Dear Friend and Reader:
In its official history, as told on its website, the United States Secret Service leaves out the fact that President Lincoln signed the legislation creating the agency several hours before he was assassinated. The intended purpose of the Secret Service had nothing to do with protecting the president or his family. Its initial job was busting people for counterfeiting American currency.
Today we know them as the people who provide security for top officials of the executive branch and their families, presidential candidates, former presidents and others, in addition to their original purpose.
Instead, the Secret Service lists its date of creation as the more patriotic-sounding July 5, 1865, the day when its first director was sworn in. The agency could not have prevented Lincoln’s assassination, though they seem reluctant to associate their inception with the death of a president, even if by coincidence.
As for astrology, the chart for the law creating the agency that today is supposed to protect the president and the chart for Lincoln getting shot are very similar, which is just eerie.
Wednesday, Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, resigned after the latest in a very long series of near miss incidents wherein Pres. Obama and his family’s lives were threatened, or would have been if not for what amounts to pure luck, or Jesus, as you prefer.
In what will probably go down as the most famous breach of White House security in history, on the evening of Sept. 19 a guy named Omar Gonzalez was able to jump the White House fence, get across the lawn, get into the unlocked front doors of the executive mansion, overpower a Secret Service agent and get all the way into the East Room. There, he was stopped by an off-duty agent who, according to one version of events, just happened to be stopping by at work; according to another, he had just ended his shift on the security detail for Obama’s daughters. Note, the story keeps evolving, so we really don’t know the truth at this time.
Armed with a knife (and with his car loaded with ammunition), he got past the surveillance cameras, the perimeter guards, the fence, the dog who was not released and who could have easily stopped him on the lawn, the front door, the guard at the front door, and the front door alarm (which was muted; yes, it was muted). Then he covered a substantial distance across the White House ground floor. Everyone is wondering the same thing. How is this even remotely, vaguely possible? I had to go through security just to get into the National Air and Space Museum a few weeks ago, and I had to hide my Swiss army knife in the bushes.
Mug shot of Omar Gonzalez, who made it all the way into the White House. He is an Iraq veteran, a trained sniper and had a car full of ammunition that he did not take on his dash across the lawn.
As far as close calls go, this was not the only recent event. In an incident that came to light this past weekend, Pres. Obama was standing in an elevator with an armed man who had a criminal record when he visited the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta on Sept. 16, three days before the White House intruder incident.
In the mix of this discussion, over the past few days we are hearing about another famous, recent incident. On Nov. 11, 2011 (11/11/11), seven shots fired from an AK-47 hit the White House, very close to the presidential residence. The Secret Service supervisor on duty at the time claimed that the gunfire was a construction vehicle backfiring (at 9 pm on a Friday, when there’s not a lot of construction work going on, and since when does anything but a Harley backfire these days?) and ordered his agents to stand down. Then it took four days to figure out that the White House had not only been shot at but had actually been hit — a maid discovered broken glass in a third-floor room. It took a month to track down the shooter, who was found in Pennsylvania.
The Secret Service is famous for closing the barn door after the horse has run off. They only started providing protection of the president after William McKinley was assassinated in 1901. Open-top limousines were banned after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. They started protecting presidential candidates after Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.
We take it for granted that four U.S. presidents have been assassinated while in office (that’s a lot, given that there have only been 44 presidents), and that in addition, the life of every president since Jackson has been threatened. In modern times there have been extremely close calls with Presidents Ford and Reagan. So now I guess they will lock the White House, just like you lock your car or your cubby at the gym.
The death of Robert F. Kennedy hit the nation almost as hard as the death of his brother John. He was assassinated the night that he won the California primary, just three months after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The chart for Gonzalez jumping the fence describes what a close call this was, and how lucky everyone got. The chart has the Aries Point rising — three degrees of Aries is right at the beginning of the zodiac, which has the effect of pointing out the magnitude of the incident.
