Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happiness in the USA

The planet Venus is 4th lord of social harmony, natural resources and housing in the SAMVA USA chart (Perpetual Union). It is placed in the 6th house of conflict, health and financial stability. Venus is also the general indicator of medicine, women, love and comforts in life. As a functional benefic planet it should bring positive developments, however as it is the weakest planet in the horoscope on account of being placed in a malefic house, its planetary periods should be characterised by difficult events relating to its indications. Moreover, transits of slow moving planets are known to eclipse the period influences, bringing exceptional events, although they may also resonate with the trends in the national life. This article attempts to shed a light on this period in US national life.

As per the SAMVA USA chart, the US is currently running in its second Venus period, from April 1996 to April 2016. In this regard, it should be stated that it is often thought difficult to correctly assess contemporary history. We tend to be blinded to salient aspects of the reality we are immersed in. It is easier afterwards to comprehend the key trends and their deeper meaning.

First Venus period (1876-1896)
For a frame of reference, we can examine what happened during the first Venus Period
in US history, which ran from April 1876 to April 1896. That said, being over 120 years removed in time introduces another challenge, to comprehend events even if much information has been lost over the intervening years. However, from historical accounts we know that this twenty year period witnessed continued expansion of the USA in terms of the use of new territories as the land was connected from shore to shore by railway tracks and with vast numbers of people moving to settle in the new frontier, which was termed the Wild West due to lawlessness as many conflicts arose when people fought over land, wealth or opportunities. Moreover, this is what we would expect during the period of a planet ruling the natural resources, including the land, and communal harmony (or lack of it). From an economic point of view, this period is also known as the Long Depression, which began with the Panic of 1873 and some say lasted until 1896. Meanwhile, others have identified recessions at intervals over this period. For instance, during the 1882–85 recession the boom in railroad construction came to an end, resulting in the Panic of 1884. During the slight recession of 1887–88 investments in railroads and buildings weakened and in 1890–91 a slowdown took place which was somewhat more pronounced than the preceding recession. The Panic of 1893 resulted from the failure of the United States Reading Railroad and withdrawal of European investment led to a stock market and banking collapse. This Panic was also precipitated in part by a run on the gold supply. The Treasury had to issue bonds to purchase enough gold. Profits, investment and income all fell, leading to political instability, the height of the U.S. populist movement and the Free Silver movement. It is also known that social and economic justice was lacking during this period, expressed by the rise of the Populist movement. Benjamin Harrison was a one-term president while reigning during the „Billion dollar Congress“. He oversaw the Sherman Anti-Trust legislation which was aimed at clamping down on the monopoly practices of the unscrupulous “Robber Barons“. Moreover, the hoped for progress in racial acceptance and integration did not materialise following the Civil War (Mercury period) and Reconstruction (Ketu period). Rather, following their emancipation from slavery, African Americans continued to be treated as second class citizens as white supremacy was re-imposed following the civil-war and the reconstruction period, with the nadir of race relations considered to be at the turn of the century.

While there were no major wars at thist time, the US military was active in protecting US interests abroad. US troops were sent to many foreign countries to protect the interests of US citizens, including Egypt in 1882, Panama in 1885, Korea in 1888 & 1894-96, Haiti in 1888 & 1891, Samoa in 1888-89, Hawaii in 1889 & 1893, Argentina in 1890, Chile in 1891, Brazil in 1894, Nicaragua in 1894, China in 1894-95, Colombia in 1895 and Venezuela in 1895-96. From 1873-96, US troops crossed the Mexican border repeatedly in pursuit of cattle and other thieves and other brigands.
Native Indians continued to be pushed to the fringes and immigrant Chinese workers were badly treated. A major blow to American morale was the Battle of the Little Bighorn —also known as Custer's Last Stand —when Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Indians wiped out the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army on June 25 and June 26, 1876. US troops also fought native American Indians in South Dakota in 1890. This is consistent with what we would expect to occur in the period of a weak and badly placed planet ruling these important indications.

Second Venus period (1996-2016)
In the current Venus period, we can explore the time line of historical events and see if there is a running thread that fits the expected dynamics.

In terms of the functional indications of Venus as 4th lord, we can explore events linked to housing, natural resources and social harmony.

Housing bubble inflates and bursts
: A historic housing bubble developed in the 1990s which burst in a spectacular fashion in 2007, producing the worst financial crisis in the country since the Great Depression of the 1930s. As the housing market affects most families, a difficult housing situation is likely to be reducing the happiness of many.

Natural resources
Gulf of Mexico oil spill: Following the collapse of the oil price to $10 per barrel in 1998 it rose to over $150 in 2008. This huge price rise resulted in increased focus on domestic energy resource extraction, with President George W. Bush in July 2008 lifting a 1990 executive order by George H. W. Bush banning offshore drilling. Two years later, on April 19, 2010, an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, sending millions of gallons of oil into the sea. It is the worst oil spill in American history. Americans have yet to experience the full brunt of the pollution, when it lands on shore and the deleterious effects on the eco system become better understood.

