Exactly two hours after Pluto turned retrograde April 10, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced “the race is over for me” and suspended his campaign. Although still in the running, Newt Gingrich’s campaign is floundering. As Mercury turned direct April 4 with the Moon in Mercury-ruled Virgo (health matters), one of “Newt Inc.’s” companies (The Center for Health Transformation) filed for bankruptcy.
Wealthy and powerful individuals are called plutocrats, after Pluto the mythological lord of the underworld. Santorum and Gingrich lack the financial resources to keep their campaigns afloat against a nonstop assault of attack ads by PACs funded by their competitor’s fellow plutocrats.
So it very appropriate that on the day Pluto’s energies were extra powerful, Willard Mitt Romney unofficially became the Republican Party’s nominee for President. Romney was born when Pluto was “out-of-bounds,” an indication he would come to epitomize the Pluto archetype.(1)(2)
The tightest planetary relationship in Romney’s chart is an exact conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter in Pluto-ruled Scorpio. Pluto co-rules this sector of Romney’s chart which represents employment and health matters, describing the type of work he did during his career. Romney made his fortune working at Bain &Co. and co-founding Bain Capital. His biggest achievement as Governor of Massachusetts was implementing Romneycare.
Pluto/Scorpio rule debt and taxes. Wealth is accumulated through financial transactions using other people’s money and taking advantage of the complexities of the tax code. Bain Capital initially provided venture capital to startups but Romney soon realized the firm could make bigger profits by expanding into leveraged buyouts (LBOs).
Today LBOs are called private equity. (Pluto/Scorpio prefers to conduct business in private.) What it really amounts to is “pump and dump.” Private equity takes a public company private by saddling the company in debt. The debt is used to buy out existing shareholders and pay themselves a handsome dividend. Not long after that, many of their investments go bankrupt as they cannot service the debt overload. (Pluto/Scorpio rule bankruptcy.)
With his Moon conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio, Romney tells the public he knows how to grow jobs, yet a deeper examination suggests otherwise. Unlike venture capital which helps to create jobs by providing funding to grow the business, private equity is a job killer (Pluto/Scorpio rules death) as the private equity partners need to squeeze as much money as they can from the company for their own enrichment. And to put the icing on the cake, private equity investors are taxed at the capital gains rate (15%) rather than as ordinary income. (Sometimes the dividends aren’t even taxed at all because they’re considered a return of capital.)
Jupiter rules the sectors of Romney’s chart representing partnerships, taxes, trusts/estates, and jointly-held assets. Only a plutocrat would need to hire one of the big four public accounting firms to complete his tax return of Jupiter-sized proportions. Romney’s Scorpio Moon/Jupiter conjunction describes his generous use of offshore tax shelters and foreign bank accounts to set up multiple family trusts.
Jupiter rules religion and between his “charitable” contributions to the Mormon Church and “partnership” capital gains, Romney paid an effective tax rate below 15%.
So it should not be surprising that proposals that would personally benefit Romney and his plutocrat supporters (maintaining the Bush tax rates on income, interest, dividends, and capital gains, eliminating the death tax, reducing the corporate tax rate to 25%, repealing Dodd-Frank and Obamacare), are amongst the top 10 points of Romney’s economic plan.(3)
Pluto/Scorpio rule insurance. April 12 marked the 6th anniversary when Gov. Romney signed his healthcare plan into law. Romney used to proudly proclaim that “Massachusetts is a model for getting everybody insured.” As the Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of Obamacare and its so-called “mandate,” Romney in a July 30, 2009 USA Today op-ed recommended the Administration use either tax penalties or credits to “encourage ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves.”
As Romneycare’s advisors (MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber and John McDonough, a professor of public health practice at Harvard) who also worked on Obamacare explain in this video, Obamacare is a carbon copy of Romneycare. Yet Romney has vowed to “kill Obamacare” if he becomes President.
Romney “justifies” his healthcare hypocrisy by saying that what is good for Massachusetts should not be implemented on a national scale by the federal government as states should have the right to do whatever they please. Without Obamacare, states will be allowed to return to do nothing whatsoever to help their residents have access to affordable health insurance. And the consumer benefits and protections millions are already receiving would disappear.
As stated earlier, Jupiter rules the sector of Romney’s chart representing all types of partnerships. The Moon represents the public and women specifically. The Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the sector of Romney’s chart ruling health matters reflects his wife Ann’s expanded role in his campaign.(4)
On the campaign trail, Ann speaks about her life living with MS. She is a breast cancer survivor. Yet if Ann’s primary residence was in one of the majority of states which don’t provide guaranteed issue health insurance, she would not receive health insurance at any price. As I described in my own situation, even people in good health with only the potential of costing insurance companies are totally excluded from the individual insurance market, whereas its unquestionable that Ann has real health issues. Total hypocrisy that even the “liberal media” as Republicans like to call it, has not questioned Romney about.
