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Brussels, January, 2007

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The STFU Address

EVERY ASTROLOGER on the planet is wondering how the Bush administration has lasted this long. The more you know, the more astonishing it is; the more impossible it seems. Not that the ship of state is doing particularly well these days, adrift as it is in sundered and stormy seas -- but it really is a wonder how it's even floating.

The United States is not floating based on the generosity or integrity of its government, or its reputation in the world.

The US of A is happening because its people are hard working, determined and ultimately, optimistic in all matters. We are put down by the world for working too much, but it would appear that at least as a nation it's something of our salvation that we are willing to, especially when we're in a pinch.

Earlier this week, we were delivered by Herr Bush another version of the same thing we keep hearing over and over for the past six years: war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. The real "state of the union" would sound something like this.

"Ahem. My fellow Americans, listen up. The state of the union is jest, well, it's jest all buggered-up. I mean, it's plain dismal! If you can tell me how it could get worse, raise your hand. No wait, you better not."

[Cut to standing ovation; camera pans both sides of the aisle. A few scattered cheers and hoots from the floor. You wonder what distinguished member of the institution is doing that.]

"The bottom line is, you're screwed over, we're all screwed over and so are our great grandkids and their kids. We've hocked America up to the 22nd century and all the jobs are over in China, and we're borrowin' two billion a day from them and spendin' it to buy all the stuff they make. And the war -- I don't like it either. It's no fun any more. Country hasn't been in worse shape since Hoover's day."

[Cut to wild standing ovation, with feet stomping and streamers flying from the balcony. Close-up of the First Lady with tears in her eyes. Momentary shot of Dick Cheney, grimacing, putting his plump hands together a few times unconvincingly. After 45 seconds, Madam Speaker Pelosi smashes the gavel authoritatively till order is restored in the chambers. Cheney's face twitches in the same approximate rhythm as the gavel strikes.]

Ah yes, were it so.

Okay, so, I'm usually Mr. Good Citizen Journalist, and I could not bring myself to watch this speech, the SOTU, the real one. Oh, I thought about it. I kind of wanted to. I sort of felt I must and I was up late enough. I was ready to stream it live to my desk from the ever-dependable BBC News site when my better judgment seized my awareness. In point of fact, I smoked a bowl and put on the Kate Bush CD that I've been listening to nonstop for the past three weeks, and let myself be reminded how much more there is to life.

However, as your Friday morning quarterback who missed the game, I'm here with a review of the astrology. But before I get into the chart, I'd like to point you to two resources. First is the Democratic Party's response, by a new senator from Virginia named Jim Webb, whose son is an infantryman Marine in Iraq. This video is worth 10 minutes of your life. It at least provides some evidence that not everyone in Washington, DC is out of it -- and hey a federal legislator finally has a kid over there risking his neck.

Keith Olbermann is also in touch with reality, and as usual is pulling no punches. For his program on MSNBC on the eve of the State of the Union Address, he put together a compilation of lies told during prior SOTU addresses, which make it difficult to believe a single word coming out of Bush's mouth, but which moreover reveal the agenda, if anyone cares to look. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how someone could lie more times in less time, but more difficult to imagine how so many people could believe them all. Olbermann is one of the few people actually calling the president a liar. Notice how few people do this; how few people dare. Maybe it's because so many make a habit of believing lies.

And please do not miss this, also from Olbermann. It is too rich for words.

Let's look at the chart for Tuesday's presentation for a few clues, and remember that it's as much a barometer of the nation as it is of what is being said. Everyone factors into a public chart like this, and there are many relationships described. This chart is for the stated time of the event was 9 pm; Bush started speaking at about 9:08 pm. I have used the stated time.

The STFU Address

First let's look at the basic gestalt of the chart, the shape, the obvious -- not really applying classical astrology. And by the way, STFU is polite for "shut the fuck up."

Relatively little is happening above the horizon; note that most of the planets are on the bottom of the chart. Yet the ones that are above the horizon are the Moon and Saturn, the two most karmic planets.

Before I get to that, though, let's mention the mysterious little point called the Part of Fortune; pars fortuna; the Fortune. Not setting aside the value of human life, indeed, affirming it, let us remember that this whole discussion is on some level about the wealth of the nation: the Part of Fortune in the 11th house, "the community," in Cancer, the family of the nation; our collective wealth as a country.

Then there's a whole mob of planets in the sign Aquarius, the sign of the people. It's a funny image of a crowd in a sign that inherently represents just that. Then, opposite that crowd, we have dorky old Saturn up there, retrograde in Leo -- the Naked President.

