February 17, 2013

The Saturn Cycle of Career Success

To read the post on the Saturn Cycle that measures our lives in 7-year increments, click HERE.

Grant Lewi has been described as "the father of modern astrology in America." It is also said that he predicted his own death. He was the editor of Dell Horoscope magazine for a number of years and the originator (as far as I can tell) of the premise that man's destiny has a direct correlation to Saturn's transit in their natal chart. Regarding this, he wrote:

Strong men of destiny ride the full tide of their natures, upward and downward. They start obscurely, rise meteorically, and fall spectacularly...Standing at the midnight point, they proclaim their will to be, and catch the hour hand as it swings up the circle from obscurity to fame. Still proclaiming their individual pre-eminence, they stand for one fearful hour at the noon point, and then, orating about their indomitable will, they have not the will to let go of their fate, but clutching the indicator with a death grip, sweep with it down the slope to darkness.

Here is an illustration of what he meant:

I remember reading this early on when I began to study astrology, and occasionally when I am reading the chart of some famous person, it leaps from my mind and presents itself for examination. I have chosen the charts of two famous people to examine. The first is Richard Nixon because he fit the description of "a strong man who began obscurely, rose meteorically, and fell spectacularly."  I also chose the chart of Vivien Leigh, the British actress who won two Academy Awards, both for playing the role of a Southern Belle. She's well known enough to be interesting and familiar. 

Those are not peace signs Nixon is flashing. Those are V's for victory.

First, let's look at the natal chart of Richard Nixon:

Born January 9, 1913 at 9:35 P.M. PST in Yorba Linda, California. With a majority of planets in Earth signs, and a majority in mutable signs, his chart had a Virgo signature, which was also the sign on his Ascendant. This made him critical, analytical, and detail-oriented. Uranus was the final dispositor of the chart. It was the ruler of his natal moon and his 5th house of duty, service, and obligation.
His sun was in Capricorn. It was just inside his 5th house of creativity, risks, and pleasures in life. It trined his practical, hard-working blue-collar Virgo ascendant, so he felt comfortable that his ego, inner self, and inner identity were in harmony with the identity he projected to the world, and the way he was perceived by others. It was opposed by Neptune, the planet of illusion, delusion, deception and confusion from the 11th house of friends, groups, and associations. It also made a wide trine to its own ruler, Saturn. Saturn in Taurus is highly concerned with financial security and material comfort. It is a penny pincher and does not gamble with property or possessions, but look...the sun is in the 5th house of gambling. Nixon would take calculated risks if he was nearly certain he could not lose, and over-confident, he trusted less cautious people with his security. The loss of any money or material possession could throw him off his game for as long as it took to recover it. If you read the blog post "The Saturn Return,"  you may recall that Saturn is the planet which represents:

Respectability, responsibility, maturity, conservatism, seriousness, sobriety, security, dignity, wisdom, reverence, tradition, trust, authority, ambition, efficiency, methodicalness, achievement, organization, leadership, mastery, perfection, and parenthood. It can bring respect, honor, distinction, and esteem when well aspected.     
When it is badly aspected or abused, it can also be disrespectful, lowly, indecent, irresponsible, immature, infamous, materialistic, selfish, mercenary, parsimonious, pusillanimous, stingy, capitalist, hardhearted, lazy, introverted, inferior, withdrawn, sulky, brooding, cruel, workaholic and slave-driving. It can bring restriction, poverty, loss, sorrow, suffering, grief, depression, and self-undoing.
Nixon's natal moon was in the humanitarian and political sign of Aquarius in the his 6th house of duty, service, and obligation. Somewhere underneath his Capricorn exterior, he really did feel the need to serve his country. Its dispositor, Uranus, was also in the 5th house of risk-taking, and trined his South Node rising in his first house, so this was not the first life in which he served in a public or political capacity. The moon in Aquarius can talk about emotions all day, but has a difficult time feeling them. This was someone who wanted to serve mankind, but found it hard to understand or express warmth and affection. 