All of the cardinal points are highlighted in the chart — the early degrees of Cancer, Libra and Capricorn cover the chart’s other angles, which asserts the same warning: this is big. The chart stands right at that nexus where individual and collective reality merge; this is often seen in the very largest news events, the ones with the greatest impact, where the world seems to crash into the living room.
With Aries rising, the intruder and the incident are ruled by Mars (said another way, Mars is the main significator). Mars is square Neptune, which is the perfect illustration of a porous boundary unable to stop an intruder, but which ultimately rendered him inert.
Mars square Neptune describes the haze of deception that surrounded the whole incident. We were told initially that the intruder was stopped just inside the front door, among other little lies. Mars square Neptune also describes the denial trip that the Secret Service seems to be on, as relates to all of these incidents and the overall environment that surrounds the country and indeed the world. it also describes the apparent lack of anger about what happened displayed by Julia Pierson, then Secret Service director, when she testified before Congress this week.
Two other elements of this chart are worth a moment of reflection. One is just how threatened Pres. Obama was, and still may be. The 10th house of a chart (especially of a national or global event) describes the president or chief executive of any organization. Capricorn is on this house cusp in the White House intrusion chart. (Depending on the time of day, and time of year, any sign could be there. In this chart it happens to be early Capricorn.)
Chart for Omar Gonzalez jumping over the White House fence. Note the four dark lines, horizontal and vertical — they are the angles. The low numbers describe how close to the Aries Point the angles are. You can see the Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Leo to the lower right, and Saturn in the 8th house on the upper right, accompanied by Vesta and Ceres.
Capricorn’s ruling planet is Saturn, which represents Obama. The way to see Obama’s situation is to look at the placement of Saturn. We find Saturn in the 8th house (death and near-death experiences), in Scorpio, a sign that emphasizes the same point. It’s combined (in a conjunction) with Ceres (grief, particularly of women) and Vesta (sacrifice, often showing up in death charts). If nothing else, this describes Obama’s vulnerability.
Then there is the luck factor. That is illustrated by the Moon conjunct Jupiter in Leo, in the 5th house. That little corner of the chart looks like winning the jackpot. The 5th house is about games and gambling. Gonzalez’ run had the feeling of a video game, going from level to level, or maybe performance art. It was daring and made a statement.
Let’s count up the luck factors. First of all, the intruder got lucky, breaching seven layers of security. He also didn’t get killed. Given that cops shoot everyone else these days, that bit is amazing. Heck, he didn’t even get bit by a dog. He also happened to have a knife, not a gun. That is awesome luck. The Obamas got lucky; they weren’t home.
The Secret Service got lucky because this would be a whole different scenario for them had something happened to Obama or a member of his family (it would likely have been the end of the agency). The American people got lucky because we do not want to go through a presidential assassination and its aftermath. My favorite luck factor of all was that a Secret Service agent who was not even supposed to be there tackled Gonzalez. He had an awesome day. I would like to send him a gold watch, in honor of Leo.
One last stroke of luck. Gonzalez has done all of us a favor — the fact that he breached security finally brought attention to the issue. It might not have been addressed otherwise.
On a more sobering note, what is absolutely astonishing is that this happened during an administration where there have been an unusual number of threats against the president’s life — from what I am hearing and reading, three times more than normal.
Then-candidate Obama speaking at Howard University. There have been so many threats against his life, he had Secret Service protection nine months before being nominated — which is truly unusual. AP photo.
We have the people who hate Obama because he’s allegedly liberal, because he’s African American, because he’s allegedly not a citizen, because they think he’s Muslim, because they think he was born in Kenya, because they think he’s coming for their guns, and so on. Everyone knows that semi-automatic weapons are being allowed to proliferate, that even mentally ill people can get them, and that we live in an era defined by domestic gun violence.
