertheless, even though Saturn might behave like a Jehovah’s witness laying down the law, Mars would still be in much the stronger position. Likewise, planets have natural attractions, which are based on sign rulership polarities, such that Venus, Jupiter and Sun/Moon are natural partners to Mars, Mercury and Saturn respectively. These planets can be both adversaries and partners. Certainly, if Venus should knock on the door of Mars in Aries, she would be entering dangerous territory, but the attraction would be strong and she could scarcely get through Aries without a dramatic affair developing.


The first guideline of planetary strength – that a planet is supreme in the sign it rules – leads to the next: that a planet is weak in the sign opposite to that which it rules. Far from home, and with lines of supply fully stretched, the resources of the planet in detriment are at low ebb. Herein lies the opening for guidance. The client with a planet in detriment must act accordingly, and not pretend anything else. It would be foolish for the Sun in Aquarius in the 10th to try and force through dictatorial policies. He can only rule with the consensus of the group. Similarly it would be unwise for a Venus in Aries in the 7th house to try and push the partner around. She is on foreign ground, and though her nature is to lead and take the initiative, this should not lead to her thinking she had the power. She might find the freedom she fights tooth and nail for – but it would be without the partner she also needs.

Venus in Trouble

See graph for Venus in Scorpio

December 2002 presents a typical scenario in which understanding planetary strength is crucial. Venus entered Scorpio on September 8, 2002 and went retrograde at 15 Scorpio on October 10. On November 21 Venus goes direct at 0 degrees Scorpio, finally leaving Scorpio – the sign of her detriment – on January 7, exhausted and psychologically raw. This can be compared to a sensitive opera singer being forced to perform in a London pub full of testosterone-charged men for four months. Avid newsreaders will have noted the many financial scandals and general doom in the financial markets at this time, as Venus, which traditionally rules finances, struggles through.

False Memory Syndrome

At the time of writing, as Venus becomes stationary, one news story illustrates exactly the dilemma of Venus in Scorpio. The story is of a young woman who has not talked to her parents for 10 years because she “discovered” during hypnotherapy that her father had had an incestuous relationship with her. As Venus reaches the end of its backward journey, she confesses publicly that the incest was imagined (Venus had squared Jupiter in Leo and Neptune in Aquarius – which is stiluatiing for all-encompassing fantasies) and she asks her parents to accept her back, which they forgivingly do. This long period in exile from her family is typical of a planet in detriment. Indeed, such a placement often shows exiled people. Of course the retrograde movement through Scorpio shows the taboo and sexual nature of the story, as well as the emotional catharsis of the family, in what proved to be a long exhaustive investigation of the past.

Meeting the Monster

Venus will feel uncomfortable as long as she is in Scorpio. She has entered a mysteriously empty cave in which shadows play in the half-light. When Mars enters Scorpio on December 1, 2002, the cave dweller returns, and can hardly believe his eyes. Venus has lingered tantalizingly on the threshold (zero degrees for two whole weeks) as Mars falters through the sign of his exile Libra. When he returns, Venus will probably find she gets more than she bargained for. December is a month of sexual fixations, all-consuming jealousy, control and coercion. It is curious to note that Mars gets within 50 minutes of arc of Venus (as both square Neptune) but she gradually picks up speed. It’s a bit like one of those dreams where the pursuer just manages to get hold of the trailing hem of the fleeing beauty’s dress… she may escape, but she will be unclothed.

Exaltation and Fall

Another important consideration regarding planetary strength is the concept of exaltation and fall, the roots of which seem lost in tradition. The idea of exaltation is that the planet is like an honored guest. Of course, if an important community leader came into your home, you would make a great effort to impress. You might ordinarily eat meatballs and boiled potatoes, but for your honored guest you would serve the very best meat and wine, and arrange a party in his honor. Similarly, the guest would be on his best behavior, and would hide his weaknesses and just display his strengths. The traditional exaltations are Mars in Capricorn, Venus in Pisces, Mercury in Virgo, Sun in Aries, Moon in Taurus, Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Libra. Just as exaltation leads to the finest expression of a planet, when a planet is placed in the opposite sign to its exaltation, it is said to be in fall – and fall is an ignominious place to be. It truly is the lowest of the low, an incredibly weak position in which the person in question is gravely compromised. Mars is in fall in Cancer, Venus in Virgo, Mercury in Pisces, Sun in Libra, Moon in Scorpio, Jupiter in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries.

