Julian Assange: A Lightning Rod in the New “Information Warfare”

by Edith Hathaway  © 2010, 2012

assange_002WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the press on December 16, 2010, as he arrives at Ellingham Hall in Ellingham, Norfolk, England, after his release on bail from a London prison. (Photo credit: AFP (Agence France-Presse))

Brief bio & Background on the controversy: A “High Tech terrorist” to some, and to others a “Hero of our times,” Julian Assange is a journalist, computer programmer and cryptographer, best known as WikiLeaks Founder and spokesperson. An Internet activist who lectures periodically on Freedom of the press, Censorship, and Investigative reporting, Assange has won a number of Journalism awards as well as citations for excellence in Human rights journalism and for being one of the world’s most influential people (2008-2010). These came from The Economist, The New Statesman, Utne Reader, and Amnesty International, among others, including Time magazine, and its Readers’ Choice for Time magazine’s 2010 Person of the Year. On Dec. 26, 2010 he signed book publishing contracts worth $1.5 million, which he says he will use to fight his current legal battles and to continue funding WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks is sometimes referred to as “a media insurgency” and “a populist intelligence operation.” It has released 100s of thousands of documents and videos from powerful organizations and nations around the world, sent by anonymous sources. WikiLeaks encrypts its own documents and decodes military documents and videos, using the highest standards of military encryption codes. In an invitation to potential collaborators in 2006, Assange wrote: “Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations.”

Assange has both powerful supporters and powerful enemies, and this is further described in my upcoming astrological analysis. Assange’s supporters are those who champion Freedom of speech and Freedom of the press. The “professional media” – Assange’s own term for those he chose for his media partners are: The New York Times, The Guardian (UK), Der Spiegel (Germany), Le Monde (France), and El Pais (Spain). (By mid-December, 2010 Norway’s largest daily newspaper, Aftenposten, also somehow gained possession of 250,000 documents from WikiLeaks.) Assange claims he has received death threats from members of the American military, and some American politicians have also publicly called for his assassination. His foes are the Power Elite among nations and corporations whose policies, profits, and power positions are made more vulnerable through documents released by WikiLeaks and its media partners, whose status as influential corporate media represents a choice both ironic and astute, as it will be much more difficult for the U.S. to prosecute all of these organizations.

Due to increasingly “embedded” relations between governments, corporations, banks, and the journalists subservient to all of them, most mainstream corporate media derives its power from its access to political leaders and acquiescence to political/corporate agendas, with only the pretense of objectivity. Aside from media partners who have some obligation to WikiLeaks, others will focus more of this story on the messenger and his alleged crimes, not on the content of the leaks. Those will be marginalized and/or discredited in various ways, but easier still to discredit Assange and his organization. The venom against him from much of the American media, especially television, is surreal when compared to the reverence accorded author Bob Woodward, who has written many best-seller books also revealing classified information about the American government. However, the massive trove of documents Wikileaks possesses is unprecedented.

Information warfare:  Assange considers Leaks as an instrument of “information warfare,” and his philosophy is that governments, corporations and all institutions responsible to the public welfare should not be keeping so many secrets from the people they serve, especially regarding the waging and prolonging of wars. WikiLeaks also believes its work would be unnecessary if journalists were doing a proper job as the Fourth Estate. Although Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said no one has been harmed by WikiLeaks, (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was much more on the offensive), both Assange and WikiLeaks are being criminalized for what it has revealed.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Reuters tried unsuccessfully for three years to obtain video footage given anonymously to WikiLeaks in 2010.[2]