Collective harmony

Centennial Park bombing: The Summer Olympics Games were opened in Atlanta, Georgia by U.S. President Bill Clinton on July 19, 1996. These games were marred by the Centennial Park bombing of Olympic tourists on July 27, which killed one person and injured one hundred and eleven. In May of 2003, police arrested Eric Rudolph for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. This event was disturbing at the time, affecting as it did the Olympic games, being hosted by the USA.
Murder of a child: On December 25, 1996 a child beauty pageant contestant, Jon Benet Ramsey, was found murdered in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colorado, United States, eight hours after being reported missing. The case drew national attention in the United States when no suspect was charged and suspicions turned to possible family involvement. The case caught the national attention and has special interest in that it involved a beauty contestant, which is an indication of Venus. This case caused much concern over the safety of children.
Monica Lewinsky scandal: A case that would polarise the political establishment and upset the nation, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, begins on January 26, 1998 when U.S. President Bill Clinton denies his relationship with the White House intern in a televised interview. This denial, and other denials to a grand jury investigation, would lead to the impeachment of the president. On February 12, 1999, President Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The Senate trial, which began January 7 and needed a 2/3 majority to convict, ended with a 55-45 not guilty vote on the charge of perjury and 50-50 vote on the charge of obstruction of justice. Despite being whitewashed, this episode was very disturbing to the nation, with much anger and disappointment expressed at the leader of the nation for his conduct in the White House.
Anti-globalization: On November 30, 1999, the first major mobilization of the anti-globalization movement occured in Seattle, Washington, during the days before the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings. The protests and rioting caused the cancellation of the WTO opening ceremonies. The event is interesting as it highlights the desire for more domestic control of policies, an indication of the 4th lord, Venus.

Post-election crisis of 2000: On November 7, 2000, George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore held a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the President Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12. This ruling gave Florida to the Bush camp by a 527 vote majority, and a victory in the Electoral College, 271-266, despite gaining less popular votes than Gore. This situation created a disturbance in the national life with tensions over the result remaining for years afterwards.
Columbine High School massacre: On April 19, 1999. Two teenage students murder 13 other students and teachers at Columbine High School. It is the deadliest mass murder at a high school in U.S. history. The event is very upsetting for the nation, with movies being made criticising the US gun culture.
Virginia Tech massacre: The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on Monday, April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. In two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide. The massacre is the deadliest peacetime shooting incident by a single gunman in United States history, on or off a school campus. These two mass murder events were very traumatic for the nation. Moreover, they are clearly seen as being triggered by difficult transits at the time, which always supersede the trend influences of a planetary period.
Barack Obama elected President: One result of the global financial crisis in September 2008 was the election of challenger Barack Obama as President of the USA. The color of his skin was a defining issue and triumph for those fighting for equality of opportunity regardless of race, color or creed. This issue is linked to the 4th house, due to the conjunction of natal Ketu with the most effective point of the 4th house.
Tea Party protest movement: On April 15, 2009, after a succession of big government spending projects beginning in the Bush administration and expanded under President Obama, 750 grass roots Tea Party protests spring up across the nation. More than one half million citizens concerned with increased deficits due to such actions such as the bailout of the banking industry, car industry, potential cap and trade legislation, and other administration projects that project a ten trillion dollar deficit over the next decade take part. When the new Health care legislation was being debated in early 2010, the rage of this movement exploded in town halls across the country.

In terms of the functional indications of the 6th house, where Venus is placed, we can examine financial stability, conflict, health issues and court cases.

Financial stability
Irrational exuberance: On December 5, 1996 Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan made a speech where he suggested that "irrational exuberance" may be causing an extraordinary run up of stock prices. This statement came to haunt the financial markets in succeeding years, which is fitting the period influences.
International financial crisis of 1998: Following the financial collapse of the Russian government on August 19, 1998, a mini international financial crisis developed, when financial contagion led to the collapse of the LTMC hedge fund in the USA, with the US Federal Reserve quickly reducing interest rates to forestall a widening financial panic.
IT bubble: A bubble in information technology (IT) developed in the late 1990s following the interest rates reductions of 1998 and reflecting advances in productivity from the internet. This bubble burst in spectacular fashion in April 2000 after interest rates had been raised again. As these were speedily reduced again, the crash did not affect the banking system and an economic recovery emerged in the spring of 2003, with stock prices rallying from the lows reached.

Enron scandal: The Enron scandal, revealed in October 2001, eventually led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, an American energy company based in Houston, Texas, and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, which was one of the five largest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world. In addition to being the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history at that time, Enron undoubtedly is the biggest audit failure. Public outrage was evident over the fraudulent corporate practices of the leaders, which served prison time.
Major financial crisis of 2008: After the housing bubble burst in 2007, the banking system went into crisis, which peaked in mid-September 2008 with the fall of Lehman Bros bank and the seizing up of the interbank lending market. The US crisis had global ramifications, leading to the collapse of banks in Europe, with the entire financial system of one country, Iceland, imploding. The US government spent trillions of dollars to salvage the US banking system and interest rates were again reduced to very low levels. US public debt is fast approaching World War II levels with the budget deficit now running over 1 Trillion dollars
per year. A sluggish recovery has been in the making from the autumn of 2009. There were numerous scandals involving ponzi schemes that ended up defrauding investors to the tune of billions of dollars, for example the Madoff case. Automobile companies go bankrupt: In the second half of the 1990s, a resurgence began in the demand for American gas guzzlers, notably in the form of SUVs, with the gigantic Hummer being the outsize example. This trend was ended by the surge in gas prices, declining stock prices and freezing up of credit markets in 2008, when the American automobile companies began to go bankrupt, with General Motors being rescued through nationalization by the US government.
All of these developments are consistent with what we would expect during the period of this planet in the SAMVA USA chart and they recall the sluggish economic developments and financial panics of the earlier Venus period.