Horary > Natal

It might seem unfashionable to classify planetary strength according to arcane rules, but daily work with the astrology of the moment, (for example using the consultation chart for the client’s arrival) seems to confirm the validity of the approach. The question arises as to whether judgement can be made according to this yardstick in natal astrology, and if yes, how one can prevent such judgement from being disempowering. I personally have Jupiter in Capricorn in the 4th house, and spent the years from 12 to 17 in a typically oppressive English boarding school. I have vivid memories of the housemaster bending his cane between his pudgy hands and saying in all seriousness to me “Duncan, I want you to think of me as your father”. Sigh… planets in fall.

What is “Good”?

Planets strong in sign are able to express themselves freely, but this does not necessarily mean that they are “good” in the traditional sense. For example, Ariel Sharon has Mars exalted in Capricorn – he’s a great general and an effective politician, but he is also a ruthless man. Mars’ brief has nothing to do with compassion, and everything to do with getting a job done. Similarly, Jupiter is wonderfully placed in Cancer, and its position there in the US chart testifies to a welcoming and generous country. But Jupiter expands everything to do with the country including its appetite, which may account for the prevalence of gas-guzzling vehicles and general over-consumption. Nevertheless, having many planets placed strongly can be a great advantage, because they give a natural dignity that evokes respect. Even Saturn changes character when it is in Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius, and manifest with great fairness and little oppression. Sean Connery manages very well, despite having Saturn rising, perhaps because it is in Capricorn. Mind you, with Jupiter in Cancer and Venus in Libra he has a lot going for him. Bill Clinton also has his Ascendant ruler, Venus, in the first house, which undoubtedly contributed to his popularity. OK, he also had Mars in Libra (detriment), and conjunction Neptune, which Monica Lewinsky could, and did, testify to.

The 20th century also led to the integration of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto into the planetary pantheons, and their corresponding rulership of Aquarius, Pisces and Scorpio respectively. Whilst I am sure this assigned rulership has validity, it would be a mistake to ignore the significance of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars as co-rulers of these signs. The outer planets will always represent collective forces in society rather than human characteristics – and it will be the traditional rulers in mundane, horary and personal astrology, which truly describe the character of the person or object in question. From a spiritual and psychological point of view, it may not matter where a planet is placed, because the planet, its placement and its aspects will in the last analysis simply represent material to be worked on in the process of personal growth. If I had had Jupiter in Cancer, I may have had more than my fair share of happiness, but then I might also be fat.

Adrian Duncan 18th November, 2002

Sharon and Arafat: Nemesis

The Israelis know what it is like to be faced with overwhelming power, with little means of resistance. On April 19 1943, a young 23-year-old, Mordecai Anielewicz, issued a proclamation calling for the Jewish people in Warsaw to resist being sent to death camps. With just a few weapons, 750 fighters kept the might of the German army at bay for nearly a month in the Warsaw Uprising before being overwhelmed… a mythic feat, which has gone over into Jewish history.Jenin

The resistance of Palestinian fighters in Jenin was scarcely as magnificent, though it will certainly be the stuff of myths for the Palestinian people in the years to come. The slaughter and secret disposal of the bodies of hundreds of fighters and civilians by the Israeli army is not of the same magnitude of what happened in Warsaw. When the Jewish fighters were finally overwhelmed. 56,000 Jews were captured and 7,000 shot on the spot, with the remainder deported to concentration camps. The Warsaw ghetto was totally flattened by shells and bombs, but in Jenin, only the central swathes of the refugee camp were completely flattened – though bulldozed sometimes with whole families still within (Note 1)

Later comment:
The United Nations issued a report into the Israeli incursions, which concluded that no widespread killings had occurred. (But Amnesty International points out that as UN officials did not actually visit Jenin, the report was no substitute for a thorough and impartial investigation. While early Palestinian claims that hundreds of people were massacred have now been discounted, Amnesty believes that over 50 Palestinians were killed in the fighting in Jenin, and at least another 80 in Nablus, many of them civilians. Women and children were among the dead.)