On Nov. 18, 2010, shortly after he announced that WikiLeaks would release material on some big banks, including Bank of America, an International Arrest Warrant was issued from Sweden. By early December 2010 Bank of America, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal all stopped directing payments to WikiLeaks. Even with so many channels blocked, other moneys came in, and global support for Assange was present, alongside his harsh critics. Assange was released on $317,000 bail on Dec. 16, 2010, after 10 days in solitary confinement in Wandsworth Prison in London. Though as yet not charged with any crime, he remains under House Arrest until at least Jan. 11, 2010, the next scheduled Court date, and faces a likely extradition battle, either to Sweden – to be questioned in person regarding charges of “sexual misconduct” there during consensual sex in mid-August 2010 (charges he denies), or as expected, to the U.S., to face much heavier charges regarding documents WikiLeaks made public. The Swedish rape case against him was quickly dismissed on Aug. 21, 2010, but re-opened on Sept. 1, 2010 by Claes Borgström, a controversial Swedish lawyer and political figure, who claims all men carry “a collective guilt” for violence against women, and supports a local “Tax on Men,” in this context. He has worked to extend the legal definition of rape in Sweden. (Borgström was born July 21, 1944, Stockholm, Sweden. Source: Wikipedia.) Although extradition cannot be conducted legally for political reasons, it could be done for allegations of sexual misconduct.

See Glenn Greenwald’s article: What WikiLeaks revealed to the World in 2010 (Dec.24, 2010 at Salon.com). See also Julian Assange’s first interview since his release from prison with Guest host Cenk Uygur on the Dylan Ratigan Show, (MSNBC, Dec. 23, 2010). Assange responds to critics of WikiLeaks. See more non-corporate media coverage of WikiLeaks’ content on a daily basis at, among others: www. DemocracyNow! , www.HuffingtonPost.com , and www.MichaelMoore.com . See his Open Mike blog, Meanwhile, here are links to the above articles:


http://worldbusinessnews.net/msnbc/6504-julian-assange-appears-on-msnbc-s-dylan-ratigan-show.htmljulian-assange_birth-chartBirth information: Assange’s birth information was released by Interpol as: July 3, 1971, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. The birth time is still disputed, and considered Class C Data in the Lois Rodden rating system. On Dec. 5, 2010, editors at The Mountain Astrologer received an unsolicited birth time for Julian Assange from a source in Queensland, Australia who requested anonymity. TMA editors said “the source personally viewed, but was not able to make a copy of Mr. Assange’s birth certificate.” The source later clarified to TMA editors that “the birth record is from the registry which has appended to it a copy of the birth certificate, but the hour was not on the certificate but on the record in the registry files.” Since the ink on the certificate was somewhat smeared, some question remains as to whether the birth time is 2:05 pm, 2:06 pm. or 2:08 pm on July 3, 1971, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

[Update:  On Sept. 22, 2011 Canongate Books published Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography.  His request to extend the deadline to the end of 2011 was rejected by the publisher, as was his request to cancel publication of the book, which he called “an unfinished and erroneous draft.” (The Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2011)  He sat for more than 50 hours of interviews with ghostwriter Andrew O’Hagan, and received $1.3 million advance payment, which went immediately towards legal expenses.  On his birth time, Assange says in the book (p. 32): “Back in Townsville on 3 July 1971, my mother was taken to the Base Hospital, and I was born around three in the afternoon. She says I was round, dark-haired, loud, with the look of an Eskimo.”  Astrologers should regard this as Class B data, based on a Biography, and not as accurate as a birth record, which is Class A data. However, Assange’s statement gives greater validity to the time frame of the birth record from the registry, as conveyed to TMA editors in Dec. 2010.]

The case for a Libra Ascendant: In my opinion, even if still ranked questionable Class C Data, there is a very good case for the 2:05 PM birth time, giving Julian Assange a Vedic Libra Ascendant (sidereal zodiac/Lahiri Ayanamsha). In Vedic astrology, the sign on the Ascendant is extremely important, and is the key to the whole chart, and indeed the whole life and destiny. This birth chart has 23:42 Libra Ascendant. Ketu (South Lunar Node) is at 22:47 Cancer close to 10th house cusp, which can mean bringing hidden or stolen information to public attention.