Finally, we are being warned every day about threats by terrorists, who are supposedly coming here to get us. The country is now at war with the Islamic State, which the U.S. is bombing daily. We are told that the real threat is American citizens who are supposedly training in Syria, who can come home, go to Gander Mountain and buy an assault rifle or two.
So if you will pardon my French, What The Fuck? And why is this going on during the era of spying on American citizens, when it seems everyone except a terrorist is suspect for terrorism? Has there been more concentrated effort invested into reading your Twitter account than in keeping the president and his family alive? We pay the NSA to spy on phone calls between soldiers in Iraq and their families, to the neglect of far more important matters.
The ongoing revelations of the fence-jumping incident have focused the media on the other near-miss episodes of recent years, particularly the one where shots hit the White House. Today I found this commentary by a writer named Sarah Jones on a website called Politics USA. Reflecting on the White House shooting incident, she wrote:
[W]hat makes this alarming is the fact that after these shots were fired into or at the residence of the White House, a Secret Service supervisor issued a stand down order, saying there were no shots fired.
This supervisor claimed the noises were the backfiring of a vehicle, even as agents were preparing to defend the White House. The supervisor issued a stand down order, per the Post: “No shots have been fired. Stand down.”
It took four days for the Secret Service to realize that shots had been fired at the White House. They only finally realized this because of the discoveries of a White House housekeeper (who should receive an award).
This is not the result of chaos in the line of fire. This is simply incomprehensible. The only way this level of incompetence makes sense is if someone or several someones in the Secret Service have an agenda to fail to protect the First Family.
I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but I am big on logic. There simply is no other reasonable explanation for this level of consistent incompetence that is immediately apparent. When behavior doesn’t make sense, the first question is what is to be gained by this behavior and the second is what is the most logical explanation.
Jones sums up my thoughts exactly. I am not alleging a conspiracy here, but something is wrong. I am also not ruling out a plot. There is no factual basis to do that. Were this unfolding in an action thriller movie, we would all be on the edge of our seats, and could predict the outcome.
Today I spent some time with the charts for two of the close-call events I’ve described here, as well as Pres. Obama’s chart and the Sibly chart (the main chart for the United States), plus two forms of progression (solar arc and secondary) — plus the transits to each of those charts. I also checked the charts for the Secret Service (official and unofficial) and the Lincoln assassination.
Here are my observations, in summary format.
In Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812, the boys of Cicero’s anecdote have been changed to maidens for a neoclassical patron, Thomas Hope. Still, the infamous sword hangs over him as the king watches.
I was reminded of an indicator in Pres. Obama’s natal chart that says he must be extremely careful (at all times in his life) about violent death, especially by a perpetrator. This is not a guarantee of anything — it’s merely a caution, and one worth heeding. I know many people feel this vulnerability viscerally without needing an astrology chart.
If you’re the president, then the Secret Service is your first line of defense, and your very last. Now we have a problem. There is another factor in Obama’s chart that I mentioned on the eve of his election — his Leo Sun is exactly opposite the minor planet Damocles.
This is another image of how he is living with a constant threat, in my mind, including from his own security and intelligence services. They are, after all, in the best position to control or harm him.
Obama needs to be especially careful between now and late November. Two dates come up, Oct. 23 (the date of a solar eclipse on the first day that the Sun is in Scorpio) and Nov. 17, the date that Obama’s progressed Mercury (for him, a danger indicator) ingresses Scorpio for the first time in his life. Again, this is not a guarantee of anything, but given the circumstances it’s a very strong caution, particularly given that there is an eclipse of the Sun about to happen in that very degree.
In December, we experience the sixth of seven Uranus-Pluto squares — an aspect that is getting hot, as evidenced by both increased militancy many places, and by massive protests in Hong Kong. [Note, we are following that carefully, though I did not have time to write about it this week. It looks like it will come to a head around the time of the Full Moon eclipse in one week, or sooner.]
