When the financial meltdown happened, there was a feeling that, ‘Wow, things are going to change. Obama is going to pass all kinds of laws, and we are going to have a different kind of banking system, and we are going to take these financial fraudsters and bring them to justice.’ There was a feeling like, ‘Hey, we just elected a guy who may actually do this.’ In a way, there wasn’t this desperate edge. Among the young people there was a very positive feeling. And then slowly this feeling that he’s a bit of a gutless wonder slowly crept in, and now we’re despondent again.’
– Kalle Lasn, co-founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, on the genesis of Occupy Wall Street
On September 17, 2011, Constitution Day, several hundred protestors gathered at the iconic Wall Street Charging Bull statue in lower Manhattan, and began a movement which has spread to more than 70 major cities and over 600 communities in the US, with similar demonstrations sparked in 900+ cities worldwide. Not a cohesive movement, with no specific demands other than the rectification of the extreme financial inequality in the US and an end to corporate influence on our government, the initial demonstrators were predominantly young, unemployed and progressive, but as word spread the group became much more diverse, incorporating older protestors, and individuals with varying political orientations.
The original demonstration was organized by Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist, pro-environment activist group established in 1989 by Kalle Lasn and Bill Schmaltz, two award-winning documentary filmmakers, but grew by leaps and bounds via social media networking.
Several egregious incidents of police brutality against the protestors, posted on YouTube, greatly enhanced the movement’s profile, and as of this writing in late October, Occupy Wall Street enjoys an approval rating of 67%, far higher than President Obama’s at 47%, and positively dwarfing Congress’s approval rating, at 12%. Americans generally are in sympathy with the outrage expressed by the demonstrators over the lack of legal or criminal responsibility for the corporations that brought the nation and the world to the brink of economic collapse through unregulated speculation and abstruse financial instruments, and their continued corporate intrusion on our democracy.
Criticized by conservative media for a lack of goals or internal hierarchy, Occupy Wall Street and its sister protests are actually in a much more organized and entrenched position than the much-touted Tea Party activists were at a similar stage of their development. The movement could lead to important changes in the level of corporate involvement in our political structure, as well as increased accountability for fiscal evildoers. Regardless, it does not appear to be going away anytime soon, something indicated by a chart cast for the moment of its inception.
Set for noon on 17 September 2011 in Manhattan, New York (the moment of initial assembly), the Occupy Wall Street movement sports a 24 Virgo Sun in exact square to a Pulsar at 24 Sagittarius which conjoins the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, 26 Sagittarius. Pulsars, stellar remnants which rapidly rotate and provide “pulses” of energy, are related to information retrieval and dissemination, typically incite media attention and are often active in the charts of newsworthy events or persons. But it is the square to the Galactic Center which virtually ensures global or universal notice and attention, as well as providing assistance in taking the protest worldwide. And as a Black Hole, the GC also promotes radical revision of the status quo, suggesting that OWS’ agenda may become a reality sooner rather than later.
The Sun is fresh from its annual conjunction with the nation’s natal Neptune at 22 Virgo, symbolizing the weak and oppressed, as well as the solidarity and unity which can make them strong, as expressed in the many signs and banners reading “We are the 99%”, a reference to the vast numbers of Americans who control so little of the nation’s wealth. The Sun is also trined by the Moon at 22 Taurus, indicating the popular (Moon) support (trine) granted the movement, and this Moon is also square to the US natal Moon, representing its people, at 26 Aquarius, itself currently completing a two-year transit by Neptune, which engenders disappointment, disillusion and a sense of victimhood, all of which find an outlet in the protest.
Saturn at 17 Libra is conjoined by Juno at 16 Libra, bringing together celestial elements symbolizing the entrenched structure of the powers that be (Saturn) with those representing the disempowered, craving acknowledgment, justice and retribution (all Juno), in a particularly “in your face” manner (the conjunction). This conjunction falls in the Eleventh House of the chart, ruling social networking and the marketplace, as well as the dreams, goals and aspirations of the people; in short, “the American Dream.”
Pluto at 4 Capricorn in the Second House, as it is in the nativity of the US, shows the root of the problem—control, manipulation and abuse (all Pluto) in the financial sector (Second House). With Pallas also here exactly conjunct the US natal Pluto at 27 Capricorn, the message is clear—a strategy must be devised (Pallas) to reclaim the power (Pluto) rightfully belonging to the people, usurped by corporations. Opposing Pallas from the Eighth House is Mars at 29 Cancer, indicating the activists, protestors, conflict and the embattled nature of Wall Street, as symbolized by the Eighth House locale, governing investments and shared resources.
Mercury (the message, making your voice heard, populism) at 14 Virgo conjoins the 11 Virgo Midheaven and also asteroid America, which at 9 Virgo is exactly atop a reality-warping Black Hole. Will this be a watershed moment from which all future American politics is dated? Astrologically, the Black Hole at the MC suggests pervasive, massive change in the nation’s hierarchical structures and ruling class. Exactly trine to America is Jupiter at 9 Taurus retrograde, imaging the necessary revision and redeployment (retrograde status) of the nation’s political structure (Jupiter), with the trine between them suggesting widespread support for radical change (Black Hole).
A tight opposition from Uranus at 2 Aries retrograde to Venus at 3 Libra in the Tenth House is another indicator of the revolutionary change and upheaval (Uranus) required in the financial sector (Venus, natural ruler of the astrological Second House of finances) if the people are to reclaim their power, and the T-Square formed by the addition of Pluto to this pattern stresses the astrological importance of the moment for self-empowerment and evolutionary development (both Pluto).
The Ascendant/Descendant Axis is also highly descriptive of the movement. With a 27 Scorpio Ascendant conjoined by a Quasar at 28 Scorpio, the issue is firmly about shared resources and an equitable distribution of these (Scorpio), while the Quasar, a deep space anomaly which is among the brightest class of objects in the universe, casts its bright beacon upon the movement, guaranteeing a high degree of public visibility and notoriety, as well as generally assuring success and the attainment of goals. Also exactly conjunct the Ascendant is asteroid Niobe, representing pride and self-centeredness, two root causes of the arrogant display of power and assumed lack of culpability by America’s fiscal giants.
A Maser conjoins the 27 Taurus Descendant, indicative of the controversy, volatility and frenzied energy such a movement can evoke, and possibly suggesting a violent confrontation at some point. [Author’s note: This potential was realized in Oakland on October 25 as dozens of police in riot gear cleared an encampment of several hundred Occupy Wall street protestors, using tear gas canisters and firing beanbag rounds into the crowd, arresting more than hundred, with dozens injured.]
The Moon is within orb of the Descendant, lending angular force to this symbol of the people and the popular will. Even closer in conjunction is centaur Asbolus at 26 Taurus, named for a mythic Greek figure who read auguries in the flights of birds, thus denoting foreknowledge and the shape of things to come, and marking this as a moment prescient with the unfolding future. Asbolus is also exactly conjunct the fixed star Caput Algol, Medusa’s head in the constellation Perseus, perhaps prefiguring the symbolic “decapitation” of the financial sector’s sway over the US government.
Wherever Occupy Wall Street is headed, its emergence now has given form and voice to the discontent and dissatisfaction of the vast majority of Americans, concerned at the creeping erosion of our democracy by wealthy and powerful multinational corporate interests who have no national loyalties and threaten, in very real terms, to transform the country into a mere extension of their profit models. As such, Occupy Wall Street, now in its second month, may be here to stay.