Libra Ascendant is very urban and keeps him moving around. He moved 37 times by age 14, in part due to his parents’ theater tours, and later due to his mother, half-brother and himself hiding from his second stepfather. Libra has a vision of harmony or a way of harmonious living. Venus and Libra rule over love and contractual relationships such as marriage. But Venus is also one’s desire nature, and may tear down everything in its way in order to achieve the goal. This Venus is has excellent house placement in the 9th house in Gemini, with its sign lord Mercury also strong in the 10th house of status. Venus resides in Mrigashira nakshatra, and is heavily influenced by its nakshatra lord Mars, which is exalted to the maximum degree, and very powerful. (More on that later.) The myths of this nakshatra involve chasing and being chased. Mrigashira is the deer’s head, and is very much about the search for fulfillment of one’s desires, the house placement further defining the object of the life quest. We know it will be strong, from the strength of Mars. Although Gemini is considered a sexual sign in Vedic astrology, its rulership of the 9th house has a defining role. This puts the desire nature in a broader context, in search of a more complete whole in universal terms. Though by no means precluding sexual desires, when Venus is the Ascendant lord and is situated in Mrigashira in the 9th house, the focus of the life quest is ultimately on larger themes. (With natal Moon in the Ascendant, women seek him out, and there is no problem of their availability, if wanted.)

As a Vedic astrologer, I don’t see Assange as hiding – in the sense of Scorpio (the Western tropical Ascendant for this birth time). I see him as someone who is dedicated to the spread of information, and adamant about doing it. He is comfortable in the public eye for doing it, though obviously persecution and prosecution was not what he sought, but he knew they were always possibilities. For this reason, he has needed to be cautious about his visibility in hostile territory. For someone who has travelled so much, and moved so constantly, a fixed Ascendant is not as appropriate as one of the dual signs (Western mutable) or Chara (Western cardinal). Whole sign houses are the general rule in Vedic charts.

The Navamsa (9th harmonic chart): The Navamsa is read closely alongside the birth chart, and gives further confirmation of the birth chart, along with indicating future developments. The Navamsa  Ascendant is Taurus, also ruled by Venus, with Navamsa Venus placed in Libra in the 6th house of conflict and sacrifice in love matters. Since it rules that house, however, it is also protected there. (Called a Viparita Raja yoga, this occurs when the lord of House 6, 8, or 12 is in its own house or another one of these Dusthana houses, the most difficult houses of all.)

Navamsa Moon is in Aquarius in the 10th house of status and visibility, aspected by Jupiter, a combination for being known in the public realm, and gaining attention in the public. But for Taurus or Libra Ascendant Jupiter is a planetary enemy, so though it gives optimism when aspecting the Moon, as 8th lord it creates losses and separations. Even so, all these Navamsa positions should provide ultimate protection, even if there are conflicts and legal battles. The Navamsa 4th house of home, family, and education is hemmed in by malefic Rahu and Mars (a Papakartari yoga), echoing the birth chart themes, with Mars-Rahu in the 4th house. This 4th house shows a tendency for the person to have to work harder to extricate oneself from the original circumstances in life, educationally and otherwise. Assange worked very hard to educate himself over the years, with very little formal education.

Strong influence of the mother: The birth chart puts natal Moon on the Libra Ascendant. Moon is the public in general, women, but also mother. Julian’s mother Christine has always been a pivotal influence on him, and he closely shares some of her qualities. She insisted that he not be educated in a conventional, conformist way. At age 17, she burned all her school books and left home on a motorcycle. Julian was the first of two sons, with different fathers and different partners along the way. Material wealth and status was not the aim, but rather living an authentic and creative life, not overly swayed by outside authoritarian forces.   Moon in the Ascendant brings some fluctuations to his personality and personal appearance, although his biography indicates he has never wavered in his philosophical search for truth and justice, for which he also used his technological skills. In a statement from a London jail Dec. 14, 2010, relayed through his mother, Assange said: “My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have always expressed. These circumstances shall not shake them. If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.” His mother made her first-ever trip overseas to support him during his bail hearings in London.

