Asteroid-World Winter 1999-2000
Lots of us are watching the Bill Gates saga. Several state attorneys general are poised to join the attack of the federal government, now that Microsoft has been declared a monopoly. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson announced his “finding” of that fact on November 5, 1999. Two weeks later, on November 19, Judge Jackson appointed Judge Richard Posner to act as a mediator in the case. The appointment was seen as a positive move by the Microsoft executives since it suggests that the government is willing to consider a settlement that would be a reasonable compromise, rather than engage in a lengthy legal battle as was done in the anti-trust suit brought against IBM and finally dropped after years of litigation.
We have many potentially relevant charts, but unfortunately most of them have data problems. I originally had a birth time of 9:15 P.M. for Bill Gates, but according to Lois Rodden’s Data News # 51 in October 1996, a Seattle astrologer named Cindy was told by Gates that he was born “right on 10 P.M., or within minutes.” Both charts seem possible, though I am leaning in favor of the 10 P.M. time. I have not tried to rectify the birth time, and will mention some features in both possible birth times. Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, WA.
The chart for the First Trade of Microsoft on the New York stock market comes from Bill Meridian’s book on Planetary Stock Trading, Cycles Research Publications, 1994. He gives the data as March 13, 1986 at 9:30 A.M. EST in New York. An astrologer named David Ockrassa wrote that the Microsoft Web page had the following data: Microsoft Incorporation on June 25, 1981 in Bellevue, WA. Lacking a birth time, I used noon. Also on the company Web page, data for the “Microsoft Birth Chart” was given as April 14, 1975 at 9 A.M., Albuquerque, NM. I have not been able to find what event occurred at that time that would be called a “Birth Chart” for the company. A history of Microsoft in the August 19, 1999 issue of the New Yorker magazine states that Gates and his partner, Paul Allen, started shipping their first software in Albuquerque, NM, on July 1, 1975. The program was called Basic 2.0 and was written for an early computer called the Altair 8800. The company name was changed to Microsoft in November 1975, and they moved to Seattle in 1979.
Media coverage at the time reported that the formal lawsuit of the federal government against Microsoft began in Washington, DC at 10 A.M. on October 19, 1998. The November 15, 1999 issue of Time magazine reported that at 4:30 P.M. on November 5, 1999, an Antitrust Division lawyer called from the courthouse to Klein, head of the division, with a hot-off-the-presses copy of Judge Jackson’s decision. At the time, the reporting lawyer said he was speed-reading through the report and had reached page 16 where Judge Jackson declared Microsoft to be a monopoly. Another media source said Jackson’s 207-page “finding” reached the media at 6:30 P.M. on November 5.
With this many charts, many of them with debatable or only partial data, many lacking the time of day for the event, I am going to focus on Bill’s chart(s), but our readers who have computers with astrology programs can explore the variety of possibly relevant events in the history of Microsoft. In my experience, the birth charts of human beings are more reliable than the charts of organizations or events, though the latter can certainly be useful to test astrological theories, including the reliability of the asteroids.
Even though we have an interval of 45 minutes of uncertainty over Bill’s birth time, his P Moon in both charts is conjunct P Saturn – a truly appropriate aspect for his emotional security (Moon) confronting the Law and authority figures (Saturn) in a contest over joint resources and the ability to share resources and power (Scorpio). Saturn in the natural house of the Sun and Aries in the natural house of Saturn in Gates’ chart show the confrontation between personal power (the Sun’s house, which is equivalent to Leo, and the sign of Aries) versus the “rules of the game” and their enforcers and the consequences of how we have handled the rules (Saturn and its natural house, the 10th). In one of those mind-blowing demonstrations of our meaningful universe, the asteroid Jackson is quincunx Saturn in a repeated pattern. P Jackson in 20 Aries in the 10th house is quincunx N Saturn, while P Saturn and P Moon are quincunx N Jackson in 26 Aries! If the 10 P.M. birth time is accurate, N Thomas, for the judge’s first name, is in 3 Capricorn 59, quincunx Phaethon (overreach) and conjunct the West Point, equivalent to a Descendant, which can manifest as cooperation or competition and power struggles. P Thomas in 20 Capricorn is conjunct Ceres and quincunx P The NORC, a prototype computer, and Reuter (news media) in 20 to 21 Gemini. N The NORC and Reuter are in 26 Gemini, so P Saturn’s quincunx to them produces a yod with Jackson, the strongest indication of moving in a new direction and letting go of something. P Phaethon retrograding in 9 Taurus is quincunx N Mars to repeat the message.
