Filipinos in the Limelight
The effort to achieve democracy and freedom in the Philippine Islands has captured the attention and the heart of much of the world. The triumph of Corazon Aquino has brought new hope to many, along with great relief when the former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, left without a struggle which would have produced a bitter civil war. Often, astrologers watch such dramas unfold and wish they could study the horoscopes of the stars of the play. In this case, thanks to Serafin Lanot, an astrologer in the Manila area, we have the charts of our three major stars.
The birth time of 7 A.M. for Ferdinand Marcos is reported to be from his mother. The chart fits his career in law and politics, with the stellium in Libra including Mercury, Ascendant, East Point, Pallas, Ceres, and Venus. I have found letter seven of our astrological alphabet (Libra, the seventh house, and especially the asteroid, Pallas) associated with many areas of counseling or consulting. It covers the litigation potential associated with work with the Law, and the systematic interaction with others which can include the politician representing the needs of his constituents and soliciting their votes. When properly manifested, Libra symbolizes the ability to see both sides of issues and to seek justice and fair play for all concerned. Needless to say, the positive side of any of our twelve parts of life may often be conspicuously absent, replaced by its polar opposite, in this case by self-centered self-will.
Venus, ruler of the Ascendant sign, is in Marcos’ first house, suggesting a willingness to like oneself and to permit oneself to have pleasure. Mars and Pluto, corulers of the few degrees of Scorpio in the first house hence keys to identity, are both in the tenth house, an identification with power. Pluto is especially important, since it turned retrograde by progression, and has remained within a one-degree orb conjunction with the MC for many years. Any form of letter ten can mark a lesson in handling the “rules of the game.” We have to learn what we “can do,” what we “can’t do,” and what we “have to do,” to live in this world. We learn by getting feedback from the world, the consequences (pleasant or painful) of our handling of the rules.
Combinations of letters one and ten, such as rulers of the first house in the tenth house, can be expressed in either of two extremes. We can say “my will is law,” and try to rule our world. Or we can say “the world has the power, and I might as well not try. I would just fail or fall short.” In the middle, between those extremes which are both destructive, we can learn to live voluntarily within the limits of the Law, and to exercise our share of the power. Since Marcos has the south node of the Moon also in the tenth house, conjunct his Pluto and/or MC for much of his life, we have a strong indication that handling the Law and the power was a major lesson for him in this lifetime. The south node indicates an area in life where we have something to learn, and then something to give, once we have learned to handle the issues involved.
Unfortunately, though Marcos was elected as a reform candidate, pledged to clean up the graft of the establishment, he permitted or helped his wife and his cronies to skim millions of dollars from the Filipino people. Political opponents were jailed, often without charges or trials. Marcos’ primary opponent, Benigno Aquino, was kept in jail for eight years, in exile in the U.S. for over two more years, and then murdered when he returned to the Philippines. The death of Benigno Aquino was apparently at the hands of Marcos’s army directed by his close friend, General Ver, but a lengthy trial was manipulated to produce an acquittal. The resultant uproar ultimately led to Aquino’s widow running against Marcos and winning, despite widespread purchase of votes, intimidation, and the stuffing of ballot boxes. It takes incredible nerve to announce that the votes, even in one’s home province, are 20,000 to 0.
It is interesting that Marcos’ progressed eighth house cusp has been conjunct the true south node during these crucial years while he tried to maintain his power through force, purchase (bribery), and threats. It is still there as he ends his long 20-year tenure, having failed to learn the lesson of both south node and tenth house. The progressed eighth cusp was conjunct Marcos’ MC-Pluto and square Ascendant-East Point-Pallas, when Aquino was killed. The progressed eighth cusp squared natal Vesta in Aries in the seventh house as Marcos was flown into exile, symbolizing the alienation which is so often found with Vesta when we carry out our own work goals at the expense of people. We could also interpret the seventh house Vesta as a key to Marcos’ wife’s alienation of the public. An attempt to assassinate her was thwarted in December 1972.
