Social Security (Update! May 2005)
“I’ve talked to some of my colleagues and they’re panic-stricken.”
--Congressional Rep. Mark Foley (Republican – Florida)
This was a key quotation in a story I read just after President George W. Bush had promoted a major transformation for Social Security in his State of the Union address on the evening of Wednesday February 2, 2005.
One of the major problems with the president’s address to a joint session of Congress was that it took place during a void Moon cycle in Scorpio. To make a significant presentation – to the U.S. Congress, the entire nation and the world – concerning probably the most successful governmental program in American history during a questionable lunar time-period is to invite a disaster.
Since the president’s powerful and yet controversial proposals on February 2 to privatize a good portion of social security income and attempt to save the system from failings and/or bankruptcy between 2018 and 2042, many senators, congressmen and women within his own party have been worried, concerned and even balking at considering tackling new legislation. And the Democrats are still almost universally opposed to what the president is proposing. Terms like DOA (Dead on Arrival) are being readily expressed be legislators concerning revolutionizing Social Security even while President Bush continues to promote his radical ideas in many states of the union. To understand why Social Security is a key focal point for Americans right now, we need to go back to its origin on the afternoon of Wednesday August 14, 1935.
Finding the Birth Moment for Social Security
Ever since entering the field of astrology in 1972 in New York City, I have considered myself somewhat of a psychic detective. I see the language, art and science of astrology as a multi-faceted tool to be used in getting to the root of problems and solving mysteries. Because of my love for newspapers and journalism – as a child, teenager and while working as an editorial writer for the Michigan State News (university newspaper for Michigan State University – a journal that won many national awards) – when I first decided to track down the birth time for Social Security, I decided to visit the microfilm department of the University of Oregon library. I thought that by checking out The New York Times or The Washington Post from August 15, 1935 (the day after FDR signed the Social Security bill into law), I would easily find some kind of reference to the timing of FDR’s signing. Here’s what happened.
I spent over an hour viewing microfilm strips from August 15, 1935. I looked at stories in The New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The San Francisco Chronicle. I even looked through Time magazine in the couple of weeks after the signing. Not one journal gave a time or even whether it happened in the morning or afternoon. However, I found out that President Roosevelt did a curious thing for the Social Security bill signing ceremony. He blocked newspaper and magazine writers and photographers from the signing session. Instead, he arranged to have a special film crew – perhaps connected to Hollywood – shoot a movie version of the event. This may have been done because he was temporarily angry with the press and he also wanted to single out this experience for the nation and the future.
Nevertheless, the net result of FDR’s approach to “birthing” Social Security was that not one major newspaper in America was reporting the timing.
I started thinking I would need to make an educated guess and one of the newspaper articles did mention that FDR had done something else “earlier in the day.” From that small reference, I assumed that the Social Security signing probably happened in the afternoon. Figuring the president would not have set this up for the lunch period, I experimented with a time a little after 2PM EST – giving early Sagittarius rising. This seemed promising and for several days I gave up on ever finding a solution.
Oh, yes, by the way, I also went to another library in Eugene and scoured about a dozen extensive biographies of FDR and while every one mentioned the Social Security bill and its signing by the president on August 14, 1935, not one biographer painted a more elaborate portrait of the day’s event at The White House. In the reference section of the same library, I looked through several books on Social Security – hoping a chapter or two on history would give a sense of the timing of the bill signing. No answer.
But I then thought of taking a different track since I saw the web site address for Social Security in one of the books. Note: This web address is either www.socialsecurity.gov or www.ssa.gov I wasn’t really that hopeful of finding the birth time for FDR’s signing of this bill on the Social Security web site because I had exhausted so many other avenues. Nevertheless, I went online, found a fascinating historical section regarding the origins of Social Security, and then – in a list of events – there it was: a short reference to FDR’s signing of the bill at “approximately 3:30PM.” At the moment I found the time, I was incredibly thankful for the existence of the Internet!
I even wrote down the time I found the Social Security birth moment. It was February 3, 2005 at 8:51PM PST. Virgo was rising and the degree on the Ascendant was virtually the same Virgo rising that FDR was born with on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, NY. Talk about the power of computers, astrology and synchronicity!
I share all of the above because (A) it is important to stay focused and diligent when trying to locate particularly obscure birth times and (B) knowing the birth moment for Social Security is very important because according to almost everyone talking about it, the program is the most amazing governmental achievement of the 20th century. This seems to be true in terms of the tens of millions of people assisted over nearly 70 years, the large amount of money involved with the program, and the fact that – despite all the fear and worry in past decades that the system would fall apart – it is still going strong as we approach the 70th anniversary on August 14, 2005.