The Moon in Aries is a good representation of the American people. The Moon is the public and Aries has a wonderful, endearing gullibility that is fun to play with; you can tell an Aries the same joke 20 times, and they will laugh every time, like a little kid. But this Moon is not laughing. The Moon, which represents mothers as well as the public, is feeling burned -- square Mars in Capricorn -- burned by the government, and thinking of war and death, and its children.

Saturn can always be used as a stand-in for the government or the chief, regardless of how the houses fall. Retrograde in Leo, we have an image of pride turned on itself; a leader stuck in the past, and ideas about the past. Retrograde Saturn is not what you could call forthcoming. In the 12th, moreover, we have the image of someone whose motives we must not take for granted, and which are far-reaching because the 12th is always bigger than you can conceive of. Also, the 12th is slippery. Everyone should keep a little pouch of sand hanging from their belt, and when you find yourself dealing with a 12th house situation, throw it on the floor so you don't slip.

Let's look at something else easy to follow. When doing a chart like this, or any chart, it's worth checking the rulers of the angles. The angles are house cusps with dark lines -- the ascendant (left side, to the east) and descendent (right side, to the west); and the 4th cusp (below, to the north) and the 10th cusp (above, to the south); these are often the most sensitive lines of a chart. Think of them as awareness reaching out into the energy fields of life.

In the chart we're reading now, they have a lot going on. They work directly, and also by proxy; for example, Virgo is rising, so we look at what's going on with Mercury (the ruler of Virgo) for a clue about the ascendant. Mercury is the green planet in Aquarius, with horns and the number 14 next to it. The ascendant represents the people and their state of mind. It also represents the subject of the chart, the "state of the union."

Gemini is on the 10th cusp and so it represents the president -- the leader of the nation. Mercury rules Gemini as well, so now both the people and the president are represented by the same planet.

Now, notice Neptune, the glyph shaped like a trident, right next to Mercury with the number 18 next to it. Mercury with the lower number is "applying to" Neptune -- it's about to make an exact conjunction. This aspect is the crux of the chart. Neptune in Aquarius represents deception and delusion, of the public, generally through electronic media. In other words, it's the symbol of lies, and lots of them, and also the media trance, aided and abetted by mood stabilizers.

Mercury, which represents the American people and how they now feel, as well as the president, is slipping deeper into those Neptune waters. Neptune works very much like a beach -- a few degrees away, you might be in shallow water.. The closer you get, the deeper the water gets. Then sometimes you get caught in a riptide or undertow. Neptune in my experience has a very wide orb, wider than any other planet. Mercury is in pretty deep at the moment, but not all the way just yet.

Now, this aspect -- which so far brings together the rulers of three angles -- could represent a few different things. One, everyone is being taken ever-deeper into deception. Or, it could mean that as the conjunction perfects, the awareness of those lies will become explicitly clear and the intelligence of Aquarius will take over. Mercury is a lot stronger planet in Aquarius than Neptune is, so awareness of the lies might wake us up. But by then, we need to ask: is it too late to respond effectively? We shall see. It may be that by the time people figure out they've been lied to, there will really be no easy way out -- which is on one level the essence of the crisis now.

Is there a clue which way things are going?

There were many interesting developments in the news this week. One of them is that the trial of Scooter Libby is underway. Libby, who was indicted for lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury, is the former chief of staff of Dick Cheney.This involves the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, then a CIA agent, in retaliation for her husband, Joe Wilson, revealing that Bush had lied about Saddam Hussein's alleged nuclear weapons program. Wilson was a former ambassador (under several presidents) who had personal knowledge that Bush was lying about Saddam supposedly trying to acquire uranium ore from Niger.

Someone in the White House got "revenge" by exposing Plame's identity to the media and thus blowing the cover of her entire spy network, which had the mission of keeping actual weapons out of the hands of actual terrorists. The message was, don't mess with us; we are psychotic and we'll stop at nothing to get our way.

This week at the trial, a couple of things came out: one of them being that Dick Cheney had instructed Libby (his flunky) about what to say to the press. This is usually how it works, but you usually don't find out. Another is that Libby destroyed some of the notes he was given by Cheney. So, just a few days into the trial, Cheney is deeply implicated -- and unless something stops this trial, Cheney will be called to the witness stand. This is impressive; even if you're not a baseball fan, you might enjoy watching the World Series. These things always seem smaller than they are; Watergate seemed inconsequential at first. What is most disgusting about this case, though, is that the Bush administration, allegedly protecting us from terrorism, would be so willing to expose the identity of a spy risking her life doing just that.