Returning to Marcos’s natal chart, the numerous cardinal squares and oppositions fit his eventful life, including arrest for murder when he was a law student (he claimed he was framed by political enemies of his politician father), to military service against the Japanese in the second world war (he said he was tortured in a Japanese prison), to years of immense wealth and power, to final exile. For those who would like to work with current patterns for some of the events in his life, the murder accusation was made on September 20, 1935, but he was not actually arrested until December 7, 1939. The torture period was from August 4 to 12, 1942, according to a biography. He imposed martial law and arrested Benigno Aquino September 21, 1972. Aquino was murdered August 21, 1983. Marcos’ last inauguration while barricaded inside his palace, and his flight into exile, occurred on the same day, February 25, 1986. Included in a truly cardinal life was a whirlwind courtship of his wife. He married her the day before Easter, 1954, just ten days after their initial meeting, even though her family was theoretically on the opposite side in Philippine politics. The cardinal dilemma includes a tug-of-war between personal will and independence; home-family-dependence or nurturance; equality and compromise; and power and achievement in the world. Marcos worked on those issues all of his life. He achieved wealth for his personal friends and family at the expense of the people he was elected to serve. He used his tenth house power to deny the needs of his people for basic food and shelter (Cancer)—again we return to that important unlearned lesson of the south node of the Moon.
Saturn, the primary form of letter ten, is also a lesson in handling power and the Law. Marcos had it in Leo, conjunct Neptune in the eleventh house. Since Neptune represents one of the keys to our search for the Absolute, the conjunction with Saturn can be expressed as a worship of power our own as King in Leo or the rights of humanity in the eleventh house. Marcos expressed the latter in his early campaigns, but ended up practicing the former. In his latter years, progressed Antivertex (an auxiliary Ascendant) opposed his progressed Saturn, symbolizing his separation from the executive power. He also had progressed Ascendant opposite progressed Jupiter for the attempt to pervert the laws of his land and for his trip into exile in another land. For a person with a superb intellect (his college grades and test scores have never been matched according to his biographer), we have to conclude that he blew it. The mutable dilemma of his Virgo Sun in the twelfth house opposite the Antivertex in Pisces in the sixth house and square Jupiter in its own house in Gemini (the equivalent of a full mutable grand cross) was manifested as a moral failure. In the end, the Catholic Church turned against him and helped Cory Aquino win.
Imelda Marcos’ data is also from Serafin Lanot, who writes that her time has been slightly adjusted by people who know her well. I hope to eventually get more data on the source of the information, and the amount of adjustment, but the chart does have appropriate aspects for these eventful times, including her progressed Ascendant conjunct progressed Atlantis with both trioctile the tenth house Uranus, and her progressed Philippina trioctile natal MC, octile progressed Mars-natal IC. Other progressed aspects which involve angles, thus supporting the time given, are progressed Dembowska as well as Mars conjunct the natal IC. Dembowska seems very similar to Saturn, and Mars conjunct the IC, opposite the MC, is a classic aspect for a change of home and status-power, sometimes suddenly or violently. Another aspect pointing to a change of status or power is progressed Sun quincunx natal MC. During the late fall and winter months of 1985-6, Imelda’s progressed Moon went through the quincunx to Saturn, a conjunction with progressed MC, and squares to natal Mars-Neptune. It had just entered Gemini, square progressed Neptune, when they were forced to flee the Philippines. Among the long-term, progressed aspects were Saturn quincunx natal Venus-Ceres, and Juno conjunct the south node of the Moon, marking lessons in partnership and power.