Khobar Towers bombing: The Khobar Towers bombing on June 25, 1996 leaves 19 U.S. servicemen dead in Saudi Arabia. It was carried out by Islamic terrorists seeking removal of the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia.
Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda : On February 23, 1998, Osama bin Laden publishes his fatwa that announced a jihad against all Jews and Crusaders. This announcement would push forward the Islamic fundamentalist agenda toward terrorism against western interests. On August 7, 1998, attacks on two United States embassies in Africa, in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kills two hundred and twenty-four and injures four thousand five hundred. The attacks are linked to Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization. On August 13, the United States launches cruise missile strikes against Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in the Sudan. On September 29, 1998, the United States Congress passes legislation, the "Iraq Liberation Act" that states the U.S. wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace his regime with a democracy.
“9/11“ and its aftermath: On September 11, 2001, 19 Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijacked four U.S. airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 US citizens were killed. The plot is attributed to the Al-Qaeda organization led by Osama Bin Laden.
US invasion of Afghanistan: On October, 7, 2001, the US military launched an invasion of Afghanistan in Operation "Enduring Freedom" which was aimed at rooting out Al-Qaeda network and the Taliban leaders of the country, sponsoring the terrorists. By November 12, 2001, the Taliban government leaves the capital, Kabul and the Al-Qaeda leadership goes into hiding. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announces a surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to stem increased efforts by the Taliban in the country. The surge, which was suggested by military officers, was not popular with the liberal base of the Democratic Party which had put the President in power on a pledge to end both Middle Eastern wars. The war in Afghanistan, which started as a response to the terror attacks on 9/11/2001, and the war on terror in general, comes into focus again on December 25 when an airliner headed for Detroit is attacked by a Muslim extremist, 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who attempts to detonate a bomb, but fails.
US Patriot Act: On October 2001, the Patriot Act was passed. The Act gave the authorities new powers to intercept and obstruct terrorist activities, both at home and abroad, including by dramatically reducing restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records. The act also eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadening the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism. Needless to say, the act raised concern that the US was on its way to become a “Big Brother“ society, anathema to those beholden to the individual liberties of the US Constitution.
Homeland Security Act: On November 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act was passed. It was introduced in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and created the United States Department of Homeland Security in the largest federal government reorganization since the Department of Defense was created via the National Security Act of 1947. The HSA includes many of the organizations under which the powers of the US Patriot Act are exercised and a new cabinet-level position of Secretary of Homeland Security. The term “homeland“ is representative of the 4th house.
US-led Invasion of Iraq: For years of Saddam Hussein refused proposals from the United Nations for weapons inspections, part of the cease-fire agreement and Iraq’s terms of surrender in the 1991 Gulf War. In 2002, after the Bush administration presented evidence to the United Nations that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction, the United States Congress passed on October 2, 2002 a resolution giving the President of the U.S. the authority to use the military forces of the country as he thinks necessary. On November 8, 2002, The United Nations passes Resolution 1441 in a unanimous Security Council vote. It forces Saddam Hussein and Iraq to disarm or face serious consequences. Finally, on March 20, 2003, a US-led invasion of Iraq, termed Operation "Iraqi Freedom", began. Participating with troops in the operation was the United Kingdom, along with smaller contingents from Australia and Poland. The invasion itself was concluded on May 1, 2003. The aftermath involved thirty six other countries. Despite Saddam Hussein, former leader of Iraq, being captured in a small bunker in Tikrit by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division on December 13, 2003, the war began to go badly with an increasing death toll on civilians and US troops.

War protest: The setback in the war caused an anti-war movement to gain momentum in the USA through 2007, which is very consistent with the period of the 4th lord of communal harmony being placed in the 6th house of conflict in the SAMVA USA chart. Adding to the anger is the discovery on February 3, 2004, following an admission by the Central Intelligence Agency, that the imminent threat from weapons of mass destruction was not present before the 2003 Iraq war began as the Bush administration had repeatedly stated. With the “Surge“ in Iraq in 2007, US forces regained the upper hand and the protest movement had largely fizzled by the time of the US Presidential election in November 2008.
Tension over Iran and Israel: On October 26, 2005, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calls for the destruction of Israel and condemns the peace process. In summer of 2010, the US committed increased military resources to the Middle East, sending one carrier and 9 battle ships to the Persian Gulf. This situation has increased concern over a possible conflagration in the region.
The conflict of the USA has been quite pronounced during this period. Arguably, it has involved protecting US strategic and economic interests abroad, such as in the Middle East. It is interesting that the trend of terrorist threats to US soil began under the second Clinton Administration, which is consistent with what could develop during this period.

Health issues
Anthrax attacks: On September 18, 2001, Anthrax attacks by mail from Princeton, New Jersey against news and government targets began. Federal officials announce the first case on October 4. Several people died and many got ill. Years later a likely suspect was identified, who worked in a research lab with access to such deadly compounds. However, he was never charged and has since died. It is interesting that the attack is based on a bacterial compound, given that the 6th house rules illness and Venus rules medical knowledge and drugs.