The Israeli People

Israel’s chart shows Libra rising, with its ruler Venus in Cancer, which is quite a soft and kind influence, with strong values about home and family. This Venus position is exactly the same as the USA’s Venus position, and shows the strong transatlantic bonds, not least financial, between the two countries. They are a kind and generous people. By no means all Israelis are happy about current developments in their homeland. One Israeli helicopter gunship pilot refused direct orders to fire a missile at a Palestinian house because of the risk of civilian loss of life. (Note 2). There has been widespread condemnation of the use of such gunships within Israel, as well as of firing on ambulances, preventing medical help and access by red cross organizations in series of actions by Israel, which contravene international regulations. A group of Israeli officers have formed an organization, which refuses to do duty on Palestinian territory, and Israeli peace organizations lobby hard against their right-wing government, but the fact remains that 70% of Israelis support Sharon in his attempt to root out terrorism.

Axis of Evil

This is a period in which communication seems crippled, with the extraordinary demonization of enemies. The declaration by George Bush against the “axis of evil” could hardly be a better testimony to the power of the current Saturn/Pluto opposition. It fell last year at 12 and 13 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius, right on the USA’s (Sibley) Ascendant. The USA – and specifically the people of New York, whose twin towers collapsed into dust on September 11th 2001 – has reacted by declaring a war on terror. And Sharon seized the opportunity to declare his own war on terror. This war is the war between Saturn and Pluto. One represents the established power of the state (and its business aspects – Gemini), the other the power of terror, the suicide bomber, the religious fanatic. As is always the case with Pluto, it has the power to create vast upheaval quite out of proportion to its size. Witness the atom bomb.

State Terror

Pluto is also the planet of the disempowered, who use every available method to ensure continued existence. However hard you try, you cannot eliminate Pluto. The forces used to destroy Pluto are the forces of Pluto itself, which then grows in power. Perhaps that is why it becomes increasing difficult to distinguish between the terror “out there” and State terror. This is the paradox of the current situation, which is starkly expressed in the Sharon/Arafat power battle. What seemed a simple equation with the USA versus bin Laden crusade, seems more complicated in Israel. The more Sharon tries to humiliate and crush Arafat, with the mighty display of force and the besiegement and destruction of Arafat’s compound, the more sympathy – and therefore strength – Arafat gains. As usual, Sharon is winning the battle, but losing the war. The damage to Israel is vast. As Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP who is Britain’s most prominent Jewish parliamentarian says: “It is time to remind Sharon that the Star of David belongs to all Jews and not to his repulsive government. His actions are staining the Star of David with blood.”

The May Planetary Lineup

The astrology of the current situation in the Middle East is not designed for negotiation or peace. Looking at the graph of the third and final Saturn/Pluto opposition, it can be seen how the Moon’s nodes retrograde to trigger eclipses, with the major one on June 10th falling at 19.54 Gemini on USA’s Mars (21.29 Gemini). All this is triggered by Mars and Venus, which also transit Gemini in May, bringing total communication breakdown, but at the same time enormous international pressure for dialogue. It looks dire for the USA, whose ignominious behavior is crowned at the time of writing by Powell’s failed mission. Whilst Israel busies itself with concealing civilian casualties in Jenin – Bush says the Palestinian Authority “must act on its words of condemnation against terror” and calls on Arab states “to step up to their responsibilities”. (Note 4) The rage against Bush – not just in the Arab world, but also in Europe – is palpable. It’s obvious that the current Intifada was provoked by Sharon himself, with his visit to the Temple Mount in 2000, and his policy of encouraging settlements on Palestinian land in a strategy of occupation and encirclement.