The Birthmap for Social Security
Now that I have shared how difficult it was to find the birth time for this remarkable governmental program, it is almost with a sense of honor and gratitude that I offer the chart for your study and analysis. As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, I would have used a time of around 2PM and early Sagittarius rising had I not found the actual time on the web site. When you use 3:30PM EST on August 14, 1935 in Washington, D.C., you see an Ascendant of 23+ Sagittarius. And for the first time ever, the distant planet Pluto – ruling death-rebirth, transformation, metamorphosis, extremes, the underworld, secrets and mysteries – is EXACTLY crossing the Social Security Ascendant now! Based on Pluto being at 23 degrees and 47 minutes of Sagittarius as President Bush made his State of the Union address on February 2, the signing of the bill probably took place around 3:32 or 3:33PM EST. What this also does is make the tenth house cusp of Social Security 14 degrees of Libra – that just happens to be the USA Saturn placement from July 4, 1776. Think how amazing this is as Saturn rules the elderly (!) and the entire purpose of Social Security is to provide a financial insurance system for older people (Saturn) once they leave the work place or career environment (tenth house), retire and then need to rely on their life savings.
One of the reasons Social Security has been successful on a vast scale and has lasted so long is that the ruling planet of the chart – Jupiter rules Sagittarius rising – is located right in the middle of Scorpio and in the eleventh house. The midpoints of the four fixed, power signs of the zodiac were considered the “Gates of the Avatar” by Dane Rudhyar. 15 Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are where the energies released at the start of each season (0 Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) are consolidated and maximized in their potential importance. Therefore, Jupiter at 15 degrees and 7 minutes of Scorpio is truly an extraordinary placement as Jupiter strongly connects with the social realm and monetary blessings while the middle of Scorpio might represent the financial power of the collective consciousness of the nation. Jupiter approaching a flowing trine with the asteroid Vesta at 19+ Pisces is also significant because Vesta – in Mundane Astrology – stands for national safety and security (!) as well as economic investments.
Since we are on the subject of fixed, power signs, notice that the Sun and Moon (the two lights) are in Leo and Aquarius – indicating that a powerful Full Moon had just occurred at 7:43AM EST that same day. The Sun and Moon in these two signs adds to the longevity of the Social Security program as it “fixes” the system and helps it to keep lasting way beyond the expectations of most critics and fear-mongers. In a fantastic example of synastry, we note that President George W. Bush’s natal Venus at 21+ Leo is almost precisely conjunct the Sun-Pallas union in the Social Security birthmap. This is probably why the president has staked his reputation – during the second term in office – on his proposed reforms working. If the Congress can enact new legislation, on his watch, he will go down in history as the president who saved Social Security and he may possibly allow the Republican Party to hang on to the executive branch of the government for another 4, 8 or 12 years beginning in 2008.
You will see that Venus in the Social Security map is placed at 22+ Virgo. What you may not realize is that Venus turned stationary retrograde on August 17, 1935 – just three days after the bill was signed into law. Venus is the key planet of personal money, assets and resources – a major part of what is attempting to be reformed if the system moves toward privatization in the near future. In addition, the degree of 22+ Virgo is where Neptune was located when America was born on July 4, 1776. This reveals another reason for the importance and longevity of Social Security as Neptune is usually considered the higher octave to Venus. This match between Venus on August 14, 1935 and Neptune on July 4, 1776 is a fantastic example of Mundane Astrology at work.
One question we might pose is the following: Why is there always an aura of confusion and chaos around this program? The answer is now evident in the Moon’s position at 25+ Aquarius. This degree of the zodiac is exactly where Neptune was discovered on September 23, 1846. The shadow side of Neptune is deception, illusions, mistiness, fog and nebulosity. To make matters more intense, Neptune was discovered with Saturn (the elderly; fear; karma; fate) at the same degree. In discovering Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron, the only time the planet discovered was conjunct another planet was during the discovery of Neptune. Remember, too, that America’s own Moon is located at 27 Aquarius (with the asteroid Pallas). The Social Security Moon is just shy of America’s Moon by a little over 1 degree. In the 2-3 hours after the signing of this bill – as the movie crew left The White House and the information was given to reporters outside the signing room – America experienced a Lunar Return. Think of this also as a mirror effect as Social Security came into being during a Sun-Pallas conjunction while the USA was born with a Moon-Pallas conjunction.
