Bill Gates and Microsoft
Some years ago, I discussed the horoscope of Bill Gates, but in light of his current prominence, it probably warrants another look. Gates has now become the richest man in the world, if such figures can be trusted, but he has also alienated a lot of people and the government is suing his company, Microsoft, for unfair trade practices. According to his birth certificate, Gates was born in Seattle, WA on October 28, 1955 at 21:15 (9:15 P.M.) PST. His chart has a strong emphasis in fire in addition to a stellium in Scorpio for the drive and determination to make it big.
Though the sign of Cancer is on the Ascendant, the planets are the most important keys to one’s nature, so the Moon as ruler of the Ascendant and Uranus in the first house get more weight. They are both in fire signs, with Uranus in Leo while the Moon is in Aries in the 10th house. A one-ten combination is said twice by the ruler of the 1st house being in the 10th house and by Aries, the 1st sign also being in the 10th house. The one-ten mixture can range from “my will is law” to “the world has all the power and I might as well give up.” The greater the emphasis in the chart on fire and fixed factors, the more the individual is likely to tilt toward a feeling that he has or should have the power. With the Sun, a ruler of the Leo in the 1st house, in its own Leo house in the sign of Scorpio, and joined by Venus, Saturn, and Juno in the same sign and house, Gates is clearly identified with having the power. He also has Jupiter and Pluto conjunct in Leo and Vesta on an angle to repeat the message of strong will and the ability to focus it. Leo is the King side of life while letter ten is the executive, so Gates is identified with both.
The chart also shows high intelligence, mental flexibility, and versatility, with an emphasis in air plus Sagittarius. The nodes across Gemini-Sagittarius mark the perpetual student, teacher, writer, or traveler. All three air houses and all three air signs are occupied, with a wide grand trine including Chiron, the Antivertex, and Mars. Additional air trines link the south lunar node and the East Point in Gemini with Mercury and Neptune in Libra. The air-fire emphasis calls for much innovation and variety in life. Two asteroids are the only factors in earth signs, but since they are both connected to Virgo, the element is supported by their own natures, and both are prominent since they are conjunct angles in the chart. Two of the earth houses, the 6th and 10th, are also occupied, and Saturn, our primary earth planet, is closely conjunct Venus, a ruler of Taurus. I interpret this mixture as having adequate earth to be practical, but being more dominated by the restlessness of the fire and air.
The Leo-Scorpio squares and the cardinal T-square of Ascendant-Mercury-Ceres show a potential for power struggles which is appropriately expressed in a competitive business. The asteroid Atlantis is often a key to overdoing power, and soon after birth, P Pluto moved into an octile that it still holds to N Atlantis, which is in 14 Cancer. At this time in late 1998, P Atlantis has retrograded to 9 Cancer and P Antivertex, an auxiliary Ascendant for personal action, has moved to conjunct it. Phaethon, Icarus, and Hybris (hubris) are also potential overreach asteroids associated with falling in some way. Gates has N Phaethon in 9 Gemini trine the fire planet Mars, and any fire emphasis can encourage over-confidence and overreach. P Phaethon has retrograded to 10 Taurus, where it is conjunct Gates’ local MC in Washington, DC, a really appropriate description of his executive power being tested against the executive branch of the government. N Icarus is in 8 Capricorn and P Washingtonia has moved to conjunct it to repeat the previous message. P Icarus is in 23 Capricorn quincunx Gates’ East Point. N Hybris is in 25 Leo 57, so P Saturn holds a long square to it to repeat the same message. P Hybris in 8 Virgo opposes Gates P 8th house cusp, equivalent to Pluto, for the contest over power and money.
The preceding aspects show the contest, but not the outcome. Gates can afford the best lawyers, and the government does not want to endanger his company, only to keep it from preventing competition in either computer hardware or software. Since Netscape has been bought by AOL and they are also cooperating with Sun, the originator of Java, which could be a real threat to the dominance of Microsoft, the lawsuit against Microsoft is seen by most viewers as less urgent. Gates’ chart has plenty of asteroids for his wealth, with both N and P Ops (goddess of underground wealth) on his N Moon, Rockefellia in 29 Cancer trine his Juno, and Midas and Bourgeois also in the 1st house, but in 1 Leo, where P Uranus holds a long conjunction to them and P East Point is there for a brief two-year period. P Midas is now retrograding very slowly, so holding a long trine to Juno. N Fortuna was trine the East Point and P Fortuna ended a trine to the Sun but is sextile Gates’ P MC and trine his local Antivertex in Washington, as well as quincunx his local East Point. Gates’ P north lunar node has started a lifetime conjunction with Nehalennia, a goddess of luck, while P Nehalennia in 4 Capricorn sextiles N Sun.
