There are two important versions of BP's chart. The first is its original incorporation chart:
Anglo-Persian Oil Co. Ltd (BP) - Incorporation chart
Founded as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (Ltd.), the company we now know as BP's Descendant - what it would have put out as messages to the public (and shareholders, one assumes) is represented by 12 Aquarius.
Aquarius being the sign of the marketplace, corporations and income and 12 being a 2nd (emotional) decanate degree, we know that BP would always put out a message that was slightly fervent. With this position modified by Pelion - the great mountain one must climb? Make that fervent and long-suffering, even in anticipatory mode.
With Aquarius ruled first by Saturn (representing the foundations upon which the corporation's fortunes are built) then Uranus (its success), we then look to these two planets to see what else may be seen.
What we see first is a 14 Aries Saturn conjunct Mercury (at 15 Aries) and Sedna at 10 Aries. Sedna being all about the struggle to let go of security and reach one's actual potential being conjunct Saturn - which never mind being the signature for BP's Descendant is the premier symbol of business - this combination in and of itself is wonderfully descriptive. Founded in 1909, BP (then the Angle-Persian Oil Company) was one of the first oil producers and the first to go into Persia. It pioneered much of what we now think of as 'standard oil operations.' And it did all this in Persia - the place we now call Iran.
Obviously, to British would-be oil tycoons, Persia was a very foreign country, and the 9th house is the house of foreigners and foreign places. So that this fledgling British Company had to risk letting go of dear old England and travel abroad to found its fortune is right in keeping with the chart.
Once it was established that the Masjed Soleiman field held sufficient promise to justify same, an oil lease was negotiated with Shah Mozzafar al-Din Shah Qajar of Persia. This is Orcus at 10 Aries. Orcus describing things done which cannot be changed, the fledgling BP had to invest enough money to find the oil before they could negotiate the lease.
Industria at 12 Aries and Rhadamanthus (fairness) at 13 conjunct Mercury (thought, organization) at 15 tells a tale of the enormity of effort it would have taken to get temperate climate English workers out into the deserts of Persia and the training of locals to partake in what must have been a grueling effort to tap those first wells.
And that grueling part? That we would know not simply from knowing that its hot in Iran, but because Mercury in the 9th house would make anywhere where BP tends to work a harder-than-usual place to work. Hence Iran, the North Sea, Alaska, the middle of the Gulf of Mexico...
...it's a corporate thing with this Anglo-Persian company which grew up to be BP. This just isn't a 'take the easy way out' company. Which means - yes - that this is a company which even when it doesn't intend to can make things very, very difficult for itself.
And that Mercury reaches out just far enough to conjunct Pandora (and her famous box) at 20 Aries? That doesn't just reinforce BP's 'strenuous efforts' of all types but also speaks volumes to the repercussion oil was to have not merely on BP's fortunes, but on the world as a commodity. Ruled by an Aquarian Mars in the employee and work-standard 6th house conjunct Psyche (the mind) and an early Aquarian Moon however...that lays the groundwork for BP to have issues with cost cutting.
With Uranus, the secondary ruler of Aquarius also in this 6th house but in the last third of Capricorn, we see the Anglo-Persian Oil Company as a founding industrial giant. It did the (Uranus) job of literally breaking ground as it broke through all the Uranian/Aquarian geological, technical, distribution and marketing problems in turning oil into a commodity then a baseline necessity upon which the whole world has been running on for heading towards a hundred years now.
That same 9th house which represented the 'foreign interest' is also the house which rules dissemination of information. Ruled by Jupiter in Virgo in the 2nd house we get our second indication that everything which comes out of BP's corporate mouth isn't the whole truth and nothing but the corporate truth.
Why would that be? Well, because Jupiter in Virgo tends to over-scrutinize either the information or what it chooses to say. Ruled by that Mercury in the 9th which here being conjunct ultra-fair Rhadamanthus and Pandora's plethora of ills which one must endure in order to find hope...this is the picture of a company which will generally stick its oil boot in its corporate mouth before it loses the oil slick and comes clean.
Oh yes - Medusa and Ixion are also in the 2nd and also conjunct Jupiter, as is Thuban, a fixed star known for imparting struggle. Medusa is a fascinating entity - it's fear, yes. But also fear of the truth (link to article on Medusa)...and even fear of self. Ixion, meanwhile is about ingratitude, particularly of the 'I should be able to simply because I can or have the opportunity right here' type (article on Ixion). So this is greatly about corporate fear of what people think - no matter what the news is. Are they making enough money? Too much - do they look like gluttons? Will they undermine their own position by people knowing too much? Not enough?
Love the company or hate it, this is an entity almost to pity for its inability to take a stand and go with it.
I said almost.
Saying all that, now we come to the most recent major merger, that committed to as of December 31, 1998 with Amoco. The chart for BP/Amoco (later renamed simply BP) looks like this:
BP/Amoco merger chart
Going back to the prime PR spots of any chart (the Descendant and 9th house) at the Descendant we have fixed star Spica - the gift of knowledge and brilliance - sitting with Deucalion, signature of 'finding the moral path.' So far, so good.