I don't expect Cheney will be in office much longer. Even though the astrology has been no kinder to him than it's been to anyone else, he is becoming an extremely big liability, and to think, he is a heartbeat away from being commander in chief.

Here's something else that impressed me this week. I'll quote from The New York Times. It involves Senator John Warner, the Republican party's hawk of all hawks, urging Bush to reconsider sending more troops into Iraq. So, this tells us which way the wind is blowing.
WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, one of Congress' leading authorities on the military, presented a bipartisan proposal Monday that rejected President Bush's plan to send more American troops to Baghdad and urged the administration to find a new course in Iraq.

"Mr. President, go back and look at all the options," Warner said.

"The American GI was not trained, not sent over there -- certainly not by resolution of this institution -- to be placed in the middle of a fight between the Sunni and the Shia and the wanton and just incomprehensible killing that's going on at this time," Warner said Monday.
John Warner is not a columnist for an alternative news website -- he is a respected, senior member of the president's party. But the point being made all around is, this war is not popular, escalating it is not popular, and the White House is now like a little boat floating in shark-infested waters.

Political commentators, for their part, have not missed the opportunity to make some excellent points. "This was a tiny, tepid performance by a tiny man who is shrinking, even now, before our very eyes," wrote William Rivers Pitt on Wednesday, "Let all the gods that are or ever were be thanked that he only has one more speech to go before history swallows him, before this nation and the world are faced with the grueling challenge of cleaning up all the bloody messes he has made."

A Special Comment on the Psychology of Mass Deception

AS I AM fond of reminding my readers, before I was an astrologer, I covered toxins issues. These included cases of mass poisoning, the community responses, and what is called toxic tort litigation -- lawsuits against the perpetrators, typically cases of fraud, including fraudulent lawsuits. I also covered (and still cover) scientific fraud, that is, pretend science used by industry against the public.

It takes time and a strong stomach to get used to the game played by corporate and public officials: they are able and willing to lie shamelessly to cover their own asses, even in the face of damning evidence that they themselves created. This will fluster the mind of any intelligent person, and it defies credulity that people in positions of responsibility can commit what amounts to murder by speech. Part of the psychology that protects these perpetrators is that we are trained to have absolute trust in government leaders and health officials. Despite a good deal of lip service paid to skepticism and "how little people trust government," most people (when push comes to shove) choose to believe what they are told by men and women in suits, even when presented with contradictory facts or overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

What is more difficult to swallow, is how willing poisoning victims are to be lied to. There is almost a level of desperation for being assured that it's "safe." One will live with gnawing doubt for months or years before doing something, clinging to any reassurance. The longer one stays, the more difficult it is to get out, because the more one needs to believe it was safe. This conflict and pain seems to be allayed only by the palliative of deception, and like any painkiller, it is addictive. Part of what people are protected against by the addiction and indeed the game of believing lies is waking up to the truth, which many suspect is far worse than they fear.

It is difficult to say what wakes people up, and sometimes nothing does. There are instances when people in power must be held at intellectual knifepoint, forced to act in the face of pressure, media attention and threat of legal action -- and the public is then unwillingly dragged along for the ride. This was the case when the Love Canal neighborhood near Niagara Falls was finally evacuated in 1980. Some people were angry. Many resisted citizen efforts to resolve the problem. Some people stayed behind after the neighborhood was condemned for dioxin contamination. I visited their homes, and it was shocking.

With the situation involving Bush, Iraq, how he came to power, who he really represents, and how they are benefiting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's easy to see that people have good reasons to keep believing lies; when you question one, you must question the next, and where ends the process? But more frightening yet is the prospect of questioning oneself: one's inner motives for self-deception. Is it the need not to grow; the need to feel safe at any cost; the desire to abdicate one's power; or a refusal to challenge one's parents, lest we be kicked out of the clan?

We may indeed wonder, but we can also ask ourselves what it is for us.

The STFU Chart from the Classical Perspective

Here is an advanced look at the chart, with Ursula Fugger reporting in from the 17th century, actually following the rules of classical astrology.

William Lilly, not Ursula.
WHAT ABOUT the people of the country? Are they feeling healthy, wealthy and wise? That's the 1st house, and we find Mercury as the lord of the 1st (the ascendant).
The leader of the nation -- he's the MC, again governed by Mercury, so now we have Mercury/Virgo on the Asc and Mercury/Gemini on the MC, with Mercury in the 5th, applying to Neptune by conjunction, separating from Jupiter by sextile.
The separating aspect is only two degrees though -- so something was to this leader's advantage that was exact two days previous.

