Asteroid Lie (#26955) is yet another of that mysterious class of celestial bodies named for one thing but resonating to other meanings. A whole range of homonyms, homophones, homographs, cognates and colloquialisms in asteroid form do in fact show prominently in charts of persons or events for which their linguistic alter egos are significant, such as Bilk, Lust, Pecker and Agita [see my articles on these in previous issues of Daykeeper Journal]. Why this should be so boggles the mind. That it is so, seems indisputable.
When discovered at Arizona’s Prescott Observatory on 30 June 1997, Lie was named for Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie (pronounced “lee”), originator of the theory of continuous symmetry, who had died almost a century previously. But the point works very well as an indicator of deception, based on the English homonym “lie,” an untruth.
And as with many celestials, events constellating about their discovery periods often prove illuminating of their meaning: barely six months later, one of the biggest lie-related stories in modern times emerged, as the US was plunged into the Lewinsky scandal, after then President Bill Clinton lied about having sexual relations with a White House intern in a deposition in the Paula Jones case. The scandal consumed press and public for more than a year and led to the impeachment of a US president.
Lie’s discovery chart prefigures this moment, with Lie at 27 Scorpio conjoined a spotlighting Quasar at 28 Scorpio and Pluto at 3 Sagittarius: a deception (Lie) impossible to conceal (Quasar) relating to a sexual secret (both Pluto). That Lie was tightly squared Bill Clinton’s 26 Leo Sun at the time is just icing on the cosmic cake, and an indicator of where this energy would come home to roost in its most personal (Sun) form. Also significant that day was an amazing quadruple conjunction of Saturn and TNO Eris at 19 Aries, with asteroids Achilles at 18 Aries and Arachne at 17 Aries, all these points squared Mercury at 14 Cancer, on the USA natal Sun at 13 Cancer. This suggests a conflict-causing (square) news story (Mercury) involving an American (USA Sun) chief executive (Saturn) caught in a tangled web (Arachne) based in a personal weak spot or character flaw (Achilles) and resulting in strife and discord (Eris). With all these Aries points tightly opposing Clinton’s natal Chiron (wounding, maverick behavior) at 18 Libra, we see the astro-cherry that tops the cake!
Clinton’s (born 19 August 1946) natal asteroid Lie at 11 Gemini falls exactly trine his natal Venus (love, romance, affairs) at 11 Libra, indicating the areas of life he’s most apt to be deceptive about. Pluto at 11 Leo on their midpoint and exactly sextile each is a warning about the potential for devastating ramifications if such lies are told. There are other factors which collude in Clinton’s basic dishonesty. Pluto also conjoins Mercury at 7 Leo, and this combination of secrets, sexual drive and taboo actions (all Pluto) with the planet of communication (Mercury) suggests that truth may be an early casualty for Clinton, although many of these deceptions may be sins of omission (half-truths and things left unsaid) rather than commission (outright falsehoods).
Having Neptune, the obfuscator and deluder, and the major planetary energy overseeing deception generally, in conjunction with Venus and exactly conjoined natal Mars at 6 Libra, is another strong indicator that Clinton’s lies will revolve around sex (Mars) and romantic interludes (Venus), and be a source of disappointment (Neptune) for many, with Venus (women) here further describing who the lies were about (the lover, Monica Lewinsky) and whom they were told to (the wife, Hillary Clinton).
But Lie wasn’t done with Clinton; not by a long shot. On 26 January 1998, when Clinton first publicly denied the allegations of a sexual affair with Lewinsky during a White House press conference (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”), asteroid Lie at 17 Aquarius was squared asteroid Monica (#833) at 19 Scorpio and Chiron (wounds) at 17 Scorpio. Even more staggering, the Sun at 6 Aquarius was still within orb of master deceiver Neptune at 29 Capricorn, and in an exact T-Square with Eros (erotic passion) at 6 Scorpio and asteroid Pecker (colloquial for “penis”) at 6 Taurus. Not to be outdone, Jupiter (politics) was running conjunct with Mars (sex), and at 27 Aquarius, was on a Black Hole and exactly squared Lie’s discovery degree from the previous June, while opposing Clinton’s Sun, Jupiter here also acting to inflate or magnify Lie’s effects.