Court cases
US vs Microsoft: On May 18, 1998, the United States Department of Justice and twenty states file the anti-trust case, U.S. versus Microsoft, concerning its Windows operating system and related corporate practices. On November 5, 1999, a preliminary ruling stated that Microsoft had monopoly power. Settlement was 4 years later in Nov 2001. This recalls the monopoly busting tendency of the earlier Venus period.

We can also explore the events in terms of the general indications of Venus, such as the comforts in life, including the climate (also a natural resource issue), women and air travel.

Climate and weather
Global warming debate: The Global warming debate accelerated during the Venus period, with the international community largely of the view that there is an “American denial“ in terms of the climate policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations. Following his unsuccessful run for the Presidency in 2000, former Vice President Al Gore has become a leading crusader of climate warming. President Obama began his term by reversing course after his election in 2008. Even then, a backlash has occurred in the climate debate in 2009, with fresh evidence of cooling trends have led many to question the scientific claims that the globe is warming up due to human economic activity, including increased emissions of global warming gases and the clearing of huge swathes of rain forests around the world.
Hurricane Katrina: On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast, inundating the city of New Orleans with water from Lake Pontchetrain when the levees that maintain the below sea level city break. Over one thousand three hundred people perish from Alabama to Louisiana in one of the worst natural disasters to strike the United States. The home comforts of hundreds of thousands of Americans are disrupted.

Women in politics: Political figure Madeline Albright becomes the first female Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99-0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997. Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes first female Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives after the November elections in 2007. On November 7, 2000, Hillary Rodham Clinton wins a seat for the United States Senate from New York. It is the first time a former First Lady wins public office. On August 29, 2008, John McCain chooses Sarah Palin, 1st term Governor of Alaska, as his running mate, making the contest between Barack Obama and himself, the first time a presidential election included both an African-American candidate and a woman amongst the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees for president among the Democratic and Republican tickets. Two leading female candidates in the Presidential elections of 2008, lose out to their male competitors, Senator Hillary Clinton and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. In 2009, Clinton becomes the second female Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, while Governor Palin resigns as Governor to devote her energies full time to national causes.

Love issues
Sex scandals: The Monica Lewinsky scandal developed into a crusade about the mal-treatment of women by powerful men, with many women coming forward making accusations of sexual harassment by President Clinton. In August 2008, a sex scandal envelopes presidential candidate John Edwards, which leads to his eventual divorce. Later he acknowledges the paternity of a love child by his mistress. In December 2009, world famous US golfer Tiger Woods is caught up in a big sex scandal, which leads to the break up of his marriage and his temporary withdrawal from golfing. In June 2010, shortly after separating from his wife, former Vice President Al Gore is accused of being a “sex-crazed poodle“ by a female masseuse in Anchorage.

Air travel
Trans World Airlines Flight 800: TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747-131, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, on July 17, 1996, at about 20:31 EDT, 12 minutes after takeoff, killing all 230 on board. TWA 800 was a scheduled international passenger flight from New York City, New York to Rome, Italy, with a stopover in Paris, France.
Valujet Flight 8592: On May 11, 1996, a Valujet flight crashes into the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board. Improperly stored oxygen generating canisters were the source of the fire.
Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas stretching from Trophy Club to Tyler and into parts of Louisiana during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, STS-107.

When comparing the major developments during two Venus periods in the SAMVA USA chart, we can see that some of the same underlying dynamics have emerged in the national life, while the historical circumstances are quite different. Racial equality has improved, manifest notably in the election of President Barack Obama. However, there have been plenty of other things disturbing the social harmony of the country in the present Venus period, including the US participation in foreign wars and terrorism striking on US soil as well as a major financial debacle and a deep recession. Excesses of corporate bosses has also provoked the ire of many. Of interest is that the US suffered major problems with marginal groups in both periods, such as indigenous indians in the 19th century and foreign muslim extremists at the present time, consistent with the placement of Ketu in the most effective point of the 4th house in the chart - ruled by Venus. These issues are expected to remain for the duration of the Venus period, or until 2016, when a more robust Sun period begins, which is expected to imbue US national life with a sense of vibrancy.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


A major transition took place in US national life in 1972 that coincided with the beginning of the Mercury major period in the SAMVA USA chart on April 19, 1972. The period which lasted until April 19, 1989, saw the intense Cold War begin to be defused through increased dialogue and negotiations between the opposing sides, in a process known as Détente. Political decisions were made that soon ended the last cold war, the Vietnam war. The thaw in relations brought the joint US-Soviet Appollo-Soyuz mission into space. The mercurial Henry Kissinger came to the fore as a world class diplomat by introducing Shuttle Diplomacy. The term Deep Throat became a household name, first as a film and then as the term for the hidden source of the Watergate scandal, which emerged in 1972 and later toppled President Richard Nixon. That year, John Lennon got on the wrong side of the Nixon administration for his outspoken role in protesting the Vietnam War. The period also saw the victory of the last cold warrior, World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. The Mercury period brought technological advances ushering in hand held calculators and the technology that became the basis of the home computer and the internet. The rigid currency system of Bretton Woods, developed around the US dollar, gave way to a floating exchange rate system as the new period dawned. As the Mercury period advanced, Ronald Reagan, a key proponent of market liberalisation, was brought to power. All of these developments are consonant with the major planetary period of Mercury in the SAMVA USA chart.