We have two possible asteroids for Bill: Williams and Guillermina, a Spanish version of William, which has been feminized as was the early custom of the astronomers who named the asteroids. N Williams in 3 Scorpio misses a conjunction with Bill’s Sun since I limit aspect orbs to one degree for the many new asteroids. But P Chiron and P Ceres are square it and the N north lunar node octiles it, while the P Sun finished an octile to it just a couple of months before Judge Jackson’s “finding” so the aspect was present during months of the trial. P Williams in 25 Scorpio is octile Mars and square P Bellerophon, one of our “overreach and crash” asteroids similar to Icarus and Phaethon. If we use the 10 P.M. birth time for Bill, his P Guillermina in 23 Aquarius is square his MC in Washington, DC, the location of the federal government and the trial. P Guillermina in 0 Pisces is octile P Venus and square P Richard, but trine P Neptune.
The asteroid Richard provides the name of the judge who will mediate the dispute between Microsoft and the U.S. government. N Richard is in 7 Scorpio 41 conjunct P Mars and quincunx Bill’s N Moon. The mixed aspects would fit a contest (Mars) and a move in a new direction (the quincunx). P Richard conjuncts N Juno, an alternative Pluto, for the issue of learning to compromise in the handling of joint resources and power. Bill’s P Moon is conjunct Juno and then P Richard from mid-November 1999 into February 2000.
I am impressed by the angles of the 10 P.M. chart for a variety of appropriate aspects. P Saturn and P Moon both square the local Ascendant in Washington, DC, and his L Ascendant is conjunct Jupiter, Pluto, and Bill’s birthplace P Ascendant. The high focus on the Leo-Scorpio squares certainly fits the power struggle going on between the Leo power of a king and the Scorpio ability to share power with close, peer relationships. The P Ascendant in Leo confronts both Pluto and Juno, with Pluto in Leo and Juno in the sign of Pluto and the house of Leo. Astrology has this amazing ability to keep saying the same thing in many ways.
The asteroid Washingtonia, for the site of the government and the trial, is natally in 20 Sagittarius, on the mean north lunar node and octile the Sun. P Washingtonia in 8 Capricorn is on N Icarus, square the Moon, octile Guillermina, but sextile P Mars. Is Bill overreaching, or the government, or both? P Themis (divine justice) has moved into 23 Aquarius to join the octile to Icarus and P Washingtonia, but P Icarus in 24 Capricorn is semisextile both P Themis and N Fortuna on one side and P Mercury on the other side.
Despite the conflict aspects, Bill also has a lot of positive patterns. P Pluto holds a lifetime sextile to Neptune and a very long trine to Pallas in addition to its conjunction with Bill’s local Ascendant IF the 10 P.M. birth time is right. This birth time also puts P Saturn in a very long trine to his N Ascendant, while his P Antivertex will move into a trine to P Saturn and then to Juno. The ongoing trial is certainly a major turning point in Bill’s career and handling of power, which fits his P Ascendant crossing his local Ascendant and his P local Ascendant crossing his birth place IC opposite the MC. When P angles cross other angles, either N or P, it usually points to times of major events and changing circumstances in the life. P MC opposite N Venus is also an appropriate aspect for struggles around money and power. P Jupiter in Virgo octile P Vesta on Mercury highlights the work issue, while Jupiter signifies the search for truth and judgment based on beliefs. The P local Antivertex on P Vesta and Mercury also supports the 10 P.M. birth time. Chiron’s prominence also fits what is happening. It can manifest as either the Pisces or the Sagittarius sides of Jupiter. I have found it prominent in the charts of lawyers and court activities.