This indicates some kind of cooperative relationship, though not necessarily among friends, as a sextile is about cooperation but not perfect cooperation. Jupiter in Sagittarius indicates the possibility of some kind of international situation or agreement being developed covertly. Mercury making a conjunction to Neptune suggests there are some big lies being told.
Mercury is in Saturn's sign in the 5th, so the leader wants to be taken seriously (he's in a somber mood) by the people, (1st house) and the Senate (a 5th house subject).
Bush (also represented by the Sun, as is any king or ruler) in Aquarius wants to be on good terms with the public with Moon in Aries in 7th (separating sextile) but at any moment the public could turn on him; it's a feisty time, with tension in the air.
The Moon is separating from a sextile to the Sun, applying to Chiron, Mercury and Neptune by sextile to which I'd say that there is an opportunity to appear chastened, almost humble but it's fraudulent: an act. Gemini on the 10th cusp indicates this as well -- the government is duplicitous, talking out of both sides of its mouth.
The 2nd house (Libra on the cusp) is the currency of the country and it's ruled by Venus in the 6th house, just past a conjunction with Neptune and the money of the country is disappearing as a result of military involvement (6th house) in a foreign country (9th house) and being involved with terrorism and covert operations by way of an opposition with Saturn in the 12th.
Saturn is the lord of the 5th and 6th houses, taking us back to the Senate, which does not think this is a good gamble (see Bush's speech from two weeks ago); nor does the armed forces wish to continue to suffer losses, again reflected in the Saturn opposition Neptune conjunct Venus.
Enter Mars. Mars is always this guy who sets it off. He's a trigger. So -- where and what is he up to?
He's sitting in the 4th house, the home of real estate, crops (corn) and what is known as "the party out of power." There's only one aspect to Mars and it's already happened. The Moon, which stands for the public, has already separated from him and left him behind. The Moon rules the 11th which stands for associations, organizations that accept one as a member, it is also our networks of friends. They have deserted him and with a square they are angry to boot.
And guess who's really angry -- mothers. The Moon in Aries is in the sign of the military with the planet of our Moms who don't want their sons fighting. That Moon's in the house of open war and is unsupportive. The very same families that backed him are getting very testy with him. There is also the distinct possibility this escalation of troops could precipitate a huge protest or strike of some kind, much like the immigration marches last year (Jupiter square Uranus, a revolt).
Bush wants more money to go to war. (Venus ruler of 2nd and 9th). Will he get it? Not easily. As Venus is not in good shape, separating from Saturn, he will cajole and use every trick in the book (Mercury applying to Neptune) and pull many favors out but with the ruler of the 12th in the 5th, it goes back to the Senate and again, he's the guy out of power, at the bottom of the chart. He'll really have to dance to get that money.
Is there anything good in the chart?
Well, with a trine from the Moon to Jupiter in the 7th to the 3rd, he's working hard to keep up friendly relations with the adjacent countries like Mexico and Canada. Why? Ruler of the 4th, Jupiter in Sagittarius, is the business investment in foreign resources. Since Jupiter (big) is applying to Neptune (0il) your friendly neighbors to the north have plenty of oil. Perhaps they will share.
I also feel that based on the mutable signs rising on the Asc and MC that we don't know the whole story, that Bush is presenting two stories, one public and one yet to be revealed. Mars is also the lord of the 3rd and 8th, which I feel is telling in that he's anxious to get his hands on the neighboring countries' resources and with the last aspect to the Moon trine Pluto, he has the tacit approval of the leaders (Mars in Capricorn) of Mexico and Canada to start moving toward energy integration thru the Security and Prosperity Initiative.

Meet Subscriber Number One!

Every subscriber has a sequence number in our database. When I first created the Planet Waves Weekly subscription service in the summer of 2002, I was wondering (for a moment) who the first person would be. Well, it was Kathy, from Venice, CA. She is officially Subscriber Number One! Here she is, with her beautiful family.

Kathy, from Venice, CA

Today, she writes:

"You know, the reason I signed up as a subscriber is that I believe in the idea that if you find what you love to do and you do what you want the money will follow. So I subscribed, not just because I enjoy your particular horoscopes, but that I want to be part of that being real in the world. I also have gotten a kick out of the fact that you started in environmental reporting which was an interest I had once had. Anyway -- all is well here in Venice California. Another beautiful day ahead! -- Kathy

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