[Update: During summer 2012, his mother is in Ecuador to plead for her son’s asylum request, especially after Swedish officials refused offers to question him in London, and demand he be extradited to Sweden for questioning in the sexual misconduct case for which he has not been charged.]

The material fortunes of Julian Assange have certainly fluctuated, though his chart shows real capacity to bring in significant financial resources. This is due to the Dhana yogas of wealth, with 1st and 11th house lords in the 9th house of Bhagya (good fortune), reading from both Moon and Ascendant. Connections to the 11th house show finances that come in through outside support, such as friends and networks of friends and supporters. On Dec. 16, 2010, for example, $317,000 USD in bail money was supplied on his behalf to the London court. On Dec. 26, 2010, he negotiated book publishing contracts worth $1.5 million. Transiting Venus was within one degree to his Ascendant on this day, and in any case natal Ascendant lord Venus is well situated in the 9th house of publishing. Though he did not seek these projects, they do trigger the Dhana yoga of wealth, which comes at a much needed time of heavy expenses.

Julian’s Moon is in Swati nakshatra, ruled by Vayu, God of the Wind. It is known for its independence and for the spreading of information. Assange is highly intelligent and well-spoken, and these were traits his parents say he had from an early age, along with a passion to speak out about the injustices of the world around him. Libra Ascendant also gives him a Saraswati yoga, a planetary combination bestowing a high level of knowledge and learning, and this can bring fame. The person is often “versed in sacred scriptures and higher mathematics.” Among other factors, his exceptional abilities as a computer programmer and cryptographer would attest to that. For this yoga, the three classic benefics Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury must be in trinal or Kendra (angular) houses or in the 2nd house. Venus is in the 9th house, Mercury in the 10th house, and Jupiter in the 2nd house. To qualify, Jupiter must be in its own sign, its sign of exaltation or the sign of a friend (Sun, Moon, or Mars). Natal Jupiter is in the sign of Scorpio, owned by Mars.

Jupiter in the 2nd house in Scorpio has a lot to say, and in a water sign is also the most expansive. As lord of the 2nd house of speech, Mars is exalted to its maximum degree, giving maximum power to what he has to say. Jupiter also closely aspects Mercury, planet of speech. As a classic benefic, Jupiter brings gifts to the speech and intelligence, but as Lord of the 6th house of conflict, it bestows controversy to the content of what he says.

Powerful enemies:   His Mars belongs in an angular house, in my opinion, and precisely because Mars is exalted, and in an angular house, it becomes a Maha Purusha Ruchaka yoga, giving Mars additional power in the chart, including for his technical abilities, with Mars opposite Mercury, even if widely. Mars also rules the 7th house, representing the professional or marital partner (or enemy) who could cause him trouble. Mars at 28 degrees Capricorn is at its maximum exaltation, giving Assange a lot of personal physical strength and stamina, but also amplifying the power of his allies AND his enemies! The contact of Mars with Rahu magnifies his strength, but adds potential trouble and the element of danger, lending a more unpredictable component. He experienced this as a teenage computer hacker, and again all through the 1990s, but especially 1995-1999, when during a custody battle with his wife, he also fought the state and its bureaucracy over his own son. (His mother assisted him, and she fought a similar custody battle for over five years.) There is danger at home and from mates, another shared periodic theme. Since WikiLeaks was formed in 2006, it too courts danger by the power of the information it reveals.

Home life destabilized: Mars-Rahu in the 4th house of family foundation and higher education is fitting for Assange, as his home life was destabilized from the start, his education was disrupted constantly, and moving was ongoing. His more unconventional education may have cultivated the part of him that became a voracious reader, with a more independent-minded way of looking at the world. He was sometimes home-schooled, often self-taught, and went to many libraries. He developed a ferocious appetite for hard work, with the capacity to go with little food or sleep for days on end, if necessary. Mars in the 4th house brings a restless mind, and this can add to a level of discontent as well as creativity. (Microsoft CEO Bill Gates shares this Mars house position, from Gemini Ascendant.) Rahu is the foreigner or that which is exotic. Mars-Rahu can also be incendiary, and indeed the family home on Magnetic Island, Australia was burned down at some point during his Rahu Dasa, which spanned 8 ½ years from his birth to late Nov. 1979.

