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The Rhadamanthus Station Retrograde

Rhadamanthus is a TNO, a Trans-Neptunian Object, in the region of the Kuiper Belt, near Pluto. With an orbital period of 245 years, Rhadamanthus moves extremely slowly, covering just a few degrees per year. This might be a good time to assert Longfellow’s dictum that “the mills of god grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small,” as Rhadamanthus scours whatever it touches, intent upon finding indiscretion, malfeasance, and illegality, and making the perpetrator pay for it.

Rhadamanthus is named for a figure in Greek myth, a human king who was so noted for his scrupulous honesty, integrity, and impartial judgment that after his death, Zeus made him a judge of the dead in Hades (as Zeus’ son by Europa, there may have been a bit of nepotism involved as well). Despite his sense of fairness, he was also known to mete out extremely harsh punishments; none of that plea bargain guff for Rhadamanthus! You commit the crime, you do the time.

Astrologically, Rhadamanthus can evoke legal troubles and excessively harsh penalties. It’s a very discerning, discriminating energy, one not likely to be fooled or appeased, and it cuts right to the root of the matter, with a very long memory and a karmic undertow that never lets go once it latches on. Whatever transgression, however seemingly small or insubstantial, Rhadamanthus will bring it to light and issue whatever it considers an appropriate sentence.

It’s also of note that Rhadamanthus’ involvement begins only after it’s too late to course-correct. Mythically, this is represented by his status as judge of the dead — no more action can be taken, it’s time to look at the sum total of your life and own that. You’ve made your choices, and now you have to live with them and their ramifications; what’s done cannot be undone, it’s time to pay the piper and reap the consequences.

TNO Rhadamanthus came to my attention during the first bloodless Egyptian coup that overthrew President Hosne Mubarak in 2011. At the time, Rhadamanthus was locked in a protracted conjunction with the country’s close Saturn-Neptune pairing, and his temperament certainly seemed to reflect the times, with Mubarak’s policies and actions over his 30-year administration being painstakingly examined and judged by the populace he ruled. Found wanting, Mubarak was gone in a matter of weeks, bringing a typically legal-based Rhadamanthine manifestation of the potential for “dissolved government” conferred by Egypt’s natal Saturn-Neptune.

On Thursday, January 23rd, Rhadamanthus turned retrograde at 24° Libra, so it seemed a good time to look for what he’s currently up to, filling out the TNO’s resume, as it were. It turns out he has indeed been busy!

Two major stories emerged this past week, one on Tuesday and the other on the day of the station itself. The first was a political fall from grace, the indictment of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. He was charged with illegally accepting, and failing to disclose, gifts, trips, and loans from businessman Jonnie Williams. The case is particularly unusual in that McDonnell has broken no laws in Virginia, notoriously lax in its treatment of “favors” to politicians, and is being pursued under relatively ancient federal statutes, and also because his wife Maureen has been indicted as well.

The second story involves the arrest of pop culture icon Justin Bieber for DUI and drag racing, which occurred on the day of the station itself, in Miami Beach, Florida. Bieber’s behavior of late has been less than sterling, with an ongoing investigation that he also egged a neighbor’s house, costing $20,000 in damages, and an incident in November where he trashed a Brazilian hotel room with graffiti.

Both stories show direct involvement by Rhadamanthus, noted for evoking legal issues, as well as a plethora of PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) activity pertinent to the facts of each case.

McDonnell is receiving a double whammy of Rhadamanthus energy, with his natal TNO at 10° Cancer and currently embroiled in the ongoing Uranus-Pluto square, with Uranus in square from 9° Aries and Pluto opposed from 11° Capricorn. A June 2013 Washington Post article turned up the heat by delineating the extent of the perks received by the couple from Williams, including a Rolex watch, vacation trips, $15,000 to cover a catering tab for their daughter’s wedding, nearly $150,000 in clothes and electronics, and a $50,000 loan. When that story first ran, Pluto at 10° Capricorn was exactly opposed McDonnell’s Rhadamanthus, exposing the scandal and potential corruption.

The second celestial body-blow came with the indictment, handed down on January 21st, when Rhadamanthus was just two days away from its station exactly atop the former Virginia governor’s natal asteroid McDonnell (#9159), bringing its focus very directly and personally to him. At the time, asteroid Williams (#1763, for Jonnie Williams) was exactly conjunct Saturn at 21° Scorpio, with the pair in close square to Damocles at 20° Aquarius, identifying Williams as an agent of Saturnine restriction or penalty, and a potential doom hanging over McDonnell’s head (Damocles). Asteroid Achilles, representing a weak spot or vulnerability (as in “Achilles heel”), at 16° Libra, was square a combination of Venus (ruling both wives and gifts) and asteroid Maury (#3780, for Maureen McDonnell) at 15° and 19° Capricorn. Further setting the seal on the ramifications of this acquaintance with Williams and his closeness to the governor is a combination of asteroids:  Johney (#90308, for Jonnie Williams) and McDonnell at 13° and 14° Gemini, with TNO Chaos nearby at 16° Gemini, showing the pair operating hand-in-glove and describing the likely outcome of their association.

