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NewsScope for May 13, 2008

Uranus Upsets Burma's Generals
 
Cyclone Nargis landed on Burma's populous Irrawaddy delta on May 2 with 135-mph winds and 12-foot waves. No one knew it was coming, because the Generals issued no storm warnings. Since then, at least 120,000 have died, as international relief agencies are being obstructed from helping one million homeless refugees by a reclusive military government that only reluctantly asked for assistance.
 
After the British colonialists left, Burma's horoscope was elected by local astrologers who found January 4, 1948 (4:20 am; Yangon) to be auspicious. Unfortunately, the kind of astrology they used did not include the outer planets, and so they didn't notice that the Capricorn Sun was square Neptune, a set-up that led to an incredible amount of corruption and drug trafficking.
 
Also, Mars in Virgo squaring the Sagittarius Ascendant fostered the prominence of the military, which came to power in a coup d'etat when transiting Pluto was conjunct Mars on March 2, 1962. Mars is retrograde by secondary progression, and represents the inward-turning evolution of the military regime, which is now at 22º Leo. The current crisis is erupting* as transiting Uranus in the Fourth House of Domestic Conditions makes hard aspects to natal Uranus and progressed Mars.
 
Transiting Chiron turns retrograde on May 25 while precisely square Burma's Chiron, which happens to be located on the fateful South Node. Chiron here is tremendously afflicted (and unnoticed by Burma's charlatans), and its activation spells massive health problems. Over the next three months, transiting Saturn heads to conjoin natal Mars, putting the military regime under tremendous pressure to accommodate the international program.
 
Obama Assumes the Nomination
 
From the Feedback Dept: "It's clear now that Obama has this wrapped up, unless something totally awful comes out about him. I wonder how the transits you mention will manifest themselves." Yes, as the punditocracy declared last week, "This nomination fight is over!" Hillary is mathematically nearly eliminated, and leaks from her campaign indicate that she'll throw in the towel sometime before June 15.
 
Transiting Jupiter trine Barack Obama's Mars, the ruler of his chart, brought this presumed success. But Jupiter turned retrograde on May 9, and this week begins to lose its protective influence. Transiting Uranus will be exactly opposite his natal Mars on June 2 and July 21, and so will be the major influence from now until the end of July.
 
Meanwhile, transiting Uranus is also conjunct Hillary's Pisces Moon, as she undergoes an emotional crisis about when/if to withdraw from the race. When transiting Chiron turns retrograde in two weeks, it aligns with her Mercury-Saturn square, another indication of pain and suffering over her apparent defeat. As it becomes clear that she's bowing out, the attacks on Obama from other quarters will certainly intensify.
 
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright (September 22, 1941; Philadelphia, PA; time unknown) has a feisty Mercury-Mars opposition in his chart. This polarity is under activation now, as is his progressed Pallas (the political asteroid), making him and his political views an ongoing factor. More worrisome are the assassination threats from the KKK and other racist elements, which fit Obama's 12th house problem: the hidden or secret enemies.
 
Robert Downey Jr. Finds his Role

 
Over the past two weeks, Iron Man became a blockbuster hit, raking in some $340 million in theaters across the globe. The film's star, Robert Downey Jr., has finally found his vehicle—a flying machine suit complete with plated chest, flamethrower arms, and the mask of a medieval knight. Like all Marvel superheroes, Downey plays a Jekyll-and-Hyde torn between ineffectiveness and power.  
 
What took the very promising Robert Downey Jr. (April 4, 1965; 1:10 pm; Manhattan, NY) so long to become a superstar? Certainly his Moon-Neptune opposition was problematic, since it sidelined him for many years with substance abuse. And his Mars in Virgo is under heavy stress from the conjunction with Uranus and Pluto and the opposition to Saturn and Chiron. That's a formula for a troubled Inner Warrior, which Downey experienced as a bipolar disorder.
 
But it was just the ticket for Marvel's stable of conflicted superheroes. Natally, his Moon-Jupiter conjunction in the Tenth House holds much promise for professional success, but not until his progressed Sun conjuncted Jupiter was he cast as the damaged soul who needs armor to become his true self. Currently, transiting Saturn is entering his Second House and trining his Midheaven, bringing him wealth and recognition.
 
Co-star Gwyneth Paltrow (September 27, 1972; 5:25 pm; Los Angeles, CA) is undergoing a similar success story. She also has Jupiter in the Tenth House, a position now celestially illuminated by transiting Pluto. Comparing their charts shows a strong Ceres connection, so that she naturally supports him, both in her cinematic role and in reality: "She just wants to aid him in being the best person that he can be," she said of her character, Pepper Potts.

*Advanced astrologers will notice numerous precise connections between transits (T), secondary progressions (P2), and the natal planets, most notably: T Pluto exactly conjunct P2 Moon at 0º Capricorn; T Chiron square Chiron; and P2 Mercury opposite Saturn; P2 Mars conjunct Saturn; T Neptune conjunct T North Node square P2 Chiron. For more on Burma's astrological history, visit http://neptunecafe.com/burma.html

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