Julian’s first stepfather was Brett Assange, whom his mother married soon after his first birthday. As a parent, he provided a more emotionally secure situation up to 1979, when Christine hooked up with a musician, her next partner, and later separated from her husband. The Rahu-Mars Dasa would be the most disruptive for Julian, and using the 2:05 PM birth time, this occurred from Nov. 5, 1978 through Nov. 25, 1979, coinciding with when Christine split from Brett Assange and started up with a much more unstable man with whom she had another son. After three years, this situation deteriorated even more, and Christine, Julian, and his half-brother were on the run to escape the legal clutches of this man, reportedly an abusive and mentally troubled person. This was for five years: from 1982 through 1987, in Jupiter-Saturn, Jupiter-Mercury, and Jupiter-Ketu Dasas, or planetary periods, using the Vimshottari Dasa system – the most important one in the Vedic system.

More favorable period: From age 16, starting from Oct. 6, 1987 thru June 6, 1990, in Jupiter-Venus Dasa, Julian entered the first more favorable period within the 16-year Jupiter Dasa. This is because Venus is his Ascendant lord and is so well located in the chart, as the 9th house is considered an excellent house in Vedic astrology. This also coincides with when his mother saved up to purchase his first computer and modem (1987), further opening up the technological world for him. Prior to this he used computers in a neighboring electronic shop. During this period he also soon moved in with his 16-year old girlfriend, whom he married when he was 18, and they had a son (Daniel), possibly born Jan. 26, 1990.

He would experience losses and separation with children due to 5th lord Saturn in the 8th house of loss. He had a custody dispute with his young wife that was not resolved until 1999, but was so bitter and complex that it resulted in Julian and his mother forming the group Parent Inquiry into Child Protection, a central databank for legal records in child custody cases. Natal Jupiter and Venus are in 6-8 house relationship (shashtashtaka) in the birth chart, considered problematic. His marriage lasted a short time, and there were other legal troubles from his early teenage years as a computer hacker. He was fined, but never accused of destroying property, as he did not damage the programs he “hacked into,” and the presiding judge considered his motives benign. This can be confirmed by his 9th house placements. .

Passion for justice: Some astrologers have suggested Assange should have a more religious chart than the one shown by the 2:05 PM birth time. But Assange has shown himself to be more broadly ecumenical and philosophical in his approach rather than evoking any particular religion. The 9th house and sign deal with religion, but also philosophy, and ideals on a broader plane – especially internationally, depending on how well the person is educated. Intense religious orientation often goes hand in hand with intense nationalism (both Sagittarius), and Assange sees national politicians and realities as mostly interchangeable. He just wants to hold them accountable. When WikiLeaks was founded in 2006, its editorial policy was established to accept only documents “of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical interest,” and to exclude material already available to the public.

Ascendant lord Venus is in the 9th house, and Sun is there as well. The 9th lord Mercury is placed in the 10th house, creating a Raja yoga of power and status, only made more quirky or exotic by Ketu also in the 10th house. His passion for social justice was noted by his parents from childhood, and has been a hallmark of his life to date. When the 9th lord is strong, and Jupiter aspects key planets from a place of strength, the passion for justice can be strong. In addition, the Libra Ascendant wants to see the fulfillment of its vision of harmony. By shining a light on corruption, he sees a route to that end.

