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As Saturn moves inexorably closer to its exact passage over George W. Bush's natal Ascendant, his approval numbers, given in the August 6,2005 Newsweek poll, are at their lowest yet: Only 34% approve of his handling of the situation in Iraq (down from 41% just one month ago). 
Saturn is often an obvious motif in anyone's life when it crosses an angle in the horoscope. We can presume that it will bring some highly visible difficulty or challenge to Mr. Bush. Saturn last crossed Bush's Ascendant on August 2, 1976. One month later, on September 4, 1976, Bush was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine for driving while under the influence of alcohol.  He pleaded guilty, paid a fine, and had his driver's license suspended for a short time. Saturn crossed his Ascendant just that one time 29 years ago; the current cycle brings Saturn to the president's Ascendant three times: on September 12, 2005 and on February 5 and June 1, 2006.
Saturn has a 29-year cycle, and its movement marks significant events or turning points in life. The 29-day lunation cycle allows us to observe events in daily life within a shorter time frame. The current lunation cycle began with the August 4 New Moon in Leo (at 12° 48'). The Sun and Moon were conjunct Mercury (14° 17' Leo) and Black Moon Lilith (11° 00' Leo), a symbol of feminine power. This lunar month, the Black Moon Lilith archetype has a voice and a presence in the collective awareness.
On August 6, Cindy Sheehan began a vigil at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The mother of a son who was killed in Iraq last year, Sheehan has been an antiwar activist since shortly after her son died, but only now has she come to worldwide prominence. Sheehan has spoken simply and directly about her heartbreak at the loss of life incurred in the war and her desire to ask the president a few questions about the"noble cause" that her son died for. In the Christian Science Monitor on Monday, August 15, Brad Knickerbocker wrote: "In her high-profile vigil outside President Bush's Texas ranch, Cindy Sheehan has brought the face and the heart of the antiwar movement to the world."
Black Moon Lilith represents the depth and power of the untamed feminine. Black Moon Lilith is not to be confused with Dark Moon Lilith or the asteroid Lilith; it is not an actual physical body, but rather a center of energy: the second focal point (the Earth is the first) of the Moon's elliptical path around the Earth. Black Moon Lilith has a cycle of 8 years and 10 months and travels about 40° per year. Please read M. Kelly Hunter's wonderful article here for a description of all three Liliths and an astronomical diagram of Black Moon Lilith.
The first mention of Lilith occurs in Sumerian texts from about 3000 B.C.E. Lilith is described as a "handmaid of Inanna," and in this early form she was connected to sacred sexual customs. In an early Hebrew text (Alpha Bet Ben Sira, around 1000 C.E. Lilith is described as Adam's first wife - she was born of the Earth and dirt and was Adam's consort and (equal) partner. She came before Eve, the feminine archetype that has claimed far more collective attention. As the Bible tells us, Eve was created from Adam's rib and appeared in a pristine and perfect mature feminine form - no blood, no mess.
Tracking the astrology of Black Moon Lilith, I have found that she does have a wild and messy side and has historically been a vortex of negative projections of the feminine, e.g., as femme fatale or seductress. But she represents the essence of the primal feminine spirit; in her archetype, we see her resonance with the physical body and Mother Earth herself, whom she knows to be sacred.
The sign of Leo has the passion and direct expression of fire and the steadfastness and perseverance of the fixed triplicity. This Lilith-infused New Moon at 12° 48' Leo was very close to the president's natal conjunction of Mercury (9° 50') and Pluto (10° 35') in the 1st house, and it also conjoined his progressed Pluto (12° 16' Leo).
Mercury's direct station on August 15 at 8° 45' Leo squared transiting Mars at 10° Taurus; both planets are in fixed signs - definitely not a portent of minds changing any time soon. The Mercury station conjoined the president's Ascendant; he has refused to speak with Cindy Sheehan. On August 11, when he spoke with the press about her - and reiterated his position on the war - retrograde Mercury at 9° Leo was partile conjunct his natal Mercury and one degree from natal Pluto. Black Moon Lilith has a provocative air and a way of attracting both opposition and support; the situation in Crawford continues to develop as we approach the Full Moon on August 19.
Since Sheehan rose to such prominence this month, it would be interesting to see where Black Moon Lilith is placed in her natal and directed horoscopes. I have not yet found birth data for her, but I will post a chart here if I do.
Last month I wrote about the New Moon in Leo which was conjunct the compelling point known as Black Moon Lilith. Activist Cindy Sheehan came into the national spotlight several days after the August 4 lunation. The fine researchers at AstroDataBank have found a verifed time for Cindy Sheehan: Her horoscope shows Venus, the ruler of her Libra ascendant, in the 10th house conjunct Mars and surrounded by Uranus and Pluto. The August New Moon - which I called "the Lilith-infused New Moon" - was conjunct her ruling planet and Mars in the house of the horoscope that takes us in to the public consciousness.
Sheehan's natal Black Moon Lilith is at 5° 02' Pisces in the 5th house - a poignant hint of loss and sorrow through a child. Her eldest son Casey was killed on April 4, 2004. Uranus, the planet of both shock and awakening, was transiting at 5° 06' Pisces when her son died. You can read above for a reminder about the Black Moon Lilith archetype.
Another quick update: Last month I noted the first - of three- transits of Saturn to Mr. Bush's Ascendant on September 12. On September 15, the president announced in prime time on national television that his administration had failed to respond adequately to hurricane Katrina. (Saturn's insistence on responsibilty was demonstrated by this transit's previous cycle as well. One month after its exact passage (on August 2, 1976) Bush was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
(1) Cindy Sheehan, July 10, 1957; 1:40 p.m. PDT; Ingelwood, CA (33°N 57' 118°W 21' ). AA.
(2) Bi-wheel. Inner wheel and house cusps: George W. Bush, July 6, 1946; 7:26 a.m. EDT; New Haven, CT (41¡ N07', 72¡ W56'); Outer wheel: transits for September 15, 2005, 9 p.m. EDT; Washington, D.C. (38¡ N54', 77¡ W02').
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