This is not a time for anyone to be flirting with danger or with the president’s life. There is way too much uncertainty in the world for that, and we don’t need any more. For those who do not like Obama, I assure you that anyone or anything that would want to take his life is worse, and will lead to a far worse situation, both in the world and within the United States. We can afford to be suspicious of anything that refuses or fails to protect him and his family.
I am aware that astrology cannot be used, in the modern world, to run the affairs of state, tempting as it is to think so, and nor should that be necessary. We do not need astrology to see this problem, though it does provide a lens through which to observe things a bit more clearly, in case anyone has missed the picture.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $199/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.
Mercury Stations Retrograde Saturday
Mercury stations retrograde in Scorpio on Saturday. The retrograde will last a bit over three weeks, ending on Oct. 25. During the retrograde there will be two eclipses — one of the Moon on Oct. 8 and one of the Sun on Oct. 23. These are likely to add to the sensation of imminent change, pressure or inevitability.
For news watchers, note that the Hong Kong protests are coming to a head during the Mercury station and with the approach of the first eclipse, which is a big one — conjunct Uranus and square Pluto. I cover this in the current Planet Waves FM, and plan to come back to it Tuesday.
He’s not gay, he’s Mercury.
Mercury stations (that is, changes of direction) have two distinct dimensions — the practical, where we have to babysit computers and put energy into keeping track of keys and cell phones, which seem to be coated with grease as the retrograde approaches; and then a more profound introspective level that is not often mentioned by astrologers.
You might think of this as the psychological or spiritual aspect, rather than the mundane one.
I think of Mercury stations as time when the truth is revealed. This will be especially true with Mercury stationing retrograde in Scorpio, a sign associated with the unseen, the unspoken and the other side of the veil. This is very strong astrology to go sleuthing, and not such good astrology to try to keep secrets.
As mentioned in last week’s edition, Mercury will be passing across the Libra-Scorpio line two additional times. It will also be crossing the degree of the Oct. 23 solar eclipse two more times. And there will be two more trines to Nessus in late Aquarius. So there is more to this Mercury retrograde than meets the eye.
I suggest you work both levels carefully, as they are related. The middle ground is interpersonal communication, particularly about sensitive, emotional or sexual material. This would also include discussion of wills and estates, investments and joint finances.
The more day-to-day, pragmatic level is always worth honoring with Mercury retrograde, by which I mean pay attention, read carefully and don’t rush into commitments or purchases. There is very little that cannot wait three or four weeks. The main thing that you will gain with that time is knowledge.
Here is my Expert’s Guide to Mercury Retrograde, from earlier in the year.
Climbing the Walls? Try Dancing Instead!
By Amanda Painter
With the Sun in air sign Libra (balance, relationships, beauty) and Mercury (travel, communication, tricks and the mind) about to reverse its apparent motion Saturday, what better emblem than this video of two dancers performing a duet in midair on the side of Oakland, California’s, City Hall in August.
Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber, who dance with the group Bandaloop, equipped themselves with a GoPro video camera and harnesses (plus an additional videographer) to seemingly turn the world on its side during Oakland’s Art + Soul Festival. Even if Mercury stationing has your world turned sideways (or upside-down or inside-out), can you find a way to play with a new perspective, go with the flow and maybe even find some beauty or unexpected, uncanny balance to the situation?
Says Rudolph, Bandaloop’s founder and artistic director, on the troupe’s website, “They say what we do is death-defying. I’d say it’s life-affirming.”
Into the Eclipses and Mercury Rx — and Into the White House
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover the forthcoming Mercury retrograde, the eclipses of October and other facets of upcoming astrology. In the second half of the program I give a brief synopsis of the world situation and offer a few responses, touching again on the theme of the seemingly endless war that we find ourselves waging against someone or something. Then I look at the chart for Omar Gonzalez climbing over the White House fence and getting all the way into the East Room before being tackled and stopped. Our musical guest is Treetop Flyers. I play two songs from their 2013 CD The Mountain Moves — “Is it All Worth It” and “Haunted House.”
