by Michael O'Reilly

NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Showdown in Hong Kong, and Elsewhere

On July 1 Hong Kong officially becomes Chinese territory, and completes the process of blending two systems in one country. While July 1 itself looks peaceful as a transition date, another, more sinister celestial condition is shaping up which will likely bring more dangerous elements into sharp confrontation.

Mars and Saturn, the perennial bad guys in the heavens, are now in the polar signs of Libra and Aries, and these two planets will be opposite each other on July 28 and July 29. Watch over the coming month as naturally enemies face off for a showdown.

If we are to witness any devastating event in Hong Kong in the immediate future, the last week of July is the most likely timing. But watch elsewhere for similar showdowns. In the United States, President Clinton's alleged affair with Paula Jones is shaping up, as is Hillary's role in Whitewater and Vincent Foster's suicide.

And within Congress the budget proposal is heading for dramatic conclusion by the end of July. Expect to see many variations of government conspiracies, and perhaps an actual attack by a radical militia group, or some crazed patriot acting in isolation. Bottom line: the last week of July links to the USA horoscope with extremely dangerous connections, and the celestial climate for that phase comes with major warning flags.

The Roswell Incident: Case Opened

By releasing a 231 page report "explaining" the Roswell Incident last week, the Air Force hoped to demonstrate its official disinterest in aliens and crashed flying saucers. The weighty document, titled "The Roswell Incident: Case Closed," raised more questions than it answered, especially among the estimated 100,000 ufologists making a pilgrimage to Roswell this week for the event's 50th anniversary.

The birth of the government cover-up began on July 7, 1947 at a 4:00 o'clock press conference in Fort Worth, Texas. General Roger Ramey paraded some shiny parachute fragments in front of the news reporters, and explained that there was no "Crashed Flying Saucer," and that it was just an Air Force experiment gone bad.

The problem with this explanation is that a horoscope drawn up for his press conference indicates that he was being less than forthright. The Pisces Moon in that chart is known for its easy deceptions and gullibility. And Mars, the natural ruler of Generals, is in the communications sign of Gemini, but stressfully modified by the Pisces Moon. The planet which governs media events is Mercury, which is retrograde, indicating that much of what was known was being held back, or concealed.

While we may never know what happened at Roswell 50 years ago, the incident does mark the historical beginning of a modern myth. Roswell is the Genesis story of Ufology, and it contains all the elements of a new religion. The ET cult begins at Roswell, and the mysterious technology of flying saucers offers true believers proof that we are not alone.

Jacques Cousteau: 1910 - 1997

Famed explorer and environmental hero Jacques Cousteau died last week of a heart attack at age 87. Gifted in many fields, the French film-maker was also what French President Chirac enigmatically called an "enchanter". Cousteau began his stellar career with the 1968 documentary "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau."

According to French statistician Michel Gauquelin, Cousteau was born on June 11, 1910 (at 1:15 PM LMT near Bordeaux, France). Neptune, the planet governing film and the oceans, resides in his tenth house of career. Neptune's meaning is elusive and mystical, but perhaps Cousteau explained it best: "The reason why I love the sea, I cannot explain. It's physical.... When you dive, you begin to feel that you're an angel. It's a liberation of your weight."

Cousteau's Sun is in restless, talkative Gemini, and is conjunct Pluto. Cousteau's Sun/Pluto is in his ninth house, the sector governing foreign places, publishing, and the quest for meaning. These two planets describe Cousteau's passionate sense of mission, and his work to establish a worldwide ecology movement. Jupiter on his Ascendant and a Leo Moon combine to give him a wonderful sense of drama and showmanship.

Cousteau's Uranus in the 4th is the cosmopolitan citizen, because the personal domestic scene is often disruptive and insecure. Cousteau's Mars in Cancer opposite Uranus describe the troublesome family affairs, especially regarding his two sons, one killed in an accident, the other estranged through personal differences. Mars opposite Uranus, however, gave Cousteau the boundless courage to explore our planet's most dangerous waters.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email: (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Tobacco Stocks Soar

Last Friday, on the day of the Full Moon, an historic tobacco negotiation became a done deal, and tobacco stocks soared. The tobacco industry is now admitting that nicotine is addictive, and will pay out $370 billion over the next few decades. In return, tobacco giants would be given immunity from any past deception, fraud or conspiracy, and blanket protection from future lawsuits.

Analysts were amazed by these sudden and surprise developments, and were wondering "Why now?" Astrologically, a confluence of planetary alinements opened the celestial gates of opportunity. Looking at the Scorpio Rising USA horoscope, transiting Uranus is currently exactly square (90 degree angle) to the Ascendant.

Uranian keywords include the same words journalists have used to describe this event: surprising, sudden, and historic change of direction.

Another major astrological influence is the passage of Saturn through the sector of public health (the sixth house). Saturn is slowing down now, increasing its impact on sixth house affairs. Public announcements tout this agreement as the greatest benefit to public health in history. Thirty years ago (one Saturn cycle), public officials were equally ecstatic about their victory over tobacco companies when they got the warning label approved, and incorrectly assumed everyone would quit smoking.

Other indicators heighten the excitement and expand the scope of this deal: Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, is exactly trine the USA Moon (representing the people). Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto are also all making key connections. The downside of this deal is that these planets are all retrograde, indicating that there's still much work to be done, and more chapters to be played out.

Healing the Nation's Wounds

The only outer planet not retrograde right now is Saturn, but it is slowing down, and about to stop. Saturn's retrograde phase begins on August 1, and the point where it stops connects to a critical axis in the USA horoscope. Saturn stops exactly conjunct the USA Chiron in the sixth house of health.

Chiron shows where the nation has deep wounds, and Saturn's activation indicates a serious attempt to heal the national psyche. Clinton's proposal to begin a dialogue about slavery, and perhaps apologize for that institutional practice, is one manifestation of this cosmic vibration. The tobacco deal is another, parallel unfoldment of the planetary symbolism. Over the next month we can expect many more attempts to heal the hurts that keep us separated and bitter.

The US Chiron is tensely related to a Mercury/Pluto axis, which factors in the conspiratorial elements that contribute to wounding. The radical militias are still seeking restitution for Waco and Ruby Ridge fiascoes. The family of Martin Luthor King Jr. is willing to grant immunity to anyone who knows anything about the assassination in order to clear the record of an apparent FBI conspiracy. And UFO enthusiasts are laughing at the latest Air Force explanation that the alien bodies found at Roswell in 1947 were actually crash-test dummies.

Astrologers will want to watch the news closely toward the end of July when Mars opposes Saturn. This aspect will activate all the above scenarios in a potentially extremely dangerous fashion. Powerful forces are pushing toward resolution, either through civil discourse, or violent, ruthless action.

Paula Jones and the Outer Planets

As Saturn comes to a full stop, and opposes the U.S. Juno, we can expect to see further developments in Clinton's civil case against Paula Jones. Juno represents the scorned woman, and Paula Jones, with her Scorpio Moon, is out for revenge.

Paula Jones was born on September 17, 1966 (according to an L.A. Times article, but time is unknown). She's what astrologer Donna Cunningham calls an Outer Planet Person (OPP) because her Sun is closely aspecting all three of the outer planets. OPPs are not like ordinary people because they are buffeted about by the transpersonal, evolutionary forces represented by the outer planets.