After jumping into the chart backwards, we can take a look at Imelda’s natal patterns. The Sun on the Ascendant certainly fits her public life in a palace. Her expensive tastes (gallons of French perfume and dozens of designer gowns were found in the palace when the Marcos fled, and she is reported to have had $400 worth of fresh flowers delivered daily to her hotel room during a visit to New York) fit her letter two-eight emphasis. A stellium in Taurus includes Moon, Antivertex, Chiron, north node of the Moon, Venus and Ceres, and Mars and Neptune are closely conjunct in the Taurus (second) house. For letter eight, Pluto is in the first house, and Juno and south node are in Scorpio in the fifth house. Her identification with power which can include combinations of letter one with letters two, five, eight, and ten, is shown by the first house Sun and Pluto, the Moon (ruler of the rising Cancer) in Taurus in the tenth house, Mars (natural ruler of the first house) in Leo in the second house, Antivertex in the tenth house (which can only happen with a birth near the equator) and Aries (the first sign) in the tenth house. Letter eleven can also play a role in power issues, as a key to a resistance to being controlled by others, so Imelda’s strong eleventh house and Uranus in Aries in the tenth house add their weight to the message.
With the south node of the Moon in Scorpio, conjunct Juno and in the fifth house, Imelda’s lessons would be partly in the area of relationships and the handling of joint resources, possessions, and power. Her Saturn in Sagittarius in the Virgo house as well as opposite Vesta, our super-Virgo asteroid, points to lessons in service (being able to take orders, not just give them), and in beliefs-values-ethics. It is interesting that Reagan has similar lessons with his south node conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio in the twelfth house. He was a personal friend of the Marcos, and only reluctantly consented to stop his open support of the dictatorship. The U.S. is now on a hot spot, with the new Philippine government requesting the return of a huge sum of currency which was illegally taken from the country, in addition to investigating the millions of dollars worth of property investments said to have been made by Marcos in the U.S. Since Marcos’s salary as President was only $5,600 a year, we are left to imagine the source of those millions.
Data for our third star in the drama also comes from Serafin Lanot, who says, again, that the time has been slightly adjusted. I was fascinated to note that, though Mr. Lanot does not have am ephemeris for Atlantis, the time selected for Cory Aquino as for Imelda Marcos puts progressed Ascendant in hard aspect to what has become my favorite asteroid. (My favorites are the ones which are aspected for the dramatic events). Cory has progressed Ascendant opposite progressed Atlantis, in Aquarius-Leo, second-eighth houses. Her progressed Mars was conjunct natal Atlantis and progressed south node of the Moon, just inside the ninth house, when her husband was killed in August 1983 as he stepped off the plane which had brought him from the U.S. to the Philippines. Since the Catholic Church played such a major role in the unseating of Marcos and in Cory’s triumph, I was fascinated to note that the asteroid Vaticana was progressing over Cory’s natal Mars in Virgo in the ninth house, quincunx natal Ceres and progressed Pallas in Aquarius in the second house. The “closet-cleaning” potential of the quincunx manifested in the areas of ethics (ninth house), workers (Virgo), money (second house), and freedom-democracy (Aquarius).
Though Cory Aquino described herself as a “housewife”, we can see the strong transpersonal emphasis in her natal chart. Most of the factors in the horoscope are in transpersonal signs (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) or houses (ninth and tenth). The exceptions are Uranus and Chiron (transpersonal planet and asteroid), and Vesta, which I class as partly interpersonal since it can involve face-to-face contact with fellow workers, but Vesta’s primary focus on the job brings it closer to the transpersonal flavor. We are left with Pluto in Cancer in the seventh house; a purely interpersonal mixture though I do call Pluto the “gateway” to the transpersonal, symbolizing our need to learn self-knowledge and self-mastery with a mate in preparation for involvement with humanity and larger issues.
Cory’s whole series of trines, including a double grand trine in earth signs in fire houses, in addition to a Saturn-Sun conjunction in an earth house and a Mars-Jupiter conjunction in an earth sign in a fire house, show a steam-roller potential that recent events have brought into manifestation. She also has a cardinal T-square, both signs and houses, with the effect of a cardinal grand cross since the house of Libra is the equivalent of the missing sign, Libra. The T-square includes two fixed planets (Pluto and Uranus), giving a fixed-cardinal mixture typical of a life of power-struggles, and the Taurus-Aquarius squares in the Leo-Taurus houses add more potential for power-struggles. Part of her lesson in this life involves the issue of personal power versus democracy and freedom for all with her Saturn in Aquarius in the second house. We hope that she can maintain the integrity which was the major reason for her success in the election. The south node of the Moon in the ninth house and conjunct Neptune points to a lesson involving faith and ethics, with the workers involved through the sign, Virgo.
