NewsScope for June 27, 2006
America as Uber-Power
Last week, Americans began wrangling both domestically and internationally with their projected image, their role as super-power, and their geopolitical agenda. In international relations, President Bush defiantly fielded harsh questions at the Vienna Summit, and stood firm against massive protests and historically low support from traditional allies. Simultaneously, North Korea was threatening to test a ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. coastline.
From an astrological perspective, the Ascendant is the interface between internal and external realities. Last week's historic developments took place as several major transits simultaneously hit the U.S. Scorpio Ascendant. At the height of the Vienna Summit, transiting Saturn was exactly squaring the Scorpio Ascendant, while in the U.S. Ninth House of foreign affairs. At the same, time transiting Jupiter was conjunct the Scorpio Ascendant.
As the national Ascendant was under great tension from these outer planet transits, the U.S. also went through internal turmoil about its agenda. The Senate debated, for the first time, a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, while military strategists questioned whether to turn on the Star Wars system to shoot down North Korea's missile, or to preemptively strike it while still on the launching pad.
As is so often the case when the Jupiter-Saturn cycle reigns, the fundamental, shape-shifting events turned on moral questions. Depending on your preferred spin, America's Iraq policy means "cutting and running" or "an open-ended commitment". The vast majority of Europeans believe that the world's greatest threat to peace is not North Korea or Iran, but the United States. The word employed by the Germans is uber-power, meaning too much power. Jupiter and Saturn present the problem: how can Americans prudently (Saturn) and ethically (Jupiter) express their eagle-like power?
Top Five Astro-Events for July
1. Mercury turns retrograde - (July 4) at 1º Leo and then backs into Cancer. Mercury then turns direct on July 28 at 21º Cancer. Besides the usual warnings to expect travel delays, misplaced keys and misinformation, Mercury here is conjunct the Pentagon's Sun, and could indicate a significant change in tactics, or reversal in policy.
2. President Bush's Solar Return - (July 5, 2006; 7:06 pm; Washington DC) features Pluto conjunct the Sagittarius Ascendant. This Pluto placement is an ominous signal for catastrophic events over the coming year, although the Moon-Jupiter conjunction protects the U.S. itself. Factor in the Leo planets, and we have the continuation of an imperial presidency.
3. Jupiter turns direct - (July 5-6) while conjunct the U.S. Scorpio Ascendant (orb 0º23'), promising an eventful few days, national benefits, and a brighter outlook. A complicating factor is that Chiron is associated with the U.S. military*, and is simultaneously squaring the Scorpio Ascendant, perhaps combining to create events concerning military justice, or even military adventurism.
4. Full Moon - (July 10, 11:00 PM EDT) takes place at 18º41' Capricorn/Cancer. The Sun here makes precise hits to the U.S. Sun/Mercury and Mars/Midheaven midpoints (both at 18º43' Cancer), indicating important announcements about war plans and strategies. With both hot Mars and dry Saturn in Leo, watch for raging fires and drought conditions throughout the Southwest.
5. Mars in Leo opposes Ceres and trines Pluto from July 12-15. Since these transiting planets align with the U.S. Moon, American voters and consumers are likely to be angry over concurrent political, corporate or military developments. Look for civil rights and gender issues, freedom of speech, illegal aliens, and other domestic concerns that threaten Americans' well-being.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban Wed in Sydney
As forecast in NewsScope's January 10, 2006 column, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban exchanged wedding vows before 230 of their closest friends and family in a highly publicized secret marriage. Kidman—whose net worth is around $150 million—signed a prenuptial agreement with Grammy-winner Urban that rewards him (if they divorce) with $600,000 for every year they remain married.
Nicole Kidman (June 20, 1967; 3:15 pm; Honolulu, HI) has Mars in the Twelfth House where it's much oppressed by a square to Mercury and an opposition to Saturn. With Scorpio Rising, this Mars is the co-ruler of her chart, and gives a need for great privacy and secrecy. This situation has strong parallels to Britney Spears' chart, reviewed last week.
In a woman's horoscope, Mars can also represent the man in her life, and Mars here can feel trapped or weak, unable to fully express himself. Keith Urban (October 27, 1967) is a great star in his own right, and has a tremendous sense of self-confidence, as shown by his Sun's sextiles to Mars and Jupiter. However, as he steps into Kidman's shadow, he may begin to feel underappreciated.
At the moment, transiting Saturn is crossing Kidman's Midheaven and Venus, signaling a momentous change of status for her. Transiting Jupiter is turning direct near her Ascendant and Urban's Sun, a quite favorable development. However, both Kidman and Urban were born during the epochal Uranus-Pluto conjunction. We will watch how they weather the disruptive transit of Uranus opposite this conjunction beginning next March.
*In the Scorpio Rising chart Chiron is in militant Aries and in the Sixth House of service, making Chiron a symbol for military service when considering American politics. In the Pentagon's horoscope, Chiron is Rising while closely squaring the Sun.