Not much has been made astrologically of the fact that we had two consecutive presidents in this country who were born just weeks apart, but one of the consequences of this was that, due to a Mercury retrograde in the interim, both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush share essentially the same Mercury/Pluto conjunction which inclines them to secretiveness and a loathing of full disclosure.
Clinton’s pairing is at 7 and 11 Leo, Bush’s is tighter at 8 and 10, but they both spell trouble. The fact that “when Clinton lied, nobody died” may be explained by Bush’s natal Lie at 26 Taurus, conjunct a controversy-sparking Maser, which is exactly squared the USA natal Moon (the public) at 26 Aquarius and is exactly sextile his natal Saturn at 26 Cancer. Clinton lied about personal, intimate issues (the natal trine from Lie to Venus); Bush made a career (Saturn) of lying, and with Lie in semisquare to his natal Sun at 13 Cancer (which matches the USA’s own), lying is an integral part of who he is (Sun). Bush’s Lie also in trine to the USA Pluto at 27 Capricorn further indicates the issues of control and manipulation (Pluto) of the populace (Moon) in a grab for augmented power (Pluto) for the ”unitary executive” (Saturn) branch of government, and the ease (trine) with which he accomplished this.
With the deception and misdirection about Iraq’s WMDs and the false conflation of Hussein with 9/11, one might expect to find asteroid Mesopotamia (#56000, Iraq’s ancient name) linked with Lie in Bush’s chart, but this is not directly the case, implying that perhaps Bush was as much a recipient of these lies as a disseminator of them. There is plenty of deception linked to Bush’s Mesopotamia, however, which at 6 Capricorn is tightly squared his natal Neptune at 5 Libra, conjoined a Quasar, and exactly squared TNO Eris at 6 Aries, inviting strife, division and discord, which is surely the prime result of the Iraq War on the nation’s psyche. And having both Neptune conjoined a Quasar, and Lie opposed one, Bush’s many lies were bound to be uncovered, as these cosmic beacons shine the brightest light upon whatever they touch. In the words of the great miscommunicator himself, “Fool me once, shame on—shame on you… Fool me… you can’t get fooled again.”
But it’s not just presidents who are subject to Lie’s effects. It cuts a wide swath across America’s cultural and political life.
Actors David Leisure and Jon Lovitz both created iconic characters noted for inveterate lying, and both have Lie prominent in their birth charts. Leisure’s “Joe Isuzu” ad character touted the merits of Isuzu’s cars and trucks with obvious and outrageous lies intended to comically spoof unrealistic claims made by auto salesmen. The ads premiered in 1986 and ran through 1990, with numerous offerings in the series and a Super Bowl XXI placement in 1987; they became such a part of pop culture that they were even referenced in the 1988 presidential campaign, when Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, during a televised debate, accused George H. W. Bush of coming perilously close to parodying the Joe Isuzu character with his willful deception of the American public. The ad campaign gave Leisure’s career a shot in the arm, and he landed a lead supporting role on NBC’s sitcom “Empty Nest” in 1988, playing a character very similar to his Isuzu persona. Leisure (born 16 November 1950) has natal asteroid Lie at 14 Leo, conjunct Pluto (transformation of circumstance) at 19 Leo, exactly semisquare Saturn (career) at 29 Virgo, and sextile Neptune (TV) at 18 Libra.
Jon Lovitz created the character of “Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar” during his five-year stint at Saturday Night Live, 1985-1990.
It became the role he was most identified with. His catch-phrase of “Yeah! That’s the ticket!” spoken aside as he completed his latest improbable statements, entered the pop lexicon of the time. Lovitz’ career also got a boost from the lying character he portrayed—in 1994 he voiced the lead in an animated series, “The Critic.” Born 21 July 1957, Lovitz’ natal asteroid Lie at 4 Cancer is inconjunct Saturn (career) at 8 Sagittarius and trine Neptune (TV) at 29 Libra.
Two less favored liars of a more genuine nature were writers James Frey (born 12 September 1969) and Jayson Blair (born 23 March 1976). Frey’s autobiography, “A Million Little Pieces” (Doubleday Books, 2003) became a national bestseller when talk show diva Oprah Winfrey selected it for her book club, but huge portions of the book turned out to be fabrications when investigated in 2005. Frey appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2006 to apologize, and was told by Oprah that he had “betrayed millions of readers.”
