by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, May 17, 2010

Arizona's Bill 1070: Getting a Grasp on Status

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Bill 1070 on April 23rd at 1:32 pm (MST) after weeks of debate public and private.

The bill authorizes Arizona law enforcement to stop people on ‘reasonable suspicion’ and question them on immigration status, opening the door for challenges based on bias, racial profiling, police misconduct and other forms of state and federal infringements, constitutional and jurisdictional (immigration being defined as the job of the federal government).

Question: without looking at the bill per se (beyond this basic description) what can the chart of its signing tell us?

Answer: a lot.

The first and perhaps most obvious thing concerns a bill being a legal document written in text and meant to communicate instructions, boundaries, rules and priorities. As such it plainly falls under the purview of Mercury, symbol of thought, writings and all forms of communication. With this bill being signed under Mercury retrograde, several interesting things are thus suggested.

To understand how this works we may do well to recall the basic rule of all retrogrades: that they are about internal reflection and consideration/reconsideration rather than external prompting and action. Mercury retrograde is known as a good time to discuss and research, but not one when we try to finalize anything. Things undertaken during Mercury retrograde can turn out just fine, but they seldom turn out to be what you thought they were ‘at the moment.’ So it’s not surprising to hear Governor Brewer say in the news conference after the bill’s signing that she has already asked various governmental departments in Arizona to review the new law and make suggestions before year 2010 plays out.

In other words, she’s signing into law something she is thinking might have to be modified. That’s an internal discussion. Or since this is politics, perhaps a ‘back room’ discussion. Whatever it is, this is not the picture of a Governor signing a bill expecting it to be set in concrete at the moment of signing.

Does this mean the Governor signed it in order to get conversation on this subject or action in this very touchy area of immigration moved from simple debate into action mode?


Could this be the Governor angling for press attention for herself? That’s possible too, and even more likely since during the press conference she brought up the idea of media grandstanding. The first rule of psychological pathology is I will accuse you of my own ‘worst faults’ – and whether or not this is a ‘fault’ (or even good or bad), for the Governor to cite and critique what ‘others do’ suggests she may be doing it herself. She may not even know…but she may be doing it: the Saturn (government) of the signing chart is squarely conjunct the midpoint of the Governor’s Libra Sun/Neptune and Lilith – pretty much a double image of what she doesn’t see/doesn’t want to see about herself.

With the Mercury retrograde of this moment being in Taurus, values and resources are plainly on the spot. Being that one of the most obvious ‘symptoms’ of values and resources is money (money being a reflection of how much we do/don’t value ourselves and how willing/able we are to utilize personal resources/talents)…thus we have to ask whether this law can actually do what it’s intended to, given Arizona’s budgetary constraints and manpower?

Alternately, does this bill uphold, violate, compromise or harness the truth nature of the spirit of the people as invested in their government OR the spirit of the government (state and/or federal) as inculcated in whichever constitutional articles? The very fact that this the moment of signing has Mercury at 11 Taurus underscores these ideas, 11 Taurus being a degree all about strong ambitions which because they are an ‘overextension of reach’ may end up being tempered.

Nor is the Mercury operating in a vacuum. Ruled by Venus conjunct fixed star Algol this bill embodies and arouses (Venus) a great deal of passionate intensity (Algol). With this Venus/Algol in the 10th (most public) house of the signing chart, the action while plainly governmental is also being put out there for everyone to see. It’s not just a bill being signed, in other words – it really is a statement.

Being that this is a statement being made in the 10th house of goals, life structures and achievements, we look to the Midheaven itself which at 20 Taurus is a third decanate (last third of the sign’s) degree. Any 3rd decan degree always puts something out there to test its functionality, a concept which works very well with the Mercury retrograde and the Governor’s statement that she wants input and by implication, is willing to consider amending the bill as signed.