Among the asteroids which ought to be prominent in Gates’ chart, perhaps the most important are the two associated with computers. The NORC was named for an early naval research calculator, and ASCII was named for the set of symbols used in software to represent letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols. At Gates’ birth, ASCII was on his IC within one degree, and The NORC in 26 Gemini was sextile Jupiter in the house of the conscious mind, opposite Pallas in the house of work, trine America in the house of joint resources, return on investments, etc., and quincunx Vesta in Virgo, another major key to one’s work. P The NORC has just ended a long quincunx to Saturn, though it continues to hold the aspect to Venus. It will soon reach a conjunction to the south lunar node, so continuing lessons involving computers are indicated. P ASCII is in 1 Libra sextile Midas, Bourgeois, P East Point, and P Uranus on one side and Urania on the other side, as well as trine Chiron. The combination looks like continuing success.
Much more might be said, but we have two more relevant charts, the incorporation chart for Microsoft on September 19, 1986 at noon EDT in Dover, Delaware, and the beginning of the government lawsuit against Microsoft on October 19, 1998 at 10 A.M. EDT in Washington, DC. Many companies are incorporated in Dover for tax purposes, and even though the time of noon is arbitrary, the charts seem to work. Financial astrologers use them regularly. The Microsoft chart seems appropriate with its 10th house Sun closely conjunct Vesta in Gates’ chart. The Sun is supported by Pallas in Virgo and by three factors in Capricorn in the 2nd house: Neptune, the Antivertex, and Mars. Additional keys to a competitive spirit include the Ascendant on Gates’ P Juno, while the company Saturn is rising in Sagittarius accompanied in the 1st house by Juno, the East Point, and Uranus. The fire is reinforced by Vesta, Moon, and the north lunar node in Aries in the 5th house. In short, this is a steam-roller chart, but it also has enough air to represent the fact that the business of the company involves the mind. Chiron in Gemini is closely trine Ceres and the south lunar node in Libra—air signs in air houses. Mercury is also in Libra, but in the 10th house, again connecting the career to the mind. Pluto is closely conjunct Gates’ natal Sun, and Venus is also in Scorpio and sextile the MC. Jupiter in Pisces in the 4th house is the only real “softness” in the chart. It fits Gates’ palatial, expensive home, but also the wealth gained by some of Microsoft’s early key employees.
Our two computer asteroids are ASCII in 2 Taurus trine Neptune in the 2nd house and The NORC in 22 Scorpio octile Mercury and semisextile the south lunar node. P ASCII at the start of the lawsuit was back to 1 Taurus, trine N Washingtonia. This might mean that the outcome would not be too negative for Microsoft, but conversely it might mean that Washington will help the general field of computing. Pointing in the same direction, N The NORC was sextile one form of William and trine the other. Williams was in 23 Cancer and Guillermina (a Spanish version of the name) was in 22 Virgo. Since P Washingtonia is square Saturn from the 9th house of law courts, a power struggle between the company and the government is clearly seen. But Clinton’s Justice Department is ostensibly trying to protect other computer companies, which can also be symbolized by ASCII and The NORC. P Columbia (for the District of Columbia) trine The NORC provides another similar message. The computer asteroids do not “belong” to Microsoft despite its near-monopoly over the operating systems of the world, and the government lawsuit has already forced Microsoft to backpedal on some of its threats to withhold its system unless computer makers conformed to its dictates.
When the lawsuit started, P The NORC in 28 Scorpio was conjunct the Ascendant and N California. Microsoft’s principle rivals are in Silicon Valley in California, so having the asteroid for the state on the Ascendant seems very appropriate. It is also appropriate to have P California on Saturn. The P Ascendant had been on N and P Saturn for over 3 years, but by the time the lawsuit started it was past it to conjunct Juno and P Gaea (earth). Microsoft does affect much of the earth, with an estimated 90% of the world’s computers using its Windows operating system. The Macintosh system, Java, Unix, and a relatively new system developed in Finland share the remaining 10%.