In the mid-1960s Saturn was in Pisces and opposite a Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo. Uranus and Pluto coming together is a relatively rare alinement (happening once every 127 years), and is most often an indicator of social upheaval and revolution. Throw in Saturn, and you have an all-out battle between the old tradition (Saturn) and the progressive revolution (Uranus).

Anyone born in 1966 will have these planets as a natal configuration, and will be tossed back and forth by these competing impulses. And any natal planet closely alined with these Outer Planets will be magnified enormously in importance. Jones was born with her Virgo Sun right in the midst of this spectacular line-up, and so she herself is compelled to play a part bigger than her socio-economic background might indicate. Her trailer park environment, mixed with a bit of cosmic destiny, has carried her all the way to the Supreme Court.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Economy Soars into Cultural Renaissance

Last week the Dow Jones averages reached dizzying heights, closing at week's end near 7800. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in 24 years, corporate earnings continue to rise, and the federal government is balancing its budget. What happened to the business cycle? Are we heading for a crash?

Not likely. With the outer planets are all forming harmonious aspects to each other, the U.S. economic good news is resonating across the global marketplace. Although making financial forecasts using astrology is tricky business, the best explanation I've seen comes from Alan Meece's new book, "Horoscope for the New Millennium."

Meece has developed a Time Line to measure the cyclical heights of civilization. The astrological indicators he uses include outer planet conjunctions, and when these planets are in the so-called transpersonal signs of Sagittarius through Pisces. Astonishingly, the highest peak of civilization is occurring right now!

The point system makes our present decade more of a cultural rebirth than the Enlightenment of the mid 18th century, or the Renaissance of Leonardo's and Michelangelo's era. But don't tell the doomsdayers - they're set on Armageddon!

Clinton Victory and Jupiter in Aquarius

Last week Jupiter turned retrograde in Aquarius, sparking a significant turning point in Bill Clinton's standing in Washington. While the President continues to enjoy a 60 percent approval rating across the country, his stature Inside the Beltway has always been challenged by the media and his political enemies.

Jupiter is connecting to Clinton's natal horoscope in powerfully beneficial ways right now. His use of the Bully Pulpit last week roused public opinion, and he successfully put down a Republican attempt to attach political riders to the Disaster Relief bill. This week, Clinton is addressing the issue of racial inequality in America (you read it here first in last week's column!).

Jupiter in Aquarius, along with Uranus in Aquarius, ushers in an astrological climate that fosters social justice and equality. While Jupiter brings opportunities for new programs and honest discussion, Uranus is more forceful and revolutionary. Jupiter is currently in the U.S. fourth house of domestic conditions, and will be there for another year.

When Jupiter leaves, the opportunities for reconciliation and constructive growth fade away. Then we collectively must deal with the more demanding Uranian impulses. For a look at what this cosmic wave might bring, look back to the early 1900s when Uranus was last in Aquarius, when the news featured women's suffrage, angry labor unions, and radical socialism - all social movements geared toward greater equality and fairness within the capitalist system.

Bill Gates and Pallas Athene

Last week Microsoft spent $1 billion to buy a chunk of ComCast, the nation's fourth largest cable company. The deal is only the latest in CEO Bill Gates' strategy to invest in media-related enterprises, and to push the WWW into the TV set. Last year Microsoft partnered up with NBC to produce the online news service MSNBC.

With $9 billion in surplus cash, we can expect to see much more of Microsoft's media merger mania. Scorpio Bill Gates (Oct. 28, 1955; 9:48 PM,* Redmond, WA) has the drive and intensity to continue playing the visionary mogul role well into the next millennium. An Aries Moon near the Midheaven describes his take-charge attitude, and the restless, youthful energy of the perpetual teenager.

The planet of new technology, Uranus, is located very near Gates' Cancer Ascendant, and is being activated this year by several outer planets. Then, with Saturn currently transiting through his tenth house of public recognition and status, Gates is leveraging his money and reputation to guide the Information Age into its next quantum leap.

The ability to recognize patterns, especially those associated with computer languages, has been linked with the asteroid Pallas Athene, which Gates has extremely well-placed in his 6th house of work. Gates' Pallas is exactly alined with the Galactic Center, a point which symbolically represents the urge (often the push) to transcend cultural and national boundaries.

Through computers, Gates has been instrumental in constructing the Information SuperHighway, the surest route to the Global Village. Pallas is also precisely trine to his Jupiter/Pluto conjunction. Pallas trine Jupiter and Pluto is the visionary, the seer, and in Gates' case, because he has Jupiter/Pluto in the second house of money, Pallas bestows the strategic vision to make $billions.

* Bill Gates' exact birth time is unsettled. Data collector Lois Rodden indicates that Gates was born at 10 PM. The 9:48 PM time given here is rectified.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email: (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Juno, Goddess of Marriage and Revenge

Juno, Queen of the Goddesses, figured prominently in the news last week through her various earthly guises. Following Clinton's legal battles with Paula Jones, the leading candidate to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Joseph Ralston, was told that his adulterous affair 13 years ago might disqualify him.

Defense Secretary William Cohen said no, his adulterous affair shouldn't besmirch his sterling public record. Naturally, many observers decried this ruling as a Double Standard, since only the week before Lt. Kelly Flinn lost her appeal for honorable discharge. Astrologically, Juno, the asteroid governing marriage and committed relationships, has been the leading celestial indicator for this current public discussion of morality, adultery, and fairness. In the U.S. horoscope, Juno is located at 20 degrees Libra, and is being activated by transiting Saturn, now only two degrees away from an exact opposition.

Juno's archetypal essence demands to be treated fairly, especially in personal relationships. When looking at geopolitical affairs, Juno also connotes the demands for equal treatment from the oppressed sectors of society. After all, the social contract (equivalent to the marriage contract) guarantees equality before the law, but many minorities legitimately feel disenfranchised.

Watch over the coming months as transiting Saturn slows down to make its retrograde station. When Saturn stops, it will be exactly opposite the U.S. Juno (in the 12th house). We can expect much more debate on the issue of adultery, and how well the President's marriage is standing up. Look also for open questioning of the various Double Standards in America, especially as regards to race relations, and most troubling, from the radical militia groups who see Timothy McVeigh as a martyr.

Timothy McVeigh and Juno

The most interesting and frightening trait of Juno is that when she is angry because of being treated unfairly, she goes into a tremendous rage. Because Juno is located in the U.S. twelfth house, much of this rage is repressed, under the surface, and highly explosive. Juno in the U.S. chart is radically warped by difficult aspects to other U.S. planets, and this complex is responsible for the periodic terrorist actions and insane rampages that disrupt America's domestic tranquility.

Timothy McVeigh (April 23, 1968; 8:30 AM; Lockport, NY) is a case in point. His entire personality is shaped by the Juno archetype since his Taurus Sun is opposite Juno. He weighs and judges everything to see how fairly the underdogs are being treated, just as a wife might monitor her domineering husband's activities. His military assessment of the Waco affair drove him to the rage and need for revenge which is so characteristic of Juno, especially a seething, spiteful, furious Scorpio Juno.

On the day of the Oklahoma City bombing (April 19, 1995), the Lunar Node axis was exactly on McVeigh's Juno. The U.S. Juno was simultaneously activated by both Saturn and Chiron. Juno herself was turning retrograde in Capricorn; she was virtually stopped in the sky, and therefore the most powerful astrological indicator of the event. Juno in institutional Capricorn can attack the buildings represented by the oppressor.