Venus rules women and is the planetary energy of money, partnerships, and love. Venus-ruled Libra is the other co-ruler of the sector of Romney’s chart ruling health matters. Pluto rules sex and reproductive issues. Romney is having trouble attracting women voters as Venus in Aquarius conjoins the sector of Romney’s chart representing his career and reputation and is in opposition to Pluto in Leo. Women want the freedom to be in an intimate relationship with the power to control when or if they choose to have children. Again, Romney thinks reproductive issues should be left to the states to do what they want. From states working to declare a fertilized egg is a “person,” to outlawing contraception, to enacting all kinds of obstacles to deter women from getting abortions, it shouldn’t be surprising that women are looking at Republicans less favorably.
Even Romney’s wife Ann said in an interview: “It’s a personal choice for everyone. There’s nothing I love more than children, but as women, we know when enough is enough.” Mitt and Ann were supporters of Planned Parenthood when Romney was governor. Now Romney has campaigned to end all government support for the non family planning medical services provided by Planned Parenthood which serves as the healthcare provider for many women.
When Romney says he wants to focus on economic issues, he shows his lack of understanding that reproductive issues and economic issues are not opposite but conjoined! Romney’s Venus/Pluto opposition describes a remark he made on the campaign trail when he said: “If I need to know what women are thinking, I talk to Ann.” He also said he asked Ann “to report back to me,” appearing as if Ann is his subordinate rather than an equal partner in their marriage.(5) The Venus/Pluto opposition indicates Romney is prepared as the saying goes, “to sell his soul to the Devil” (i.e. Hades, the Greek name for Pluto) to get the votes he needs to become President.
The Sun represents self-identity and rules the sector of Romney’s chart representing his parents and home environment. The Sun and Saturn represent the father. Romney’s natal Pluto is located in this sector widely conjoining Pluto in Leo.
I think Romney has spent his entire life emulating his father, determined to succeed where his father had failed. George Romney was the Chairman and CEO of American Motors prior to becoming a three term governor of Michigan. A liberal Republican who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Romney ran for President in 1968 but withdrew from the race early in the primaries. He served as Secretary of Housing during the Nixon Administration. Mitt will probably never feel truly fulfilled in his life unless he caps off his career as the leader of the free world.
Born with the Sun in Pisces conjoining Mercury retrograde and Mercury conjoining Mars in Pisces, Romney is a shape shifter who is often at odds with his beliefs. (Pisces is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions.)
Pisces’ motto is “I believe”; Romney’s campaign slogan is “Believe in America.” The slogan also reflects Romney’s Sun in Pisces opposes the USA’s natal Neptune in Virgo. In keeping with the dualism, “Fight for America” is his campaign’s alternate slogan as Romney’s Sun squares the USA Mars in Gemini. (President Obama’s natal Mars exactly conjoins the USA Neptune. For more info on President Obama and the USA Mars/Neptune, click here for my post on Mars retrograde in Virgo.)
Between running a totally negative campaign and Romney’s history of flip flopping, I doubt even Romney knows at this point what he believes.
Pisces rules the feet. One clever company is out to cash in on Romney’s endless flip flops with “Mitt-Flops Politically Expedient Footwear”:
“Mitt-Flops are open-toe thong sandals designed to make sure you can feel the shifting political winds. Is the climate feeling conservative? Stand on your right foot. Looking liberal out there? Stand on your left foot. With Mitt-Flops, your footwear will be popular in any political climate. All Mitt quotes are real.”
The changeable, evolving, and adaptive nature of the mutable element is abundant in Romney’s chart(6). Romney’s Sun/Mercury conjunction in Pisces squares Uranus in Mercury-ruled Gemini. Gemini was the sign rising on the eastern horizon when Romney was born, making Mercury the planet ruler of his chart.
Nowhere is the dualistic nature of the mutable element more evident than in Gemini, the sign symbolized by the twins. Mercury/Gemini can be the two-faced trickster who will say one thing and then abruptly change their mind as you never know which “twin” is going to appear at any given time. Being born during Mercury retrograde together with the Sun/Mercury squaring Uranus further emphasizes Romney’s propensity to reverse himself from one ideological extreme to the other. Romney’s biggest gaffes have come when he speaks off the cuff.
Romney’s communications director Eric Fehrnstrom aptly described these energies in a CNN interview on March 21 when Mercury was retrograde. Fehrnstrom said after the primaries Romney could set the “reset button” and “redraw” himself as a moderate Republican:
"Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”
Romney appears to be willing to do and say anything to get elected. Yet Romney’s Sun/Mercury squaring Uranus really identifies with marching to the beat of their own drummer rather than conforming to the party platform. The great irony with Mitt Romney is that if he had the courage to just be himself rather than what he believes people and the party want him to be he would have a much better chance of achieving his lifelong dream.
Pisces and its planetary ruler Neptune represent beliefs. Pluto stationed retrograde exactly squaring Romney’s natal Neptune in Venus-ruled Libra. Pluto will be retrograde until September 18. Pluto retrograde is a crucial period for Romney to define himself once and for all as he will face intense scrutiny in the coming months, particularly relating to financial matters.
Pluto’s retrograde period is about examining what lies beneath the surface, particularly pertaining to matters ruled by Pluto:
Financial: shared material resources; wealth/bankruptcy; debt/lending; the underground economy; all types of opaque and private financial transactions; derivatives; dark pools; M&A/hostile takeovers; private equity; taxes; entitlements; insurance; trusts, wills/estates.