“He had come to understand the defining human struggle not as left versus right, or faith versus reason, but as individual versus institution. As a student of Kafka, Koestler, and Solzhenitsyn, he believed that truth, creativity, love, and compassion are corrupted by institutional hierarchies, and by ‘patronage networks’—one of his favorite expressions—that contort the human spirit.” [3]

Jupiter opposite Saturn:   This combination often creates an entrepreneur, as in the macrocosm it seeks to find solutions to big problems. Another famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, has the Jupiter-Saturn opposition (Jupiter in Gemini, Saturn in Sagittarius). Ellsberg was born April 7, 1931 in Detroit, Michigan, no birth time known. He leaked 7000 pages of The Pentagon Papers, which led to their being published June 18, 1971 by The Washington Post, in spite of the ongoing legal case being deliberated at the U.S. Supreme Court , the case of New York Times Co. v. the United States. It was argued June 26, 1971, and decided June 30, 1971 in favor of NY Times Co. – just a few days prior to the birth of Julian Assange. Ellsberg compares the current situation to his era, when he risked his own safety as a whistleblower.  At that time all the media was warned not to print the Pentagon Papers, but 19 newspapers did print them. Ellsberg says he “has been waiting for 40 years” for something like WikiLeaks.

A person with natal Jupiter opposite Saturn has an important resonance with a transiting Jupiter-Saturn opposition. This latest one was exact on August 10, 2010, and Assange arrived in Sweden Aug. 11, 2010. He was the key speaker at a Stockholm seminar on “War and the role of media” on Aug. 14, 2010. On Aug. 18, 2010 he applied for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden, which was denied Oct. 18, 2010, though no reason given. He had sexual encounters, both consensual, with two successive women who became his accusers. These occurred on Aug. 13, 2010 (with his host in Stockholm) and Aug. 16-17, 2010 (with another seminar attendee). On Aug. 13th, transiting Saturn, Moon, Venus, and Mars were all in Virgo in his 12th house of pleasures of the bed, and of foreign residence! Both of the women attended his Aug. 14th seminar, and one of them hosted him at her apartment and threw him a party prior to the seminar, and after their sexual liaison. On Aug. 20, 2010 the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office issued on arrest warrant concerning his sexual conduct with these two women. The rape investigation was withdrawn on Aug. 21, but reopened by another Swedish judge on Sept. 1, 2010. Assange has denied the allegations, calling them “dirty tricks” and part of “a smear campaign.” One of his accusers is believed to have withdrawn from the case.

Bad transits for love matters, etc. In general, his Saturn-Rahu Dasa (July 7, 2009 through May 13, 2012) might be troublesome, due to his Mars-Rahu combination, especially through June 6, 2011, when combined with Rahu transiting through Sagittarius, opposite where his Venus and Sun reside. (Rahu-Ketu are in Sagittarius-Gemini Nov. 17, 2009 through June 6, 2011, using the Mean Node.) The transits between Aug. 14 and 20, 2010 were not auspicious for Assange. From Aug. 14-16, 2010, tr. Sun was at the top of his chart (the 10th house – and the most visible), but in the last 3 degrees 20 minutes of Cancer this is considered treacherous in Vedic astrology. In addition, by Aug. 18th, when he applied for a Swedish residence permit, tr. Venus and Mars were in a Graha Yuddha (Planetary war) in Virgo. This occurs when planets are within one degree, and one planet wins the war, to the detriment of the other. Mars loses this war, and in the sign of its enemy Virgo. Meanwhile, though Venus wins, she is in the sign of her debilitation. This Planetary war lasted 6 days: Aug. 18-24, 2010 – the exact period which saw his two successive lovers consult with each other, lose patience with him for being unreachable by cell phone (they wanted him tested for HIV, etc.), and report to the police. The sign lord of Virgo is Mercury, already slowing to a near halt, and preparing to turn Retrograde on Aug. 21, 2010 (the day after his rape conviction was reversed for the first time). Mercury turned retrograde at 25: 02 Leo (on the cusp of his 11th house of friends), and remained in retrograde for three weeks. This occurred in Purva Phalguni nakshatra, a constellation whose symbol is the conjugal bed. It in turn is ruled by Venus, a planet already disturbed by being in the Planetary war and in its sign of debilitation.