On October 20, 1995, when Juno had turned direct and then returned to the same degree as the bombing, Attorney General Janet Reno demanded the death penalty for McVeigh, expressing the government's reaction and need for revenge (Juno in Capricorn). Last week the circle of revenge was completed as McVeigh was found guilty, and transiting Juno was virtually exactly opposite her position during the bombing incident.

Icy Planet (TL66) Discovered

"It's the first object in a sort of no-man's-land, an area we never thought we could get a glimpse of with our current technology," said Jane Luu, the Harvard astronomer who discovered an icy mini-planet orbiting well beyond Pluto. Astronomers were surprised at how easy this trans-Neptunian object was discovered, and suspect there are many more like it out there.

This reckoning figures in the planet's potential metaphysical attributes. From the news of the discovery date (Oct 9, 1996), several unusual events with parallel force vectors were evident. The magnificent San Francisco Public Library opened for the first time. State-of-the-art technology now offers digital viewing of rare and fragile materials on 300 terminals. One critic said in admiration, "the new library inhabits a different universe."

In analogous news, the influence of well-heeled foreigners in politics first hit the headlines, soon to reveal a major campaign finance scandal. And then a panel of medical experts concluded that there was no chemical link to the Gulf War Syndrome that many vets were complaining about. The panel ignored evidence of biological weapons, a can of worms yet to explode onto the headlines. Tupak Shapur was murdered, revealing the tip of an iceberg of gangs in the rap music industry.

This new mini-planet is like a herald, a representative of a vast, hidden universe just beginning to manifest. Astronomers have pegged the planet's glacially slow orbit at around three to five degrees Taurus for 1997. This, coincidentally, is exactly on Timothy McVeigh's Sun-Juno axis! From the evidence, we can see that McVeigh's stand for anti-government forces is only the opening shot of an invisible militia movement now beginning to materialize.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email: (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Love Scandals and Jupiter's Morality

Last week a flurry of shameful romances were prominently featured in the news. The enduring sexual misconduct episodes in the armed forces capped off when Lt. Kelly Flinn's adulterous affair was finally settled. Then Kathy Lee Gifford's sportscasting husband Frank was set up by a sleaze magazine, as he was captured on video making love with a hired bimbo. And Marv Albert, another sportscaster, was likewise accused of dithering where he shouldn't.

Top billing went to Bill Clinton. In a stunning unanimous Supreme Court decision, Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit was allowed to go forward, even though it might distract from the President's official duties. What's going on here? What celestial weather can bring this sizzling sequence of sex scandals?

While scientific minds would undoubtedly say it's all coincidence, astrologers were well aware that the two love planets, Venus and Mars, were in challenging mode, as they formed a square aspect in the signs of Gemini and Virgo. To make matters worse, moralistic Jupiter was also involved, so that all three planets were at 21 degrees of their respective signs on the exact day that the Supreme Court issued its opinion.

Cosmic Rain and Theoretical Astrology

Last week scientists were collectively stupefied when photographs from NASA's Polar spacecraft showed that thousands of comet snowballs from outer space are pelting the Earth's atmosphere daily, adding to the planet's water. "This relatively gentle `cosmic rain'--which possibly contains simple organic compounds--may well have nurtured the development of life on our planet," said physicist Louis Frank, who first proposed the possibility some 11 years ago.

The metaphysical image of this process resonates with the Gaia hypothesis, the scientific perspective of the Earth as a living, organic being. Perhaps billions of years ago, this rocky, receptive planet was fertilized by the cosmic rain, which gave birth to Gaia, and which in turn nourished the evolution of humanity.

Meanwhile, John Townley has proposed a scientific theory for the basis of astrology: As early as the seventeenth century, a Dutch scientist discovered that a room full of pendulum clocks, if left alone for awhile, always ended up in perfect lockstep, no matter how out-of synch they were at the beginning. In the same way, the planets tend to create a fundamental set of rhythms which create regular waves across our earth, whether gravitational, electro-magnetic, or even psychological.

Scientists have measured these effects on the earth's larger systems, such as the tidal motions, weather, and geological cycles. They all get into a locked mode, just as the pendulum clocks. The smaller systems lock onto those, and onward down in fractal patterns, until the series of integrated systems are set up and continually reinforced.

Astrology teaches us to see how everything is interconnected. When time and space expands fractally outwards and inwards, the birth of Gaia can be seen as the exact replica of the birth of a new human being. As above, so below.

Hillary To Divorce in 2000?

President Clinton's embarrassing escapade with Paula Jones may soon be settled in the courts to both parties' satisfaction. Hillary, on the other hand, must be at the end of her rope. She is currently experiencing one of the most difficult aspects anyone can go through, and it may eventually signify the end of her marriage.

Hillary was born on October 27, 1946 (at 8:00 PM in Chicago) with her Sun in the psychologically intense sign of Scorpio. The cerebral planet Uranus is very close to her Gemini Ascendant, which projects over her underlying emotional depths a cool veneer of intelligence and social grace. A sympathetic Pisces Moon near her Midheaven substantiates Hillary's reputation as a caring mother and uncompromising social reformer (Moon is square Uranus).

Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, is now squaring her Midheaven, as her public standing undergoes severe scrutiny. Pluto was at its most excruciating potency when it was turning retrograde at 5 degrees Sagittarius in late February and early March. This is when Hillary left the United States for a trip to Africa, and the Supreme Court was considering whether to allow Paula Jones her day in court. Pluto returns to this harsh zone in November, when Hillary may once again have to escape the public eye.

Perhaps most troubling, however, is Hillary's progressed chart, which features a Sun/Uranus opposition in a little over a year. She also has her progressed Mars conjunct her natal fourth house cusp, showing immense anger. Unexpressed, this means unbearable resentment. How will this play out over the next few years? When her progressed Sun finally opposes her natal Uranus during the 2000 election campaign, this is when she will most likely want to separate from her husband. This is the classical divorce aspect.

For more on Townley's brilliant theory, see Chapter 2 in his new book, Dynamic Astrology. Reader feedback is welcome! Email (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Jupiter and Military Affairs

Ever since President Clinton took office in January 1993, the U.S. military has been experiencing deep internal problems due to how personnel sexually relate to each other. Clinton's first act was to introduce a new policy toward gays in the military, and more recently we've seen the Tailhook Scandal, rape charges against drill sergeants who took advantage of women recruits, and 1st Lt. Kelly Flinn's fall from grace.

Clinton's tenure was destined to create a social experimentation phase in the U.S. armed forces since he has revolutionary Uranus alined with the U.S. Mars, the planetary representative of the military. This Mars is located at 21 degrees Gemini. Last week transiting Mars in the U.S. eleventh house of social values was exactly square the U.S. Mars when Lt. Flinn's case was finally resolved.

Flinn, the nation's first female B-52 bomber pilot and the Air Force's favorite PR doll, was in trouble for having an adulterous affair, and then lying about it. Are there double standards in the military? Watch over the coming weeks as transiting Jupiter approaches a justice-inducing trine to the U.S. Mars. Military gender roles should find harmonizing standards everyone can live with by June 9 when Jupiter reaches its critical turning point. This Jupiter station should also initiate Clinton's interest in military affairs. He will likely be actively involved in securing and expanding military alliances, such as NATO (Jupiter is in the alliance sign of Aquarius). Again, watch around June 9 (plus or minus a few days) for major developments in this area.

The Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999

As we collectively edge toward the next age, a powerful astrological event is scheduled which should set the geopolitical tone for the last few months of the present millennium. A total solar eclipse takes place on August 11, 1999 with several outer planets dangerously poised to challenge the status quo. On the day of the eclipse Mars and Saturn are opposed to each other, and squaring the Leo eclipse. Simultaneously, Uranus in Aquarius is also opposed to the eclipse.

This fixed-signed configuration, called a Grand Cross by astrologers, is comprised of very antagonistic archetypes, guaranteeing that military, economic, political, and possibly religious factions will be in extremely tense relationship to each other, battling in whatever means available.

These planets share remarkable similarities to the solar eclipse of August 6, 1990, which coincided with the Persian Gulf War. The United States, as the self-proclaimed global cop, will undoubtedly be deeply involved with a major military operation during the 1999 solar eclipse because the Grand Cross planets activate the U.S. Midheaven (located at 16 degrees Leo, the very location of the eclipse).

All the planets in this Grand Cross point to some kind of showdown. Both Mexico and Russia staged their founding revolutions the last time Uranus was in Aquarius, and we can expect these countries to be experiencing major upheavals.

Perhaps Iraq will be revisited, but Iran and the Pan-Islamic movement should likewise be on the march. And within the United States, the religious right will be readying itself for its greatest political entry to date, a viable candidate for the next Presidential election.

Tiger Woods, Cablinasian SuperStar

Celebrated golfer Tiger Woods added another jewel to his crown last Sunday by winning the Byron Nelson Classic. This follows his dramatic 12-stroke victory in the Masters on April 13 to become the youngest winner ever, a feat which boosted TV ratings to equally stunning records. A five-year, $60 million endorsement contract with Nike and Titleist makes him a champ no matter what numbers you crunch.

Tiger Woods was born on December 30, 1975 (at 10:50 PM in Long Beach, CA) giving him the mature, ambitious, and serious Capricorn temperament. His Moon in athletic Sagittarius receives a competitive edge by being opposed to his Mars, located near his career point, the Midheaven. Mars at the Midheaven or near the Ascendant is frequently found in professional athlete's charts, one of the statistical facts noted by researcher Michel Gauquelin.

Mercury, as ruler of Tiger's Ascendant and Midheaven, becomes one of the most important points in his horoscope. Mercury is in the fifth house of entertainment and recreational sports. And because it is in the same zodiacal location as the U.S. Pluto, his personal trials and successes become a powerful American myth. His multicultural ethnic background he calls Cablinasian, a term designed to deny easy categorization.

What astrological factors attributed to his recent success? Tiger's progressions tell the story: his progressed Mars just turned direct, and his progressed Midheaven squares the success planet, Jupiter. In twelve years Tiger's progressed Mercury turns direct, a time which should indicate a new career, perhaps as a commentator or journalist.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email: (Michael O'Reilly)

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Ceres Returns Home

Last week the Senate took up a measure to ban late-term partial abortions. President Clinton has vowed to veto a Republican sponsored measure after the Administration's own similar bill was defeated. The "intact dilation and extraction" procedure, controversial and graphically horrifying, is nominally at the center of this bill, but Pro-Life forces and Pro-Choice forces each see this legislation as a potential turning point in their mutual battle for the hearts and minds of the American public.

Astrologically, the intensity of this abortion issue can be seen in the asteroid Ceres, which last week was exactly squaring Pluto. This week Ceres moves on to return to its original place in the U.S. horoscope (at 8 degrees Pisces, and in the 5th house of children), indicating a significant change in this, and other Ceres-related events. Watch for some dramatic conclusion to this legislature in Congress.

The celestial struggle between Ceres and Pluto has mythological roots: Pluto, the God of the underworld, kidnapped Ceres' daughter Persephone. Ceres, in her grief, withdrew herself from the Earth, and all the natural abundance which she ruled over withered and died. When the Goddess energy, symbolized by Ceres, is ruthlessly exploited by Pluto, the symbol of greed and domination, all the Goddess's blessings are destroyed.

Pluto is slowly creeping forward, and will eventually square the U.S. Ceres, beginning in 1998. While the confrontation between the Goddess energy (the magic of life and growth) and the forces of domination (Pluto) were apparent last week, just wait until next year! Ceres in the U.S. horoscope squares Uranus, the planet of technology. When Pluto activates this zodiac zone, the question of how technology can preserve, destroy, or define life becomes prominent.

Asteroids and the Awakening Goddess

Ceres governs agricultural products and the environmental movement. When President Clinton was visiting Mexico and Central American countries last week, and Ceres and Pluto were forming a square, the U.S. signed several agreements to foster more trade in grains. Clinton also visited the Costa Rican rainforest, touting the conservation efforts there.

Many astrologers still question the use of Ceres and other asteroids in charts. While we have currently sighted and tracked over 5,000 asteroids, the first four are most commonly deployed by astrologers, and some researchers use 40 or 50 asteroids. These small but potent celestial bodies orbit between Mars and Jupiter where mathematically, a planet should be. Astronomers assume that this planet exploded eons ago, and the asteroids are the remnants.

Whether astrologers use four or 40 asteroids, their use reflects the Awakening Goddess energy. These asteroids are entirely feminine archetypes, and restore balance to the male-dominated pantheon of planets. The beginning of the Age of Aquarius coincides with this Awakening, just as it did 25,000 years ago when civilization was first born and last experienced the Age of Aquarius. Humanity was organized by matriarchal values then, but went dormant during the rise of the patriarchal religions about 5,000 years ago.

Over the next few years transiting Pluto will be activating the U.S. Ceres. Ceres represents the caring of our natural resources, which Presidential hopeful Al Gore has identified with. As Pluto by transit squares Ceres and opposes Uranus, expect the battle between environmental forces and industrial developers to reach extreme levels. Uranus in America's eighth house of capitalism represents the rights of independent entrepreneurs to do their thing, unbridled by government laws and regulations.

Mobutu Sese Seko Retires

Long time President and dictator of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, is out, pushed by his one time admirer and follower Laurent Kabila. Mobutu, born on Oct 14, 1930, is a Libra, with Moon in tribal-oriented Cancer. While Libras are not often associated with dictatorial powers, Mobutu's Sun is dynamically connected to a powerful Mars/Jupiter/Pluto triple conjunction, also in Cancer.

The planetary combination of Jupiter and Pluto, closely aspecting the Sun can bestow great wealth and political power. Mobutu has taken a cut on virtually every economic transaction in his country since he first assumed power with the assistance of the CIA on November 24, 1965.

Mobutu is now experiencing a natural fall from power as his progressed Sun and Moon come together in late Sagittarius to form a progressed Lunation (right on the Galactic Center, 27 degrees!). In addition, the timing for this collapse is Saturn, which will soon be opposing his Sun, as it squares all his planets in Cancer.

