Season of the Witch

Posted by Fe Bongolan


As we approach Halloween, Fe Bongolan weighs in on the House Republican ‘show trials’ for both presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. Between the House Un-American Activities Committee and the Salem witch trials, we have ample precedent for what’s going on here.

I followed last Thursday’s Congressional hearing on Benghazi, courtesy of live blogging coverage on Daily Kos. I avoided televised coverage of it as I do with most news. My blood pressure tends to erupt whenever I watch the insanely stupid in action; and as expected, the House Select Committee on Benghazi delivered.

In a grueling 11-hour marathon of questions, most of which concerned a variation on the theme of Mrs. Clinton’s use of her private email account for State Department business, the Committee concluded that it learned nothing new — because, in fact, there was nothing new to learn from the previous testimony given by Mrs. Clinton while she was Secretary of State. Her account of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ death was already there for the record.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy recently said out loud what had been suspected all along: that last week’s hearings were designed to bring Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign numbers down; the story of what really happened at the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 — and why — was never the point. The point was to try to find a suspicious motive in Mrs. Clinton’s use of a personal email account in order to stir up public distrust of her as she campaigns for the Presidency.

Hillary is now in good company. A new congressional hearing has been scheduled by outgoing Speaker John Boehner for Planned Parenthood’s Chief Executive Cecile Richards. Richards was grilled late in September by the House Oversight Committee on allegations Planned Parenthood profited from illegal sale of fetal tissue, based on a heavily doctored videotape.

The hearing was Boehner’s parting gift to the Republican “Freedom Caucus.” It was a means to placate them in exchange for a sane (non-Tea Party) Speaker: Paul Ryan. By providing them the theatrics of yet another House Committee hearing, they could cook up public outcry to deny further federal funding for Planned Parenthood — or else they will shut down the government.

For those who weren’t following, Mrs. Clinton endured her marathon ‘trial’ well. Ms. Richards also performed well in her first testimony before the House Committee at the end of September. But it appears that is not enough for Republicans, particularly those representatives answerable to the Tea Party factions around the country interested in dismantling government and stopping you from getting an abortion. Since we are approaching Halloween in a few days, are we getting the feeling of a new (shhhhhhh!) witch hunt?

Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible comes to mind. Written in 1953, The Crucible used the Salem witch trials as an analogy for the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings led by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. HUAC began in 1947, convening hearings that lasted until McCarthy’s death in 1957. The purpose of the hearings was to ferret out Communist infiltrators in the U.S., particularly in Hollywood.

For ten harrowing years in American life, people were persecuted, lost their jobs, or imprisoned for refusing to testify against others or name them as Communists or Communist sympathizers. The purpose of this hearing was clear: send out a chilling message instilling distrust, doubt and uncertainty. By doing so, those behind the hearings could take advantage of the chaos and hysteria that ensued. The Cold War was born and the military industrial complex prospered.

Sixty years later and the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is in a different state, though politically, sometimes its hard to tell the difference between then and now. Instead of looking for the evil Communist under the bed, we’re looking for the witch in every mouse click and Frankenstein’s abortion mill using human baby parts for scientific experiments.

But maybe we have learned something as we see the familiar parade of torches and pitchforks coming our way, as Jezebel reports:

There are lots of good reasons why neither the #Benghazi squad yelling at Hillary Clinton nor the House Oversight Committee yelling at Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards worked out particularly well for Congress. Some of it stems from the fact that both hearings were show trials, a purely partisan effort to show the folks back home how erectly principled their conservative principles are. But there’s also a visual, theatrical reason: watching a body composed predominantly of white men shout at, interrupt, and harangue a dignified, composed woman has always been a bad look, and in 2015, it’s one the public will no longer accept.

For her next hearing, I am certain Cecile Richards will be as ready as Hillary was last week. In fact, many are certain Mrs. Clinton took her cue from Ms. Richards’ September performance. They both commanded respect, stayed calm and confident, and provided facts in the face of blind rage, false accusations and even Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s tears. Understanding the past, leading in the present and facing the future, these women are sending us a message: they are not for burning, and neither are we.

Happy Halloween! See you in the comments.

Posted in Welcome on | 4 comments
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

4 thoughts on “Season of the Witch

  1. Barbara Koehler

    History indeed repeats itself. Wow, Fe, so glad you have made us aware of this repetitive tactic used by those in power; in this case powerful government people (primarily men) attempting to stop a powerful woman in government. Behind it all is fear of losing power. Fear of losing power sounds like Saturn.

    When John Boehner was handed the gavel on January 5, 2011, Saturn in Libra was square the Sun in Capricorn. That wasn’t the 1st thing an astrologer would notice though. Jupiter was conjunct Uranus in Pisces and Neptune was conjunct Chiron in Aquarius, and the 2 sets of conjunctions in this chart being 30 degrees apart, is an attention-getter. Because both sets of conjunctions made aspects to Venus (one’s values) in Scorpio (shared resources), one could surmise that this was the beginning of an era (2 new cycle starts) dealing with values. And so it has been. Venus was at 28+ Scorpio on January 5, 2011, the same degree where transiting Saturn stationed direct last August.

    Much of the time during the decade between 1947 and 1957 transiting Neptune in Libra and transiting Pluto in Leo formed a sextile aspect. Some of that time trans. Neptune (film industry) was conjunct the U.S. Sibly chart’s Saturn (fear of the loss of what is) at 14+ Libra, while trans. Pluto (reptilian fear/survival instinct) was sextile U.S. Saturn. Some innate instinct in the U.S. Sibly was being activated by outer planet transit energy. Think of the Halloween black cat with his back arched. By the end of 1957, both trans. Neptune and trans. Pluto had entered new signs.