As for 20 Taurus, this is a conflicted degree. On one hand it represents being willing to work on a goal. Yet sometimes it carries with it (or incites) envy and jealousy which tears efforts down simply for the sake of destroying them. This can even occur within the Self, opening the door to discussions on what this bill might do which far from protecting Arizona/Arizonans (and by implication, the rest of the United States), might undermine it, creating far more problems than it’s worth. When such charges arise (and they’re likely to) telling the genuine objection from the envious or manipulative one will be difficult.

Into all this comes Sedna at 21 Taurus – the highest substantiated symbol (i.e., object having mass) of any size in this chart. Sedna is all about the power we don’t own until we let go of what we’ve gotten accustomed to and become ‘comfy’ with (nonfunctional though it might be!) and thus the bill is both about saying ‘we need to change the status quo’ and likely to arouse mass protest among those who may know things are bad now but who are unwilling to go through what it takes to make a better future. Sedna is all about the latent immaturity and childishness in us all.

It’s also about literal immaturity: childhood and young (non-adult) people in general – a fact we will get to in a minute or two.

Going back to Mercury however, the Mercury of this chart is in opposition to Pallas (wisdom). And Pallas is conjunct Lachesis (temporal durability). Both these symbols are in Scorpio, a testing sign which asks us to deal with what it takes to take the emotional risk though an investment in attempting to change the status quo. The whole subject of immigration and racial identity and dealing with obvious questions like who doesn’t get that the world ILLEGAL is part of ‘illegal alien’?…this is all part of the Scorpio requirement that we face truth, not simply go with slogans of mental/moral/emotional convenience. Can the people deal with the (Lachesis) process it will take to get there?

That this Pallas/Lachesis is positioned at the bottom of the chart (the Nadir) tells us that this Scorpio issue is literally and figuratively foundational. The bill is attempting to talk about the foundation upon which Arizona is built and exists. The Nadir being the cusp of the 4th house of the people, this is about the citizenry and as distinct from that, the population. With this Nadir being at 20 Scorpio (the polarity degree to the Midheaven) the foundation of this chart is empowered and tested by tenacity of emotional focus which is affected and perhaps afflicted by passion. We’ve already seen this question of passion expressed by Venus/Algol – now we see it positioned at the Nadir and in Scorpio where it calls upon not the concrete recognition of Taurus but the emotional depths and those tests of spirit which allow us to plumb our feeling depths so associated with Scorpio.

Being that Scorpio is ruled first by Mars and then by Pluto, with the Mars of this chart being in Leo and the 12th house, we can expect to hear a lot about the ‘fate of children,’ plus and minus – children who are at threat perhaps by resources being drained if the status quo is left in place and children who may be at risk if resources are diverted to implementation of this bill. With Mars in the 12th religion may also be brought into the mix whether seen or unseen (meaning people may site scripture, clergy may speak directly to the media or congregants who have been spoken to by clergy during services may feel they need to speak out).

The other side of this is more Plutonic: Pluto being in the 5th house of this chart (conjunct Ceres, a symbol of nurturing and providing for one’s needs), this bill plainly echoes’ the Governor’s stated concerns that Mexican drug cartels are having an ever-expanding influence in Arizona which has an effect on overall quality of life. Who controls what Arizona is like? That is part of what is being spoken to in this bill. With the 5th house of this chart being Sagittarian (and thus ruled by the 8th house Jupiter) the Governor is plainly saying that it is up to Arizona to use its resources to create the life/lifestyle Arizonans want. She is also saying that Arizonans should want to do that it takes to get to that quality of life.

Given that the Scorpio Pallas/Nadir is just opposite the Midheaven/Sedna, this bill is meant to face uncomfortable problems. It expresses a conviction that the status quo doesn’t work anymore and that the people and the government need to get it together and grow up!

