Alex Miller's Headlines in the Stars

November News Notes

by Alex Miller on December 1, 2013

Asteroids and the News

Several news stories in November caught the eye and demonstrated yet again how impactful PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) can be in current events. The month started off with a literal bang as, at 9:20 AM PDT on November 1, shots rang out in Los Angeles International Airport. The gunman, 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, apparently disgruntled with government in general, targeted unarmed TSA agents at LAX, killing one and wounding seven, spreading panic among passengers waiting to board flights. Ciancia was wounded and taken into custody by police less than ten minutes after his spree began, but it was too late for 39-year-old father of two, Gerardo Hernandez.

Airport shooter Paul

Airport shooter Paul Ciancia

A chart set for the time of the shooting shows a frequently seen pattern of late—a PNA caught up in the throes of the passions engendered by the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square, and acting out in violent ways.

Asteroid Paul (#3525, for shooter Paul Ciancia) at 10 Aries retrograde was closely conjoined volatile Uranus, ruling shootings, at 9 Aries retrograde, on that very day forming its fourth of seven squares with Pluto. This planet of violent destruction was also conjunct asteroid Icarus at 8 Capricorn, representing rash, reckless actions.

Shooting victim Hernandez

Shooting victim Gerardo Hernandez

The victim is also well represented, with asteroid Hernandez (#19079) at 20 Sagittarius conjunct TNO Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, at 19 Sagittarius, both points squared the MC/IC axis for the shooting at 17 Virgo/Pisces, showing the timeliness of the incident.

Near that Pisces MC was another asteroid representing Ciancia, Paula (#1314, a feminine variant) at 20 Pisces, exactly squared Hernandez, indicating their adversarial relationship. Asteroid Gerarda (#1337, for Gerardo) at 16 Aquarius was appropriately conjoined Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, at 18 Aquarius, in sextile to Ixion/Hernandez and inconjunct the MC.

The Ascendant at 4 Sagittarius was forming a T-Square with asteroids Atropos at 2 Virgo, named for the Greek mythic Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, at 6 Pisces, with asteroid California (#341), the state in which the tragedy occurred, broadly conjunct the 4 Gemini Descendant from 12 Gemini. The Sun/Mercury retrograde conjunction took place that day also, and at 9 Scorpio this exactly aspected the Uranus/Pluto square, by inconjunct and sextile.

Two unusual stories emerged on November 5, one a triumph of justice long delayed, the other a train wreck still in the making.

Missouri native Ryan Ferguson, 29, saw his 2005 conviction for murder vacated by an appeals court, after key prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony. Ferguson was freed on November 12, and this story, thankfully, emphasizes the “freedom” aspects of Uranus’ bipolar personality, with asteroid Ferguson (#1745) at 10 Aries retrograde conjunct Uranus at 9 Aries retrograde, and asteroid Ryan (#21936) at 12 Cancer retrograde in square to both, also exactly squared Uranus’ prior retrograde station.

Ryan was also in exact sextile to asteroid Themis at 12 Virgo, named for the Greek goddess of justice, and trine to the Sun at 13 Scorpio, that day making its annual conjunction with asteroid Sisyphus, representing a repetitive struggle against impossible odds (named for the denizen of Hades doomed to forever roll a rock uphill, only to have it roll back again).

Ferguson’s legal team had been battling the conviction for a crime he did not commit for eight years. Themis was also exactly conjunct transit Mars, representing the violent death with which he had been wrongly accused, and bringing justice to the matter at last. Asteroid Justitia, named for Themis’ Roman counterpart, at 5 Sagittarius was broadly trine asteroid Ferguson.

Ryan Ferguson, born 13 October 1984, had just experienced transit Saturn (lawyers, authority figures, police and penalties) conjunct his natal asteroid Ryan at 10 Scorpio the month prior, as well as approaching the first Saturn Return, effective the week after his release.