On August 1st transiting Saturn stops at 20 degrees Aries, exactly opposite Mobutu's Sun. This will correspond to his greatest worldly challenge, which could mean failed health (he suffers from prostrate cancer). Mobutu's Sun is conjunct Vesta, the secret service asteroid, and guardian of his vast wealth. When Saturn opposes his Sun, it simultaneously opposes Vesta. Watch for attempts to seize his secret treasure around late July to early August.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Enter Chiron, the Alternative Healer

Last week alternative healer Andrew Weil graced the cover of Time magazine. The bold heading declared that this "Medicine Man has made New Age remedies popular," and asks the burning question: is it Sound Advice or Snake Oil? Now that traditional medicine is in disarray because of exploding costs, millions of Americans are turning to nutrition, lifestyle changes, and other non-invasive, natural techniques to maintain health.

Astrologically, Chiron is associated with alternative medicine and its practitioners. Last week transiting Chiron was exactly square the U.S. Pluto, reflecting the profound and widespread recognition of both Dr. Weil and alternative healing as a growing and legitimate movement. Chiron is a bit of a maverick, and Weil has long lived on the fringe of traditional medicine, slowly making inroads into consensus reality with his natural health books.

The American Medical Association (A.M.A.) and most doctors belittle nutrition and other alternative techniques - a cursory examination of any hospital lunch menu can confirm that. When Chiron squares Pluto, as it did last week, the battle between knowledge of the mind/body connection (symbolized by Chiron) and the corporate powers (Pluto in Capricorn) emerges in full public view.

Astrology itself is closely associated with Chiron, as long as it employs the mind/body connection. Sun Signs are only a fraction of the horoscope picture. But when astrology goes beyond the entertainment value of Sun Signs, it becomes part of the New Age awareness that sees our collective reality as a holistic universe.

Mercury Direct and Misinformation

Last week Congress and the Clinton Administration euphorically announced a balanced budget plan, to be implemented by the year 2002. The bipartisan compromise promised tax cuts, increased spending on education, and adjustments in Medicare allotments. According to the astrological conditions at the time of this agreement, the politicians are collectively deceiving the public once again.

Last week Mercury turned direct in a critical degree zone, as it squared Neptune, the planet of deception and illusions. This celestial combination was felt everywhere, and at all levels of human interaction. In Washington, the budget compromise is already unraveling, as participants can't agree on the specifics, or even if the tax cuts can go forward.

Mercury, the planet ruling writers, was in aggressive Aries. The square to Neptune marked an important transition for American writers, as both Mike Royko (Chicago columnist) and Murray Kempton (New York columnist) died last week. Neptune has been passing over the U.S. Pluto in the third house of mass communications, a second indicator for writers. Herb Caen (San Francisco columnist) died in February. We're having an epidemic of good writers moving on!

Mercury/Neptune aspects are famous for fraud, forgetfulness, deception, and misinformation. Any contracts, documents, messages received last week under this foggy influence are suspect, so read the fine print! Now Mercury has moved into solid, practical Taurus, so all communications are more reality-based and pragmatic.

Chelsea to go to Stanford

Chelsea Clinton, defying her parents wishes that she attend some university closer to home, has decided to go to Stanford. Chelsea, born on February 27, 1980 (at 11:24 PM in Little Rock, Arkansas), is strong-willed with both Mars and Jupiter opposite her Pisces Sun. With her dramatic Leo Moon in the ninth house of higher education, she's sure to be in the limelight for her entire stay at the prestigious California school.

For most of her stay at the White House, Chelsea has maintained a low profile. Recently however, she has begun to emerge from her protective shell, impelled no doubt by transiting Pluto squaring her tenth house planets. While visiting Africa with her mother, Chelsea took center stage to answer questions about her own future, and that of American teens in general.

Could Chelsea ever enter politics? With Uranus Rising in intense Scorpio (and trine Mercury), Chelsea has the intelligence, the perseverance, and the independence to become a political force. She has Saturn at the eleventh house, giving her insights into political ideologies, and an ambition (albeit reluctant, since Saturn is retrograde) to shape and control the larger social evolution.

Chiron is strongly placed in Chelsea's chart in the sixth house of health. Chiron squares her Moon, and sextiles her Sun, perhaps reflecting the psychologically wounded state of her home life. Chiron square Moon will be activated next February (by transiting Uranus), by which time she may have some personal health crisis.

Reader feedback is welcome. Email: (Michael O'Reilly). Chelsea's birth data comes from Lois Rodden's DataNews.

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Irrational Exuberance and the Outer Planets

The outer planets Uranus and Neptune have been cited by political astrologers as representing two diverse ideologies in our global village. Uranus is associated with democratic capitalism, and the freedom of individuals to pursue their own destiny unfettered by the demands of the government or larger social needs. Neptune, in contrast, is associated with communism, socialism, and the compassionate caretaker role of those in power.

Currently, these two outer planets are making dynamic moves in the astrological weather situation. Uranus is about to turn retrograde as it connects two major points in the U.S. horoscope: Uranus is trine to the U.S. eighth house Uranus and squaring the Ascendant. This combo leads to some dramatic and crisis-oriented events. We have already been treated to the commando raid of the Japanese Embassy in Peru, which occurred as Mercury activated Uranus. Mercury governs intelligence, and the F.B.I. provided accurate information on the rebels' exact locations within the fortified embassy.

As Uranus comes to an absolute stop next Monday (May 12), we can expect a number of major developments in the geopolitical climate. Uranus in the third house suggests potential airline or other transportation disaster (caused by human error as Mercury squares Neptune). Look also for trans-national corporations to be making huge buy-outs or mergers in the telecommunications field (Uranus in eighth is computer and high-tech corporations). Expect also for the stock market to continue in its wild gyrations, hitting new highs, and collapsing suddenly over the next few weeks.

Uranus here is also noted for its revolutionary fervor, which militia from the self-proclaimed Republic of Texas demonstrated as best it could. Watch out for more such anti-government movements and propaganda over the coming few weeks, especially as the trial of Timothy McVeigh gets underway.

Neptune in Aquarius, The Return of Socialism?

Neptune is now as close as a planet can get to Aquarius without actually entering. Neptune is at the gate, and turning away, but its presence has been made known by Colin Powell as he introduces a national campaign to help at-risk teens. Even corporate CEOs have pledged their support. And with Jupiter and Uranus both in Aquarius now (and in the U.S. fourth house of domestic conditions), his mission will find ready response from the public.

When Neptune actually enters Aquarius in late January 1998, we will be seeing the beginnings of its epochal changes, due to manifest over the next 14 years. Renowned astrologer Liz Greene foresees the return of socialism. Karl Marx wrote Das Kapital when Neptune was last in Aquarius in the 1840s, but that time also brought the birth of Mormonism and a few other religions with charismatic leaders.

America's pioneer spirit soared the last time Neptune was in Aquarius. Americans' vision of its fated self-importance came alive under the banner of "Manifest Destiny" then, and we can expect that some similar national crusade will be born when Neptune finally does enter Aquarius next year. A major religious or political movement will eventually sweep the global village, according to these examples from history.

Colin Powell and the Alliance for Youth

Last week Colin Powell, the former head of a vast military alliance, held a Summit to support volunteerism. With Presidents present and past in attendance, Powell asked the realistic question: will it work? And gathered pundits asked the equally realistic question, will he run for President in 2000?

As the top Presidential choice last year in public opinion polls, Powell remains a strong contender. Born on April 5, 1937 (12:01 PM in Bronx, NY), Powell's Aries Sun and Aquarius Moon make him a pioneer for social justice and equal opportunity. Transiting Saturn will be crossing his Midheaven and Sun over the next two weeks, giving rise to much speculation concerning his Presidential ambitions.