Mercury major period
Mercury is the lord of the third house in the SAMVA USA chart. As such, it has functional rulership over such things as communication, transportation and new efforts. Mercury is also the general indicator of analysis and high tech activities. As Mercury is placed in the seventh house, its indications manifest primarily in the area of foreign affairs. This period succeeded the Saturn period, which saw the Cold War begin in earnest with the Korean War. The Cold War escalated in the Cuban Missile Crisis and reached a peak in the Vietnam War. At all times, the threat of mutually assured destruction by nuclear bombs was in the background. This is explained by Saturn being the eighth lord of obstacles and death in the SAMVA USA chart. As it is placed in the fifth house, which rules young people, creativity and universities, the anti-war movement had its strongest expression among young and creative types on university campuses.

Détente emerged from a diplomatic effort by President Nixon in 1972 to improve relations with the Soviet Union and China as the Cold War adversaries of the USA. The word Détente means the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. It is most often used in reference to the general easing of relations between the United States and its Communist adversaries after the peak of the Cold War. In the Soviet Union, détente is known in Russian: as разрядка ("razryadka"), meaning relaxation. On February 21, 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing for a meeting with Chairman Mao. The U.S. acknowledged the notion that all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait maintain that there is only one China. Nixon and the U.S. government reaffirmed their interests in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question agreed by the Chinese themselves. The statement enabled the U.S. and PRC to temporarily set aside the "crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations" concerning the political status of Taiwan and to open trade and other contacts. However, the United States continued to maintain official relations with the government of the Republic of China in Taiwan until 1979 when the U.S. broke off relations with the Republic of China and established full diplomatic relations with the P.R.C. On May 22, 1972, President Richard Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit the Soviet Union for a meeting with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. There they talked about arms limitation and avoidance of military confrontation. One of the main purposes of the meeting was to confirm and build the relationship between the U.S. and the USSR in international politics. On May 26, 1972, the first Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty, or SALT I, was concluded. These developments, when the formerly hostile parties began to talk to each other, an indication of Mercury as 3rd lord of communication in the 7th house of others, were of global significance at the time.

Vietnam War ends
The Vietnam war, a Cold War military conflict, which cost 60,000 American lives and over 300,000 wounded - in addition to the over one million Vietnamese lives lost - became the central issue of the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, campaigned on a platform of withdrawal from Vietnam. Nixon's National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, continued secret negotiations with North Vietnam's Le Duc Tho. In October 1972, they reached an agreement. On 15 January 1973, Nixon announced the suspension of offensive action against North Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords on "Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" were signed on 27 January 1973, officially ending direct U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued. The Case-Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress prohibited use of American military after August 15, 1973 unless the president secured congressional approval in advance. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War.

Apollo–Soyuz program
Another result of Détente was the joint U.S./Soviet “Apollo–Soyuz Test Project”, which flew in July 1975. This is all the more interesting as this represented a complete break with the intense space race during the Saturn period. After joint planning and preparation, the first U.S./Soviet space flight was the last Apollo mission, and the last manned US space mission until the first Space Shuttle flight in April 1981. This joint venture involved the most advanced technology for the purpose of transporting humans into orbit for joint scientific experiments. This is very consistent with the Mercury period.

Shuttle Diplomacy
The term Shuttle Diplomacy came to prominence in the Mercury period and was first applied to describe the efforts of United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, beginning November 5, 1973, which facilitated the cessation of hostilities following the Yom Kippur War. A shuttle is a transport vehicle ruled by the 3rd house. As Mercury is placed in the 7th house of diplomacy, it is unique that these terms were combined in this way - so fitting of the major period. Kissinger, himself, was a very intelligent man and writer, yet another indication of Mercury.

Watergate scandal
On June 17, 1972 at 2:31 AM local time, five men were arrested by police on the sixth floor of the Watergate Hotel building in Washington, D.C., inside the offices of the Democratic National Committee. Police had arrived on the scene after being alerted by Frank Wills, a security guard, who noticed that a door leading into the hotel had been taped open. The situation was unusual because the five burglars had $2,300 in hundred-dollar bills with serial numbers in sequence, some lock-picks and door-jimmys, a walkie-talkie, a radio scanner capable of listening to police frequencies, two cameras, 40 rolls of unused film, tear-gas guns, and sophisticated devices capable of recording all conversations that might be held in the offices. At least one of the men was a former Central Intelligence Agency employee. This person, Jim McCord, Jr., was at the time of his arrest a security man for President Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (also known by its acronym, "CREEP", among Nixon's political opponents). Notebooks were found on two of the men containing the telephone number of E. Howard Hunt, whose name in the notebooks was accompanied by the inscriptions “W House” and “W.H.” The scandal immediately attracted some media scrutiny. A protracted period of clue-searching and trail-following then ensued, with reporters and eventually the United States Senate and the judicial system probing to see how far up the Executive branch of government the Watergate scandal, as it had come to be known, extended. A pair of young Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, wrote the coverage of the story over a period of two years. The scandal eventually was shown to involve a variety of legal violations, and it implicated many members of the Nixon White House. With increasing pressure from the courts and the Senate, President Nixon eventually became the first and only U.S. President to resign, narrowly avoiding impeachment by the House of Representatives. The main stars of the Watergate scandal were the two reporters who broke the story - again Mercury and the third house!