General: Sex/reproductive issues; death/rebirth; nuclear power/weapons; hazardous wastes/recycling; mining. Transformation; secrecy/lack of transparency; power/control issues; manipulation; corruption; obsessive behaviors.
Pluto is not the only planet seeking to cut through the fog surrounding Romney’s natal Neptune. Uranus in Aries opposing Neptune indicates many of Romney’s beliefs are out of touch with current conditions and future trends, making it more difficult for him to gain traction with younger voters who could view his values as part of a bygone era now only available to the most affluent.
The President is Commander-in-Chief of the military; nowhere is Romney more out of touch than with his proposals to increase military spending on outdated equipment and defense strategies. We’re in the new era of cyberwarfare and waging war through Venus by using economic sanctions that choke the lifeblood out of a country’s economy.
As Uranus and Pluto impact Romney’s natal Neptune, the planets are moving ever closer to their first of seven exact squares between Uranus and Pluto beginning June 24, 2012 through March 16, 2015. The Democrat and Republican party nominees embody these archetypal energies.
Uranus in Aries describes the incumbent, the pioneer who broke new ground as the nation’s first black president. Uranus brings upheavals that lead to revolutionary change, reforms, and innovation. Reflecting his Aquarius Ascendant and natal Uranus in Leo opposing the USA’s Moon in Aquarius, his Leo Sun squaring Neptune in Scorpio, and Mars in Virgo conjoining the USA Neptune, Barack Obama ran in 2008 as the candidate of “change we can believe in.”(7).
Romney represents Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024) brings transformative change to government and big business as Capricorn rules economic and societal structures. What kind of transformation occurs depends upon the will of the public.
The last time Uranus was in Aries, Pluto was in Capricorn’s opposite sign Cancer as they squared each other during the Great Depression. FDR was inaugurated and the New Deal was born. The “wealth gap” between the rich and poor is the largest it’s been since the Great Depression.
Now we are in the “crisis in action” phase of the Uranus/Pluto cycle that began when they conjoined in Virgo during 1965-66. In the U.S., both of these past cycles brought an expansion of civil, worker, healthcare, and reproductive rights and freedoms.
Capricorn rules time. Romney and his supporters not only want to hit the “reset button” on that Etch A Sketch, but reset the clocks back to the pre-New Deal era as part of the corporate takeover of government.
This year’s election is really about the survival of the middle class. The plutocrats want to suppress the rights and wages of workers to increase their individual prosperity. However, if worker wages overall are suppressed, the customers that the plutocrats depend upon for building their prosperity will be gone.
Republican Darwinism, just like Greenspan’s miscalculation of the bankers survival instinct, will not only lead to the decimation of the middle class but also to the end of “American exceptionalism.”
(1) A planet is “out-of-bounds” when it has moved beyond the maximum boundaries of its normal degree of declination (23 degrees 27 minutes) which represents the celestial latitude of a planet north or south of the celestial equator. A planet operating out-of-bounds tends to bring out the most extreme behavior of that planet’s energy.
(2)Newt Gingrich (June 17, 1943 time unknown Harrisburg, PA) was also born with Pluto out-of-bounds with Jupiter in Cancer conjoining Pluto in Leo and Venus in Leo conjoining Pluto. Newt is experiencing Pluto’s extremes of wealth and bankruptcy. These natal energies describe the powerful political connections he established during his career in government culiminating as the former Speaker of the House (Mercury in its home sign Gemini conjunct Uranus; Sun and Saturn in Gemini.)
(3)Thanks to numerous credits, deductions, and subsidies in the tax code, most corporations already have an effective tax rate that is BELOW 25%.
(4)Progressions move the natal planets and chart positions forward in time, symbolizing the individual or entity’s progression through life. Romney is expending a lot of energy to attract women voters through his wife as his progressed Venus and Mars are conjoined in Aries exactly conjoining Ann’s natal Sun/Venus conjunction in Aries. (Ann’s progressed Venus in Cancer exactly conjoins the USA Sun now.)
(5)Both of these remarks came from TV excerpts aired on ABC and/or CBS news within the last week of Romney on the campaign trail that I saw on TV but have not been able to initially track down the video on the internet.
(6)Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces are the signs that comprise the mutable element.
(7)The Ascendant is the sign rising on the eastern horizon at birth. It describes the physical appearance, outlook, and others’ initial impression of the individual or entity. Like Romney, Obama also has Neptune/Pluto issues to navigate (Scorpio/Pluto rules the sector representing his leadership and reputation.) Notice how often Obama begins a sentence with the phrase, “Let me be clear…” This is a signal that either he believes the public is misunderstanding/not grasping what he wants to convey, or he is trying to get a more solid fix on the issue in his own mind.
Mitt Romney: March 12, 1947 9:51 AM EST Detroit, MI
Ann (Davies) Romney: April 16, 1949 time unknown Bloomfield Hills, MI
Barack Obama: August 4, 1961 7:24 PM AHST Honolulu, HI
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM LMT Philadelphia, PA