He says he's not interested in the job, and his horoscope confirms that statement. With his progressed Mars in retrograde motion for the next 22 years, he doesn't have the "fire in the belly" that politicians need to conquer opponents. And his progressed lunation cycle is approaching the New Moon, representing a time of releasing personal ambition. This progressed lunation cycle points to an elder statesman role based on vision and wisdom, a job that Powell has clearly espoused.

Powell's energy and passion for civic renewal can do far more for this country than a bid for the Presidency. Asteroid lovers will note Powell's twelfth-house Vesta in Cancer, which propels him toward creating secure and protected communities for the disadvantaged. His progressed Vesta is nearly conjunct his Ascendant and will be exact in the election year 2000, indicating that Powell's community development plans will be a bright torch for those candidates seeking his endorsement.

Reader feedback is welcome. Email: (Michael O'Reilly).

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Pallas Athene, Warrior Goddess

Peru's President Fujimori has been the celebrated star of last week's dramatic surgical strike against the Tupak Amaru rebels. The 70 freed VIPs being held at the posh Japanese Embassy roundly thanked their rescuers: a special attack unit combined from Lima's police, and Peru's other military forces including its army and air force. The Go Ahead signal was given by Fujimori (born July 28, 1938) after all negotiating attempts had failed.

Astrologically, the star of this media event was Pallas Athene, the Warrior Goddess and Protectoress of the State. The surgical strike began at 3:20 PM on April 22 during the Full Moon in deadly Scorpio. This Full Moon axis was precisely 90 degrees (square) to Pallas Athene, located in early Aquarius. In virtually any chart drawn up to analyze this event, Pallas reigns as the dominant archetype.

Pallas Athene is noted in ancient mythology for her creative vision, her accurate perception of patterns, and the boldness to attack when diplomacy fails. From Greek and Roman tales modern astrologers understand this asteroid's meaning in event charts and natal horoscopes. Fujimori's Leo Sun is next to Mars and Pluto, giving him the hard edge to ferret out terrorists. Pallas Athene was exactly opposite his Sun/Mars conjunction at the moment of attack.

In the United States chart Pallas is situated next to the Moon in Aquarius. This combination reflects the American genius for putting diverse and isolated groups into a strategic, larger whole, as when the 13 colonies became a federated government. The F.B.I. both trained the Lima police, provided intelligence, and assembled the various attack units into a cohesive, laser-like SWAT team. All of South America's militaries are watching in amazement at this most unusual display of cooperation between the various branches of armed forces.

Saturn into U.S. Grand Forks

Transiting Saturn was exactly square the U.S. Sun last week when the Senate approved the Chemical Weapons Treaty. Because of the cosmic importance of the planetary line-up, the political changes engineered by Saturn will have ramifications extending far into the future. The Senate vote could have gone either way, and not until the last moment was it known whether this important international treaty would move forward.

In the U.S. chart the Sun is square Saturn, so when transiting Saturn entered this critical zodiac zone, a veritable fork in the road presented itself. With the deadline rapidly approaching, President Clinton and his political associates waged an all-out campaign to get the bill passed. This political victory is his first real achievement of the year, and indicates that he can be an effective leader over the next three or so years.

Still, Saturn is not yet finished in this critical area. Not until May 7 will this most immediate threat to Clinton's position be completed. We can expect, therefore, a vigorous effort by his enemies to find some smoking gun over the next week.

Clinton, fully realizing the crossroads he and the country are at, visited Grand Forks (!!!), South Dakota last week to commiserate with flood victims. Had the Chemical Weapons Treaty not passed, it would have been the first significant Senate rejection of an American led international effort since their refutation of the League of Nations in 1920.

Tony Blair, Great Britain's Next Prime Minister

Election season is shorter in Great Britain, but just as intense. John Major, the leader of the Conservative Party, looks to be on his way out for the May 1 election, ending the Conservatives hold on power since Margaret Thatcher took over 18 years ago. The expected winner will be the Labor Party's Tony Blair, an avid student of Clinton's political tactics.

According to the G.B. Astrological Association, Tony Blair was born on May 6, 1953 (at 5:00 AM BST in Edinburgh). With his Taurus Sun conjunct Pallas Athene, Blair is a natural strategist, with a gift for perceiving exactly how far his traditional liberal constituency has to move to the Left to win the election. Blair analyzed Clinton's political experiences with the new conservative trends following the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress.

Blair's Aquarius Moon helps him build coalitions, but his Mars in early Gemini will soon be under attack by Pluto, and the ruthless forces symbolized by this planet. The I.R.A. has been an active terrorist group during the pre-election run-up, and can be expected to give Blair further grief when he is elected. Transiting Pluto opposite his Mars indicates that he will get tough, and that this conflict will spill into a serious conflagration.

For an online look at events in Great Britain, visit the Daily Record-Sunday Mail at:

Reader feedback is welcome! Email [Michael O'Reilly].

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Saturn Changes America's Corporate Structure

Three years ago executives of the seven largest U.S. tobacco companies swore in Congressional testimony that nicotine is not addictive, and then denied that they manipulate nicotine levels in cigarettes. Recently, the Liggett Group admitted that cigarettes are addictive, and agreed to turn over potentially explosive internal documents which detail the industry's knowledge of tobacco's harmful health effects.

Now, as transiting Saturn opposes the U.S. Saturn, the two giant cigarette companies, RJR (Camel) and Phillip Morris (Marlboro), are offering $250 billion in exchange for a blanket protection against the mounting number of lawsuits. In political astrology, Saturn in the horoscope symbolizes the institutional framework that a country's system relies on for long term growth. Saturn can represent government bureaucracies, traditional corporate businesses, and any other organized structure that facilitates the status quo.

Saturn in Aries falls into the U.S. sixth house of health, labor, and the armed forces. Each of these areas is now being restructured across the country. The health aspect can be seen in the successful anti-Tobacco crusade. The armed services are currently being restructured through the litigation involving the raping of female recruits by training officers. Also in the news last week was Nike's voluntary agreement sparked by Kathy Lee Gifford's efforts supporting workers rights.

Saturn is doing its celestial job of establishing limits in other areas as well. The State Department is undergoing an historic re-organization. The Justice department, and especially the F.B.I., is likewise re-organizing. Watch over the next two weeks for additional news about America's institutional restructuring process, sponsored by that harsh taskmaster, Saturn.

Mars Turning Direct

The surprising news of the tobacco industry's secret talks was made public last week as Mercury turned retrograde and squared Uranus. These two planets activated the U.S. Ascendant at 8 degrees Scorpio. While Mercury has moved on, the slower planet Uranus remains closely aspecting the U.S. Ascendant and can be expected to bring more surprises to American politics over the next two weeks.

Another trigger planet (like Mercury) is Mars. Mars has been retrograde since early February, but turns direct next Sunday, April 27. This is a date to watch for military surprises, unexpected incidents of violence, and the possibility of major accidents. Mars is associated with generals and military action, so watch for important announcements from the Pentagon around this date (plus or minus a day or two).

Across the global village, Mars turning direct in Virgo indicates the sudden movement of armies. The Middle East is ripe for terrorism, and in pre-election season in Great Britain, the I.R.A. is likely to set off some bombs to disrupt the process. Mars turning direct is one of the more reliable indicators in political astrology, and with Uranus squaring the U.S. Ascendant, this country too may be subject to sudden and explosive terrorism.