Similarly, New York Times star reporter Jayson Blair was found in 2003 to have plagiarized or invented pivotal parts of his news articles, in a story which made a sensation in the national headlines at the time; he resigned amid the resulting scandal and disgrace that April.
Amazingly, both men have natal asteroid Lie at the same degree, 0 Sagittarius, sign of publication. Frey’s Lie is quintile the Sun at 19 Virgo, semisquare Mercury (writing) at 14 Libra, sextile Uranus (shocks, surprises) at 3 Libra, and conjoined Neptune (deception) at 26 Scorpio. Blair’s Lie forms a Grand Trine with the 3 Aries Sun and Saturn (career) at 26 Cancer, and also forms the apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to both Mars at 2 Cancer and Jupiter (publishing) at 29 Aries.
Watergate and Iran-Contra were two notable political events where Lie’s pattern of willful duplicity and misdirection is clearly discernible. Nixon White House Chief of Staff H. R. “Bob” Haldeman and Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell were both hip-deep in the cover-up of the break-in at Democratic campaign headquarters during Nixon’s re-election campaign in 1972 which eventually brought down the administration.
Haldeman (born 27 October 1926) was convicted of lying to Congress (a very rare charge, with only six convictions in the past 60 years) and spent 18 months in Lompoc Federal Prison. Haldeman’s natal asteroid Lie at 15 Virgo is semisquare the Sun at 2 Scorpio, inconjunct Jupiter (politics) at 17 Aquarius, and sextile Pluto (devastating consequences, secrets, covert ops) at 15 Cancer.
John Mitchell is the only US Attorney General ever convicted of a crime. In the cover-up to his activities as director of the Committee to Re-elect the President, which oversaw the Watergate break-in, Mitchell was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury, and spent 19 months in prison. Born 15 September 1913, Mitchell’s natal asteroid Lie at 13 Scorpio is sextile Jupiter (politics, the Justice Department) at 8 Capricorn and inconjunct Saturn (career) at 17 Gemini.
Nixon himself (born 9 January 1913), no slouch in the lying department, had natal asteroid Lie at 12 Libra, squared the 18 Capricorn Sun and exactly sesquiquadrate Saturn (career) at 27 Taurus.
The Iran-Contra Affair is also studded with personalities convicted of lying, by one legal definition or another, who have asteroid Lie prominent in their nativities. A complex and abstruse conspiracy, whereby arms were sold illegally to a hostile Iran and the money funneled to support a rebellion in Nicaragua which Congress refused to fund or support, Iran-Contra was a leading feature of the final years of the Reagan administration. The Tower Commission, which investigated the affair in 1986, cast its net wide and convicted several leading Reagan officials, including Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, foreign policy advisor Elliot Abrams (all of whom were pardoned by George H. W. Bush after he became president) and Admiral John Poindexter (whose conviction was reversed on appeal, on technical grounds).
Weinberger (born 18 August 1917) has natal asteroid Lie at 3 Capricorn, at the apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, comprised of inconjuncts to Jupiter (politics, foreign policy) at 8 Gemini, Saturn (career, cabinet position) at 6 Leo and Neptune (deception, obfuscation) at 5 Leo, while also opposed Pluto (secrets, cover-ups) at 5 Cancer, itself on the USA Jupiter.
McFarlane (born 12 July 1937) has natal asteroid Lie at 4 Virgo, exactly semisquare the Sun at 19 Cancer, exactly square Venus (financial transactions) at 4 Gemini, and inconjunct Saturn at 5 Aries.
Abrams (born 24 January 1948) has natal asteroid Lie at 3 Scorpio exactly square Sun at 3 Aquarius, trine Venus at 7 Pisces, and sextile Mars (weapons, the conflict in Nicaragua) at 5 Virgo. Perhaps most remarkably, all three men have Lie at similar degrees, at equidistant sextiles, and thus their Lies are in constant easy communication with each other.
Admiral Poindexter (born 12 August 1936) is slightly out of the loop, with natal asteroid Lie at 8 Cancer, sextile Mercury (planning, strategy) at 7 Virgo and Uranus (rebellion in Nicaragua, revolution in Iran) at 9 Taurus.