But then we look at the Venus ruling this 22 Libra Descendant; said Venus is in Capricorn (sign of business structures) in the very worldly 10th house of leadership. Still not bad at all! Venus here is conjunct two pairs of symbols (with Venus at the midpoint, the pairs don't connect). On one side we have Atlantis/Bali, which in 3 decan degrees are without question the desire to have everything be good and as ruler of the Descendant, to look and sound good too.
The other pair would make is even more skeptical: Child and Hebe (the servant) at Capricorn's critical 29th degree tells us the worse the situation is for the business or world opinion (i.e., anyone outside the BP fold), the more they are likely to serve up something dumbed down to 'not scare the Child.'
But this is a classic astrological mistake: the Child we are referring to is BP asteroid Child, not yours or mine. They are projecting it on us and thus they are acting as though we are children better off without the real facts. But the real fact is that it's BP which is scared: wherever the symbol appears (by house) is the 'department of life' where that energy will manifest. So when it gets to the executive running-BP-as-a-world-entity level of the company, if/when BP runs into trouble it...acts like a child! (No mommy, I didn't break it - it broke itself!)
And since the Saturn ruling this 10th and the Venus (et al) in said 10th...
...Since that Saturn is a 3rd decanate Aries Saturn unhappily placed in the first house, we know BP dislikes outsiders and doesn't like anyone having input or the ability to comment or discuss what it is doing. Conjunct Circe, Sphinx and Sisyphus (sounds like a very bad law firm)...this is more about BP as a company which will do its best to wait out public furor (Sphinx) or transform situations/information to serves its own purpose (Circe). And if necessary - which is to say if you disagree with BP while "on its turf" (which one would have to assume at least means working with or for BP) then BP will have to simply do away with you somehow (Sisyphus).
This kind of determination serves BP well as an oil explorer. It serves them very badly as a real life corporate entity in an increasingly interactive world.
For all the mergers along the way (BP has had a barrel full of them from inception until now)...this company hasn't and has changed. The Ascendant/Descendant of today's BP is only one degree off the original chart's prime vertical - the Midheaven/Nadir 'who are we as a corporation?' - with that original vertical axis now turned into the horizontal axis.
What would that say? That would say that who BP started out to be, they now use as the face of who today's BP wants you to think they are. They want the world to think they're that same pioneering company.
But they aren't. The vertical axis of this new chart is 8 Capricorn (Midheaven)/8 Cancer at the Nadir or IC - the foundational point of the chart. Looking to Cancer's ruling Moon we find it in the 2nd (emotional) decanate of Gemini (thoughts, communications, choices) in what would be the modern company's 2nd house of corporate coffers.
Through chains of rulership, the Mercury which rules the 2nd (value/values) and 3rd (organizational concept) house of this chart points to Jupiter - which rules both the 8th house of investment and 9th house of foreigners/foreign things. This says a lot, especially in this international world where BP has to work outside its native UK with less rather than more world power now being part of its national identity.
That the Jupiter which ends up ruling this 8th and 9th (the 9th house part including 'information disseminated and thus PR') being intercepted in the 12th house conjunct Pallas (wisdom) and Sabine (forced imprisonment) tells us two things.
One is that BP is in a sense hostage to its stockholders. BP knows that an enormous number of real live people - that their pension funds are invested in BP on the London Exchange, and that part of BP's financial power has come of its ability to be a premier source of dividends.
The second part of this is BP feeling that it can simply hold knowledge hostage. Niobe (pride) and Amphitrite (overwhelm) conjunct the 26 Aquarius 12th house cusp tells us that this company's overwhelming pride is a good thing when its about how they can indeed take care of others but a total detriment when they are focused on their own reputation and income.
With all this said, we each have to decide for ourselves exactly what percentage of BP's PR is simply crude which has bubbled up to the top. What is for sure however is that unlike oil, what BP says only ever partly dispersed by means natural or artificial.
That the modern chart was hit by the January 2010 solar eclipse on their Venus/Child/Hebe in advance of the Deepwater Horizon debacle speaks volumes to the financial hit BP is going to take coming out of this disaster. It may be worth looking ahead to incoming solars and eclipses to see where the company's going to go (vote with your blog comments - if you want more information, you'll get more information!).
There is no question but that BP is going to try to evade/avoid full payouts. That started as soon as the well blew out with BP trying to 'fudge' or cover up exactly how many barrels of oil have flowed out of the Deepwater well because of their agreement with the sovereign nation involved (the US). The US has every right to not merely make BP pay for every barrel 'extracted' from its mineral rights reserves, but fine BP for every barrel allowed to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.
And that ain't just chump change.
Lay on top of that physical/ecological damages and loss-of-livelihood lawsuits and BP will have more than just a pond of fiscal goo on its hands.
Oil is a dirty business, unquestionably. But protecting the current corporate structure at the expense of public opinion is probably the most karmic thing BP can ever do. For one, it will erode the public trust. And secondly, it will cause people to see that there really does need to be an alternative to oil.
That's literally driving consumers away - which in the end is not merely the most costly form of PR possible, but BP having crudely undercut the very legs of the platforms their corporation stands on. Literally.