As we look to the distant future, President Bush has set off alarm bells by pointing to 2018 and 2042. Even my own Social Security statement (sent to me on November 29, 2004) contains a warning about these years. According to this statement, in 2018 “we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes.” Then concerning 2042, the statement continues that “without changes, by 2042 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted.”* However, the statement also places an asterisk (*) in the last quote – suggesting that the comments are really estimates coming from actuaries at the Social Security Administration. I found out not so long ago that some Democrats were furious that the Social Security Administration was apparently being used by our current executive branch of government to incite fear in the elderly through the sentences in this particular statement sent to tens of millions of American workers.
From the astrological view, what will happen in 2018 and 2042? In 2018, transiting Pluto at 20+ Capricorn reaches its own South Heliocentric Node (a great power point in the zodiac and not a safe or easy one) and this just happens to be the Lunar North Node (destiny; fate; the public) for Social Security. Oddly enough we find transiting Saturn in March 2005 making a station exactly opposite this degree at 20+ Cancer. This confirms the connection between the president now proposing the reforms and creating a wave of fear that Social Security is nearing its doom (Saturn) with a future time – 2018 – when Pluto will cross a key destiny point for Social Security (something it has never done before and won’t do again for 248 years). There is also a lot of confusion and chaos for Social Security around 2018 as transiting Neptune reaches 13+ Pisces and opposes its own placement at 13+ Virgo from August 14, 1935. Any entity goes through a crisis around the age of 82-83 since Neptune takes 165 years to make one full orbit around the Sun and 82-83 years is one half of that journey. Social Security turns 83 in 2018.
In 2042, we find another unusual confluence of astrological events. Transiting Neptune will have moved onward from Pisces, through Aries, and alighting upon 5+ Taurus several times in 2041-2042. Therefore, for the first time since the creation of Social Security, transiting Neptune will be crisscrossing the Social Security Uranus. What might Neptune on Uranus mean? It could suggest dissolution of the revolutionary energy of the program or be a kind of short-circuiting of the entire organization – somewhat in keeping with the doom-and-gloom scenario painted by our current president and his advisors. We also see that starting in 2040, transiting Pluto (death-rebirth; extremes; underworlds) will reach the Social Security Moon at 26 Aquarius (emotions and feelings; the mass consciousness; the vast pool of workers). In 2041-2042, transiting Pluto crosses the USA Moon-Pallas conjunction – something that can only happen every 248 years.
What we do know as a fact now – courtesy of the historical section of www.ssa.gov -- is that 23+ Sagittarius is on the Ascendant of the Social Security chart. And for the first time ever, Pluto is barnstorming across that horizon – somewhat similar to our President (born with Mercury-Pluto conjunct and rising!) flying around the nation trying to push his Social Security reforms. This is all a phenomenal expression of the dynamic power of astrology as we can understand it from the national perspective. Pluto will still be literally on the Social Security Ascendant degree in May-June and November-December of this year. It will return back to within 1 degree or ½ of one degree in the summer and fall of 2006.
By working with the directional system known as Secondary Progressions, we can also determine that on February 12, 2006, the Social Security Progressed Sun enters Scorpio for approximately the next 30 years thereafter. This is a crucial crossroads for the program and the reform movement. Scorpio heightens passions, but also increases the desire to find solutions. The debate in the Congress and across the nation may become more extreme around July 22, 2005 and January 9, 2007 when Progressed Mars in Sagittarius moves 150 degrees to the natal and progressed placements of Pluto in Cancer. On March 10, 2009, there is a Progressed New Moon in the Social Security chart at 3+ Scorpio. In the few months before this time, there will be a need to review and reflect about the growth, achievements and worries from the previous three decades. In the few months after this time, a new wave of creativity or dynamism should materialize for the Social Security program after many years of negotiation and wrangling. Note that this Progressed New Moon will occur less than two months after the next president is inaugurated on January 20, 2009.
The years 2010-2011 look very significant for Social Security and its reform – particularly if the current political soothsayers are correct that the present proposals are DOA in the Congress. In 2010-2011, the Social Security Progressed Pluto will make a retrograde station at 27+ Cancer – very close to opposing America’s natal Pluto at 27+ Capricorn! This is an “ouch factor” in the extreme.