Bill Clinton's political foes will likely be emerging. Mars turns direct in his 12th house of secret enemies, so watch for new accusations and charges that may have some teeth, because the current Saturn transit is also opposite his progressed Sun. And transiting Neptune in the last degree of Capricorn further symbolizes a corrupt system; if Clinton is ever going to leave office before his term is up, these coming two weeks should prove decisive.

The Sword of Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, is feeling the heat this week, and is being pushed to resign. Netanyahu, born on October 21, 1949 (at 9:30 AM, Jerusalem) has four planets in Libra, including his Sun and Moon. With transiting Saturn opposing these planets ever since he assumed office, he has been under constant political pressure.

Netanyahu's Mars is at the same location of Israel's Mars in late Leo (and each progressed Mars is now at 21 degrees Virgo). Netanyahu represents, therefore, Israel's principle of self-assertion. Mars describes how we go about getting what we want, and for Israel, Netanyahu's style and methodology fits the need precisely. Netanyahu, for better or worse, is the Sword of Israel couched in diplomatic Libra clothing.

Neptune in both Israel's chart and Netanyahu's is currently under great stress. Neptune describes the influence peddling scandal now shaking his hold on power. Transiting Saturn will be opposite Netanyahu's Neptune several times over the next few months, so this scandal-plagued government will not heal soon.

The combination of Mars and Neptune in geopolitical events can mean aggression based on spiritual beliefs. Some commentators indicate that Netanyahu has pushed housing projects in East Jerusalem to deflect his own political troubles. Over the next six weeks, Israel's progressed Sun squares its twelfth house Neptune, and so this potent, dangerous planetary combination continues to foment pre-millennial hysterics and violence.

Reader feedback is welcome. Email [Michael O'Reilly].

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

Saturn entering Critical Zone

Over the next two weeks the celestial climate becomes highly turbulent as several planetary indicators cycle into key zodiac zones. The leading edge is represented by Saturn's path, which is dynamically activating the U.S. Sun, an aspect which becomes exact on April 23 and is presently growing geometrically in strength and influence.

Saturn enters this rarified region only once every seven years, and tends to usher in both a stimulating and challenging atmosphere in American politics, especially regarding the President (represented by the Sun). Clinton's legal woes are coming to some dramatic breakthrough, perhaps the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate the Campaign Finance scandal.

Currently, Clinton's progressed Mercury squaring his natal Saturn might indicate this kind of political setback. This progression has a positive side, one that focuses the mind, and tightens an overly expansive nature. Watch over the next month or so as Clinton's persona is tinged with this astrological condition, as he will seem much more serious, perhaps even pre-occupied by some personal or political problem.

Because Saturn is also opposing the U.S. Saturn (in diplomatic Libra), Clinton may embark on a much needed negotiating effort in the Middle East. The U.S. Saturn is naturally tuned toward mediation, and as the situation in Jerusalem verges on chaos, only the United States is sufficiently accepted as an honest broker between the two parties.

Conspiracy Theories

When Saturn opposes the U.S. Saturn, a number of institutional changes can be seen. Secretary of Treasury Rubin visited Vietnam last week to pay off some pre-war debts, and to build trade agreements with the fledgling capitalist economy. Vietnam's public officials are eager to establish market economy institutions, but haven't a clue about how to proceed.

Rubin assured the officials that the U.S. will be glad to help with the assistance of the World Bank, and many American multinational corporations. Watch over the next few weeks as U.S. politicians, representing their corporate backers, make institutional arrangements to further the global market economy, and install American corporations in prominent trading positions.

Saturn opposite the U.S. Saturn also signifies major challenges to the American political system. Timothy McVeigh's trial represents one aspect of this as the hot-headed militant threat. In the Scorpio Rising horoscope for the United States, Saturn is located near the twelfth house, and so takes on its hidden qualities.

Conspiracy theories mount, and fears of a secret government, or a rogue faction within the federal government are likely to receive widespread publicity over the next few weeks to a month.

Perhaps it's not surprising that the assassination of Martin Luthor King is being revisited now, as the King family has pushed for an investigation, agreeing that the alleged assassin must have had help in the plot. King was killed on April 4, 1968, exactly one Saturn cycle ago, on a day when the Sun and Saturn were together in Aries, and exactly opposite the U.S. Saturn.

The Mystery of Captain Craig Button

At 10:45 AM on April 2, Capt. Craig Button took off from Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Arizona on a routine training mission. He was flying a single-seated A-10 jet attack aircraft, and accompanied by two other A-10s. At two minutes before noon, he suddenly and inexplicably veered off course from his companions, and ever since, has been the object of a massive search effort.

What happened to Button and his A-10 is now a matter of intense speculation. Did he crash? Did he steal the $9 million aircraft? Did he commit suicide?

Radar reports he continued toward Colorado, and disappeared somewhere after circling at low elevation between Aspen and Vail at 1:41 PM. While precise birth data information on Button would be enormously helpful in solving this riddle, event charts drawn up for the time he took off, left the group, and disappeared from radar offer substantial clues.

At the time of Button's escapade, the Sun and Venus were together and exactly squaring the U.S. Sun (at 13 degrees Cancer). These two planets are non-violent when together, and because of their favorable connection to Jupiter at the time, are profoundly peaceful. The Moon had last passed over Uranus in this event, and this corresponds to an emotional crisis. Reports of Button's mother converting to a pacifist religion may have been the inspiration for this event. Button took off and veered off course when the sign of motherhood, Cancer, was Rising.

At the time Button left the radar screens at 1:41 PM, Jupiter (the traveling planet) was setting. Jupiter is often prominent in suicide charts because it is felt as a wonderful escape, with death as the ultimate trip. Neptune in the last degree of Capricorn symbolizes spiritual desperation. With the asteroid Pallas Athene exactly conjunct Neptune at the time, Button was undoubtedly highly tuned to this escapist vibration, which finds its final exit through suicide.

Reader feedback is welcome! If you have any relevant and reliable birth data for people in the news, please write -- Michael O'Reilly.

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NewsScope - An Astrological Analysis of News Headlines

1000 Days to the Millennium

Responding to the Heaven's Gate fiasco and the cult's belief in extra-terrestrials, last week a Pentagon spokesman felt compelled to deny once again that the U.S. military tracks UFOs. He stated that the Air Force investigated UFO reports from 1947 to 1969 but all 12,618 sightings were explainable as aircraft or weather phenomena, and posed no threat.

Astrologically, the month should be filled with strange and unusual events since Neptune, the planet governing the weird and supernatural, is in the last degree of Capricorn. Hale-Bopp will be visible during the entire month, and as of Sunday April 6 only 1000 days remain until the next millennium. The media will be filled with stories about odd beliefs and expectations. Watch for spectacular disaster movies, and for real life to prove stranger than fiction.

Neptune in the U.S. horoscope is located at 22 degrees Virgo. In astrological terms, the Sun represents publicity, and last month when the Sun opposed the U.S. Neptune, a wave of UFO sightings were reported from all over Arizona. Hundreds of reports came over several nights, beginning at 8:16 PM on March 13. By the end of the flap, dozens of videos were taken of an array of UFOs over Prescott, Tempe, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and other major Arizona cities.

