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This article, the second of a 3-part series, explores the Saturn transit to the Sun in the United States chart coming up in June 2004, as well as other outer planet transits to the U.S. chart. The symbolism reveals further problems for the Bush White House at this time. Like the prophetic “Ides of March” from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, mid June spells trouble for this already besieged administration.

(See Ides of June, Part 1 and Part 3)

Saturn's Direct Station in March 2004

As Saturn stationed direct this March, on the 7th, ceasing its backwards motion and preparing for the last direct hit on U.S. Sun this coming June, it presented the first indication of what may be to come for the Bush White House as this volatile spring unfolds. Saturn's direct station was very close to U.S. Jupiter, planet of belief and hope. With Saturn stationing there, we might expect that belief on the part of the public to be somewhat strained by events. On March 24 Pluto also stationed opposite the U.S. Mars, representing the military. Indeed March has been a pivotal month for the administration and its war in Iraq . On March 8, the Iraqi governing council paved the way for the turnover of U.S. control to the Iraqi people, scheduled now for July 1, 2004. Meanwhile, the Madrid bombing that took place on March 11, and subsequent pullout of Spanish troops from the occupying forces, gave pause to U.S. administration claims that the world was acting in concert with the U.S. in invading Iraq.

The March 19th anniversary of the start of the war was heralded by demonstrations around the world against the U.S. government. This is the Spring Equinox and Aries New Moon, which opposed the U.S. Midheaven and squared its ruler. In the demonstrations—tens of thousands of people in this country and hundreds of thousands all over the world took to the streets to demonstrate against the U.S. backed war, the largest anti-war demonstration since the previous spring when the war was being planned and massive protests tried to stop the invasion from happening.

Another challenge to the administration has been the disclosures revealed by Richard Clarke in Against All Enemies . In the book he states that pre-9-11 the Bush White House was interested in only one thing, the invasion of Iraq, and was not only uninterested in Al Qaeda before 9-11, but was more interested in Iraq as a target than Afghanistan even after the events of September 2001. His detailed report denying any link of 9-11 to Iraq was rejected. Finally disgusted with administration policy, he resigned in February 2003. His book was published and Clarke testified before the 9-11 commission, and the 60 Minutes interview was conducted, just as Pluto turned retrograde on March 24 opposed to U.S. Mars, symbolizing a new look at U.S. militarism.

The Neptune Factor

Several other types of transits to the U.S. chart support the idea that this spring will be a rocky one for the country in general and the Bush administration in particular. One of the most interesting of these involves transits to the U.S. Neptune in the Ninth House, associated with publishing, education, and higher mind, belief systems in general. What does Neptune in this position tell us about the American character? The symbolism of Neptune is two-fold. It can either represent involvement with idealism and a spiritual frame of reference, removed from a so-called real world point of view, or in its negative mode can represent escapism, even outright deception. Certainly all of these factors are part and parcel of the American social setting, especially as regarding Ninth House concerns. What immediately leaps to mind is America 's fascination with media of all kinds, including the phenomenon of the movie star. There is also a spiritual component to this country's origins, beginning with the concept of freedom from religious persecution, and continuing with the influence of the masons upon the founding fathers, many of whom were members of that spiritual order. Idealism in matters of education is also an American trait. But the shadow side of this Neptune placement is the issue of deception in the country's news media, which has bordered on propaganda in recent years. This tendency of the so-called free press to pander to the military-industrial complex and the corporations is well-documented in Noam Chomsky's seminal work Manufacturing Consent in which he shows how atrocities committed by non-aligned nations are described in the U.S. media with far greater detail than those committed by U.S. allies. This tendency towards propaganda has grown in recent years, especially with the first Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq . During the invasion, journalists were actually “embedded” in the military, and tended to report from the standpoint of the troops rather than taking a less biased and more objective position. Those journalists that did not take the official point of view were sanctioned.

In keeping with this recent predilection for deception in American journalism, we note that Neptune has been forming important aspects to the U.S. chart for the past year, beginning with a quincunx to U.S. Sun that was active during the time of the invasion and beyond. The last exact hit on this aspect occurs in December of 2004. Coincident with this aspect is a sextile to the Ascendant over exactly the same time period, since the Sun in the U.S. chart aspects the Ascendant, with transiting Neptune forming a Yod pattern to the Sun and Ascendant for this entire period. The Yod, or “finger of God” aspect pattern, puts emphasis on trauma and eventual transformation on the focal point of the pattern, U.S. Sun in this case.