Tr. Venus entered Libra on Sept. 1, 2010, the day that the Swedish rape case against Assange was re-opened by politician/lawyer Claes Borgström. This was not an auspicious transit, as Venus would turn Stationary Retrograde on Oct. 8, 2010 tr. (at 19:14 Libra), through Nov. 18, 2010, when it turned Stationary Direct (at 3:40 Libra). On Nov. 18, 2010 an International Arrest Warrant for Assange was issued from Sweden. With his Ascendant lord Retrograde or Stationary, even in its own sign, his love life and professional life suddenly took a turn for the worse. This was also in the 6th house from his Dasa lord Saturn. For Venus, the 6th house placement can bring sacrifice and conflict, as shown in his Navamsa chart. But since Venus is his Ascendant lord, I would predict he is not convicted in Sweden, though the debacle causes him a lot of trouble, especially since Swedish tabloids started to spread this news from Aug. 22, 2010, just when he was already a target for recent WikiLeaks revelations.

Increase of power in the world: The 2:05 PM birth time gives Assange Rahu Dasa from birth up to Nov. 24, 1979 (age 8 ½), then Jupiter Dasa for 16 years up to Nov. 24, 1995. His power in the world would increase in the 19-year long Saturn Dasa, which began Nov. 24, 1995. This is because Saturn is a great friend and Yogakaraka to Libra Ascendant, whereas Jupiter is a planetary enemy to Ascendant lord Venus, and prior to that, in Rahu Dasa, he would have to deal with the raw unpredictability of the Mars-Rahu contact.  Biographical information indicates that from 1995 onwards he started coming into his own in the world. He is listed as a researcher on a book published in 1997: Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier.

The pressures of Saturn: Though Saturn is an excellent planet for Libra Ascendant, its close contact to the Ascendant and/or Ascendant lord can bring many extra responsibilities and the stress that implies. In 1999 Assange suddenly turned white-haired due to stress, providing another compelling validation for the Vedic/sidereal Libra Ascendant. His 10-year custody battle over his son Daniel concluded in 1999. For this type of event, we look for Saturn aspects or contacts to the Ascendant, Ascendant lord, and/or the natal Sun. (Classical Vedic aspects for Saturn are Houses 3, 7, and 10 from itself, in clockwise motion. Planets posited in the same sign are contacts considered a conjunction, not an aspect.) Tr. Saturn in Aries aspects Libra Ascendant as well as his Moon in Libra, and both Venus and Sun in Gemini, hitting all the bases. Saturn transited through sidereal Aries June 18, 1998 through June 6, 2000, putting relentless pressure on all these points in the chart – even if Saturn is Yogakaraka for Libra Ascendant, bringing favorable results in the end. Seven years later, with tr. Saturn in his 10th house of maximum visibility, his life took a new turn, with a second child, a daughter, and the start of WikiLeaks.   Tr. Saturn in the 10th can be excellent for career status and advancement.

The domain name for WikiLeaks was registered Oct. 4, 2006, and the first publishing began Dec. 2006. In Oct. 2006 he was in Saturn-Sun Dasa (up to Oct. 28, 2006). Saturn-Sun combinations tend to put one in confrontation with authority figures and/or organizations. Therefore, this is appropriate especially due to Saturn-Sun in Pisces in the 11th house of the Navamsa chart. Jupiter in Leo is in a Parivartana yoga (mutual exchange) with Sun in Pisces.

Predictions: Despite the threat of extradition to the U.S. or Sweden, and looming threats of prosecution in the U.S., there should be gradual easing of pressures on Assange. He is currently in Saturn-Rahu Dasa (July 7, 2009 through May 13, 2012), which gives problems and potential entanglements for him throughout due to his natal Mars-Rahu contact, exacerbated by the current transit of Mars-Rahu in the same sign (Nov. 30, 2010 through Jan. 8, 2011). Here are dates when he should see some improvement in his current situation of legal entanglements and pressures. They should start to subside when: 1) transiting Mars exits the eclipse axis and enters Capricorn on Jan. 8, 2011, and 2) even more so after June 6, 2011, when tr. Rahu-Ketu leave the Sagittarius-Gemini axis; and 3) with the arrival of his Saturn-Jupiter Dasa, the last sub-period in Saturn Dasa, from May 13, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2014.

