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NewsScope for February 20, 2007

North Korea Signs Regional Pact

Last Tuesday, the U.S. reached an historic deal with North Korea to begin the process of shutting down its nuclear program. The terms allow UN inspectors back into the country in exchange for 50,000 tons of oil and other aid. Citing North Korea's past behavior, critics say the deal will fail, while others say the arrangement could provide a model for working with Iran.

North Korea's national horoscope (September 10, 1948; 8:50 pm; Pyongyang) reflects the historic importance of these current events. The announcement came as transiting Mars (military affairs) was exactly conjunct NK's Midheaven. The U.S.'s last major deal with North Korea was signed on October 21, 1994 as transiting Uranus and Neptune formed a conjunction on the NK Midheaven, but that one broke down in 2002.

The major difference between the two deals is that China—North Korea's only real friend in the world—is playing a major role in the arrangements. North Korea's Moon-Jupiter conjunction in its Eighth House signifies the beneficial support it gets from China. At the moment, NK's progressed Jupiter at 28º Sagittarius forms a trine to natal Saturn, and is being activated by the conjunction from transiting Pluto.

The deal was signed as Mercury turned retrograde, which is a definite no-no among astrologers. The inference is that North Korea will renege on its promises, however, it may also signal the change of mind that made the deal possible. My sense is that North Korea will receive some valuable aid in mid-April (as transiting Saturn turns direct on its progressed Ceres). Then, transiting Uranus opposes the NK Sun on May 2, by which time Kim Jong Il will be flip-flopping.

Al Gore, Stealth Candidate?

Rumors abound that Al Gore will announce his candidacy at the February 25 Academy Awards ceremony, where his film An Inconvenient Truth is expected to win an Oscar for best documentary. In March, he'll be testifying before Congress about global warming. On July 7, he'll be hosting a Live Earth global concert, and in December, he's up for a Nobel Prize.

Astrologically, Al Gore (March 31, 1948; 12:53 pm; Washington DC) is favored to soar in popularity between now and the primaries in early 2008. Like other successful candidates, he is coming into a phase where his progressed horoscope* is making strong links to the U.S. Moon at 25º28' Aquarius (notably, progressed Uranus and Jupiter), indicating that he's connecting with the America people. 

With his Aries Sun opposite Neptune, Gore is finding his niche as an international crusader for the environment. Over the next two months, Gore's progressed Moon will form a conjunction with the U.S. Moon, which offers a window of opportunity for making his case as a presidential candidate. Also, on April 18, Saturn turns direct while exactly conjunct his Mars, the ruler of his Midheaven. These measurements give him a lot of political influence.

Gore may be sorely tempted to toss his hat in at this time. However, one other important progression tells a different tale: his progressed Vesta is right on his Ascendant, describing his presentation as narrowly focused—a single-issue candidate if you will. Gore has his cause, and switching gears to run for president would be a major distraction. Noting that his progressed Mars is exactly conjunct Hillary Clinton's Midheaven, Gore would be best advised to support her candidacy.

Britney Spears Freaks Out

Since filing for divorce from Kevin Federline on November 8, Britney Spears has exhibited some bizarre behavior, but perhaps the most outlandish was last Friday when she shaved her own head completely bald. Witnesses at the hair salon said she kept saying she was sick of people touching her and was at times crying incoherently. She then went to get some tattoos.

Britney Spears' chart (December 2, 1981; 1:30 am; McComb, MS) was hit hard last week by Mercury, which turned retrograde while squaring her Sagittarius Sun. Mercury in Pisces is known for some flaky thinking patterns, which can become exaggerated when Mercury heads backwards. Britney's Sun is found in the Third House of mental attitude, which also holds an eccentric Mercury-Uranus conjunction.

With beneficial, expansive Jupiter currently transiting through Sagittarius, one might expect that Britney should be reaping all kinds of good fortune. However, too much freedom allows her most anti-social behavior free expression. Britney's divorce papers were filed as transiting Uranus was exactly squaring her Sun, unleashing her most radical, shocking impulses—long repressed by her Venus in restrictive Capricorn and its square to responsible Saturn.

All the expectations, the shoulds , got-tos , and have-tos represented by Saturn kept Britney inside a well-orchestrated model of perfection, which began with her days at the Mickey Mouse Club. Above all else, Sagittarians yearn for freedom—even if it means disappointing the millions of fans. While many would say she's breaking down, another perspective is that she's breaking out, escaping. However, over the next two months, Saturn will octile her Ascendant, and we can expect that she will enter rehab for an extended stay.

*The progressed horoscope is based on the esoteric formula that one day after birth is symbolically equivalent to one year after birth. In making forecasts, many professional astrologers use transits and secondary progressions in tandem. For more information, visit www.neptunecafe.com.


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