Though the 10 P.M. birth time produces more dramatic aspects involving the angles, I have to note that the 9:15 P.M. time puts ASCII exactly on the IC. It would be an impressive pattern to be born with this universal symbol system for computer software on the cusp of one’s house of home and family, which can be expanded to signify the public. With the 9:15 P.M. birth time, P East Point is on Uranus and P Ascendant squares Venus, but the P MC is less impressive, between oppositions to Sun and Mars but not in orb to either.
As always, many other asteroids could be mentioned. P Bellona, a war goddess, opposes Bill’s N Moon, and P Karma in 18 Scorpio is quincunx his south lunar node. P Hybris (hubris) is quincunx the N Moon from 8 Virgo, so it forms a yod with P Mars. P Justitia (justice) is just over one degree from P Jackson, but both are in orb of the quincunx to N Saturn and P Justitia is also quincunx Venus. N Urania (another Uranus for modern technology) trines Uranus from 2 Sagittarius, but P Urania squares P ASCII in 21 Virgo. P Tyr, the Norse Mars, is on the P north lunar node opposing the P south node. Where the emphasis on Scorpio fits the tension over money and power, the emphasis on Sagittarius is appropriate for the search for truth and the legal involvement.
Would anyone like to guess the outcome of this contest?
Gates is in the last two years of his progressed New Moon cycle, which is usually a time of change. In these final years, loose ends tend to be tied up, old business completed, while exploring new options as possibilities for the new 30-year cycle, which starts for Gates in mid-November 2001. The P Moon will reach the P Sun in 21 Sagittarius 31. If the 10 P.M. birth time is accurate, Gates’ birthplace P MC will have started a conjunction with his N local MC in Washington, DC just two months earlier. He has a lifetime quincunx from his P Sun to his birthplace P MC in the system I use, which moves the P MC by the same distance the P Sun has moved. As readers know, I call the quincunx the “closet-cleaning” aspect. It signifies a desire to change, to improve the situation, and usually includes analysis as we try to figure out how to do this. A quincunx to the MC suggests a change in the handling of power, authority figures, and in general the “rules of the game.” Lifetime aspects show deeply ingrained habits, foundational tendencies in the character. The constant changes of the quincunx may be voluntary or may be forced by the rules and authority figures.
Though we have to consider the 10 P.M. birth time uncertain, rather than have to keep repeating that reminder, please assume that all future statements about the angles of the chart will be using that time, and they must be considered tentative. Less than two months before the P New Moon, P Mercury will reach Pallas, our primary asteroids for politics, lawyers, and litigation. This would be a very appropriate aspect for an important phase of the legal settlements, though it might refer to actions by states following a federal settlement. Mercury will also have recently started a trine to Gates’ local Ascendant in Washington, DC, along with his N Jupiter, and shortly afterwards it will trine Pluto. His P MC will have just ended an opposition to Venus, but will still hold an opposition to Saturn which would have started 9 months previously. Next in importance to a quincunx to Saturn or the MC (its equivalent), an opposition to either one can signify changes in one’s handling of career, power, power figures, the Law, etc.
Several other oppositions or quincunxes reinforce the message of life changes. Gates’ local P MC will be conjunct P Atlantis, with both of them opposite Icarus and P Washingtonia. The patterns certainly fit the power struggle and changes which involve both Washington, DC and the state of Washington, the location of Microsoft. The Icarus potential for overreach could be occurring in the U.S. capital or in the state of Microsoft and Bill’s home, or in both. The local P MC will move into a square to Mars less than 6 months after the New Moon, so some tension and changes will continue. This could be any kind of foot-dragging, personal resistance to the rules by Gates. Repeating the message, Gates’ local P East Point will be in the middle of a two-year conjunction with Mars, and P local Ascendant will move into a Mars conjunction just a few months later. Mars signifies personal action, whether in efforts to get what we want or to avoid what we don’t want. For some months before the New Moon and over a year after it, P Antivertex will be crossing the N Ascendant, marking a time of major changes in personal action and interaction with others. On the harmony side, P East Point will hold sextiles and trines to Mercury and the P and N lunar nodes for several years. Themis (divine justice) in 16 Aquarius completes a lengthy grand trine to Mercury and the P south lunar node. The chart looks like a process that goes on for years, rather than a single, dramatic fiat. I think that Gates will remain his competitive and successful self!
