Bull Baiting

On September 4, news of the beheading of 31 year old journalist, Steven Sotloff was disturbing to me as was James Foley’s execution a couple of weeks ago. These young men, doing their jobs as reporters shows that there is an open season of ‘bull baiting’ by the terrorist group known as ISIS though killing journalists in the field violates all international law. It seems they will stop at nothing to get the USA to react. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families for the loss of these very young men who were doing their jobs while trying to weed out the truth in a chasm of propaganda. A few weeks ago, I listened to a forum where James Foley, an alumnus of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism (where I am also alum) discusses what he went through two weeks after he was released from a Libyan prison back in 2011. This YouTube video presents a fascinating interview in 2011 with Foley and is worth watching. He thoughtfully presents what a reporter in the field goes through in that part of the world.

James, a graduate of Medill in 2008, talks about his experience as well as his lack of experience in the field, the lessons he learned as a result of his arrest, and discusses his then naiveté that journalists were immune from any intervention by opposition forces because they were journalists. He discusses his 44 days in the Libyan prison, his experiences talking with others interred there that were arrested for speaking out within their country, the sharing of struggles, his fears, his faith and his release. This interview takes place just two or three weeks after his then release from the Libyan prison.

The day before his arrest in Libya he had been with rebel forces in the field covering the stories. When faced with what they thought was crossfire, he stood up and yelled, “Sahafee — which is Journalist — in Arabic”. A few minutes before that his colleague and photographer Anton yelled, “Help”, and was never heard from again. The rest fell apart. Foley was 37 years old at the time of the Northwestern interview. He was well trained. He was a teacher before returning to Northwestern’s Medill school for a graduate degree in Journalism. He attended various courses and boot camps preparing him for his work as a “conflict reporter”. He attended a Washington Program for international reporters who are threatened with hostile environments.

After this interview in 2011, he returned to the field, was again arrested while reporting in the field in Syria on November 22, 2012 and executed (by beheading) on or around August 19, 2014. Foley was born on October 18, 1993. Today, one of his colleagues and fellow journalist was kidnapped in Aleppo by ISIS a few months ago and became the second victim of this heinous crime. Like Foley, Steven Sotloff was young and was born May 11, 1983.

“The Committee to Protect Journalists reports at least 70 journalists, including Foley, have died covering the conflict in Syria since 2011. Of those nearly half — 46 percent — were freelance reporters, which is significantly higher than the percentage of freelance journalists killed worldwide. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, one-third of journalists killed worldwide were freelancers”

(source: cbsnews.com)

In looking at the chart of the USA, I tried to decipher where this nightmare lives in our current reality. Mercury is often associated with the news and reporting. The third and ninth houses of a horoscope are associated with reporting both nationally and internationally. Mercury, ironically, is also associated with commerce, trading, and exchange of information–the markets, which seem to be burgeoning at the present time — at least until today. In trying to understand why this is happening and whether it will continue to happen, my view is that it will. Though killing journalists in the field who are not engaged in any military activity is against international law, it seems that this safety measure is no longer viable. The world is out of control.

The group named ISIS is an extreme terrorist group which is currently bullbaiting the United States and its allies with these violent acts in order to get a reaction. My view in looking at the charts of the USA is that this will continue. Whether the USA reacts or not, or, is more strategic in its response is still to be seen. With its strong Mars in its chart, one of its lessons is to learn to think before it acts and have an effective plan B, which is always the lesson of any prominent Mars in a chart.

I looked at both the USA chart and its Antiscia points (the reflection points of the various signs from either the Winter or Summer Solstice points (00°Capricorn and 00° Cancer). The drawing below shows the graph for easy reference and for those interested. In other words, the USA chart’s natal Sun sign is at 13° Cancer 19′. Its Antiscia (solstice point) is 16° Gemini 40′. Note how if you add these together, you get 30°. The USA natal Saturn is at 14° Libra 48′ and its Antiscia point is at 15° Pisces 11′. If a transit hits either the natal planet itself, or, its Antiscia point, it is considered to be or have the same impact.

I am also including a bi-wheel in this article with the natal chart of the USA in the middle and the Antiscia points of the USA chart on the outside wheel. It is as follows:

click to enlarge

Following this logic, I asked myself where this terrible series of events happening in the USA chart falls. The obvious is there, of course, we have had several eclipses at 14°Libra or Aries squaring the USA Sun and conjuncting the USA Saturn and we have another two coming up in October 2014 as well as in April 2015 close to the same degrees. Saturn is the classical ruler of Aquarius which falls on the USA third house — a journalist house — and that might be part of this. It also rules the second but for the purposes of this article, we are focusing on the third.

However, when we review the Antiscia chart and the transits to it, throughout 2014 transit Neptune has squared the USA Antiscia Mercury at 5° Gemini 48′ on March 15, 2014, again on September 12, 2014 and again on January 15, 2015. Transiting Chiron conjuncts USA Antiscia Saturn (our government as well as the ruler of the USA third) at 15° Pisces 11′ starting on April 2, 2014, September 12, 2014, and again on February 11, 2015.

The list goes on and on as well as the list of upcoming direct transits to the Natal USA planets like transit Pluto opposing the natal Sun starting on January 5, 2015; transiting Pluto squaring USA Saturn (government and third house ruler) starting February 21, 2015 and transiting Saturn semi-square USA natal Saturn on December 21, 2014, and through the summer and early fall of 2015.

In looking at the Solar Arcs which usually require a very close aspect (giving them about a six month window on either side), Solar Arc Mercury of the USA chart is square the USA Mars on April 21 2015, a symbolic signature for the distressing ‘beheading of our journalists” as well as some intricate parlaying with the stock markets and trading. As a former journalist, this series of stories has been distressing. It seems as Saturn gets closer and closer to its ingress into Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, the issue of fighting for the truth regardless of our fear will be more important than ever in recent history. I think our journalists who gave their lives for truth would agree.


Georgia and Kelly Surtees are co-teaching a class entitled, Moving the Chart Forward for www.Kepler.edu starting at the end of September. Kelly will cover secondary progressed movements in the first half and Georgia teaches the second half which explores the technique of Solar Arcs. Georgia also presents a workshop and a class at the October 23, 2014 SOTA conference in Niagara Falls, New York. The workshop is on Business Astrology and the class is on Synodic Cycles. Georgia also teaches a class on Antiscia for the Breaking Down the Borders online conference in mid-November. For more detailed registration information for all events click here.