Sharon – the General

See chart of Ariel Sharon

With Aries rising close to his Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, Ariel Sharon is a man who believes in action. Apparently his nickname is “the Bulldozer” for his ability to crush the enemy. With Ascendant ruler Mars exalted in Capricorn he is an excellent strategist, and the sextile to Uranus shows his ability for unpredictable, surprise moves. To understand the brutality of Sharon, it is necessary to look at his 7th harmonic chart, where the natal Uranus at the midpoint of Pluto/Saturn configures with Sun, Moon and Mars to make a truly murderous combination Beneath the surface, his Piscean Sun conjoining retrograde Mercury in the 12th shows a sensitive and secretive nature, probably with inner worries about dissolution. When he hears threats of Israel being swept into the sea, he takes it literally, because that is his greatest inner fear. Though I know nothing about his childhood, the period when progressed Mercury stationed opposition his Neptune from the ages of 5 – 16 (spanning the 2nd World War and Holocaust) must have imbued a sense of loneliness, disillusion and isolation in him. He is probably incapable of seeing himself objectively. Curiously his progressed Mars – now currently at 25.49 Pisces – “leads” and opposes the progressed Mars of Israel now at 24.28 Virgo. He will always drag Israel into war.

International Judgement

The major transit in Sharon’s life right now is the passage of Pluto over his Saturn at 18.21 Sagittarius in his 9th house. This culminates in January, June and November 2003. It will result in international opprobrium, with the real likelihood of him being indicted in an international court of law. (Quite apart from the war crimes case prepared in Belgium against him for the Shatilah massacre in 1983). Sharon himself only believes in biblical justice. He has his roots in an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, and has nothing but contempt for soft-hearted liberals. Nevertheless this transit will almost certainly result in an ignominious fall from power (Saturn rules his MC), which will come sooner (in 2002) or later (2003). It’s possible that the June 2000 eclipse on his Saturn will be enough to precipitate an early fall. Of course the current military madness is related to the transit of Uranus opposite Israel’s Mars at 28.18 Leo, exact on 28th April and 10th July 2002, and 9th February 2003. With this influence it is sure that suicide bombings will continue unabated, and just as sure that Israel will continue a policy of intervention and oppression – a policy that will undoubtedly succeed, as Saturn sextiles Israel’s Mars (and trines Uranus) at the same time.

Yasser Arafat

See chart of Yasser Arafat

Birth data for Sharon’s old enemy and possible nemesis, Yasser Arafat, is disputed. I have previously worked with a Virgo birthdate, but came across a chart used by astrologer Joyce Hoen which seems rather descriptive. Note 6.

The death of his mother when he was 4 would correspond to Pluto’s transit of his Moon, just as the Moon/Pluto rising in Cancer also corresponds to a man desperately seeking roots for himself and his people. Living as he currently does amidst the ruins of Ramallah is an apt depiction of this astrological influence. It is interesting too that the Mars at 18.43 Virgo in this chart configures in exact square to Sharon’s Saturn, and reflects the present military catastrophe. His current virtual imprisonment in Ramallah may be shown by the Neptune transit opposing his Sun, which finally ends in December 2003. Amidst the ruins of Moon/Pluto luck smiles constantly on Arafat. He was the sole survivor of an air crash, which would seem to reflect the Jupiter sextile his powerful Sun/Uranus trine. It will be interesting to see if there is confirmation of this chart when Jupiter conjoins his Sun (and Israel’s Pluto) in September 2002. His fortunes could turn at this time.

The Future

Current planetary transits seem to indicate that the situation in Israel will be explosive for at least another 10 months, but that a change will arise when Uranus finally leaves Aquarius and enters Pisces in March 2003, a time when we’ll see Sharon, if he is still in power, shuttling hectically to Washington and back. Sharon will never make an agreement that lasts, because of the extremely weak position of his Mercury opposite Neptune. He will say anything to pursue his agenda, and will lose all credibility. Israel will remain undefeated and on top for many years – indeed her existence will never be seriously at risk during the whole of the 21st century. Only when Neptune activates her Sun square Saturn and Mars from 2005 to 2011 will her ability to maintain a protective shield be undermined. She will never be able to prevent her borders from being porous, and military methods will be completely bankrupt in these years, which means there is actually hope that peaceful methods will gain a foothold. Finally a turning point will come when Israel’s progressed Venus turns direct in 2007 – exactly on her natal Uranus in Gemini. The future of the State of Israel is coexistence together with the State of Palestine.