His Mars opposition to Pluto in the 10th house of power and authority, career, and direction in life, gave him Scorpionic tendencies to impose his will, though he would not tolerate a dominating attitude in others. He had respect for power and authority, but appreciated it most when it was his own. It is an intimidating aspect of "all or nothing," and indicates an explosive temper. He was the exact opposite of everything the love and peace movement of the Viet Nam era represented, and could not abide by or assent to anything connected with the peace movement. He had no sympathy for rebellion, demonstrations, "filthy hippies," or “bums…blowing up campuses.”
Mercury, the ruler of his Midheaven (career, reputation, and direction in life, the house of honor or dishonor) as well as his ascendant (the part of our personality we project to the world, the mask we wear for others), was at 0 degrees (and only one minute!) of Capricorn, a critical degree and Aries point. Nixon rushed out into the world, projecting himself into his environment in order to conquer it. He dominated and influenced others. It was a thrusting of his ego and identity that propelled him. This representative of his Midheaven (public reputation) and Ascendant (me, me, me) wanted to be famous. One thing was certain: he would never stop trying.  

The Aries Points are indicative of action. They are movers and shakers, those who get things started. They rush in where angels fear to tread, and their need for recognition is what drives them. In Capricorn, Nixon's fame would be achieved through business, politics, or banking. It is also related to conservative leadership, experience, old money, tradition, and authority. The 0 degree of Capricorn results in something tangible and promises to be remembered. Conjunct Mars, the other planet of ambition (and warmongering), and also Jupiter (bigger, better, more), it could never be satiated.

With Mercury as the ruler of both his Midheaven and Ascendant, many referred to him as "Tricky Dicky."

So let's have a look at the highlights of his life and the position of transiting Saturn at those times. I'll begin with his marriage to his wife, Pat.

Transiting Mars, a frequent indicator of marriage in a man's chart, and transiting Mercury, the ruler of his natal Midheaven and rising sign, conjuncted his natal Neptune, ruler of his 7th house of marriage. Transiting Neptune was conjunct his Ascendant. Transiting Saturn wasn't doing much, but was on the cusp of the 9th house of legalization. Shortly after, another 9th house event took place in Nixon's life. He went to serve two years in the Navy. Notice transiting Uranus, connected to his moon (women, emotions, home & family) and his 6th house of duty and obligation, transiting in a conjunction to his natal Saturn, planet of adulthood. The Navy and shipping are also ruled by the moon.

In November of 1946, Nixon won a seat in Congress. Where is Saturn? It's not in the sector of the chart that Grant Lewi describes as "on the rise." It's in the sector of consolidation and settling for security rather than expansion. It's conjunct Pluto, planet of power and subterfuge in the 11th house of friends and cronies, groups and organizations (as well as the house of Congress and Representatives). Nixon built his reputation on a Zero Tolerance attitude against communism and immediately went to work with the Senate Un-American Activities Committee, which blacklisted many creative and open-minded types in film, music, art and literature, ruining careers and lives. Notice how transiting Neptune, planet of illusion, delusion, deception, confusion and imagination, the ruler of those careers, conjunct the South Node in his first house of Self (me, me, me).

In November, 1952, Nixon, at the ripe old age of 39, was the running mate of Dwight Eisenhower, after only six years in politics. And Saturn? Again, not in the Up-and-Coming Sector. In fact, it was in the sector of the chart that Lewi described as "the Obscure Period," the most difficult, when there will be a setback of some kind. It is the time he said you should withdraw and go into semi-retirement. I guess Nixon didn't hear that. Interestingly enough, it was the year after Lewi passed away. There's actually very little in this chart (above) to indicate the achievement of that kind of power and position. Transiting Saturn was conjunct transiting Neptune, that slippery planet of illusion, but they didn't make close aspects to anything in the natal chart. However, the transiting South Node (negative energy, past karma) conjuncted Nixon's Part of Fortune in the 11th house of friends and cronies, and the transiting North Node conjuncted his Vertex, a place of fate and an appointment with destiny. 