Gates may not remain the richest man in the world forever, but I would not worry about his security. He has both Rockefellia (29 Cancer) and Midas (1 Leo) rising, with P Rockefellia now retrograding conjunct Uranus and P Uranus holding a very long conjunction to N Midas. His wealth obviously stems from modern technology, a Uranian area. His P Ascendant will reach P Jupiter in less than a year after this New Moon, and it also continues its sextile to P Neptune for another year. N Guillermina, a William equivalent, is in 22 Aquarius, conjunct N Fortuna. However, Gates’ local MC in 22 Taurus squares them, N Saturn is connected in Scorpio, while N California in 23 Leo completes a grand fixed cross. P Belisana (war goddess) is now (November 1999) on California, while Gates’ P East Point is currently on N Belisana. The state of California has just filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft. To reinforce the message, P San Diego in 23 Aquarius opposes California and P Belisana, with the latter within orb of a square to Gates’ local MC in Washington, DC. The federal “finding” opened the door to lawsuits by the individual states of the U.S.
The new lawsuit also opens the door to more personal name asteroids. One San Diego and two San Francisco lawyers filed the suit: Terry Gross and Francis Scarpulla of SF and Daniel Mogin of SD. Theresia might work for Terry, and we have asteroids named Francis and Daniel in addition to San Diego and California. I am testing Anza, the Spanish discoverer of San Francisco, for that city, and Francis might also work for it. We could also look at the asteroid Chicago, the city of the newly named mediator in the case. Gates had N Theresia on P Icarus in 24 Capricorn opposite P Antivertex when the lawsuit was filed. P Theresia in 8 Aquarius was sextile the Moon, square P Mars and N Richard (the mediator), quincunx P Hybris (hubris), and octile P Mercury. P Ascendant for the suit filing was on N Francis in 26 Sagittarius, and Francis was also in orb of a trine to N Jackson while it squared P Saturn and was semisextile N Ascendant. N Daniel in 15 Aries opposed N Mercury and sextiled N Themis and Utopia in Aquarius. P Daniel had turned direct and come back to 13 Aries, where it was trioctile Jupiter, Pluto, and P Ascendant, octile N Chicago in 28 Taurus, and trine P Juno, a Pluto equivalent. P Chicago opposed N Saturn. The emphasis on letters two and eight (planets, signs, and houses), certainly fit a struggle involving money.
The hardest part of working with asteroids is the decision of when to quit. There are always more relevant ones I hate to ignore. In this important month of November 1999, Gates’ local P East Point is on P Bellona, another war goddess, while his local P MC squares P Bellona and is trioctile Saturn. His local P Ascendant recently started an octile to Saturn and is also octile Venus. It is certainly a war of lawyers over a very competitive business, which is headed by a very competitive man, and I am impressed with that 10 P.M. birth time.
I hate to ignore two of the related charts for which data was given at the beginning of this article, since we have birth times for both events: the first trade of MS in New York, and the beginning of the court case against the company in Washington, DC. Of course, there is no guarantee that the trial actually started on the minute of its scheduled beginning, but the chart for it is certainly appropriate, with its Ascendant on Gates’ P Saturn, the rising Pluto holding a long-term progressed square to Mars, and P Mars quincunx Uranus. The trial chart has a Libra stellium in the 11th house, fitting litigation over new technology. It had a P New Moon in August-September, 1999 not long before Jackson’s ruling which started a major new phase. During this winter of 1999 to 2000, P Moon is entering Scorpio, squaring Neptune, opposing Saturn, and crossing Juno. P Mars holds an octile to Venus while P Venus will reach the N Sun in about March 2000. Though a Venus-Sun conjunction is normally considered helpful, it can often signify expanding expenses. MS is facing major financial demands from the state suits, even if the federal case is settled without a major fine. If the time for the beginning of the case is accurate, P Mars reaches the N MC about April 2000. P Mars aspects can last 3 years or more, so again we are looking at the issue of personal will and power (Mars) versus executive power and the Law (the MC). About the same time in the spring of 2000, P Sun starts a two-year square to Neptune. P Ascendant started a square to the mean lunar nodes about two months before Jackson handed down his “finding.”