Adrian Duncan 19.04.2002

1. Guardian online: Brian Whitaker Thursday April 18, 2002
2. Guardian online. Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem, Thursday April 18, 2002
3. Guardian online: Ian Black in Brussels, Ewen MacAskill and Nicholas Watt Wednesday April 17, 2002
4. Guardian online: Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem and Julian Borger in Washington Thursday April 18, 2002
5. Isaac Starkman quotes Ariel Sharon’s mom in MH 10/1986, “about one hour after sunrise”. (LMR calculates sunrise as 6:36 AM EET.) Starkman rectifies the time, using over 25 events, to 5:49:19 UT, ASC 12Ari02.
6. The time of 3.a.m and the date of 4th August in Jerusalem was given by Arafat himself, but a birth certificate has been found stating 24th August.

Saturn and the rise and fall of Politicians

It is unlikely than anyone can rise through the political ranks without a strongly placed Saturn. Access to this planet’s energies gives the tenacity and determination to win through against the odds, and to work for long-term goals. Coupled with Jupiter, Saturn keys into social forces which are the building blocks of society, particular law and government. At its finest, the politically-expressed Saturn represents a sense of responsibility and duty towards society, and a selfless dedication to government. However, on a personal level Saturn often evokes a sense of inferiority, lack of self-esteem and a feeling of not reaching the summit. To some extent this feeling is the driving force of ambition: the need to achieve something for society also rests on the need to prove oneself and gain recognition. Fear of failure leads to great efforts to succeed.

Ambitious Drives
If fears of insufficiency dominate behind the driving force of ambition, then it can be very difficult for the person in question to recognise when goals have been achieved. The force which drove them to achieve high position, still drives them when this position is reached. Ultimately there is the danger that ambition becomes overweening, and leads to fixed ideas about how success should be administered, and struggle when struggle is no longer needed. Thus overwork and over-control undermine health, popularity and success in the later stages of the career. Stressful aspects of the Sun to Saturn, particularly the square, and Saturn in the 10 th house have all acquired a reputation for fall from power, with Napoleon and Hitler often being cited as examples. The picture is however far more nuanced than this. Hitler’s Saturn in Leo in the 10 th was in detriment, so it was extra important for him to compensate for inferiority feelings by being leader of the 3 rd Reich. And Saturn was square a retrograde Venus in Taurus conjoining a debilitated Mars at the same degree. Even half a million people simultaneously rising their right arm in military salute could not quite convince him that he was loved. With no mitigating aspects to Saturn in the 10 th , it is hardly any wonder that it expressed itself appallingly.

Mitterandsee chart of Francois Mitterand

Francois Mitterand (Note 1.) had Saturn in the 10 th also in square to the Sun, yet he acquitted himself rather well as President of France from 1981 to 1994, being its first socialist president… much to the alarm of the USA at the time. Born at the time of a Saturn/Neptune conjunction, he has a typical “socialist” astrological signature. He was also imprisoned by the Germans during WW2 – another expression of Saturn/Neptune squaring the Sun. Although dogged by rumours of collaboration with the Vichy government, this never seriously affected his government, and neither did his womanising. (Probably seen as a plus-factor in France). His ability to handle presidential power is probably shown by the Pluto/MC conjunction trining his Sun. This may also explain why he was so keen on building up France’s nuclear deterrent. (Their intercontinental missile was called “Pluton”.) In Mitterand’s case, his Sun is also opposing Jupiter, which probably counteracts the negativity of the Sun/Saturn square, and Mars trines Saturn and Neptune from the 3 rd house, giving him the ability to fight for his case in a very convincing way.

Kohlsee chart of Helmut Kohl

Another great European leader, Helmut Kohl (Note 2) had Saturn in the 10 th also square the Sun, which makes quite a convincing case for political success – and success which is long term – as Kohl was Chancellor of Germany for 16 years until 1998. His success was even more marked than Mitterand’s, with the unification of East and West Germany as the crowning point of his career. The point is, that in Kohl’s case, Saturn is extremely well-placed in its own sign, and it is square to an exalted Sun in Aries. Furthermore, Kohl’s Sun/Uranus conjunction is exactly sextile Jupiter, though it is also tied in to a T-square with Pluto. It was at the time of the Saturn/Neptune conjunction at 10 Capricorn – right on Kohl’s MC – on Kohl’s 2 nd Saturn return, that the Berlin wall dissolved and the two Germanyy subsequently unified. He was certainly the right man in the right place at the right time. His departure as leader of the German conservative party was marred by a scandal concerning the misuse of party funds, presaged no doubt my his 2 nd House Gemini Moon exactly squaring Neptune.

