General James Mattis Selected as Defense Secretary
In 2015, Obama fired James Mattis as Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps for being too hawkish on Iran. The four-star general was openly critical of the Obama administration’s policy of disengagement from the Middle East, saying that the U.S. "must come out of our reactive crouch and take a firm, strategic stance in defense of our values." Astrologically, Mattis is ready to pounce.
Mattis was born with an authoritative Sun-Saturn conjunction in Virgo (September 8, 1950; Pullman, WA; time unknown), which is sextile to Mars in the hawkish sign of Scorpio. Mars here conjoins the diplomatic, strategy-oriented asteroid Pallas, with both in a tight square to Pluto. He summarizes this configuration’s essence when he advises "Be polite, be professional, but be ready to kill everybody you meet."
Mattis’s Mercury in Libra opposes Eris, with both squaring Uranus. Mercury aspecting these outer planets emphasizes his outspoken nature. NewsScope readers may recall that all the candidates in the 2016 presidential contest have Mercury-Eris aspects, pointing to how they became articulate spokesmen for a particular point of view. Mercury’s square to Uranus adds a willingness to go against the consensus, and perhaps contributes to his nickname "Mad Dog" Mattis.
The general is currently experiencing a progressed Sun-Venus conjunction which is sextile his natal Saturn. This favorable and rare alignment indicates that he will become a popular choice, and readily confirmed by Congress. Meanwhile, his progressed Mars is now at 6º Capricorn and is heading into a square to natal Eris, then an opposition to Uranus. This highly volatile combination kicks in over the coming year and peaks in four years. He’s poised to take action for the views he held so strongly under Obama.
Ivanka Trump, the Millennial in the White House
Noting that Ivanka Trump is playing a central role in her father’s campaign and transition process, a reader wants to know the astrological picture: "Does she have any control or much influence?" Although we don’t have a birth time for Ivanka, a noon time or thereabouts makes sense since it gives her the business-first sign of Capricorn Rising. And Ivanka is all about business first.
She was born with her Scorpio Sun sextile Mars (October 30, 1981; Manhattan, NY), giving her an abundance of energy and vitality to carry out her ambitions. The Sun is also octile her Venus-Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius, endowing her with beauty, grace, and the photogenic qualities that brought her early fame as a model and cover girl. Her Sun at 8º Scorpio – exactly conjunct the U.S. Scorpio Ascendant – readily places her in the national spotlight as a mover and shaker.
Pallas is a key placement in her chart with its octile to her Sun. A prominent Pallas often signifies the father’s favorite child, and in the world of politics, Pallas often represents the political adviser. Ivanka has worked by her father’s side for many years, including on The Apprentice, and introducing him during the GOP convention. Currently, she’s a top executive of the Trump business empire and is also overseeing his cabinet appointments, which some see as a conflict of interest.
Ivanka and her father share many common placements, with the closest being Black Moon Lilith at 4º Sagittarius. With her Lilith squaring Mars, Ivanka is a strong advocate of women’s rights, and her speech at the GOP convention brought many female voters into the Trump camp. Currently, her progressed Sun is sextile Ceres, the environmental asteroid: she may convince her father that global warming should be treated seriously.
Hollywood’s Making of the Wild West
One of the main reasons that political astrologers prefer a Sagittarius Rising chart for the U.S. is the often cited claim that this expansive, optimistic sign explains the "Wild West". The Hollywood film industry fashioned the mythology of the Wild West during its Golden Age by regaling us with the tales of cowboys, scout masters, and the independent, morally upright characters who always get the bad guys.
The current protest by the Standing Rock Sioux over the Dakota Access Pipeline might remind us that the Hollywood versions ignore the fact that the settling of the Wild West involved mass genocide against Native Americans. For kicks, I looked at the top western movie stars* of all time to see what patterns emerged. We don’t know the birth times for several of the top ten, so I compared their Sun and Mars placements.
Sagittarius is woefully low in the planet counts: only one of the top ten (#8 Kirk Douglas) has a Sagittarius Sun, and none have Mars there. Three western stars have a Taurus Sun: #4 Gary Cooper, #5 James Stewart, and #9 Glenn Ford. The #1 and #2 western stars, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, are both Geminis. For the Mars placements, three stars have Mars in Capricorn, and two have Mars in Virgo.
While three out of ten might be considered statistically significant, a more striking pattern showed up: each of these stars has a natal placement in close aspect to the U.S. Pluto, with eight having orbs of less than one degree. For example, Clint Eastwood’s Mars in Aries squares the U.S. Pluto, Gary Copper’s Mars in Leo is quincunx the U.S. Pluto, and William Holden’s Aries Sun squares the U.S. Pluto. In other words, the unanimous link between these top ten western stars is their connection to the ruling planet of the U.S. Scorpio Rising horoscope.
* See http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056161415/
The Greatest Western Movie Stars of All Time1. John Wayne – May 26, 1907; 9:56 am ?; Winterset, IA
2. Clint Eastwood – May 31, 1930; 5:35 pm; San Francisco, CA
3. Randolph Scott – January 23, 1898; Orange, VA
4. Gary Cooper – May 7, 1901; 5:45 am; Helena, MT
5. James Stewart – May 20, 1908; 12:10 am; Indiana, PA
6. Sam Elliott – August 9, 1944; Sacramento, CA
7. Burt Lancaster – November 2, 1913; 9:00 am; New York, NY
8. Kirk Douglas – December 9, 1916; 10:15 am; Amsterdam, NY
9. Glenn Ford – May 1, 1916; 12:00 pm; Quebec, Canada
10. William Holden – April 17, 1918; 5:00 pm; O’Fallon, IL
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