    When John Boehner accepted the gavel in 2011, trans. Pluto and trans. Neptune were in aspect again, this time a minor one called a septile, which symbolizes a fork-in-the-road of destiny. It promises irrational, inexplicable behavior encountered along destiny’s road. As the Benghazi Committee’s tactics fulfill that curious manner of a septile, as has the Oversight Committee’s actions so far, we might assume that Speaker Boehner has been fulfilling his role in history.

    This interaction between trans. Neptune and trans. Pluto, both at the time of the HUAC hearings 60 years ago and the more recent Benghazi and Oversight Committees, stem from the agenda these outer planets expressed when they joined forces in 1891 in the same degree as the U.S. Sibly Uranus; 8+ Gemini. The chart for that conjunction in 1891, along with a couple of other charts for outer planet cycles was awakened (activated) by the arrival of Saturn at 3+ Sagittarius last Thursday, a degree occupied by significant symbolism in each chart. In the case of Neptune-Pluto conjunction, it was the South Node, where what has been done-to-death is ready to be released so as to move forward. Saturn is doing his thing to fulfill that cycle prophecy.

    When Boehner received his gavel, transiting Saturn was at 16+ Libra (having recently made a conjunction to the U.S. Saturn at 14+ Libra. . called a Saturn Return), conjoining his natal Moon, Neptune and Mars in Libra between 16 and 18 degrees, give or take. The transiting Sun at the time of the gavel hand-over was at 15+ Capricorn, where the transiting Pluto stationed retrograde this past April, in a square aspect to John’s Libra stellium as well as the U.S. Saturn. The square in the gavel chart between Saturn and Sun, of course enlivened the U.S. Sibly square between Saturn and Sun. Now transiting Pluto in Capricorn is doing the same.

    Curious thing about the gavel chart is that Mars (action/aggression) at 22+ Capricorn trines the U.S Neptune, while the gavel chart’s Mercury (thinking/speaking) at 22+ Sagittarius SQUARES the U.S. Neptune. John Boehner’s Mercury at 22+ Scorpio sextiles the U.S. Neptune and in December, transiting Jupiter (understanding the big picture) will conjunct the U.S. Neptune at 22+ Virgo. Trans. Jupiter will return to conjunct the U.S. Neptune in January, 2016, along with the North Node (path forward) and even the Moon will join them on January 27th around 7:00 PM. That will be something to watch for sure.

    Trans. Jupiter’s last swing over 22+ Virgo comes in August, 2016, and that’s just days after the Democratic Party and the Republican party will have decided who will be their nominees for the presidential election. Trans. Jupiter will go on to oppose trans. Uranus, weeks after the election, in December 2016, the half-way point between their new cycle that started at the time of the gavel handover in 2011. Can’t thank you enough for posting this info regarding the McCarthy inquest Fe. May the goblins provide you with lots of eyeballs for your brew, as we witches start preparing for the big night! :)

  2. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author


    Funny how Pluto was in the “Hollywood” sign of Leo during McCarthy’s HUAC witch hunts! I hope we keep watch on Mr. Ryan’s first call with the gavel as the new Speaker. Perhaps more of the same, or not?

    1. Barbara Koehler

      Ryan’s gavel chart has a T-square composed of the Moon (People) opposite Saturn (government) T-square Neptune (nebulous), and a mutable cross between the Sagittarius ascendant- Gemini descendent, and Chiron-Borasisi in Pisces opposite Jupiter (+Venus + Mars) in Virgo. Mars at 21+ Virgo exactly squares the U.S Sibly natal Mars at 21+ Gemini and is 1 degree from the U.S. Sibly Neptune at 22+ Virgo.

      Most interesting regarding the gavel chart’s Mars in Virgo is that Pholus, near the ascendant and Ixion, and Atlantis and Child and Asclepius, all in Sagittarius, are square this Mars. Hybris is not far behind in Sagittarius and I will wait until I see Ryan’s chart – he may have natal planets in that area of Sadge – before drawing any conclusions as to how that might work out.

      I can tell you this, the U.S. progressed Pandora, at 17+ Gemini is on the descendant of the Gavel chart a 18+ Gemini. :) Many “ills” coming from the “other”.

      If you want to follow along, Nancy Pelosi handed Paul Ryan the gavel at 11:10 AM today. The Sun today at 5+ Scorpio is quincunx (stress, need to adjust) the Moon at 5+ Gemini, but is trine the U.S. Jupiter at 5+ Cancer.

      For now we know there will be mass confusion (deception?) and volatility (aggression?) from the mutable (transitional) signs. There will also be other outer-planet cycles contributing their energies to this Paul Ryan as Speaker-of-the-House period, thanks to Saturn’s position today at 3+ Sagittarius (an active degree in 3 of those cycles), and the last degree of his retrograde shadow trip. For example, in the Saturn Pluto cycle (begun in 1982) Venus at 16 Scorpio was conjunct Jupiter at 19 Scorpio, and sextile today’s Jupiter at 16+ Virgo and Venus at 19 Virgo.

      When Saturn reaches 4+ Sagittarius, the degree where he stationed retrograde, and moves forward (around November 9th), that retro-phase energy will be cleared and he will be in a “new” place.

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