Deep Throat, the film
Deep Throat is a 1972 American pornographic film written and directed by Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace. One of the first pornographic films to feature a plot, character development and relatively high production standards, Deep Throat earned mainstream attention and launched the "porn chic" trend despite the film's being banned in some regions and the subject of obscenity trials. The movie was glowingly reviewed prior to its debut in New York city on June 5, 1972. It officially premiered at the World Theater in New York on June 12. The film's popularity helped launch a brief period of upper-middle class interest in explicit pornography. Several mainstream celebrities admitted to having seen Deep Throat, including Truman Capote, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Carson and Barbara Walters. Shortly afterwards, the FBI launched a crack down, in an effort to stop the showing of the film. However, the effort proved largely unsuccessful as the mafia had taken over the distribution and showing of the film. The movie embodied the conflict between decency and free speech - the latter being an indication of Mercury.

Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal
Of greater interest is the term Deep Throat, which became a pseudonym for the secret informant who provided information to Bob Woodward of the The Washington Post about the involvement of United States President Richard Nixon's administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal. Deep Throat was first introduced to the public in the 1974 book All the President's Men, written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. For more than 30 years, the identity of Deep Throat was one of the biggest mysteries of American politics and journalism and the source of much public curiosity and speculation. Woodward and Bernstein insisted they would not reveal his identity until he died or consented to have his identity revealed. On May 31, 2005, Vanity Fair magazine revealed that William Mark Felt, Sr. was Deep Throat. It is of interest that a term which relates to speech would gain such cultural prominence during the period of Mercury, the lord of speech in the SAMVA USA chart.

Birth of home computers and the internet
Even more understandable is the fact that high tech advances became the most notable economic trend at the onset of the period of Mercury, which rules such activities. While home computers, a class of personal computers, didn‘t enter the market until 1977 and became increasingly common during the 1980s – with the Mercury period running for most of the decade, the hardware and precursors of the technological application were being born already in 1972. On April 1, 1972, the 8008 microprocessor was released by Intel. Computers built after 1972 are often called 'fourth generation' computers, based on Large Scale Integration (LSI) of circuits (such as microprocessors) – typically 500 or more components on a chip. Later developments include VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) of integrated circuits 5 years later – typically 10,000 components. The fourth generation is generally viewed as running right up until the present, since although computing power has increased the basic technology has remained virtually the same. In 1972, Norsk Data launched the Nord-5, the first 32-bit supermini computer. The first handheld scientific calculator, HP-35, was released by Hewlett-Packard in 1972. The engineer's slide rule at long last became obsolete. Anther major advance occurred in 1972 concerning the internet, when the first international connections to ARPANET were established. ARPANET became the basis for what we now call the Internet. In June 1972, Atari Inc. was founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. Pong was the first game developed by Atari Inc. Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games, widely recognised as the first popular such game. It represents a tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. Finally, the “C“ programming language was developed at The Bell Laboratories in the USA by Dennis Ritchie (one of the inventors of the Unix operating system) in 1972. It was the successor of the B programming language – also from Bell. It is a very popular language, especially for systems programming – as it is flexible and fast. C was considered a refreshing change in the computing industry because it helped introduce structured programming. The successor to C, C++, was introduced in the 1980s, and in turn helped usher in the era of Object oriented programming [As an anecdote of interest to astrologers, Brian Conrad wrote the excellent vedic astrology program Jyotish Tools more recently in this programming language]. The developments are very consistent with the Mercury period, as the planet is the general indicator of high tech and analytic activities.

Bobby Fischer: the last Cold Warrior
From July through September 1972 in Reykjavík, challenger Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union played for the World Chess Championship. Fischer won the match 12½-8½ and became the 11th World Chess Champion. The Cold War trappings made the match a media sensation. It was called "The Match of the Century", and received front-page media coverage in the United States and around the world. Fischer's win was an American victory in a field that Soviet players had dominated for the past quarter-century, players closely identified with, and subsidized by, the Soviet state. Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman calls Fischer's victory "the story of a lonely hero who overcomes an entire empire". It is interesting that a game of analysis, so indicative of Mercury, should grab the world headlines at the opening of this period. At the same time, it appears that Fischer at some stage began to feel let down by the US government, which was intent to move beyond the dangerous phase of the Cold War. As an individual, it seems he didn't fully comprehend the change in global sentiments taking place at the same time that his personal triumph was being realised. Perhaps this is because he had used the match to become a personification of the conflictual trends of the earlier Saturn period.

John Lennon vs the US
The Mercury period also saw the famous Beatles frontman, John Lennon, get into the cross hairs of the Nixon administration for his outspoke views on the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Evidently, FBI agents at the behest of the Nixon White House began to monitor Lennon, not least due to his associations with controversial anti-war radicals like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and the violent civil rights oriented Black Panther movement. On February 4, 1972, Senator Strom Thurmond told Attorney General John Mitchell that John Lennon should be deported. In March 1972, John begins a four-year fight against deportation. While the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the deportation order on October 5, 1975, the government persecution affected Lennon, who dropped out of view for five years, becoming a house-husband after the birth of his son Sean Ono Taro Lennon on October 9, 1975. John Lennon was forever silenced by a deranged man outside his appartment building in New York city on December 8, 1980. Lennon became an example of the "freedom of speech" so important to Americans, even if they don't agree with the speaker. Moreover, he became a leading spokesman for his generation. All of it is consistent with the Mercury period and with this planet ruling speech being placed in the 7th house of others.