Apart from that, it also represents the Governor’s desire to act (and to be seen as acting) responsibly for the benefit of her state. And in this regard, the Midheaven/Nadir formulation is very reflective of an Arizona government expressing concerns of both a security and fiscal nature. With Sedna in the mix and Venus/Algol being widely conjunct June (parental leadership) this is not only the Governor acting as ‘parental-head-of-state’ (which is not a slight) ….but also as an image in which Arizona may be seen as a ‘child’ of the United States as a nation. Thus we could even ask whether some of these concerns the Governor is dealing with are fuled/supported/fed by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

The flip side of this is that given how Sedna as an individual symbol is not specifically in standard opposition to Pallas, there may be no specific knowledge (i.e., a known ‘plan’ of attack or compromise) but merely a serious and ongoing concern in this regard based on history. With Pallas at 16 Scorpio there is an aura here of ‘defending with strength’…and that there’s a good probability that some kind of fiscal concerns AND financial tracking has participated in the mounting and signing of this bill. So what Washington says to Arizona about financial support counts. What Washington and/or Arizona may understand about money flowing back and forth across the border (or how it’s being otherwise siphoned off) – that counts too.

Yet the Pallas-opposition-Mercury with Mercury (thought) in the legal/application-oriented 9th house of the chart indicates haste. What would be the result there? One would be that which is reflected in the concerns of those protesting – that law enforcement may (as it were!) jump their own gun in who they stop. More to the general point, it’s likely that all the legal ducks and means/methods through which this law would be applied are not yet in a row. Certainly the Sun/Mercury in Taurus plus all four axis points also in slow-to-move fixed signs suggests this law is not ready to go right out of the signing box.

Another interesting figure in this chart is the Ascendant/Descendant line – the horizontal axis which here represents the ‘reaching out’ to the people and media on this subject. Electronic media being signified by Aquarius, with 24 Aquarius on the Descendant conjunct asteroid Lilith (the shadow self) potently positioned at 22 Aquarius, the media as individual corporations may or may not take a direct position attacking this bill. But as a mass collective, it’s to be expected that media in every form (with an emphasis on those which are electronic) will act as a vehicle through which attacks are made.

Given that 24 Aquarius is associated with ‘unsuspected harm’ and ‘intelligence which lacks common sense’ we can also expect a variety of opinions – some of which are more reasonable/well informed than others. This is particularly likely as there are two groupings of celestial objects above and below the Descendant line, a literal ‘horizon’ which in any chart separates the visible (above the horizon) from the unseen (below the horizon). Here we have Damocles (danger through assumptions) and Nessus (self-serving interests which incite destructive action) just below the horizon. This suggests a need to be careful when listening to the discussion as it’s going to be hard to know who among the many are speaking out of their own conviction and who is serving some ‘other master’ (Drug lords? Power politic players?)

Not that the asteroids presented above the horizon are so much better: Icarus exactlyexactly conjunct Neptune gives us patriotic idealism, idyllic ideas of what ‘protection’ means and well meant ideas which in reality are either totally untrue or nonfunctional. Merely to have Neptune lingering here just above the horizontal axis in a bill being signed during Mercury retrograde is not the most helpful signal; Mercury retrograde is famous for misunderstandings and Neptune is ‘the fogging of the situation’ personified. conjunct Tantalus amounts to ‘hasty presumption that someone’s out to get you’ and Hera exactly conjunct Neptune gives us patriotic idealism, idyllic ideas of what 'protection' means and well meant ideas which in reality are either totally untrue or non-functional. Merely to have Neptune lingering here just above the horizontal axis in a bill being signed under Mercury retrograde is not the most helpful signal; Mercury retrograde is famous for misunderstandings, and Neptune is 'the fogging of the situation' personified.

So this law may take time to sort out…and it should be sorted out thoroughly. Neither side has the ‘might of right’ here: in the end this bill is going to be all about the planetary symbols which are numerically highest in this chart. Those are the Virgo Saturn in the 2nd (the need to care for one’s responsibilities in a responsible manner), the Aquarius Neptune (altruism versus economic realities) and the Taurus Venus in the 10th (we need to do what we can do, but only what we can do).

