Cheney Does it His Way


I can't believe it's taken me almost two weeks to comment on Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a fellow hunter on Feb 11. (Hey, I've been busy, okay?) But since it took Cheney himself four days before commenting on the incident (in an exclusive FOX News interview), I guess I should cut myself some slack.

I find the shooting particularly intriguing, in light of recent observations I posted here. A couple weeks back, in writing about Saturn-in-Leo's consequences for the US government's executive branch, I ended my essay with the sentence, 'Especially watch Dick Cheney.' (I know, it doesn't take a brilliant astrologer to come up with that.)

Then, remarking on the Feb 12 Full Moon in Leo, I warned against potential aggression and hostility. I wrote, 'While you needn't back away from conflict that naturally arises as you put yourself out there, you certainly won't benefit from deliberately hunting for it [italics added later].' Clearly, Cheney forgot to check before deliberately setting out on his Full Moon-influenced hunt for conflict with rather defenseless feathery foes.

The Cheney shooting occurred while the Moon was still within orb of a conjunction with Saturn in Leo, which had been exact a few hours earlier… and right as it opposed Cheney's natal Sun in Aquarius. This Moon-oppose-Sun transit essentially serves as Cheney's 'personal Full Moon'. And all the while, the Moon was waxing to its 'real' Fullness the following day—a Fullness, as I previously wrote, made extra-energized and extra-aggressive by its square to Mars.

I'd originally made the 'watch Dick Cheney' statement due to Saturn's ongoing opposition to Cheney's natal Sun… the same opposition aggravated by the Moon at the time of the shooting. A transiting Saturn-Sun opposition is generally no fun—we must confront obstacles and adversities from outside, which can often feel burdensome or physically taxing, in order to accept our inherent limitations.

Cheney's Saturn-Sun opposition hit its first and second peaks in Oct-Dec 05, right as the Valerie Plame/CIA leak scandal hits its biggest headlines. Plame, a secret CIA operative, was 'outed' in a Jul 03 article by journalist Robert Novak… and the presumed source of the security leak was a high-up in the Bush administration. (I first read about in it in this Jan 04 Vanity Fair exposť.) Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby was indicted on five charges related to the leak on Oct 28 05—within a day of the exact peak of Cheney's Saturn-Sun opposition. And still, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald declared the investigation wasn't yet over.

About three weeks later, Saturn turned retrograde—which it remains today—and, once it made a second pass past the opposition to Cheney's Sun, has since kept moving further away from this taxing transit. But Cheney's Saturn issues were continually exacerbated throughout Dec and Jan by the grand cross, with the potent addition of Mars, Jupiter and Neptune to the mix of factors tugging on his chart. And when we consider the similarly heavy natal aspects to Cheney's Sun—a double-square to a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus, and a wide opposition to Pluto in Leo—we can understand if the VP has had a rather harrowing several months… though he may do his best to keep it under wraps.

Cheney, with a 6th-house Sun and a Virgo rising, is a guy who instinctively recedes into the background, even as he's ascended to one of the most powerful positions in the world. He doesn't need the spotlight (unlike, say, Leo Sun Bill Clinton or Leo rising George W. Bush), and identifies himself with a strong work ethic and an orientation toward service. (Yes, service… even if you don't see him that way.) But he's also an Aquarius, the rabble-rouser of the zodiac, which we witness in his apparent disregard of tradition or mainstream opinion as he rebelliously follows his own ideology.

His natal Sun squares both Jupiter and Saturn, which are conjoined in the 9th house, where we formulate our ethical allegiances to that which matters most to us. A Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus here shows Cheney's firm, unwavering stance toward his beliefs—generally conservative and materially-based, thanks to the Taurean influence. I suspect that Cheney holds his beliefs, whatever they are, in a relatively unconflicted and uncompromising mindset.

Problems arise for Cheney, however, when the Aquarian verve to act egolessly on behalf of what's perceived as best for the project, the team, and/or the work conflicts with his personal convictions… which are largely driven by self-directed concerns for practical, financial and/or ideological security. And it's this inner conflict that's hung over him during recent months.

As for so many of us, it was that blasted Mars in Taurus which blew the lid off for Cheney. Cheney's natal Uranus, also in Taurus in the 9th, got caught up in the mix, as Mars made three conjunctions to it over these months. This Uranus placement further accentuates the Aquarian in Cheney, such that he's the type to defiantly follow his own ideals. He's an independent thinker, an iconoclast. (Yes, an iconoclast… even if you don't see him that way.) All the recent Mars drama only increased the disruptive potentials in this placement.

As I already mentioned, the Full Moon that coincided with the shooting was making a square to Mars, in its last Taurean throes before moving into Gemini on Feb 17. The Full Moon's axis (i.e., Sun opposed Moon), then, was also forming a square to Cheney's Uranus, bringing his radical individuality out into the open. On that fateful Saturday afternoon, Cheney decided to go out hunting… the VP of the US around a bunch of folks with guns… without the required license… and to hell with anyone who didn't like it. In this case, unfortunately, his defiance caused bodily harm to an old friend. Whether you like Cheney or not, you must admit: That's gotta hurt.

Speaking astro-philosophically, when aspects such as an extra-lengthy-and-tense Mars transit (with grand cross and Full Moon amplifications) to a natal Uranus or a Saturn opposition to the Sun occur, the energy will be released somehow… and perhaps in Cheney's case, this shooting was the release. Many observers, myself included, had been expecting something Cheney-related—a life-threatening health crisis, an administration scandal, a takeover of the presidency ('live from the secret bunker!'). Something. Maybe this shooting, a total out-of-the-blue shock, actually siphoned off the pressure weighing on his physical health and his job performance. The victim ends up in the hospital, and Cheney emerges massively embarrassed… but with life and career still intact.

For now, that is. Saturn still has one more pass to go against Cheney's Sun. Saturn returns to direct motion in early April… and makes it to the final Cheney Sun opposition by July.

We'll see what happens next, as surely there's more.

The Shot Heard Round the World (Newsweek)
Will Durst's Cheney Shooting FAQ ( [humor])
William F. Buckley, Jr. on 'Killer Cheney' (National Review)