NewsScope for February 12, 2008
John McCain's Rising Star
Following last week's Super Tuesday extravaganza, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have become deadlocked for their party's nomination, while John McCain now appears to have a lock on the GOP nomination. McCain's task for the next six months is to court Republican conservatives without losing independent voters. The more prolonged the battle between Obama and Clinton, the more likely McCain will rise as a genuine contender.
Transiting Saturn is currently right on John McCain's Virgo Sun (August 29, 1936; 8:37 am*; Panama) as he consolidates his leadership over the Republican Party. Also, transiting Jupiter is right on his IC (4th house cusp), the point of endings and new beginnings. This fortuitous transit marks an energetic, confident start for McCain, and supports the accuracy of the 8:37 am birth time.
Mitt Romney (March 12, 1947) dropped out last week as transiting Saturn opposed his natal Mars in Pisces, an inherently weak placement in American politics, since no president has ever been elected who was born with Mars in Pisces. Transiting Saturn opposing his Mars demonstrated the wishy-washy, shifting ideals of this placement, and as regularly pointed out in this column, Romney was never a viable alternative.
McCain's chart features a Grand Cross in mutable signs. One corner of this configuration is Saturn in his Sixth House of Health. McCain's age will likely become an issue, so we will watch how he handles transiting Uranus conjunct his Saturn in April for any sudden or unexpected signs of physical vulnerability. Otherwise, with his progressed Jupiter closely sextile the U.S. Moon, McCain should remain on track as the GOP's first choice.
The Writers' Strike
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) met over the weekend to consider calling off the strike and accepting the latest contract offer from the studio heads. The writers' strike has cost the industry an estimated $1 billion, and all parties seem eager to come to agreement in time for the Academy Awards show on February 24. Of course Mercury, the natural ruler of writers, is prominently featured in these developments.
When the strike began on November 5, transiting Mercury was exactly square the U.S. Mercury (at 24º15' Cancer). Also, progressed Mercury at 24º Aquarius was nearly quincunx (150º) the U.S. Mercury. This week, progressed Mercury completes the aspect (becomes exact), marking an ideal time to conclude the conflict. By the time Mercury turns direct on February 18 while squaring the U.S. Scorpio Ascendant, writers will get the go ahead to return to work.
Another celestial component of this strike has been the juxtaposition of Saturn and Uranus. As ruler of the U.S. Third House of Communications, Saturn represents America's media masters, including the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). Rebellious Uranus turned direct last November while making an exact hard aspect (a quincunx) to the U.S. Saturn, activating the disgruntled writers' union.
The last major WGA strike began on March 7, 1988 when Saturn and Uranus were conjunct. That strike began when Mercury was at 20º Aquarius and concluded on August 7, 1988 when Mercury was at 20º Leo, exactly opposite its starting point (also, the U.S. progressed Mercury and Chiron were octile, orb 0º01'). In the broader sense and in both cases, Uranus to Saturn brought revolt against authority, while the Mercury factors told us that writers would be involved.
Ellen Page as Juno
Juno, the breakout movie of 2007, was filmed on a shoestring budget of $7.5 million, and to date has brought in over $115 million. Making most every film critics' top-ten list, Juno was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for the film's star Ellen Page, who plays a sharp-tongued teen faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
Ellen Page was born with her Pisces Sun (February 21, 1987; Halifax, Nova Scotia; time unknown) trine Pluto, an emotionally empowering aspect that brings psychological depth to her cinematic roles. Ellen's Moon in fiery, adventurous Sagittarius and her Sun sextile Mars give her a healthy dose of self-confidence. Ellen began acting at age ten, and was on her own by 16.
Most attractive starlets have a prominently placed Venus. Ellen's Venus is a bit restrained by its placement in Capricorn, and has no major aspects to other planets in her chart, except for a wide sextile to her Mercury. However, her Juno**, the marriage asteroid, is well integrated into her chart. Her Juno is found in the free-spirited sign of Aquarius where it squares aggressive Mars on one side and obsessive Pluto on the other.
This stressed Juno is ideal for creating conflict within committed relationships, as she so admirably demonstrates in the witty comedy Juno. However, due to the seedy, violent potential of the Mars and Pluto aspects, which are also directly linked to her Pisces Sun, Ms Page has found film roles that evoke the darker side of Juno, such as Hard Candy (2005) and An American Crime, which will be released in October 2008.
*McCain's birth time is rectified from the widely-quoted time of 9:00 am, which is an obvious ballpark figure. For details that corroborate the 8:37 am time given here.
**For an in-depth essay on Juno.
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