Wishing No Ill Will


I interrupt my continuation of the last two weeks' accounts of the Pluto-arousing depths of Katrina fallout and its Uranus-allied significance as a turning point in American history, so I may sniff out the tide of seasonal change in the air.

Lookie here… it's equinox time again! The Sun moves into Libra on Thu Sep 22, and it officially becomes fall—or spring, if you're down below the equator. For a moment, I'm distracted from concentrating on those 'Big Questions' raised here in the US by the hurricane disaster, and reminded of the perpetual global turning of the seasons' cycle, which persists unbroken by any storm or war or test of the emergency broadcasting system.

In recounting the tremendous impact on the American mood of hard transits of Uranus to its natal US placement, I ran out of time to address its importance to President Bush. Perhaps even more so than with other US presidents, George W. Bush is a potent national symbol who is excessively attributed qualities (both positive and negative) he doesn't possess, his individualized selfhood doomed to confusingly fuse with broader social forces in the national imagination. This is most likely due to his birthday (Jul 6) falling so close to the nation's (Jul 4), thus causing their separate identities to mistakenly become indistinguishable. Naturally, I was curious to check out how transiting Uranus was affecting Mr. Bush's chart in the midst of Katrina.

Sure enough, I discovered Bush's natal Mars in Virgo suffers a double Uranus whammy—squared by the natal US Uranus and opposed by the current transiting Uranus. Not a fabulous indicator of Bush's ability to sustain his characteristically methodical, self-protective control over practical matters indeed. (And anyone who doubts Bush's usually meticulous abilities in this area knows not of the unafflicted Mars in Virgo.) Considering transiting Uranus's position in Bush's 8th house, it's also not a particularly reassuring sign for his physical safety. And here we go again, raising the specter of personal danger to George W. Bush into the cultural debate, a favorite pastime of astrologers since his 2001 installation.

Have you heard this before? Astro-augurers seem to love mentioning the likelihood that President Bush will die while in office… and I suppose there's plenty of evidence to support the claim.

By looking at the current Uranus transit alone, we spy an historical recurrence of presidential deaths-in-office whenever Uranus activates this certain zodiacal zone. According to Australian astrologer Ed Tamplin, seven out of these eight deaths occurred when Uranus was traveling somewhere between 8 and 13 degrees of a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces)—or, in other words, making a hard aspect to the natal US Uranus at 8 Pisces—as it is now.

More commonly, astrologers point to the every-20-years conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn as a similar omen. Every US president elected in a Jupiter-conjunct-Saturn election year has died in office… with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who faced an assassination attempt but lived through it. Reagan, however, was also the only one elected when Jupiter conjoined Saturn in an air sign. The others were all elected in an earth sign conjunction. The 2000 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction fell in Taurus, an earth sign, which doesn't bode so well for Bush.

But now we face a genuine moral issue, once predictions of physical harm or death make their way from the ethers and into our words. The metaphysician in me wholeheartedly believes in the unconditional power of consciousness to create real events in the material world. By contributing predictions to the public dialogue, we contribute to the very happening of those predicted events… much in the same way we externally express our desires and, consequently, draw their satisfaction closer to us by 'putting it out there'. I guess I should feel partly responsible, then, for the dissolution of Renee Zellweger's marriage, since I dared to posit back in May, '[I]t'll take a lot of work to make this one look good.' (Who needed astrology to figure that one out?) A human life, though, is an entirely more serious matter.

Regardless of our political stance, we have no business 'wishing' for the deaths of our leaders—or of anyone, for that matter—and such predictions flirt with this death-wish. What good can come from a death forecast, anyhow? Can it help us lead a more conscious life, which I believe is astrology's highest form of usage, or does it merely generate fear? If we foresee dangerous transits, we may be obligated to advise extra caution and care. But none of us is gifted with the power to assuredly know when someone will die… though daring to dabble in these matters, in my humble opinion, leaves psychic blood on our hands.

I was troubled by a recent email joke making the rounds, a supposed test 'to judge your moral turpitude', in which the following 'fictional situation' is framed:

There is chaos all around you, caused by a hurricane and flooding... torrents of water all over you. You are a CNN photographer in the middle of this disaster, trying to take a Pulitzer prize-winning photo. Houses and people are floating around you, disappearing into the water... nature showing its destructive power... ripping everything away.

Suddenly you see a man, steering a big van... He is fighting to prevent the van from being washed away by the water and mud. You look closer... and, suddenly, you recognize him—it's George W. Bush! The raging waters are about to sweep him away, forever.

You have two options. You can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot the picture of your life... the death of the world's most powerful man.

What, you may ask, is the ultimate 'test' question?

Would you use black & white or color film?

Now, by sheer coincidence, this email made the rounds months before Hurricane Katrina caused a scenario eerily similar… only, in real life, it wasn't Bush being swept away forever. Doubtless, the email was passed around by some of the same folks outraged by the pathetic federal response made to save drowning Katrina victims. Yet they see no ethical contradiction in passing along a morbid joke about watching an individual drown without offering help. Those of us who can demonstrate such a lack of basic compassion for another human's life—yes, even the 'evil' George W. Bush of the wildest leftist nightmares—are part of the same problem that left thousands dead in sewage-soaked New Orleans.

Which brings me back to the original reason I was going to interrupt this treatise… this week's entrance of the Sun into Libra, followed closely by a solar eclipse in Libra on Oct 3. Libra, we tell ourselves, is a sign of peace and goodwill and interpersonal compromise, and therefore planetary activity in Libra must bring peace and goodwill and interpersonal compromise, right?

Well, that super-simplistic interpretation misses Libra's dark side—a polarizing willfulness that wants what it wants ('you're either with us or against us'), but acts to procure it indirectly, in decided contrast to its mirror-opposite Aries. This Libra is more akin to Aries than it wants you to know. This Libra is Aries, but with better manners and a big friendly smile on its face as it stabs you from behind. This Libra wants peace by delicately destroying the competition, staying clean and pretty in the process. Not the Libra we're used to hearing about.

The higher Libran vibration, which I feel we now must strive for more than ever, is a perpetual negotiation-in-progress… accepting difference as it really is rather than trying, however politely, to eliminate it altogether with kind rhetoric and a couple coats of high-gloss paint. With this awareness, we know we can never hope to agree on all terms. Nor should we. Without difference, there would be no motivating spunk in our lives. If there were no Bush, there'd just be someone else for dissenters to vilify.

To get some of what we want, we must give up pieces of other things we also want… or that we think we want, until we discover that finer underrated joy of helping someone else get some of what he or she wants, too… all while we remain in separate camps. Not only do we reach in and pull our supposed foe from the rushing waters, we invite him to dinner. We look into his face. We exchange glimpses of each other's humanity. For a split second, there actually is peace.

Then someone asks another difficult question…