But before that we are likely to experience much tra-la. On the Ascendant side of this horizontal horizon line we have Vesta. Vesta is a signature of service, and that it’s sitting behind the 24 Leo Ascendant with both conjunct the Governor’s personal Deucalion (the moral path), Sphinx (willing to ask questions and wait it out) and Pallas (wisdom) tells us that Governor Brewer (b. September 26, 1944 – Hollywood, CA) absolutely believes she is acting for the best even if this bill sparks controversy and challenges. With a Libra Sun conjunct Neptune in her personal chart, Governor Brewer is willing to make sacrifices not merely as a definition as a civil servant (personal exposure, loss of personal time) but in taking on the fight against those who may oppose her. With the planets of highest degree in her chart (her “outcome”) being a strong Libra Venus trine a Gemini Juno (head of household) conjunct Betelgeuse (uncomplicated success) however…we can suspect in the end Governor Brewer will be respected for her efforts even should this bill be struck down.

Against all this we have several other axes of astrological statements in the signing chart.

The first is Saturn (retrograde) opposition Uranus/Jupiter in Pisces. Saturn is in the 2ndth is willing to risk all and Saturn/Uranus in opposition (which is here pictured with exactitude) is very much the superhero effort to save a broken situation being ever-threatened by evil bad guys. Jupiter in the 8th speaks to what it will take to clean things up; not hooked into the Saturn/Uranus but exactly inconjunct Vesta and exactly semi-sextile Lilith, this bill is all about getting people to look at a reality they really don’t want to face. Can a state (or nation) battling recession afford and to give non-citizens what it gives citizens? Where does the need for caution come into conflict with the idea of stereo-typing? That this bill is being signed scant days after the anniversary of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City is a clear reminder that not all the terrorists are identifiable by ethnicity. Saturn is in the 2nd house of values and resources – a clear sign that says we need to use what we have properly so as to insure a good future and we only have so much. Uranus in the 8th is willing to risk all and Saturn/Uranus in opposition (here pictured with exactitude) is very much the superhero effort to save a broken situation being ever-threatened by evil bad guys.

Jupiter in the 8th speaks to what it will take to clean things up; not hooked into the Saturn/Uranus but exactly inconjunct Vesta (indicating an adjustment in service) and an exact semi-sextile to Lilith (a disturbance of all we don't want to deal with) makes this bill one which forces people to look at realities they really don't want to face. Can a state (or nation) battling recession afford to give non-citizens what it gives its own legal citizens? Where does the need for caution come into conflict with the idea of stereo-typing? That this bill is being signed scant days after the anniversary of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City is a clear reminder that not all the terrorists are identifiable by ethnicity.

And yet if you’re Arizona and you’re sitting right there on the border with the violence of the drug trade right there, a certain amount of realism has to be faced. Until Mexican cartels go gringo (or something else) the tendency to look at Latinos a little harder – isn’t that reasonable if who you’re looking for are members of some Mexican cartel?

This chart also displays things which though not specified in the bill have probably been discussed in political back rooms in Arizona (and elsewhere) as concerns immigration in general. This starts with an image known astrologically as a grand trine. Single trines signifying ‘ongoing’ energy (matters which are implicitly tied together) when three trines link together (think: equilateral triangle) what results is a nearly inextricable connection: one thing affects the other which affects the other – they all flow together, they support and hinder each other and everything changes…or nothing changes.

The first part of this grand trine is a Virgo Moon in the 1st house of this chart. This is about healthy functionality as primal essence (or rationale) and the need for skill in methodical achieving of the goal, monetary practicality and serving the primary need – in this case of a state or state society.

The second part of this trine is a Capricorn Ceres-Pluto-Charybdis in 5th house. With Capricorn being ruled by the Saturn we saw pictured in the house of values and resources, there is a concern expressed here of having limited resources which need to be used to best effect. More conservative than liberal, this 2nd house Saturn rulership of 5th house is also structural and aimed towards providing for a better future – which in societal terms is an automatic reference to children. Resources are thus to be aimed at children, asking the vital question of how many children can be taken care of properly; the late Virgo Saturn in the 2nd house would pose this question as ‘quality or quality?’ and opt for quality).