The station of Neptune on May 15, 2003 was exactly in aspect to the U.S. Ascendant and Sun, and occurred on the day of the breaking of the news story that most clearly illustrates the concept of deception in Iraqi war journalism, the story of the “Saving of Private Lynch.” The salient facts are that Private Jessica Lynch was not bravely fighting off Iraqi's when captured, but rather she was injured in an auto accident, and that her rescue was staged after Iraqi forces had already withdrawn, by soldiers firing blanks, just like on a movie set, and after the Iraqi hospital where she was being treated had already attempted to return her to the American forces in an ambulance. From the May 20, 2003 news story by Robert Scheer, published in the LA Times and on Alternet:

Her story is one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived, the BBC concluded—the polite British way of saying “liar, liar, pants on fire." Indeed there are many other major deceptions: the press complicity already alluded to, the excuses leading up to the war, intended to conceal the real causes for this war of invasion, which are now beginning to emerge. There is also the recent denial of U.S. involvement in the overthrow and kidnapping of President John Bertrand Aristide of Haiti , in spite of eyewitnesses, which takes us up to the present. The administration position: “that didn't happen.”

(See footnote below for more information.)

Chiron was also opposed to U.S. Sun and trine U.S. Neptune at the time of the invasion. Chiron symbolizes the Wounded Healer, and the American public's perception of itself, especially with regard to deception on the part of government officials, has indeed been challenged in the course of these recent events.

The Outing of Agent Valerie Plame

One of the more disturbing incidents surrounding the war in Iraq has been the Valerie Plame incident. She was a CIA operative engaged in important work for which she remained undercover for many years until her identity was leaked to the press in July 2003, compromising her and the people she worked with, as well as her clandestine contacts and her company's cover. Announcing the name of a secret agent is a felony. The genesis of this flagrantly illegal and destructive act that appears to spring from the White House is that her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, had posted strong criticisms of the Bush administration after his efforts to clarify the now famous Iraq-uranium-Africa link were ignored, a mission he undertook in February 2002 at the request of the CIA. Although this expert on African affairs dismissed the Iraq connection as a fabrication after he had met extensively with both government and non-government officials in Niger , Bush in his January 2003 State of the Union message went ahead and referenced the uranium Iraq connection. When former Ambassador Wilson openly criticized the administration on July 6, 2003 for cynically using discredited information to fan the flames of war, his wife's identity was leaked to the media and published in the July 14 column of conservative commentator Robert Novak. The leak is directly attributable to the White House, with several journalists being contacted by a “highly placed administration official,” thereby endangering Plame's life as well as her mission. Her mission was, ironically, to attempt to limit the spread of WMD in the world.

The transits to the United States chart around this incident point to transiting and natal Chiron as a factor. To be specific, on January 28, 2003, the date of the State of the Union message during the run-up to war that contained the famous “sixteen words” regarding Iraq, yellowcake uranium and the country of Niger, Chiron was exactly opposed to U.S. Sun, and conjuncted by the Moon that night. Transiting Saturn was also square the U.S. Neptune that day, bringing the element of deception in again. On July 6, 2003, when Wilson made his critical remarks, the U.S. Chiron was being aspected by transiting Jupiter and Venus, while transiting Chiron squared U.S. Saturn.

The square was exact on July 14 when Novak published his column. Then, in September and October 2003 when the disclosure of Plame's identity became national news, Chiron was again within a degree of opposing the U.S. Sun, in the process of making its last pass on that opposition.

How does the symbolism of Chiron fit the Valerie Plame incident? Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer, and in natal charts reflects where we are wounded, and the archetype of despair in complete self-acceptance, in coming to terms with our all too human nature. It is a wound to the nation's national pride in self that the upholders of the law in the executive branch are the very ones that are breaking the law.

Their purported search for WMD in order to defend American lives turns out to be detrimental to the real search for WMD in the world, thereby endangering American lives. This story has a poignancy that reveals the core of inner cruelty and lack of judgment on the part of this administration, and that may eventually help to bring it down. The story has been referred to in some media accounts as similar to Watergate, in that a simple and stupid action upon closer examination is shown to be the tip of a larger iceberg of misconduct in high places.


Original article from The Washington Post, April 3, 2003
Article from The Guardian, May 15, 2003
Article from Alternet, May, 20. 2003


Henry Seltzer began his study of Astrology in the late 70's, having been influenced by the work of Dane Rudhyar and C. G. Jung. In the eighties he decided to make his astrological insights available in the form of an interactive computer program and TimePassages was born. TimePassages is astrology software that is easy to use yet complete and very accurate. It's interpretations have been called perhaps 'the best on the market' in American Astrology magazine, and include some great material on Chiron. See it at

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Other StarIQ articles by Henry Seltzer:

  • Ides of June, Part 1   4/23/2004
  • Ides of June, Part 3   4/7/2004

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