On Dec. 13, 2010 I predicted (at The Mountain Astrologer blog) that Assange would not remain in prison for long. This is due to his well-placed Ascendant lord and Sun, even with the Jan. 4, 2011 eclipse within two degrees to his Sun. But his name, status, and reputation are under attack, with Mercury and Ketu in the 10th house. He is strong physically, with maximum exalted Mars, but this same planet (as lord of the 7th house) gives a huge amount of power to his partners and/or enemies, an ongoing danger I have noted. With tr. Sun in late Scorpio Dec. 14, 2010 (considered a very treacherous area of the zodiac in Vedic terms), this creates a Papakartari yoga to the Libra Ascendant. This is a planetary combination creating restriction to the house involved, when there is a classical malefic planet on either side of the Libra Ascendant in this case, in House 12 (tr. Saturn in Virgo) and House 2 (tr. Sun in Scorpio). This lifted after two days, fortunately for Assange, and proving my prediction correct. Though he was granted bail on Dec. 14, he was held in custody for another two days. Even the bail restrictions are severe – though far better than solitary confinement.

If the U.S. does proceed with its prosecution of Assange, it should not be able to deter the operations of WikiLeaks, nor make a lot of headway with its expected charge of “conspiracy.” Investigative journalists use source documents all the time, and most of WikiLeaks’ documents are at a low-level of “classified” category – one already available to 100s of thousands of government employees. Again, I refer back to the protection afforded Assange’s Ascendant lord Venus in the 9th house. It is unafflicted other than maximum exalted Mars as the lord of Mrigashira nakshatra, which both adds to his powers in the world and to his magnetizing powerful enemies AND partners. But Venus is protected in the Navamsa, and there is a much better sub-dasa from May 13, 2012, with a stronger still 17-year Mercury Dasa starting from Nov. 24, 2014. From all the evidence so far, this natal Mercury delivers well, even if in the midst of controversy.

[Update:  After 18 months of several unsuccessful appeals against extradition from the UK to Sweden, on June 19, 2012 Julian Assange formally applied for political asylum in Ecuador, meanwhile seeking refuge inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London while the decision is being made, still pending as of early August 2012.  His relocation chart for Quito, Ecuador is favorable, with Venus very close to the 4th house cusp, considered Digbala, or strongest angular position from the vantage point of Vedic astrology.  With Libra Ascendant, Venus as Ascendant lord is a strong benefic. Washington, D.C. gives the same relocated Venus position, but with more turbulent latitude crossing lines. He is currently in a better sub-dasa – his Saturn-Jupiter period from May 13, 2012 through to the start of his Mercury Dasa Nov. 24, 2014. Echoing the strength of his close natal Jupiter-Saturn opposition, this is a fight that may not be resolved until nearer to the end of his Saturn Dasa in Nov. 2014.]

 Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Edith Hathaway. All rights reserved.  

[1] This article originated from two posts sent by the author Dec. 13 & 14, 2010 to The Mountain Astrologer blog on Assange. See: http://mountainastrologer.com/tma/birth-time-for-julian-assange. The full version of this article has also been published in Vol. 9 of the Saptarishis Astrology magazine: www.Saptarishisastrology.com .

[2] This controversial video is considered to reveal U.S. war crimes in Iraq. First released Apr. 4, 2010, and called “Collateral Murder” by WikiLeaks, it shows airstrikes on July 12, 2007 by two U.S. Army Apache helicopters in New Baghdad, Iraq. There were at least 18 people killed, including one Reuters journalist and one of their cameramen. As British journalist and filmmaker John Pilger says: “More journalists have been killed in Iraq, mostly Iraqi journalists, than in any other war in the modern era. There is a war on this kind of truth telling.” (from his Interview on Democracy Now! June 29, 2010, entitled There is a War on Journalism.)

[3] Raffi Khatchadourian, “No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency,” The New Yorker, June 7, 2010.