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
We’ve published your extended monthly horoscopes for October Thursday, Sept. 25. Your extended monthly horoscopes for September published Friday, Aug. 28. We also published your Inner Space horoscope for October Tuesday, Sept. 30. Moonshine horoscopes for the Pisces Full Moon published Sunday, Sept. 7.Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Just because an agreement you have with someone needs to be renegotiated or clarified does not mean that everything is coming unraveled. But would it serve you better if you did? Do your current agreements really serve you? Upcoming events will demonstrate the value of your independence, something that modern folks are all too willing to give up in order to have some assurance in their relationships. Often that ‘assurance’ is based on keeping secrets, and what happens next is the likely, indeed predictable, result of some seemingly deep secret coming out. I would propose that this is actually rather mundane information, the more potent for being concealed, offering you an opportunity for liberation when revealed.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Try not to push others to receive the gifts that you have to offer, which are considerable. Rather, notice who appreciates you. Notice who takes on the nourishment that you have to offer. Or better yet, you might focus inwardly during what is likely to be an extraordinary moment of self-discovery. I can see from your astrology that this might show up along with some anxiety of a kind that you cannot easily explain, particularly around the time of the lunar eclipse and New Moon on Oct. 8. If you acknowledge any apprehension you’re feeling rather than trying to suppress or deny it, you’ll be able to tap the underlying creative and self-creative power that is coming to you, or rather, bubbling up from the core of your being. One result could be a stunning moment of revelation that you really exist. Strange as it seems, that is something that often needs to be learned or discovered.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You will need to balance the urge to get out and make a splash with some deep needs for solitude and emotional healing. You might start with the healing piece, and take some time to yourself this weekend, and attend to your emotional needs. Then follow your intuition outside your door to whatever interesting places they lead you — though only when you’re ready. Some profound forces of transformation are at work in your life, and I suggest you honor their movements fully. This will not take as long as you might think; it’s a little like how taking a catnap can be more refreshing than sleeping for two hours. Close your door, surround yourself with silence, and allow your inner healing energy to call you to your center. When you proceed from there, you will be more focused and confident — and ready to meet the world.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Mercury may be going retrograde this weekend, but don’t let that distract you from honoring your plans for advancement in your career or vocation. While there is a rather significant factor of the unpredictable, you still must work out a few scenarios for success and consider how you would respond, if they show up for you. As for the Mercury retrograde piece, that translates to being attentive to two things: one is business-related communication, and the other is ideas that you might otherwise sideline as being too strange or seemingly not workable enough. Sometimes the thing to do is what everyone says is the wrong thing, and the absolutely worst idea. You might not want to leap into something like that headlong, but whatever someone deems totally absurd is an invitation to consider, whether it’s not fantastic.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Now is the time to think about your long-term plans — from a high perspective that allows you to see for miles. For as bold as you are, you can be a bit near-sighted, and what you need now is a point of view that allows you to consider some possibilities that you’ve never considered. Even if you think you’re onto something big, climb a little higher and look around. Then look up and consider whether there isn’t another level from which to look and see. I’m not talking about ambition — I’m talking about a vantage point. You may have to struggle against some emotional insecurity or a touch of agoraphobia as you do this. Yes, you might want to actually get out of the house and take a little trip — or a long one, and look at the various scenarios of your life and notice what you learn about them. I am sure you’ll be surprised.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Mercury stations retrograde in the angle of your chart associated with written communication — and with gossip. I suggest you stick to writing, at least most of the time, since there is a delay interposed, and you can edit it. Any time you talk about anyone else, you’re right on the verge of what can potentially harm your reputation or that of someone else. Therefore, be careful what you say. If you’re going to say (or publish) anything, make it positive and as short as possible. The deck is stacked in such a way that what you say now will have unexpected influence later on. Therefore, you might want to think strategically, using your power of speech and written communication to lay the seeds of what you want to grow. As the Grateful Dead said, “If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind.” If you plant love, trust and respect, you will harvest the fruits of intimacy.