Chiang Kai-Shek – see chart of Chiang Kai-Shek

The Saturn/Sun/Jupiter theme continues for another long-term leader, Chiang Kai-Shek, (Note 3) who led China from 1928 to 1949, where he retreated to Formosa, later Taiwan, which he governed until his death in 1975. The iron hand of a general can clearly be seen in the fixed sign square between Sun in Scorpio and Saturn in Leo, and his ruthlessness in the Pluto square Mars in the 8 th house. His fate as leader of a “second” China, which was eventually to be disowned by the international community can perhaps be seen in the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in the 4 th house, opposing Mercury in “exile” in Sagittarius. He personally felt that the hand of fate had been against him, and that Taiwan was small compensation for China. It is said he died a disappointed man.

Milosevicsee chart of Slobodan Milosevic

One man currently in the news with a Saturn/Sun square is Slobodan Milosevic. (Note 4) With Sun in Leo and in the 5 th he dreamed of being acclaimed leader of a “Greater Serbia”. Adulation was probably very important for him. The trine from Mars in Aries gave him military tendencies, though the 12 th house position showed him manipulating events more behind the scenes. His tragic childhood, indicated by a Moon/Pluto/Chiron conjunction in the 4 th house, meant that he played out early trauma on a national and international stage. Both parents committed suicide, his father in 1962, and mother in 1972, and his own subsequent behaviour as Serbia’s strongman turned out to be equally suicidal for his home country. His fall from power in 2000 and his incarceration as a war criminal in The Hague coincided with Neptune’s transit opposing his Moon. His war trial in 2002 coincides with the transit of Uranus in opposition to Sun and Mercury, and square Saturn, guaranteeing him media attention. Perhaps he still has a few surprises up his sleeve. As transiting Saturn sextiles his Sun from the 3 rd house cusp from August 2002 to May 2003 we can expect him to put up a stubborn defence, making a successful prosecution difficult.

Cheneysee chart of Dick Cheney

Even more relevant for the present period is the Sun/Saturn square in the Vice President of America, Dick Cheney’s, horoscope, (Note 5) which is now receiving a transit from Neptune. Again we can see the powerful configuration of Jupiter conjoining Saturn in aspect to the Sun, propelling him into an ambitious career as an arch conservative: pro-gun, anti-abortion, pro-death penalty pro-oil and anti environment. With three fixed planets in the 9 th house, he is unlikely to change his views in this life, and he undoubtedly does not believe in the next. His 6 th house Aquarian Sun shows him as a loyal servant of the Republicans in general and the Bush family in particular. His notoriously weak heart is probably also shown by his afflicted Sun in detriment here.


Whilst his career boost predictably took place with the repeat of the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction on his Midheaven in 2000 – exactly like Helmut Kohl – he is surely heading for disgrace and obscurity now. Neptune triggers his Sun from May 2002 to November 2003, and Pluto triggers first his Mars in the Spring of 2002 (whilst Saturn opposes – he is under tremendous stress), and later his Moon. It’s difficult to believe he will see out his term, and it may be scandal rather than health which beats him. What obviously springs to mind is Cheney’s involvement with the energy giant Enron, which collapsed with catastrophic results at the end of last year. Fortunately for both Bush and Cheney, the current terrorist war has kept the public’s minds off this crisis, but it is now seeping back into the public’s consciousness. Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force met six times with Enron officials last year, and Enron’s Chairman Ken Lay personally met Cheney on April 17 th . As Enron was Bush’s largest campaign contributor, questions are being asked about how much Cheney used his influence to help Enron. At present nobody knows because Cheney refused to disclose details of meetings on February 2, 2002, invoking “executive privilege”.