More recently, sports legend Roger Clemens was indicted for lying to Congress based on false testimony during the House investigation into steroid use in professional baseball. Appearing 13 February 2008, Clemens denied all allegations he used steroids to enhance his performance, but inconsistencies in his testimony and that of others led to further inquiries by a federal grand jury, who indicted Clemens for perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress on 19 August 2010.
Born 4 August 1962, Clemens has natal asteroid Lie at 13 Scorpio, conjunct Neptune (deceit) at 10 Scorpio, squared the 11 Leo Sun and Mercury (testimony) at 18 Leo, inconjunct Mars (sports) at 18 Gemini, trine Jupiter (politics) at 10 Pisces, and square Saturn (career) at 7 Aquarius. When Clemens appeared before Congress on 13 February 2008, transit Lie at 20 Capricorn was inconjunct natal Mars at 18 Gemini and transit Mars at 25 Gemini, conjunct transit Jupiter (justice, politics) at 12 Capricorn, and sesquiquadrate transit Saturn (career, Congress) at 6 Virgo. Transit Mercury at 10 Aquarius was exactly squared his natal Neptune at 10 Scorpio, also squared natal Lie at 13 Scorpio, and opposed the natal Sun at 11 Leo.
When the grand jury indicted Clemens on 19 August 2010, transit Lie at 5 Virgo was conjunct his natal Pluto at 8 Virgo and trine transit Pluto at 2 Capricorn, a double whammy of celestial activation relating to issues of secrets and devastating consequences. Transit Mercury (testimony) was exactly squared Clemens’ natal Mars (sports) at 18 Gemini, with an exact union of transit Venus and Mars at 12 Libra in tight semisextile to natal Lie at 13 Scorpio. Transit Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto were enmeshed in an exact T-Square from 2 Aries, Libra and Capricorn respectively, which keyed on natal Lie by semisquares and sesquiquadrate. If and when he is found guilty, there can be little doubt that Lie will make its presence known once again.
Lie seemed to have proved its efficacy in cosmic cases of deception, but I wondered about the original intent of its namer. Would Lie also show prominently in the charts of mathematicians?
I chose three at random, whose names I was familiar with: Blaise Pascal, creator of Pascal’s Triangle, which represents binomial coefficients, and who laid the groundwork for what would become calculus; Rene Descartes, creator of the Cartesian coordinate system, which enabled geometric shapes to be expressed in algebraic equations; and of course Isaac Newton, instrumental in the development of differential and integral calculus, the generalized binomial theorem, and the Newton method for approximating the roots of a function, all major turning points in our understanding and utilization of mathematics.
Pascal (born 19 June 1623) has natal Lie at 11 Leo, semisquare the Sun at 27 Gemini, semisextile Mercury at 10 Cancer, inconjunct Mars at 15 Capricorn, conjoined Saturn at 3 Leo and Uranus at 9 Leo, sextile Neptune at 15 Libra, and squared Pluto at 15 Taurus.
Descartes (born 31 March 1596) has natal Lie at 22 Sagittarius, exactly tredecile (108 degrees) the Sun at 22 Sagittarius, trine Mercury at 29 Aries, opposed Mars at 22 Gemini, trine Jupiter at 15 Aries, Uranus at 14 Aries, Neptune at 16 Leo and Pluto at 18 Aries.
Newton (born 25 December 1642) has natal Lie at 1 Aries, square the Sun at 3 Capricorn, sesquiquadrate Uranus at 15 Scorpio, trine Neptune at 0 Sagittarius, and sextile Pluto at 2 Gemini.
Clearly Lie has a role to play in math as well! In particular, the contacts from all three men between Lie and the Sun (the self) and Uranus (genius), as well as the strong emphasis on outer planets generally (transformative, world-altering energies, beyond our normal ken) suggest that this tiny chunk of planetary debris is instrumental in radically altering our ability to manipulate numbers to our advantage.
From politicos and their henchmen, to pop culture figures, sports stars and willful defrauders, and even famed mathematicians, Lie has made a place for itself in the catalog of useful minor planets to be aware of. And that’s no lie!