Natal Saturn at 16 Scorpio is also conjoined by Sun/Sisyphus for the event, as well as natal Ixion at 17 Scorpio, one reading of which would be being penalized (Saturn) for murder (Ixion), rightly or wrongly.

These all oppose natal Themis at 15 Taurus, suggesting justice will out in the end, an axis also highlighted by conjunction and opposition from the Solar Eclipse at 11 Scorpio two days before his conviction was overturned.

Belief in Ferguson’s innocence played a key role in his freedom, astrologically noted by natal Kassandra, representing one’s credibility, at 19 Sagittarius, exactly conjoined by transit Ixion (murder), both squaring natal Ferguson at 20 Pisces. Natal Mars at 10 Capricorn, again representing violent death, had been transited by Pluto the previous year, with the planet of regeneration still closely conjoined from 9 Capricorn. No time was available for the verdict, but that day the transit Moon conjoined his natal Uranus at 11 Sagittarius, signature of the freedom about to be granted.

Ryan Ferguson freed

Ryan Ferguson freed

The other story from November 5 is still unfolding, involving embattled Toronto Canada mayor Rob Ford. In May rumors surfaced of a video showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine, but as no news outlets or websites were willing to pay the requested fee for the footage, the matter rested after Ford’s strenuous denial. Ford has a well-established history of public drunkenness, with early arrests for DUI and marijuana possession, which became issues during his campaign for mayor in 2010, but no record of a prior incident involving hard drugs.

Since his election, Ford has been videoed on at least three occasions, both publically and in his office, while clearly intoxicated and belligerent, including St Patrick’s Day 2013 and an August 2013 local food festival. On October 31 the Toronto police department confirmed that they were in possession of the tape showing the mayor smoking crack cocaine, which Ford finally confessed to in a November 5 press conference, stating he had tried the drug once, “probably in a drunken stupor.”

Rob Ford with crack pipe

Rob Ford with crack pipe

Over the next ten days additional allegations of public drunkenness, drug use, and sexual harassment emerged, with some very entertaining, if inappropriate and bizarre, responses from Ford. Throughout, the mayor has staunchly refused to resign, take time off, enter rehab, or in any way address the situation, stating he will remain in office and run for re-election next year. Finally on November 15, the Toronto City Council, which does not have the authority to actually remove Ford from office, voted to strip him of all but his ceremonial functions, and there the matter lies as of this writing.

When the firestorm broke with Ford’s admission of crack use on November 5, asteroid Roberts (#3428, for Robert “Rob” Ford) at 5 Capricorn was conjunct taboo-and-scandal-ruling Pluto at 9 Capricorn (Pluto also associated with drug use via its rulership of Scorpio).

Accompanying Roberts and Pluto were asteroids Icarus at 9 Capricorn, representing rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, and Pandora at 4 Capricorn, that image of “opening a can of worms” and unwittingly releasing a host of troubles. Pluto/Icarus together were also exactly conjoined Rob Ford’s natal (born 28 May 1969) asteroid Askalaphus at 9 Capricorn, a point noted for tale-bearing, representing the host of eyewitness allegations about his conduct soon to emerge.

Reinforcing this was a transit conjunction of Askalaphus and asteroid Ford (#13852) at 11 and 10 Virgo, with transit Mars (the belligerent attitudes displayed on several of the tapes) at 12 Virgo, all these in trine to the Pluto stellium and squared Ford’s natal Mars at 10 Sagittarius. Transit Ford/Askalaphus also squared the natal conjunction of the Sun and Mercury at 7 and 8 Gemini.

Natally, Askalaphus is conjoined by asteroid Photographica, representing the video images which began the controversy and provided the visual proof of the mayor’s indiscretions. Transit Photographica at 0 Capricorn retrograde is opposing asteroid Ford for the press conference.