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The Sun has a long story to tell before it leaves your sign in a few weeks. There are many adventures ahead, though you might not notice that if you cling to any form of certainty, or go out of your way to avoid change. Indeed, progress is impossible without change, and so I suggest you tune yourself to all kinds of movement, large and small. Do yourself a huge favor and let go of any expectations you have on other people, and for that matter, yourself. You seem to be sending yourself a mixed message about whether you matter. You are neither the most important thing nor totally insignificant. Between the two is a whole range of actual, authentic meaning, though you are unlikely to believe that if you try to convince yourself otherwise. Nourish your soul. Feel, look and listen.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Your inner struggle comes down to your ability to receive nourishment. If I were to teach an introductory therapy class, the first segment would cover understanding blocks to receiving love, and blocks to the awareness of love’s presence. The first thing to do is to take care of yourself in a conscious, dependable, structured way. Start with what you eat. Food is not a game, and it’s not connected to statistics (calories, pounds, stone, etc.). It’s not about image. You know what is nourishing for you and what is not. If you are gluten-free, gluten-free cookies might not be what you need; you might need more mineral-rich foods (for example). The thing is, you know. And if you think of this more as an act of receiving than of giving, you might find it easier to negotiate with yourself. Then, of course, there are people. Some are nourishing and some are depleting. It’s good to know who has what you’re willing to receive.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Mars continues to make its way across your sign, and has one of its most glorious and/or challenging moments this weekend — it will be square the centaur planet Chiron in Pisces. You might want to do something that challenges your present sense of emotional ‘worthiness’ or belonging. I would say the more triggered you are, the better. That’s because triggers can reveal your true inner dynamics, which are exactly what you want to know. You absolutely must know the connection between what seems to block you from what you want to do now, and any early wounding you experienced that is working at the root of that situation. This is not merely about making contact with your pain. It’s about knowing your inner landscape intimately, so that you can work with the territory and use your resources effectively.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — What are you withholding, from yourself or from others? What, in the way of feelings, nurturing, words, or anything? Withholding can come with a sense of power, whether over yourself or over others. Do you detect any of that going on? If so, what do you think is at the root of that drive? Is it the fear of being exploited? One thing that our business-driven, allegedly capitalist society does not like to admit is that it’s from giving that people figure out how much they have. If you’re experiencing the feeling of not having enough, I suggest you try offering yourself to the people around you. You have plenty, and you can also afford to be a lot warmer and more communicative. People like you more than you may think. They care about you more than you know. Your generosity would be an excellent way to acknowledge that — even as an experiment. For example, invite some friends over to a home-cooked meal.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The thing to do is take full responsibility for your situation — whether you like it or whether you don’t. To the extent that your life is a mixed bag, you have come a long way toward figuring out that you’re the one who has created or developed the elements of your existence that really work for you. Remind yourself of that fact. While there are definitely some situations calling for leadership, the thing your charts are calling for is self-leadership. Take a few weeks and organize your most personal priorities. Be clear about what you want, which today means resolving to become clear about what you want. This may take a little while; you’ve been distracted, though you now have some time and bandwidth to focus on what is the most meaningful to you. Remember, no matter how much you think you know, this will be a discovery process.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is certainly shaping up to be one of the more high-achievement times in your life. You are driven and determined to stop at nothing, which is calling forth some of your deepest resources. This includes your willingness to stand out; which really means your admission of how different you really are, and your commitment to making that difference work for you. You can, will and in truth must keep going — though I recommend that you take the time to slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Make contact with the people you care about, and let them know you’re available to them. It would suit you well if your definition of success includes having the time and space to experience the world in purely human terms. This will be good for everyone, especially you — and good for business.