20 years ago, Ferdinand Marcos started as a reform candidate, pledged to help his people. In 1986, Cory Aquino starts with the same goal and a similar background, born to and raised with wealth and power. Will she be able to resist the temptations of money and power, and prevent her associates, Vice President Laurel and former Marcos friend Enrile, from taking over? Only time will tell. Her progressed Moon was conjunct the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius through much of her brief campaign. It enters Capricorn in early April, and is conjunct her natal Ascendant during this coming spring, if her time of birth is accurate. She will certainly be in the limelight, testing her personal power, working on issues involving team members and/or opponents. The days ahead will not be easy, but her faith is potentially strong with Mars on Jupiter in the ninth house added to Neptune there. Cory’s progressed MC reached Sagittarius just a year and a half ago, adding more emphasis to the issue of faith, goals, ethics, trust. Progressed Mars is leaving the ninth house, retrograding from the house of faith to the one of shared power, resources, pleasures. The Philippine debt and enormous inequality between rich and poor are among her challenges. Before the end of 1986, progressed Mercury will reach the one degree orb of a quincunx to progressed Mars, and hold the aspect for some years. It will also quincunx Juno to form a yod, a strong indication of a new direction. Just over two years from now, progressed Sun leaves Pisces to enter Aries while the progressed East Point enters Pisces in just under three years. Changes in signs or houses point to changes in the life. People all over the world thrilled as democracy triumphed over a corrupt dictatorship, and we pray with and for the Filipino people that better times are ahead.
P.S. For the few readers of The Mutable Dilemma who are interested in the new asteroids, they continue to astonish me. Ferdinand Marcos has Philippina on his IC within less than a third of a degree if his birth time is accurate. The IC and fourth house in general represent the land and the people of the land. But when I found that Cory Aquino had Philippina just two degrees from her fourth cusp as well as conjunct Iris, symbolizing the rainbow and hope, I started wondering what the odds were for such a coincidence. And when I found that the horoscope for Philippine Independence on July 4, 1946 had the asteroid Philippina on Cory’s Philippina within 16 minutes of longitude, all I can do is wonder how the cosmos manages to do that.
Cory’s progressed Philippina is conjunct her progressed Hatshepsut, the latter asteroid named for the woman who managed to become Pharaoh of Egypt, a totally macho, male-dominated society. What could be more appropriate for the first woman President of the Philippines?
Two different times have been published for the Philippine Independence chart; one by Doris Doane and one by Glen Malek. Serafin Lanot suggests a third time; 9:15 A.M. My preliminary work seems to support Lanot’s time. A few of the asteroid placements include America just under two degrees from a conjunction with the Ascendant, Iris on the IC, Phaethon (related to the Sun and the possibility of over-reach) on the MC, and Apollo (another Sun) on the first house Mars along with Hatshepsut. Progressed Pluto has stayed conjunct natal Atlantis in Leo in the twelfth house for many years, and will be there within one degree for many more years. There are so many asteroids that might be mentioned, but I will just add that Vaticana is just over one degree from natal Saturn, fitting the Church influence on the power structure. In recent months, the progressed Ascendant reached a conjunction with Nefertiti, another famous Egyptian woman who may have held power through her husband, Ihknaton. The progressed Ascendant has also just ended a two year opposition to natal Philippina, fitting the major change in the country. It will oppose progressed Philippina starting in the spring of 1987 and lasting about two years. The pattern across the second and eighth houses may be an indication of the financial pressures anticipated in the late 1980s. May Cory and her associates have the wisdom to handle the challenges.