NewsScope for February 17, 2009
The Nationalization of U.S. Banks
President Obama got most of what he wanted last week when Congress approved a nearly $800 billion stimulus package. While that facet of the financial crisis may eventually work out, the banking crisis remains unresolved after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled a half-baked plan last Tuesday. In reaction, banking stocks shifted sharply downward, dragging the rest of Wall Street with them.
Geithner (August 18, 1961) spent several hours before Congress explaining the plan that would save the banks, as the Sun and Neptune were conjunct in Aquarius (and opposing his Sun-Uranus-North Node). The vagueness involved in a Sun-Neptune combination triggered a wave of uncertainty over such proposals as the creation of a public-private bank that would market toxic assets. Economists wondered, is this the beginning of the nationalization of the banks?
Since the nationalization of banks runs contrary to every capitalistic, free enterprise notion, the inevitable move toward that shift must be veiled in Neptunian vagueness. Throughout 2009, transiting Neptune will be opposing Geithner's Sun as it conjoins the U.S. Moon, making it difficult for the American public to see exactly what's going on. It's possible that Geithner's intent is for government to bail out the largest banks at the taxpayers' expense, while smaller regional banks are allowed to fail.
Astrologers considering the potential effects of Pluto in Capricorn have generally concluded that government would become much more controlling in all of society's affairs. Now, as transiting Pluto is opposing the U.S. Venus in the 8th House—the financial sector—the nationalization of the top 20 banks is becoming a distinct possibility. Pluto symbolizes the extreme measures that need to be taken to resolve desperate situations.
Lincoln and Darwin
Last week, on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln's and Charles Darwin's 200th birthday anniversary, many pundits remarked on the coincidence of their births on February 12, 1809 and that both touched off a revolution that changed the world. A Newsweek article* noted the phenomenal parallels between their two lives, and with tongue in cheek, that they were both visionary, free-spirited, rebellious Aquarians.
It's too bad that Sun sign astrology has shaped the public's opinion of what astrology is, because the dramatic parallels between these two mythic figures arose from the planetary dynamics unique to that day. As the Newsweek article noted, both lost their mothers in early childhood, and both lost children to early death. Their Ceres-Pluto conjunction in Pisces is the planetary signature for loss and emotional suffering.
Both wrote amazing prose and were compulsive note-takers (Mercury-Pluto conjunction in poetic Pisces). Both suffered from depression and spent their earlier years drifting (Saturn-Neptune conjunction). Both achieved greatness during their Chiron Return, as Darwin published his masterpiece "The Origin of Species" in 1859 and Lincoln was elected in 1860. Most importantly, both were true revolutionaries, a potential shown by Uranus conjunct their North Node.
In Lincoln's case, his Uranus was also conjunct the U.S. Scorpio Ascendant. Transiting Pluto was opposing his Uranus (and the U.S. Ascendant) when the Civil War broke out. The conditions demanding action were similar in Darwin's case: he was forced to publish his work because another scientist was developing similar ideas about evolution. Pluto-Uranus combinations are the hallmark of social and political revolution. These two men's detailed horoscopes tell the tales of how bold ideas changed the world.
The U.S. has had five presidents with Uranus conjunct the North Node. Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson was born six weeks before Lincoln and so shares the Uranus-North Node conjunction. Similarly, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were also born six weeks apart, and they both have Uranus conjunct the North Node. Barack Obama is the fifth.
This karmic set-up can have an unexpected flip-side: transiting Pluto opposed Clinton's Uranus-North Node in September 2004 when he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. On May 1, 2003, transiting Pluto was opposing Bush's Uranus-NN when he gave his infamous "mission accomplished" speech. Neither of these presidents led revolutions that will survive 150 years after their primacy, as did Lincoln and Darwin.
Nikolai Lenin (April 22, 1870; 9:42 pm; Ulyanovsk, Russia) was born with Uranus in Cancer conjunct the North Node. His Mars in Aries squared his Uranus-North Node, which describes how he led a military revolution. Actor Spencer Tracy (April 5, 1900; 1:57 am; Milwaukee, WI) was born with a visionary Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on his North Node and Pluto on his South Node. His speech** in the 1948 film "State of the Union" describes a profoundly futuristic ideal: "There's only one government which is capable of handling the atomic control, world disarmament, world employment, world peace—and that's a world government."
**Here's the longer version: "There's only one government which is capable of handling the atomic control, world disarmament, world employment, world peace—and that's a world government. The people of