Here’s one more intriguing bit of astrological analysis to toss into the mix. When Social Security came into being in the midst of The Great Depression – almost the center of it all August 1935 – Saturn in Pisces and Neptune in Virgo were in opposition. There was an orb of 5 degrees and 24 minutes of arc between the exact Saturn-Neptune polarity. By simply looking ahead in 2005-2006, we can find three times in the relatively near future that these two planets (in Leo and Aquarius) will oppose each other with the same precise orb of 5 degrees and 24 minutes. Those times are October 8, 2005, Christmas 2005 and July 25, 2006. Who knows if these time-periods will bring relief or confusion, success or failure, but you should keep track of them regarding this subject.
Normally, I would not add a blatant editorial comment to one of my astrological stories. I do not see myself as a critic or defender for the policies of the current Bush administration. However, I was about to fall asleep a few nights ago when I received an impression of The Trojan Horse. Of course, this was the giant wooden horse created by the Greeks and placed outside the gates of Troy – seemingly as a gift. The Trojans brought the horse into their fortress, celebrated that night as if they had defeated their opponents, only to be slaughtered since Greek warriors had been hidden inside the wooden edifice, and these soldiers came out, opened the gates while the Trojans drank and slept, allowing thousands of the supposedly departing Greeks to take over the city. To this day, we have the ancient saying “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”
I had been wrestling with the issue of why the president was being so forceful right now with pushing for Social Security reforms – during a crucial phase of the struggle against insurgents in Iraq and terrorists around the globe. And then it struck me: What if all the movement toward Social Security reform – being broached to members of the U.S. Congress – was a giant ruse in the form of a Trojan Horse, something to bicker over and fight like cats and dogs for a couple of years while the president and the executive branch of government were off battling terrorists and trying to take care of business with rogue powers like Iran and North Korea? While 535 senators and congressmen and women would not be entirely asleep for the next four years, incessant wrangling over Social Security reforms would certainly keep them fairly well preoccupied with a cumbersome national financial issue of enormous complexity.
I am not someone who tends to believe that members of our government would think in devious ways or create a kind of red herring* to keep our national legislators off base, but the more I look at the whole scenario, the more this makes sense. I think the president knows in his heart that while Social Security reforms are important, it will be a massive headache for Congress and that’s exactly what he needs in the near future. After all, if millions of Americans are constantly calling, e-mailing and writing to their representatives about what they believe should happen to Social Security, our legislators will be overwhelmed with opposing viewpoints and dissatisfaction on a large scale. The more Americans blame Congress for the national ills and problems, the less they point the finger at the president, the cabinet and what the executive branch wants to do in the global realm of politics. *In a Webster’s Dictionary I have, “red herring” is defined as “something used to divert attention from the main issue.” That’s what I think Social Security reform is to the president’s inner circle – where they need psychic space and breathing room to complete their international agenda and they don’t want a meddlesome Congress being too pushy into their affairs.
Also – with budgetary red ink, annual deficits and the complete national debt climbing horrendously – and over $80 billion more requested to fight enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan (an amount not calculated in the recent budget sent to Congress) – these yearly shortfalls will probably wreak more havoc on the Social Security system and make the current fears into something far more ominous. Remember that in 2009-2010 – in addition to all the potent transits and progressions affecting Social Security – transiting Neptune will return to its discovery placement from September 23, 1846 and simultaneously it will cross over America’s natal Moon-Pallas conjunction at 26-27 Aquarius. A very chaotic, acidic atmosphere may engulf the country just as President George W. Bush leaves office and a new president is sworn in on January 20, 2009 during a void Moon in the last degree of Scorpio.
I don’t have too much confidence that the Congress will be able to work harmoniously in the next year or two to write new legislation for Social Security. The president’s push was made during a void Moon and there is considerable animosity going on between Republicans and Democrats. No one wants to handle this political hot potato and it remains to be seen how Social Security reform will fly in the months ahead.
Stay tuned to this web channel for late-breaking updates. I welcome your e-mails. Please use the Contact Mark section on the main page of our web site to send me your views. P.S. Compare the planetary placements in the Social Security map to your own to determine if you have a reasonably positive rapport with this governmental program or not. I discovered an exact conjunction between an asteroid in the Social Security chart and my natal Sun. Cross-referencing the Social Security planetary positions with your own may help you to realize whether this long-standing and long-suffering governmental system will be there for you when retirement becomes a reality.
Mark Lerner Publisher Earth Aquarius News