Oil Secrets

With Neptune on his 2 nd house cusp, opposing the Moon in Pisces, it is naive to believe that Cheney does not have hidden links with energy companies, particular as regards oil. In 1993 Cheney left politics and entered the private sector, serving as chairman and CEO of Dallas-Based Halliburton Corporation, specialising in the development of oil and gas production around the world, particularly the new emerging Caspian Sea area. For his Neptune in the 2nd, oil is where the money is, as shown by its links to Venus in Capricorn. It’s difficult not to raise questions about the present US Afghanistan policy, when the enormous oil reserves of Central Asia are considered. With US interests firmly entrenched in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea area they are reluctant to empower Russia or Iran by leading pipelines through their countries, and it is common knowledge that they wish for access to the South East Asian market via pipelines through Afghanistan. Obviously the desire to fight terrorism in Afghanistan was a major factor for Bush and Cheney, but it will be interesting to see how they consolidate their influence in this country once Al Quaeda is pacified. We can expect to read of a growing scandal involving Cheney peaking in May 2003, as a transiting retrograde Mercury in Taurus squares a Mars/Neptune conjunction. This precisely activates Cheney’s Sun/Saturn – a situation he is unlikely to survive, though it could drag on for some time.

Danish Downfall

Closer to my own home base in Denmark, inhabitants have been treated to the spectacle of the imminent downfall of a well-known mayor who also sports an interesting Sun/Saturn square. He has had a high profile for many years because of unconventional and pronounced right-wing methods, but he went too far when it was discovered he had been indulging in exclusive dinners (with exclusive wines at $1000 a go) with his cronies, paid for courtesy of his electorate. Subsequent investigations in February 2002 showed that he had manipulated with enormous sums of money channelling them into pet projects like sports stadiums and the like, quite unbeknownst to the council commute. Too much power for too many years had led the man, Peter Brixtofte, into believing that the city he controlled was his own personal fiefdom.

See chart of Peter Brixtofte

Looking at Brixtofte’s horoscope (Note 6) it’s easy to see that he is an extremely hard-working person, (with a Mars/Saturn conjunction in Virgo, as well as the Moon) and that his Jupiter/Venus on the MC shows a love of his political duties and the people he represents… as well as the fact that he has been popular for many years. At the present time he is fighting for his political life, as the council has taken the extraordinary and perhaps unconstitutional step of relieving him of his duties. A canny interviewer on TV (Michael Meyerheim) asked him “Do you think you may have difficulty admitting that you are wrong?” That’s the right question to put to a Sagittarian! His answer, initially, was naturally that he hadn’t done anything wrong. Brixtofte is fighting like a fish on a hook.

Dead Man Walking

He believes he still has a future. But the transit of Pluto to conjoin his Sun and square his Saturn shows that his career as mayor is definitively finished. He will not survive, but he is at present unaware of this. The last transit of Pluto to the Sun comes in November 2003, but the coup-de-grace will probably come quickly with the Saturn opposition in June, and the eclipse of the Sun at 19.54 Gemini on June 10 th . His star goes out, and he would be well-advised to seek new pastures, perhaps in federal Europe. It remains to be seen what the consequences will be for the present right-wing Danish government, with whom Brixtofte has such strong links. It is significant that the Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has Sun 6 Aquarius square Jupiter 12 Taurus – echoing the chart of Dick Cheney. Here too it is likely that government power is dissolved by escalating financial scandal.

Judging from these high-profile examples, it would seem that a strong Saturn and a strong Jupiter configured with the Sun is an excellent tool if you are seeking influence in society. Ignominy and fall only come when the complexes associated with Saturn obscure the nobility of the Sun, and this is by no means a foregone conclusion. Difficult Saturn aspects may bring setbacks, but they also bring determination and resilience. There is no guarantee that they bring self-knowledge however, although a downfall or two certainly gives rise to lonely periods of introspection.

© Adrian Ross Duncan 15 Mar 2002

Thanks to for birth data.
1. Francois Mitterand: Gauquelin Vol 5/1504. AA data.
2. Helmut Kohl: Alexander Von Pronay from birth certificate. AA data.
3. Chiang Kai-Shek: Blackwell quotes Soong Dynasty (Harper & Row, 1985, p.152) “At precisely noon.” B data.
4. Data from Stjernerne .
5. Dick Cheney: Stephen Przybylowski quotes data read from the birth certificate.
6. Data from Jørn Nielsen, source unknown.