Despite this overwhelming dominance of its software, Microsoft workers who have testified at the trial, up to and including Gates, have come across as insecure, almost paranoid, about the potential of losing out to a new breakthrough software system. Both the hardware and the software of computers are changing so quickly and the fields are so competitive, revolutions are possible. Though the Microsoft P MC will reach the N Sun in a little over two years from now, and though that aspect usually signals a time of high success and power, we have to remember that the MC is like Saturn. Its periods can mark times of increased achievement and recognition, or a fall if the subject has overreached. Since the P East Point is square N Sun for a year of the two-year MC aspect, and with P East Point on P Icarus, we have to consider the possibility of a fall.
I was intrigued to find the company’s P Sun conjunct Mercury and the asteroid P San Diego as well as P Eudora conjunct Pluto when Microsoft last fall signed an agreement with Qualcomm to work together on new wireless hardware. Qualcomm is a San Diego company which is very involved in cellular phones and which developed a popular software program, Eudora, that is used for E-mail. Someone at the company must know some mythology since Eudora was a nymph who “controlled the waves,” in this case, the waves of energy which carry messages around the world without wires, bouncing them back to earth from satellites in orbit. N San Diego was in 2 Libra quincunx N ASCII to signal the potential for new directions for the Microsoft software, and P ASCII was opposite N Eudora when the agreement with Qualcomm was signed.
On the day that the trial in Washington started, the company’s P Moon had just passed the MC, where it was trioctile P Mercury and aspected two local angles in the company’s home base of Redmond, WA. Its local P Ascendant was on the local Antivertex with P Moon octile all of them in addition to holding a trine to the N Antivertex in 12 Capricorn and a quincunx to N Vesta which was on the N Moon, therefore connecting it into the network of aspects. Natally, the Antivertex in Capricorn squared the Moon and Vesta, so the 4-10 emphasis pictured the feeling of security threats that have been voiced during the trial. However, as indicated above, I do not think Microsoft will be really hurt in any serious way. P Mars is trioctile the MC to again show the power struggle, but it trines N Sun and will move into a trine to Pallas and a sextile to the Ascendant when it leaves the Sun. P Ascendant sextiles Mercury in addition to its conjunction to Juno and P Gaea and it is semisextile to P Pluto, all suggesting success with career and finances. It is actually part of a grand fire trine with Tyr, the Norse Mars, in 7 Aries and P Fama in 6 Leo. The Redmond P MC in 5 Leo trines P Saturn and P Tyr to form another grand fire trine. P Juno trines P Vesta to add to the fire. The fire element signifies innovation and creativity, so, despite its capacity for overreach which brought on this struggle, the road ahead look exciting.
Turning briefly to the beginning of the trial, I was fascinated to find Gates’ P Saturn exactly on the trial Ascendant. Gates’ was not in Washington. Like Clinton, he appeared on videos. But his executive power was certainly being challenged. A cluster of relevant asteroids surrounded the rising Pluto. Atlantis was in 5 Sagittarius, Nemesis in 6, Bellona (a war goddess) in 7, and Themis (divine justice) in 8. Another cluster was on the East Point in Sagittarius in the 1st house; Icarus and Utopia in 11 Sagittarius and America in 12. The latter quartet was trined by Vesta and Tyche (luck) in 11 Leo in the 9th house. Does that mean luck for the government or for Microsoft, or could we actually get a win-win ending with Microsoft a bit chastened but still successful? Adding to the “luck” picture, the Moon was sextile Fortuna in 16 Leo.
Of course, there was also conflict in the chart, and it was clearly connected to computers and money in some way. The Sun/Moon midpoint in 21 Libra was conjunct Urania (a female Uranus) and it formed a T-square to ASCII in the 8th house in 20 Cancer and The NORC in the 2nd house in 21 Capricorn. Three major keys to computer technology were thus connected to the Sun and Moon, since their midpoint provides a surrogate for both factors. Mercury also formed a T-square to Vesta and Uranus, and Mars squared Pluto. Washingtonia occupied the 10th house of executive power and it was quincunx Saturn in the house of the King, the natural house of Leo. The fire King faced the earth executive. Aletheia (truth) in 22 Aquarius trined Venus in air signs and houses to facilitate the free flow of information. Some of the E-mails dug out by lawyers on both sides proved embarrassing. E-mails are noted for being dashed off impulsively—very Gemini-Aquarius. I’m sure it was no fun for the defendants, but somehow the chart does not look that threatening. Perhaps it is the air and fire emphasis. Perhaps it is the close Jupiter trine to Chiron, with ASCII completing a grand water trine, seeming to promise that good will come out of it. Time will tell. The trial is expected to last into early 1999.