Breakdown of Bretton-Woods
Bretton-Woods was global monetary system, based on the convertibility of US dollars into gold at a fixed price of $35 per ounce. Due to the decision of President Nixon to end the convertibility in August 1971, the system was doomed and by 1973 a new system was born. In February 1973, the Bretton Woods currency exchange markets closed, after a last-gasp devaluation of the dollar to $44/ounce, and reopened in March in a floating currency regime. This is interesting for the fact that the Saturn period, which is often characterised by rigidity, gave way to the Mercury period, which is often characterised by flexiblity. As such this momentous change is also consistent with the period change in the SAMVA USA chart.

The Mercury major planetary period in the SAMVA USA chart, like all the others explained in earlier articles, fits the developments in national life very well, notably the change in emphasis from the Cold War to the thaw in US foreign relations at the time the period began, along with a growing emphasis and major developments in the field of free speech, communication and high tech advances.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Polarity in astrology

The origins of horoscopic astrology are shrouded in a mystery. This major advance in astrology first emerged in written form over 2000 years ago, but likely developed much earlier, in tandem with steady advances in ancient astronomy. Horoscopic astrology brought with it a fascinating invention, the houses, which transformed astrology into a comprehensive system of explaining the human experience. The aim of this article is to bring out the meaning of the houses as an integral part of horoscopic astrology.

The essential meaning of the houses is explored in terms of the link to the signs and their planetary lords. The interpretation of the houses is based on the important writings of vedic astrologer and author, V. K. Choudhry, who has pioneered the Systems‘ Approach, a simple but scientific approach to horoscopic astrology based on the fundamentals of vedic astrology.

Whole-sign house system
Importantly, in the original horoscopic astrology the houses are considered to be equivalent to one whole sign. While the whole-sign house system appeared in ancient Greece, later developments in Western astrology changed this original scheme to dissimilar sized houses beginning and ending at odd places in the zodiac. In the Systems‘ Approach, the whole-sign house system is used. The origin of house meanings is likely linked to each sign in terms of the ordering seen in the Aries rising horoscope shown here. Importantly, as the rising sign changes, the meaning of each house remains unchanged.

The signs and their lords
In the Systems' Approach, the planet ruling a Moolatrikona (MT) sign becomes a functional ruler of the house that its MT sign falls into. In addition to its general nature, the planet carries with it, more importantly, a functional nature of the particular house its MT sign falls in. The other sign a planet may 'own' (excluding the Sun and Moon) becomes less important for the overall horoscopic interpretation. That said, whatever house a planet resides in, its functional and general indications get expressed in that area of the life. The dynamic changes for each ascendant. Those with the sign Aries rising are expected to approach life differently than those with say the sign Virgo rising. Mars becomes 1st lord for Aries while Mercury becomes 1st lord for Virgo. Hence, people with the sign Aries rising in their horoscope tend to be more action-oriented than those with Virgo rising, who tend to be more analytical.

Auspicious and malefic houses
The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, tenth and eleventh houses are auspicious, while the sixth, eighth and twelfth houses are malefic. This means that the planets ruling MT signs falling in one of the auspicious houses becomes a functional benefic and its indications can be read from its natal condition. Meanwhile, a planet owning a malefic house takes on the energy of it and becomes a functional malefic. Additionally, the Moon‘s nodes, Rahu and Ketu, become functional malefic planets for all ascendants. Further, Mercury becomes sixth lord for Aries ascendants, as the sign Virgo falls into the sixth house. By the same token, Mars becomes eighth lord for Virgo's as the sign Aries falls in the eighth house. In short, the planets take on a different functional meaning for each ascendant, depending on the house where their MT sign is located. There are many more considerations for a horoscopic reading based on SA vedic astrology, but this gives some sense of the logic.

Polarity of the houses
The nature of each houses is explained very thoroughly by author and astrologer V.K. Choudhry. Here, however, the focus is on the logic of opposites in astrology, as a means to help the reader understand more easily the meaning of each house.

First and seventh houses
The first house represents

“the person, his innate nature and state of health, vitality, longevity, happiness, personality, appearance, prosperity, general disposition in life, reputation and status, desires and their fulfillment.“
The seventh house, by comparison, represents

“long term relationships, legal ties, spouse, partners in life and partners in business, vitality, potency, fertility, passion, outgoing nature, adultery, moral conduct, pleasures, comforts and life in foreign lands, success in love affairs, conjugal life, home abroad, travel, trade or business, expansion.“
What is interesting about this polarity is the link between the self and other. With a strong self and physical body one is, other things being equal, more likely to attract a good mate and enjoy a harmonious marital life. In return, a good mate can reflect well on ones own sense of self. A rich businessman seeking a "trophy wife" is a case in point. Ideally, spouses are of equal importance, such as Simon de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre, reflecting well on each other as philosophers. In some sense, the significant other becomes a mirror of the self. Moreover, strong planetary influences on the first house or its lord become helpful to the person and the same applies when positive influences are seen on the seventh house, all things relating to the spouse are then strengthened. For instance, Arnold Schwarsenegger has important 4th lord Mercury on the ascending degree boosting his physique and intellect. As Mercury also aspects his 7th house, he married an accomplished and intelligent woman, Maria Shriver, from the legendary Kennedy family, who made a name for herself as a reporter. In mundane astrology, countries with powerful planets in the most effective point (MEP) of the 7th house tend to have important international relationships, like the USA and Israel.