Eisenhower and Nixon served two terms, and near the end, Nixon was nominated to represent the Republican party in the race for the presidency against an Irish Catholic Democrat named John F. Kennedy. If you don't know who won that race, you might need to return to your 6th grade history class. Where was Saturn? It was in the sector that Lewi called the First Rise: progress, development and emergence. It was beginning to make a trine to his Ascendant, but was a long way still from making a trine to its own natal position. It wasn't really doing much of anything. Because the Moon's Nodes move backwards, they were leaving the conjunctions to Nixon's Ascendant axis. The transiting sun was inconjunct (adjustment, compromise) his Midheaven (career, reputation, honor / dishonor) and Mercury, ruler of his Midheaven and Ascendant, was retrograde. Notice the transiting Vertex (fate, date with destiny) opposed to his Midheaven and conjunct his 4th house of endings. As per the traditional "October Surprise" before the election, it was leaked to the press that Nixon accepted quite a bit of money from billionaire Howard Hughes, who had a lot of defense contracts with the government, and that he had used the money to upgrade his personal homestead, just as his natal Saturn in Taurus promised. Oops..


In 1962 (chart above), Nixon could not get himself elected for dog catcher. He ran for Governor of California and lost to the incumbent. Two things to notice about this chart: The transiting South Node (malefic, negative karma) was conjunct his natal Uranus, ruler of his natal moon and his 6th house of duty and service, and the final dispositor of his chart. And Saturn is farther up in the sector of the chart Lewi called the First Rise. It wasn't doing Nixon much good. Oh, and also, Neptune, planet of illusion and deception, is leaving his 2nd house of money.

Six years later (chart above), and again nominated in August of 1968 as the Republican presidential candidate, Nixon finally won by a narrow margin against Democrat Hubert Humphrey. Finally, transiting Saturn shows up where Lewi expects it to be: in the sector he called the 2nd Rise, where the most public part of the career develops and heads toward the 10th House / Midheaven climax. It was in a sextile aspect (opportunity, use of common sense), which is mildly favorable, with his natal moon in political Aquarius in the 6th house of duty, service, and obligation. The transiting Part of Fortune was conjunct his natal sun. Transiting Mars was square his natal Pluto (power, control) in his Midheaven. There was some explosive, out-of-control ruthless drama going on there somewhere. Nixon told his supporters that his goal was to "bring the American people together" under "an open Administration; open to new ideas, open to men and women of both parties, open to the critics as well as those who support us."  Access to his administration was never open. All information was tightly controlled, and unauthorized new leaks brought reprisals. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Interestingly, I happened upon this quote by President Harry S. Truman, who said this decades before Nixon became president:

“Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in. ”
                                                                            ~ Harry S. Truman

Nixon escalated the U.S. involvement in the Viet Nam War and ignited a firestorm of domestic protests. Note warmongering, brook-no-interference, fight fire-with-fire Mars on his Midheaven (reputation, authority) when he sent the National Guard to end a student demonstration at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, which ended with the death of four students. Saturn is in the 2nd Rise sector of the chart. In spite of growing discontent with involvement in the Viet Nam war and the Kent State Massacre, Nixon's approval rating was 81% from citizens he referred to as "The Silent Majority." So in this case, I'd have to say that Lewi was correct.

In the chart above, in May 1972, six months before the next Presidential election, Nixon visited Moscow, and Soviet leaders signed agreements to limit offensive and defensive strategic weapons. One result of the trip was a $1 billion deal to sell U.S. grain to Russia that brought election year support from American wheat farmers. Nixon was reelected when transiting Saturn conjuncted his natal Midheaven (career, reputation, honor / dishonor).

Nixon's downfall began (above) with the break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex on the night of June 17, 1972. The scandal resulted in the indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration of 43 people, including dozens of his top administration officials. On June 5, 1974, Nixon was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator.  

Wow. What a chart. Transiting Saturn was in the sector that Lewi advised as a time to consolidate your position and build for security rather than expansion. At 5 degrees Cancer, it squared Nixon's North and South Nodes (karma, life lessons). Transiting Pluto (the destroyer, power, control) conjuncted his South Node (malefic, negative karma) in his first house of the self (me, me, me). Transiting Mercury, ruler of Nixon's Midheaven and Ascendant, was conjunct Saturn so it also made the square to the Nodes. 

