Sunday, November 17, 2013

Janet Yellen in Senate hearing; Venus and Pluto lay celestial groundwork

(17 November 2013)  Fed Chair nominee Janet Yellen appeared in confirmation hearings before the Senate banking committee last week.   Yellen performed well in the hearings and is widely expected to be confirmed as the next Chair of the Federal Reserve and replace Ben Bernanke, whose term ends on January 31.  Yellen's horoscope (August 13, 1946, time unknown) suggests she is generally a cautious and intelligent person.  Mercury (intellect) is closely conjunct Saturn (order, discipline) in the sign of Cancer.  This gives her an ability to think deeply and carefully about problems. 

Interestingly, her stellium of planets in Virgo (Venus, Mars, Neptune, Jupiter) are similar disposed by Mercury (which rules Virgo) and hence the Saturn influence is reinforced again.  While we don't know her Ascendant, we can see that her Moon in Aquarius further enhances this Saturn influence since  Aquarius is ruled by Saturn.  The importance of Saturn in her chart is bumped up another notch since the Moon and Saturn exchange signs -- Saturn is in the Moon's sign of Cancer while the Moon is in Saturn's sign.  The heavily Saturnian Yellen is therefore likely to be a very cautious and methodical problem solver. 

We may speculate on the possible manifestations of her close Sun-Ketu aspect.  Since Ketu tends to have a destabilizing effect, Sun-related matters could be made somewhat vulnerable.  The Sun typically represents the ego, so the Ketu influence can impart a natural humility that keeps any tendency towards excessive egoism in check.  In more afflicted charts, it can also suggest a weakness in the self and a lack of confidence.   Since we do not know all of Yellen's horoscope, these ideas should remain in the realm of speculation, however.

Yellen's Sun will come under pressure from the upcoming Saturn square aspect over the next six months.  Due to Saturn's retrograde station in early March, this Sun-Saturn aspect will be front and center in her chart until summer 2014.  Such Sun-Saturn aspects tend to correspond with periods of difficulty and a lack of respect as Saturn undermines the self.  President Obama's recently had Saturn aspect his Sun just as his Obamacare headaches began in October.  The problem for Yellen is that this Saturn aspect to her Sun will last a very long time.  This suggests that she will likely come under close scrutiny as her policies and abilities will be openly questioned.  The period of difficulty will likely begin in December as the Saturn aspect becomes close.  When she is (presumably) sworn-in on February 1st, the aspect will be just past exact but still close enough to suggest a cloud may hang over her as she assumes the job of Fed Chair.  

Just what this aspect may represent is an open question, however.  It could mean some past comments could come to light in an embarrassing way.  Or it could reflect worsening economic conditions that force her to change her approach.  Whatever it may be, this Saturn transit to her Sun means that she is unlikely to enjoy any kind of honeymoon period in her first weeks and months as the new Fed Chair.  She will likely be put on the defensive, perhaps before she even starts her job.  As difficult as this transit may be, I don't think it will be bad enough to prevent her from assuming the position.  Venus is very powerful on February 1st when she is due to be sworn in.  Venus ends it retrograde cycle and returns to direct motion the day before on January 31.  This slow velocity means that Venus will be extra strong.  The promotion of a woman to be the most important central banker in the world is a very apt event for such a Venus station.  Venus will also be in close conjunction with Pluto that day (only one degree away) -- and opposite benefic Jupiter no less.  Venus symbolizes women (and money) while Pluto represents power.  Given the huge influence of the Fed Chair over the economy of the whole world, Yellen's ascendancy to the Fed Chair will arguably make her the most powerful person on the planet.  Girl power, indeed! 

Stocks were mostly higher last week as markets largely cheered Yellen's pro-stimulus testimony.  US stocks rose more than 1% as the Dow closed at 15,961.  Indian stocks suffered losses, however, as investors anticipated a rate hike to combat rising inflation.  The Sensex slipped more than 1% to 20,399.   The mostly  bullish outcome was in keeping with expectations as the Jupiter and Venus aspects took stocks higher midweek.  As expected, the early week was more uncertain on the Mercury-Neptune influence.

This week looks more mixed for stocks as Mercury conjoins Rahu early in the week while Mars aligns with Jupiter.  These patterns are more likely to produce some declines.  However, we should also note that the Moon's approaching conjunction with Jupiter on Thursday may be enough to generate some offsetting gains later in the week.