Of the seven deadly sins, greed is an honored member, and none of us are completely free of it. It’s a natural human attribute, just like anger and jealousy, and connected with being human, and the need to survive. Recently however, it has been enshrined into corporate dynamics as the driving force because of the very structure of business today. It is short-term profit that drives most large companies, not necessarily because the leaders themselves want the profit, but because their shareholders do, and if profit is not delivered, then leaders are replaced. Share prices are the key to these profits, and therefore companies do what is in their power to get share prices up. This leads to some very creative accounting, because it’s crucial that the market gets a perception of a company in growth. With this perception, share prices go up, and everyone with shares earns money. The company really does seem to be healthy, and this boosts share prices even more. Suddenly it is in nobody’s interest that the balloon of confidence is punctured in any way, and this perpetuates a situation which in the long-term is untenable.
In the USA this situation has played itself out in huge key industries, shaking business confidence to its core – the first major crash being the USA’s 7th largest company, huge energy concern Enron, run by Kenneth Lay. Enron filed for bankruptcy – the biggest in US history – on December 2nd, 2001 as Sun and Mercury entered Sagittarius to activate the long-running Saturn/Pluto opposition. It’s interesting to note that Enron and its accountants have shredded documents since the crash, reflecting rather nicely the Mercury/Pluto conjunction. (Destruction of information.) As a company founded in 1985, with Uranus in mid-Sagittarius, Enron has been vulnerable to the Saturn/Pluto opposition, as many technology companies also have. Major shareholders in the know had been quietly selling off their shares in Enron for some time, whilst the renowned, but now infamous, accounting company Arthur Andersen had manipulated the figures to bolster the company’s credibility. The director Kenneth Lay was able to borrow millions of dollars from Enron using soon-to-be-worthless Enron stock to pay with.
The Enron crash shook the USA to its core and had repercussions all over the world where Enron had interests. At the final Saturn/Pluto opposition at the end of May 2002, and just after the eclipse of June 10th, 2000 – all of which straddled the USA’s Ascendant/Descendant axis – it seems like the world of American finance has fallen apart at the seams. The enormous communications company WorldCom, the office machine company Xerox , and telephone company Qwest, have all suffered similar crashes, with their shares reduced to junk status, making it extremely difficult for them to raise money to save themselves, even though they have lucrative assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now investigating these companies because of questionable and probably illegal practices, and President George W Bush has thunderously denounced the lack of ethics in Wall Street.
Links to the Administration
This is all very embarrassing for Bush and his partner Dick Cheney. After all, Enron was the largest single contributor to the Republican Party prior to the last election, and much of Bush’s tax policy has been to cut taxes for the rich. So whilst Bush finds he has to denounce corporate greed on the one hand, his whole raison d’être has been to promote the continued growth of the rich and powerful, who did so much to ease him into the presidency. As the New York Times said on July 11th: “How can Bush crack the whip on big business when he’s a wholly owned subsidiary of it?”
Neptune pays a Visit
Bush is now being visited by a ghost of the past. He was able to cash in stock at the end of the Eighties making slightly under one million dollars just before Harken Energy went down. This is considerably more than Bill and Hillary Clinton were hounded about in the Whitewater scandal. He is now being asked some very tough questions about this. The benefits that Bush has had from his business connections in oil and baseball is of course nothing compared to those of his partner Dick Cheney, who has made millions in oil. Cheney too is being asked tough questions and is being sued by shareholders for his own involvement in financial scandal. We are now about to see a drama unfold which will undermine the rest of the Bush presidency, and the cosmic actor in this drama is Neptune – fittingly the ruler of the oil industry.