The transiting South Node (malefic, negative karma) conjuncted his Midheaven (career, reputation, fame / infamy, honor, dishonor), and the transiting sun joined it there, spotlighting Nixon's downfall for all the world to see.  Transiting Mars conjuncted his natal Neptune, an aspect that indicates weakness, loss of power, severe blows to the ego, trouble as a result of personal delusions and poorly considered actions. Secret and selfish actions brought to light. Anything that was selfishly done is now undone. Neptune ruled his 7th house of marriage, so I'm betting his wife, Pat, wasn't very happy with him, either. 

Transiting Jupiter (bigger, better, more), which is also the planet of law and justice opposed his Ascendant (*fingers snap* You, on the carpet, here and now, mister). 

There were two eclipses that month. The Lunar Eclipse at 13 Sagittarius opposed his Midheaven and squared his Ascendant. The Solar Eclipse at 28 Gemini conjuncted his natal Pluto (the destroyer, power, control) in his 10th house of career and reputation. And finally, when the transiting moon opposed his Midheaven and conjuncted the 4th house of endings, they stuck a fork in him. He was done.  

Between July 27-30, 1974,  the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment, charging Nixon with obstructing justice, misusing his presidential power, and defying committee subpoenas (he refused to turn over recorded conversations that would likely have proved his guilt.) His personal secretary took the blame.

On August 8, 1974 Nixon made a televised address announcing his intention to resign. Passing the blame, he said he should have set a higher standard for the conduct of the people who participated in his campaigns and Administration. The next day he left the White House.

Because much of this trouble was indicated by the slow moving transits of the outer planets, they had not changed much from their positions at the time Nixon was implicated in the Watergate break-in. The transiting nodes were still conjunct the Midheaven / I.C. axis, and transiting Jupiter was still opposed to his Ascendant. Pluto the destroyer was still transiting in conjunction with the South Node of bad karma. Transiting Saturn had advanced to 13 Cancer, soon to oppose his natal sun (ego, identity, life force), which was the ruler of his 12th house of seclusion and confinement. 

However, one transit that lasts but a single day was also in effect, and that was the transiting sun conjunct his natal Part of (Mis)fortune. And the coup de grĂ¢ce was the transiting Vertex (point of fate, date with destiny) conjunct his disgraced natal Saturn.

But it ain't over 'til it's over, and there's one more chart.

On September 8, 1974, exactly one month after Nixon's resignation, Gerald Ford, the Vice-President who had assumed office, awarded Nixon a "full, free and absolute" pardon for any crimes he committed while in office. The pardon was widely condemned at the time, and likely cost Ford the next election, which was won by Jimmy Carter.

In this chart, you can see that transiting Saturn had reached the opposition to his natal sun. The transiting sun was conjunct the Ascendant (you, here and now)

Transiting Uranus squared the natal Neptune, and this one is fascinating. According to Robert Hand who is probably the greatest living astrologer today,  and the one who wrote the definitive book of Planets in Transit, this aspect indicates "a severe test of your grip on reality," and "very confusing and causing you to be misled in a variety of ways." "You may suddenly find yourself in the grip of a total delusion that you believe to be the most real thing you have ever encountered." He stresses the importance of carefully considering any new idea or philosophy before letting it take control of your life. He adds that it could be a time of turning to psychedelics or mystical disciplines in an effort to understand what is happening to you. There might be an attraction to very abstract revolutionary ideals that call for total change, but then on the other hand, you may only be withdrawing from an unpleasant confrontation with everyday reality instead of dealing with it effectively.  He goes on to warn that in older people that it might indicate the onset of illness or disease of the type that makes the conscious mind less acute, such as senility or Alzheimer's, where the mind withdraws from the real world. Finally, he states that if you are willing to deal with the real world and its challenges, that this aspect can open up aspects of reality that you have never dreamed of, and become an enlightening experience at some level. But if you try to avoid reality altogether, it might bring the state of unconsciousness you desire, but with undesirable consequences. 

And finally, transiting Mars had returned to the exact place where it had been when Nixon won his first presidential election in 1968, square to the natal Pluto (power, control) in his Midheaven.

Next up, a look at the career cycle of actress Vivien Leigh. Click this link.