As I wrote last fall: “The opposition of Saturn to Neptune which began in late August and continues until next summer was predicted to bring the end (Saturn) of illusions (Neptune). It was, after all, the dominating planetary influence during the Watergate scandal. Neptune tends to erode the power structures of Saturn, and Saturn tests and challenges our idealistic fantasies and things that we would prefer to ignore. Americans have been willing to ignore the debacle in Iraq because by and large they haven’t really been personally affected. This is a very Neptunian way of looking at things: ignore them and they wil go away. Saturn comes and jolts us into realizing that our world is actually unraveling. ”

The number of scandals facing the Bush White House is staggering, coinciding with the second phase of the opposition cycle between Saturn and Neptune. When a planetary cycle has three or more phases due to the retrograde phenomenon, the first phase is typically a wake-up call, jolting us into awareness that something is amiss. The second phase really grabs our attention with some kind of crisis, and we usually find we have to make a change in our life to deal with the energy shift that the planetary cycle has thrust upon us. By the third phase we often have made that shift and we begin to integrate the lessons of the cycle, but if we have resisted the change we may find ourselves in an accelerating crisis that will ultimately force the evolutionary growth that the energy of the planets require.

Now that we are in the second phase of the Saturn/Neptune opposition, with Neptune’s confusion eroding Saturn in Leo’s question of Who is In Charge, multiple scandals are erupting in Washington:

  • The connection of 23 administration officials to the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame for political reasons, the details of which are only now coming out as Ms. Plame testified to Congress about the scandal.
  • The firing of eight US prosecutors, appointed by Bush, for purely political reasons that included aggressively prosecuting Republicans in the Randy Cunningham scandal. Although Attorney General Gonzales denied involvement, his own staff member testified that he was involved in the decision.
  • Despite repeated complaints by military personnel about the abominal conditions for returning vets at Walter Reed Army hospital, the scandal erupted when the Washington Post reported the conditions there.

Now comes another scandal in Washington: the coverup surrounding the killing of NFL star/soldier Pat Tillman in Afghanistan in 2004. Just seven days later, General Stanley McChrystal warned General John Abizaid, head of Central Command, that it was “highly possible” that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. However, the military proclaimed that Tillman was killed in an ambush and awarded him a posthumous medal. Occurring just after the Abu Ghraib scandal, Tillman’s death was viewed as a valuable propaganda tool.

Tillman’s mother Mary is now trying to get a Congressional hearing on the issue. She says that Pat Tillman was against the war in Iraq and has not ruled out the possibility that his death was not an accident as he began to speak out against that war. The initial investigation failed to interview any of the soldiers who witnessed the event but instead only interviewed the actual group that was involved in the shooting.

With Saturn stationing direct (slowing down as it prepares to move forward after a period of apparent retrograde motion) the issues of “Who is in Charge” that Saturn in Leo has brought are coming to a head. The final Saturn/Neptune cycle in June may bring some answers to these questions.

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