A Chink in Bush’s Armor
George Bush has a good horoscope for popularity, with his Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the 3rd house trining Uranus and the North Node in the 11th, and in sextile to Venus in Leo in the first. This combination was activated by progressed Venus and progressed Mercury at the time of the election, and he has managed to become a popular president, especially since the country has rallied around him after September 11. However, the Achilles heel of his chart is the secretive Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Leo right on his Ascendant. It is probably this conjunction that evokes the difficulties in communication that have made him an object of fun for some commentators. With Mercury ruling Bush’s 2nd house of finance, and Pluto his fifth, it shows secret financial speculative ventures, and with the current Neptune transit of his Descendant, it is very likely that fraud and deception will be revealed. It so happens that his 7th house is at 7 degrees Aquarius, thereby activating Dick Cheney’s Sun at 10 degrees (square Saturn/Jupiter at 7 and 8 degrees respectively in Taurus). When Neptune transits the Descendant, it often shows a relationship situation that is impossible to shore up or control. The ocean sweeps in and takes away the partner, and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Dick Cheney’s chart shows an even more vulnerable position, partly because Neptune activates his Sun square Jupiter/Saturn – totally undermining his job situation and finances (and not doing much for his health either) – and partly because Pluto transits his Mars from March 2002 to October 2003. It’s going to be a very, very exhausting process for him, and when it’s over Pluto goes on to square his Moon in Pisces. He should retire now – he will definitely have retired when this last transit hits.Bush and Cheney are the chief executives of the USA, and it’s well known in business astrology, that when powerful Neptune transits arrive, then somewhere there is fraud and swindle. It’s not a question of transcendence and spiritual growth – though this can surely come – it’s a matter of economic and material consequences. The horoscopes of Bush and Cheney are subsumed in the larger fate of the USA, and events must take their course. Bush and Cheney are inextricably linked via Bush’s Ascendant/Mercury/Pluto and Cheney’s Sun/Jupiter/Saturn in a secret and powerful economic partnership.
The Jupiter/Neptune Opposition
An interesting period begins at the end of this year, starting with the first Jupiter/Neptune opposition on September 11th at 8 degrees Leo. Obviously there will be a national outpouring of emotion at this time, as it is the anniversary of the Twin Tower infamy, but on a broader level this opposition will activate the Bush/Cheney economy and secrets axis. It is around this time that there may be some wild claims that stretch the limits of credulity. Jupiter/Neptune aspects are like huge bubble waiting to pop, and this bubble inflates and deflates three times, with the final opposition at 13 degrees in June 2003. It is certain that major national fraud will continue to roll out onto the national stage at this time, and it is likely that Cheney in particular will be unable to shake off personal charges. During the month of October, Venus in detriment in Scorpio goes retrograde and activates the Jupiter/Neptune opposition three times, the last time in December, when Mars in Scorpio catches up (nearly) with Venus and also activates Jupiter/Neptune. Mars is dignified in Scorpio and is determined to pop the bubble.
Final Blow to the Economy
This period from October to December is the low point for the American economy and to some extent world economy. The bursting of this bubble will have a disastrous effect on Capitalism, because it will show how huge riches are generated on paper and cashed in by greedy executives. Unfortunately for Bush, Cheney and the Republicans, they are the politicians who have promoted corporate greed, and it is difficult to see how they can avoid hurtling to earth in the balloon. Looking at the Sibley chart for the USA, it is interesting to note that Saturn is soon to make some serious transits to the key Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, which will considerably dampen the traditional belief in unlimited growth. More serious still, Saturn goes stationary retrograde at 13.14 Cancer on October 25, 2003, and finally conjoins the Sun on June 11, 2004.
Echoes of Watergate
The Sun in the US horoscope symbolically represents the President, and Saturn, exalted in Libra in the 10th, shows the checks and balances applied by Congress, with the square between Saturn and the Sun showing the traditional fight between President and Congress. As readers undoubtedly know, Saturn has a 30-year orbit, so we would have to go back to 1974-1975 for the last Saturn transit of the US sun. This is the time when Congress had Nixon against the wall because of the Watergate affair. At the end of July 1974 three articles of impeachment were made by the Judiciary against President Nixon. On August 9th, 1974 – with Saturn 13.17 Cancer just two minutes of arc from the US Sun – Nixon resigned. The prediction is quite simple. There is no way the Republicans can win the next election, because they will never recover… first from the undermining of their chief executives over the next year, and then to the pressure on the President shown by the Saturn prior to the election. With Saturn reaching the US Mercury/Pluto opposition during the actual period of the election, voters will want controls that put an end to corporate power misuse, manipulation and secrecy. The Democrats will come to dominate Congress after the mid-term elections, which take place during the Venus retrograde in Scorpio period in November 2002. Financial sleaze and corruption will be a major issue, and the Republicans totally compromised. Dick Cheney will be fighting for his political life, as Neptune conjoins his Sun (with the final hit in November 2003), and with Pluto conjoining his Mars (final hit October 2003). He will probably retire for “health” reasons. It will not be as catastrophic for Bush, as it was for Nixon, because Watergate was also reflected by Pluto’s transit of the US Midheaven in 1973-4, but it will be enough to discredit him. He will end the presidency a very unpopular man. Let’s hope Bush does not choose the option of war to rescue his popularity.
Adrian Ross Duncan July 15, 2002