A natal conjunction of Saturn and asteroid Hybris at 3 and 9 Taurus may help to account for the mayor’s arrogant stance (Hybris, from which we derive our word “hubris”, meaning “excessive pride or arrogance”) regarding his career and position as Toronto’s chief executive (both Saturn). (Far from being chastened by this experience, Ford avers that he will not only run for re-election next year, but hopes some day to be Canada’s Prime Minister.) This conjunction was opposed by retrograde Mercury from 5 Scorpio when the mayor’s confession was made, indicating a Press corps actively engaged in opposition and looking more closely into the prior allegations.

The last PNA story to emerge in November was also the biggest—the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan on the Philippines. On Friday, November 8, Haiyan made landfall with winds in excess of 150 mph, devastating much of Samar and Leyte, with an estimated 5000+ casualties. There is no asteroid “Haiyan,” but in the Philippines, where the most damage was wreaked, the storm is known as “Yolanda,” and there is an asteroid Iolanda (#509), which fits eerily well into the charts involved.

At its most basic level, the preponderance of violent storms this year, not only Haiyan/Yolanda, but also the unusually strong tornadoes in the US in May and November, has its roots in TNO Typhon joining the Uranus/Pluto square in 2013-14 from mid-Libra, forming a temporary T-Square.

Haiyan-Yolanda approaching landfall

Haiyan-Yolanda approaching landfall

Typhon is named for a mythic Greek Titan, a god of vicious storms and winds, and when Yolanda struck, Typhon at 15 Libra was a bit wide of the actual Uranus/Pluto square at 9 Aries and Capricorn, but still enmeshed in its energies from its direct contacts earlier in the year, about to be repeated as Uranus and Pluto resume forward motion and bring it fully into their embrace once more.

Significantly, although wide of the square, transit Typhon was exactly conjunct the Philippines’ natal Chiron at 15 Libra (Philippines established 4 July 1946, 9:15 AM WST, Manila), a point of wounding or crippling, and also closely squared to transit asteroid Storm at 16 Capricorn. And the Philippines’ natal Typhon at 6 Aries was exactly conjoined by transit asteroid Nemesis, noted as a point bringing undoing and disaster.

But asteroid Iolanda’s role is even more dramatic—at 19 Cancer she was just coming to her retrograde station, less than a week later, a time of increased power and prominence. Moreover, she was traveling in the company of Jupiter, itself stationing retrograde at 20 Cancer just the day before.

Jupiter’s effect here is to magnify, inflate or expand Iolanda’s natural strength or importance, bringing notoriety or renown. Natally, the Philippines has Iolanda at 9 Scorpio, exactly with Boreas, an asteroid named for the Greek personification of the north wind, noted for its violence (this point was also the degree of the most recent Sun/Mercury conjunction, November 1, with Mercury ruling weather). Transit Boreas at 15 Virgo was an exact match for the Philippines’ Moon when Yolanda made landfall.

This 9 Scorpio Iolanda/Boreas conjunction squares natal Pluto at 10 Leo, suggesting a potential for devastation and destruction from that quarter, and is also just two degrees shy of the Solar Eclipse which had occurred the weekend before, greatly emphasizing the point’s importance in the Philippines’ national saga. Further, it is aspected exactly to the Uranus/Pluto square, by inconjunct and sextile.

There is also an asteroid Philippina (#631), which in the natal chart lies at 10 Aries, just a degree off the transiting Uranus/Pluto square, and having received exact aspects from both planets in the prior year. Transit Philippina at 23 Virgo was semisquare the Philippines’ natal Iolanda/Boreas, providing one more celestial tie to the day’s events.

At the time of the landfall, transit Neptune, ruling water and the seas, was just forming its direct station at 2 Pisces, exactly conjoined the Philippines’ natal Descendant. Neptune is accompanied by asteroid Ophelia, another image of “drowning” in Neptune’s waters (named for the character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who goes insane and accidentally drowns herself).

All in all, another bevy of celestial PNA activation reflecting terrestrial events here on planet Earth. As above, so below, indeed!

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