Natally, McDonnell’s chart is primed for legal difficulties arising from this connection, as defined by points allied to Rhadamanthus. (1) An exact pairing of natal Jupiter with asteroid Karma at 4° Cancer is within orb of natal Rhadamanthus at 10° Cancer; Jupiter-Karma makes it very unlikely that McDonnell can get away with much politically, especially in the fields of excess and largesse, Jovian specialties — his actions always come back to haunt him. Into this mix we add asteroids Williams, Johney, and even Johnny (#3252, another variant of Williams’ first name), at 6°, 9°, and 13° Cancer, clustered about Rhadamanthus, a quite stupendous cosmic overload of PNA energies very precisely defining from which quarter the legal damage might come.

Other transits in 2013 exposed McDonnell’s soft underbelly, priming him for Rhadamanthus’ retributive glance. Saturn’s direct station in July at 4° Scorpio was just a degree shy of its return degree at 3° Scorpio. This reinforced a natal opposition to asteroid Nemesis at 0° Taurus, indicating the potential for undoing based in career matters (this polarity highlighted by a Lunar Eclipse in April at 5° Scorpio). The Saturn station was also exactly trine that natal Jupiter-Karma conjunction, granting an ease of access to the latent possibilities for comeuppance and debt-paying implied by that combination. Also in July, Uranus’ station retrograde at 12° Aries was closely square to  Johnny, with its backhand station direct in December at 8° Aries, closely squared Williams, providing opportunities for the Jonnie Williams connection to shake up and disrupt the governor’s world. Finally, Neptune’s direct station in November at 2° Pisces sat precisely on an exact natal conjunction of asteroids Icarus and Pandora at that degree, suggesting a potential for rash, reckless acts or choices (Icarus) that unleash negative consequences resulting in disaster (Pandora). All of this led up to Rhadamanthus’ station retrograde exactly on McDonnell’s McDonnell, an unmistakable signature of personally accounting for past deeds if ever there was one.

Moving on to Justin Bieber, we find a similar activation by Rhadamanthus, evoking another legal contretemps. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on January 23rd, within hours of Rhadamanthus’ station, Miami Beach police pulled over Justin Bieber, who was driving a yellow Lamborghini at high speeds in a 30 mph residential district while racing a red Ferrari driven by his friend, rapper Khalil Sharieff. Bieber was belligerent with police and failed a field sobriety test (though his blood alcohol level later tested under Florida’s limit). Amidst a plethora of F-bombs, an uncooperative Bieber asserted that he’d only had a beer and had been “smoking weed all day.” He was arrested at 4:13 a.m. EST for DUI, drag racing, driving on an expired license, and resisting arrest without violence. He made a $2500 bail later that day and was released.

Rhadamanthus made its station that day exactly atop Bieber’s natal Moon at 24° Libra, with the transit Moon at 23° Libra about to make its monthly return, reinforcing the lunar issues in the chart. (1) These are substantial, including an exact square to Uranus at 24° Capricorn, then in the throes of its conjunction with Neptune, which also squares the Moon from 22° Capricorn.

Moon square Uranus tends to act out emotional issues in a volatile, sometimes violent way, and Neptune’s involvement indicates escapist tendencies, as suggested by the alcohol and drug use admitted by Bieber. Whatever Bieber’s leftover childhood issues may be (his parents never married and his mother, 17 when she became pregnant, raised him alone), the Rhadamanthus contact is likely to bring them very visibly to the forefront in the ensuing months. At a minimum, the reckless disregard for his life, typical of Moon-Uranus aspects, is evident in the drag racing, and the addiction issues represented by Moon-Neptune are also palpable in the incident. Moon-Neptune uses intoxicants as a way of avoiding emotional pain, but we can only speculate as to the root of that pain.

Exactly opposing the natal Moon and transit Rhadamanthus that day was asteroid Justinto (#26666, for Justin) at 24° Aries, further highlighting the natal Moon-Uranus square. Asteroid Justiniano (#17115, another variant of Justin) at 5° Sagittarius was conjoined an exact pairing of asteroids Karma and Bacchus at 9°  Sagittarius, suggesting a fated or predestined moment (Karma) involving intoxication (Bacchus, Roman god of wine and revelry). These square Bieber’s natal Sun at 10° Pisces, currently transited by Chiron, which had just moved on to 11° Pisces, still within orb. The accent on wounding and maverick behaviors provided by transit Chiron is underscored by a natal opposition of the Sun to Chiron at 5° Virgo, squared exactly by transit Justiniano at the time of Bieber’s arrest.