While thousands of people saw with their own eyes UFOs hovering over their cities, the TV and news media turned down offers of showing the video clips. The widely accepted official version was that the strange lights were "flares." Meanwhile, eyewitness accounts describe how two F-15c fighters were scrambled from Luke Air Force base near Prescott, and succeeded in intercepting the objects over downtown Phoenix!

Mexican Drug Czars

Neptune rules drugs, and in the now last degree of Capricorn reflects how desperate the U.S. government is to stop the flow coming across the southern border. Federal anti-drug programs rely heavily on foreign governments to prosecute major drug traffickers, but all too often, the governments themselves are corrupted by huge bribes made possible by enormous profits from the drug trade.

Mexico's government recently escaped being labeled uncooperative, but over the next week or so, the media should be bursting with reports of corruption in high places. Leading the story lines will be questions of how Raul Salinas, the brother of Mexico's former President, managed to amass a fortune of $100 million now hidden away in Swiss bank accounts.

Mexico's federal government was established on January 31, 1917 (at 4:42 PM CST in Querataro; 20N36 100W23). With tyrannical Pluto in its twelfth house of secrets, Mexico is subject to being controlled from behind the scenes by ruthless, dictatorial forces. Neptune, by transit and progression, has been an active force in Mexican politics over the last few years, to the point where the country currently supplies 80 percent of the U.S. market for cocaine and heroine.

Currently, Saturn is crossing Mexico's Midheaven, leading to a crisis of authority, and much damaging publicity. Mexico and Russia both established their modern governments in 1917 during the last phase of Uranus in Aquarius. Now that Uranus has returned to this sign, both countries may be expected to go through some severe crises of power and chaos over the next few years.

Timothy McVeigh's Mars

Back in the revolutionary 1960s the outer planets Uranus and Pluto were aligned in Virgo. This rare conjunction occurs on average every 127 years, and represents a phase in humanity's evolution marked by social upheaval. Those years are now history, but the individuals born during that phase carry the astrological signature for social revolution in their natal horoscope.

Most people born during that era have found traditional, non-confrontational means of effecting change, which is their instinctive inheritance. However, some will naturally be more violent and direct in demanding immediate transformation. And some, if their natal Mars shows major stresses, will fight for anarchy and an end to the system as we know it, much as the anti-Vietnam movement did in the late 1960s.

Timothy McVeigh, accused of planting the Oklahoma City bomb, is one of those individuals. McVeigh was born on April 23, 1968 (at 8:30 AM EST in Lockport, NY). His Mars is tucked away in the 12th house, where it quite naturally fights against the status quo. McVeigh's Mars receives power and radicalism by being favorably connected to that era's Uranus/Pluto conjunction.

His Mars is also the recipient of a difficult aspect to Neptune, pushing him into questionable actions based on flakey beliefs. Astrologically, there can be little doubt that this individual carries a generation's frustrations and anger over a corrupt system.

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Heaven's Gate and the Immortality Plunge

Last week, following on the heels of the spectacular Lunar Eclipse and comet Hale-Bopp's closest approach to Earth, the nation was stunned by the mysterious mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult. Their oddly fascinating beliefs mixed traditional Apocalyptic views of the Millennium with New Age mysticism and UfOlogy. Led by "charismatic" Marshall Applewhite, the 39 members were reminiscent of the mass suicide in Jonestown 19 years ago.

Astrologically, this incident has strong Neptunian overtones. By transit, Neptune is now in the last degree of Capricorn, a critical zone where everything appears to be at an end, especially in Neptune's terms of spirituality, delusions, and visions for the pending change. Neptune will continue in this "End Times" zone throughout 1997, but becomes particularly prominent toward the end of April and early May.

Neptune in the U.S. horoscope was activated during this event by transiting Mars. The U.S. Neptune resides in the eleventh house where it describes America's penchant for strange groups and ideologies. Another Neptunian connection is the eclipse cycle - eclipses fall in the same zodiacal degree every 19 years, a pattern shown by the location of the Moon's North Node. The North Node is very near the U.S. Neptune, just as it was 19 years ago during the Jonestown mass suicide on November 18, 1978.

TWA Flight 800

Leading the unsolved mysteries described by Neptune in the last degree is the TWA Flight #800 crash. The event chart is set for July 17, 1996 (8:31 PM EDT; New York City). Some observers, having exhausted all obvious causes, have attributed this accident to a hostile UFO. The event chart doesn't uphold this scenario, since the seventh house (describing the perpetrator) has no unusual planets in it (Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto) which would symbolize an alien presence.

To the contrary, the seventh house contains two personal planets, most notably, Mercury right on the Descendant. Mercury here represents the active agent who shot down the 747, and does reflect the likelihood of some individual triggering the incident. Mercury's nature indicates this person was an agent for a group or organization, and that TWA did not explode due to mechanical failure.

Was this agent from an enemy nation? I think not, since Jupiter in the twelfth house shows friendly, protective influence behind-the-scenes where potential secret enemies would be lurking.

The astrological evidence seems to point to TWA being shot down by friendly fire. The Navy was playing war games just off the coast, and the TWA flight pattern was right over the northern edge of this area. The Sun opposite Neptune shows a case of mistaken identity; most likely a dummy missile was fired from a submarine at a drone, and the Navy's Aegis missile system "painted" (electronically latched onto) the TWA jet which was in line with the drone.

In what must be either a cosmic joke or some serious espionage game, one of those who died in the TWA explosion was Charles Beatty, senior systems engineer for the Naval Surface Warfare Center. Beatty's work involved software development to support the Aegis U.S. Naval ships! For some compelling supporting evidence, visit Michael Rivero's TWA #800 page at Lately, this web site has become inaccessible, so another interesting support site is Ian Goddard's page at

Marshall Applewhite, Possessed or Deluded?

Marshall Applewhite was born on May 17, 1931 in Spur TX with his Sun located in late Taurus, and his Moon most likely in Gemini. The Lunar Eclipse last Sunday took place right on his natal Ceres, ruler of life transitions, activating his cosmic flight plan to the so-called Higher Level. Most everyone born in the early 1930s has an Aries Uranus squaring a Cancer Pluto in their natal chart, a generational aspect denoting an urgent need for pioneering (Aries) forms of family or national groups (Cancer).

In the 1930s this outer planet configuration led to a flurry of nationalism, but in individuals born during this time, the inclination is carried as a life path. Applewhite's Mars, which shows how he identifies with his masculine side, was squaring Chiron, the Wounded Healer. This Mars/Chiron tension describes his uneasiness with his sexuality, and he wounded himself sexually (by castration) to remove this psychological handicap.

Was Applewhite actually present in his "container," or was he gone, and an alien presence moved in to lead the Heaven's Gate crew out of here? Transiting Uranus recently squared Applewhite's Mercury, perhaps unhinging his mind, or at least, presenting him with a wild plan of action. What he might have been possessed by is anyone's guess. He and his followers embarked as transiting Neptune was opposite his progressed Sun in Cancer, showing they believed they were going to their galactic home.

Reader feedback is welcome! Email: [Michael O'Reilly].

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First Published on www DEC 30 1996. Last Updated SEP 25 2000 17:00 EDT.


NewsScope Column (c)1997 by Michael O'Reilly, Geopolitical Astrologer
c/o STAR SIGNS Astrology Zine
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