Second and eighth houses
The second house represents

“wealth, family, livelihood, nourishment, male child, higher education, professional position, spouse, second marriage, continuance of married life, possession of precious stones and metals, money in cash, earning capacity, financial status, fortune, prosperity, movable properties, speech, vision.“
In turn, the eighth house represents

“longevity, research, interest in mystical sciences, occult, enlightenment, inner and outer transformations, past and future events, inheritance, death, will and testament, insurances, easy gains, marital-tie, vulnerability, fear, accidents, obstructions, litigation, bankruptcy, theft, losses, misfortunes, disgrace, disappointments.“
This polarity brings out the link between the family, wealth and status indications of the second house on the one hand and the easy gains and seperations in life of the eighth house on the other hand. Having a good family and wealth predisposes one to easy gains in life, including inheritance. At the same time, it is the ties of family life that ultimately expose us to the final seperations of death from those we dearly love. Family life can also bring obligations that become obstacles to what we want to do.

Third and ninth houses
The third house represents

“younger brothers or sisters, neighbors, courage, physical strength, sports, initiative, entrepreneurial nature, the power of understanding (learning), communications, short journeys, initiation into spiritual techniques, writing and communicative capability“.
The ninth house represents

“father, preceptor, spiritual learning, spiritual inclinations, intuition, charity, virtue, duty, destiny on the basis of past lives and resultant happiness, meditation, foreign travel, long journeys of short duration and life in foreign lands, education abroad, grace, luck, general fortune, sudden and unexpected gains, religion, pilgrimages, philosophy, law, medicine, remedies, past, etc.“
The polarity brings out the link between the action, speech, writing and courage of the 3rd house and the guidance that life offers us based on a deeper understanding and the wisdom of the 9th house. Appropriately, the younger siblings seen in the 3rd house propel us to act while the father seen in the 9th house gives guidance into adulthood. The houses also indicate travel, one short and the other further a field. At the same time, the polarity is seen in the fact that by taking action (3rd house) we become more likely to realise luck (9th house) in life.

Fourth and tenth houses
The fourth house represents

“mother, happiness, upbringing, relatives, friends, supporters, basic education, vehicles and conveyances, domestic peace, mind, mental peace, spiritual life, confidence, righteous conduct, close of life, comforts, luxuries, country of birth, immovable properties, real estate, land, wells and tanks, house, home, assets.“
while the tenth house represents

“profession, career, vocation, promotion, livelihood, power, fame, public esteem, status, position, honor, karma in life, character, authority, government, employer, living abroad, ambition, next birth, happiness from male progeny, debts."

The fourth house is arguably one of the most important houses as it expresses the deepest motivations in life while the 10th house represents the outer expression or manifestation of these motivations. The polarity of these houses is seen in terms of success in life and acceptance by others (10th house) being a major part of realising contentment in life (4th house). The rewards of acceptance are also linked to the home and conveyances. The high and mighty in life often enjoy mansions and luxury cars while the poor and unrecognised live in meaner conditions.

Fifth and eleventh houses
The fifth house represents

“intelligence, emotions, discernment and discrimination, intellectual and mental talents, memory, creative intelligence, emotional happiness, love, romance, lover, speculative gains from investments, organizational ability, success, progeny, children, knowledge, wisdom, higher learning/education, training, fall from position, social life, inclinations, spiritual pursuits, disciples and students, devotion, mantras, yantras, amulets, resources and merits we bring into life, future, digestion, etc.“
By comparion, the eleventh house represents

“income, prosperity, gains, profit, friends, elder brother or sister, hopes and aspirations and their fulfillment, etc.“

The polarity brings out the link between children, romance and creativity of the fifth house and the hopes and wishes in life and income of the elevent house. The children impel us to provide for them, requiring income (11th house). A social life and creativity are important for earning income and obtaining work. Elder siblings and friends (11th house) also tend to be helpful to us in life in gaining our desires. Our deepest hopes are often linked to our children.

Sixth and twefth houses
The sixth house represents

“disputes, diseases and injuries, debts, enemies, opponents, competitors, thieves, fears, doubts, worries, vices, weaknesses, sound financial position, maternal uncles, service, employees, good health and protection against losses through theft, fire and cheating, misunderstandings, confrontation, litigation.“
and the twelfth house represents

“expenses, losses, expenditures for charity, end of life, exile, life in foreign lands, obstructions in life, separation from family, going astray, withdrawal into retreat, transcendence, enlightenment, seclusion, imprisonment, hospitalization, pleasures of bed, sound sleep and work behind the scenes, as work in a hospital, asylum, prison, military quarters, or monastery, etc.“
The polarity of these two malefic houses is also interesting, for what it can teach us about observing and avoiding their lessons. The opposition in life, lack of health and debts acquired of the sixth house are often linked to the losses, far away places and deeper realisations in life of the 12th house. Through debts we may realise losses and vice versa. Enemity and arguments may bring us losses and even compel us to move far away for a fresh start. Poor health may result in lost opportunities or failure. Selfish acts, including secret romances, may bring us enemity. This is why the best way to avoid such setbacks is to reduce enemity through flexibility, compassion and patience while also avoiding selfish acts. It is also important to take care of ones own health to be able to more fully participate in life.