Being that Charybdis carries with it a ‘flavor’ of “continuing action” this 5th house problem which could affect children needs continuous monitoring and/or attention ad infinitum, suggesting that the question is not just one of needing to keep on something and keep after it but that the growth in the number of children here is part of the ‘future equation’ – an idea which incorporates Pluto’s obsessive fixation and Ceres distinct aura of ‘nurturing’ as a combination which speaks to ‘lots of kids’ or ‘big families.’

The third part of this grand trine is the Taurus Sun in the 9th conjunct Pandora (many difficulties which have to be sorted through before one has hope)…Pandora of evils-in-the-box fame seen here in the 9th house of things foreign, as-yet unassimiliated and certainly unknown is easily seen as the drug trade – specifically the importation of violence and trouble (echoed by Eris Discord being also present in this 9th house).

Taken all together, this is a formidable grand trine in earth signs, earth being the symbol of ‘things tangible.’ So this is a tangible issue – it’s one which actually affects people. Notorious for being ‘ongoing issues’ and thus a status quo coming into the moment of the bill’s signing, that this grand trine is affected through the Saturn/Uranus-Jupiter opposition is the very indication of something changing. Grand trines (even single “regular” trines) are only interrupted or dynamically changed for better or worse when set off by hard aspects. Here we have Saturn/Uranus squaring Ceres/Pluto plus Jupiter semi-sextile Eris as a very interesting image of law enforcement in action; Jupiter rules law and coming from the 8th house represents the will of those empowered to control resources.

Again, with a Virgo Saturn in the 2nd there is righteous need to prioritize. Prioritize what? With Jupiter ruling the 8th and the 5th and the Sun in the 9th, the values and rights of one’s own citizens (this is a political chart, remember) with particular emphasis on children and the need for proper education of legally residents seems implicit, lest the United States undermine its own future.

There’s another issue pictured here too – one probably no politician or pundit wants to touch with a twenty-foot pole. That’s the continuing anomaly of “anchor babies”: the United States is greatly unique in granting citizen status to children born to non-nationals who just happen to be on US soil when their baby is born. Nevermind the simple questions - can anyone envision interviewing pregnant women during the visa process or at customs, barring entry to those beyond ‘x’ number of months?

So what’s going to happen here? Considering that the upcoming June 26, 2010 lunar eclipse at 4 Capricorn is going to activate the Ceres-Pluto-Charybdis of this chart and the solar eclipse to follow on July 11th will highlight the South Node of this chart we, can expect some emotional fracas around that time. It may be legal – but it may not be; neither of these images are directly indicative of court challenges – they are populace and fiscally oriented to this chart.

If there is to be a court challenge or a bill amending this one, it will likely be connected with the January 4, 2011 solar eclipse at 13 Capricorn which in activating the North Node of the bill signing chart speaks more to what one ‘has to do to, even if they don’t want to.’ Prior to that, expect a lot of discussion and slow moves towards consideration of how to implement this law; once Saturn moves into the third house of this chart (in late September 2011) we are likely to see the reality of this discussion take shape.

And in all this, let us also remember that solar eclipses take a full three years to evolve. They begin with a ‘breakdown phase’ and in most cases lead somewhere you couldn’t have suspected starting out.

As for Governor Brewer, without an exact time of birth we don’t know whether this summer’s solar eclipse or that of January 2011 will oppose then conjunct her natal Moon (though it is a distinct possibility) – but what we do know is that this summer’s solar eclipse at 19 Cancer will conjunct her North Node and the January 2011 solar eclipse at 13 Capricorn will oppose her Saturn. The Governor thus has miles to go before she can rest on this laurel, lest it turn into a bed of thorns only delicately scented with the perfume of rose petals as they prick.


  1. Bout time you started blogging! Now we can get our Boots fix!

  2. Great Job for you first Blog. However, maybe it should have been a little longer?

  3. I'll see what I can do about writing a giant economy double-size blog (with cheese) next time. You want fries with that?