One of the valuable techniques in astrology is the calculation of house cusps for relevant areas other than the birthplace of the person or event. When the court case is calculated in Redmond, Washington, headquarters of MS, the local MC is in 23 Cancer, square Venus, and the Ascendant in 18 Libra 58 is quincunx Jupiter. In either location, the P New Moon squared N Williams in 27 Capricorn and Chiron was on Thomas. Pluto was in the middle of a cluster of asteroids with overlapping orbs ranging from 5 to 8 Sagittarius. They included Atlantis (abuse of power), Sisyphus (who kept rolling a rock uphill), Bellona (war goddess), Themis (divine law), and Nemesis (who got you if you flouted Themis).
We will make a brief pass at the first trade for MS because it is too appropriate to ignore. Mars is exactly conjunct Uranus and the Sun exactly squares both. When the chart is calculated for Redmond, Washington, the Sun is exactly on the Ascendant, with Mars and Uranus exactly square it! Pluto is octile Mars-Uranus and trioctile Sun. What a picture of a competitive operation! The court case started with its MC square Saturn in the first trade chart. Attila, the Hun, was exactly on the NY MC for the first trade chart, and Pluto in the court case chart was exactly on the Descendant of the first trade chart. Character creates destiny.
Even though it is a noon chart, I am tempted to look briefly at the incorporation date for Microsoft. Where a birth time is not available, many astrologers work with charts that put the Sun on the MC or on the Ascendant, though I think that the houses are less reliable than in a chart with a birth time. When the MS incorporation chart set for noon is progressed to November 5, 1999, the day of Judge Jackson’s finding, P Mars is conjunct P Midas, and P Mercury is conjunct P Rockefellia. These patterns do not suggest that the company is threatened with poverty, though P Mercury and P Rockefellia do square Jupiter for a legal contest. The P lunar nodes hold a long sextile/trine to Jupiter, and P Jupiter has a long conjunction with Saturn. P Chiron has mixed aspects, with a favorable trine to P Vesta for continued work success, but also a quincunx to a Pluto-Juno conjunction for the possibility of legal and financial changes. P Neptune is also involved, having retrograded into a quincunx to P Chiron which completes a yod with Juno. P Pallas had reached a conjunction with Venus, which could signify a successful financial settlement of the litigation.
More on the challenge side, P Jackson in 25 Sagittarius was quincunx Venus and retrograding into a square to Icarus as well as the sextile to P Juno, with the latter already in orb to quincunx Icarus, thus producing another yod. Uranus was sitting firmly on Fortuna, but that also put them on the P Saturn in Bill’s personal chart as well as on the Ascendant at the start of the court case. That mix of principles could point to good fortune for Bill’s career, or for an upset in his power and fortune. Predicting details is a hazardous business. N Jackson was opposite N Mercury and quincunx Thomas and ASCII, which were both in 28 Taurus. N Karma opposed P Mars and P Midas. P Vesta opposed Bellona, the war goddess. P Sun squared Pluto and Juno. A cluster of P asteroids ranging from 5 to 7 Gemini were trioctile Pluto and Juno. They included ASCII, Thomas, Justitia, and Phaethon. The P mean lunar nodes are holding a long octile/trioctile to N Williams for continuing strains in relationships, but P Icarus was sextile/trine the P true nodes from 1 Aries. The P mean nodes are also sextile/trine Hestia in 2 Sagittarius, the Greek Vesta for devotion to one’s job. P Williams in 23 Virgo forms a T-square to Urania in 24 Sagittarius and Icarus in 24 Pisces. Everywhere we look we see the likelihood of a protracted contest, but also continued success.