Natally, Justinto at 8° Cancer conjoins asteroid Hybris at 9° Cancer, a point from which we derive our word “hubris,” which is high level arrogance of the type Bieber has portrayed in his actions of late, something he’s more susceptible to due to his celestial counterpart being in close proximity to Hybris. These points are also directly under the gun of the Uranus-Pluto square, further ramping up their effects and bringing natal potential to the fore in volatile, destructive ways. Natal Justiniano at 0° Sagittarius is closely conjoined Bieber’s 29° Scorpio Ascendant, perhaps the impetus for his mother choosing that name for her son.

The 19° Sagittarius Ascendant for the arrest is appropriately conjoined asteroid Orpheus at 18° Sagittarius, named for perhaps the most famous Greek mythic singer, reflecting Bieber’s occupation. Even more striking is a string of points in Scorpio that day, which neatly encapsulates the story. Beginning with asteroid Miames (#27519, for Miami Beach, the venue) at 3° Scorpio (exactly square the 3° Aquarius Sun, highlighting that locale in the day’s events), we proceed to asteroid Sharaf (#5543, for Khalil Sharieff, the friend he was racing) at 11° Scorpio, then asteroid Ferrari (#4122, the car Sharieff was driving) at 17° Scorpio, and finally Saturn (the police, Bieber’s arrest and detention) at 22° Scorpio. While not all points are conjunct, they do provide a logical progression of events in celestial cipher, and are strung out across Bieber’s natal Jupiter at 14° Scorpio, ruling publicity and reputation. Additionally, Saturn is square Bieber’s natal Mercury-Mars conjunction at 23° and 25° Aquarius, suggesting the verbal (Mercury) abuse (Mars) heaped on police (Saturn) at the time.

The 3° Aquarius Sun for the arrest falls in the thick of a natal stellium of Icarus (rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences), Karma (fated events based in character flaws), Askalaphus (tale-bearing, bringing secrets to light), and Damocles (the doom hanging unseen overhead) at 2°, 3°, and 4° Aquarius. An exact natal conjunction of Sharaf and Miames at 22° Sagittarius falls snugly upon the 19° Sagittarius Ascendant of the arrest, and establishes the venue and his companion, while the tenor of the experience may perhaps be defined by a natal combination of Nemesis (undoing), Bacchus (intoxication), and Ferrari (Sharieff’s car) at 2°, 4°, and 8° Capricorn, opposing Justinto/Hybris. Finally, transit Neptune at 3° Pisces made an exact conjunction with Bieber’s natal Saturn, bringing together the elements of substance abuse and law enforcement as the overarching themes of the event, with PNAs providing the specifics of how that manifested.

Admittedly, this is not an incident from which Rhadamanthus will be able to extract much retribution, but it’s an important milestone for the pop singer nonetheless, his first in what may become a series of similar or more serious arrests, if he doesn’t heed Rhadamanthus’ admonition to straighten up and fly right.

(1) Bob McDonnell, June 15,1954. Source: Wikipedia

(2) Justin Bieber, March 1,1994, 12:56 a.m. local time, London, Ontario, Canada. Rodden Rating B. Source: Astro-Databank

Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at

Editor’s note: Do not miss Alex Miller’s article, A Tour of Personal-Named Asteroids, in the current (Feb/Mar 2014) issue of TMA. The article introduces asteroids in the lives of famous people and shows how to begin working with them in personal charts.


  1. What a very clear layout of two very complex cases. A couple of things seem obvious for takeaway: know your natal Rhadamanthus and keep an eye on Rhad’s transits, always checking up before they’re exact so your karmic accounts are up to date or at least your tracks are well covered. Otherwise, its watch out, here comes the Judge.

  2. thanks for the kudos, patricia! it does seem as if we should all be more aware of those teeny-eeny points out there, they can pack quite a punch!

  3. Excellent article. I had not heard of Rhadamanthus previously, thanks for the education. How do we calculate Rhadamanthus position, is there an ephemeris?

    Thanks for sharing this article.

    • hi, Rita!

      Sorry for the delay in response, I somehow missed your comment (Mercury retro?). Anyway, for its position you can use the ephemeris generator at; Rhadamanthus comes up automatically in their default list when you enter the chart data. Select for sorting by “Name” if you want to find it more quickly once the data is run.

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