By Edith Hathaway (Copyright © 2002, Revised 2010)
(The first of a two-part article published in the Jan. 2002 and Feb. 2002 issues of The Astrological Magazine, Bangalore, India.)
Just a week prior to the terrorist attack on New York City and Washington, D.C. September 11, 2001, a writer in Time magazine offered the following remark (in an article on US Secretary of State Colin Powell): “The United States is at one of its rare moments in history where it can afford to shape the world.” But other voices were echoing far different sentiments about the American ethos: “There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT & T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. The world is a business … and there is not a single law on the books to stop them !” 
These sound correct, except for three anonymous trade experts at the WTO (World Trade Organization) who now serve as their only real judiciary. To add to the increased power of transnational corporations, the Bush administration has in rapid order threatened, rescinded or scorned an ever growing list of treaties or international agreements — most for the stated purpose of maintaining US economic prosperity and dominance above all. Small wonder the twin World Trade Towers were selected to be the major target of terrorist attacks. The Pentagon escaped with much less damage.
Let us first focus our discussion on Jupiter, a planet ruling spiritual matters and religious ideology, a planet of tolerance and forgiveness, whose influence we need more than any other at a time of intense racism and polarization of political and religious ideologies. When Jupiter is with Rahu opposite Ketu and Mars (as on September 11, 2001), it is too torn by the divisiveness of political and religious fanaticism to lend us the proper assistance in these areas. On the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, Jupiter in Gemini is also prone to be too caught up with the latest information, instead of deep abiding truths and values. Furthermore, whenever Jupiter is positioned weakly in an important cyclical chart, we can be sure that other interests will dominate.
Take the case of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. Jupiter is not only debilitated in Capricorn, but is too overwhelmed by the enormous strength of Saturn in Capricorn to manifest on a higher plane. Business-wise, Saturn is at its maximum effectiveness in the sign of Capricorn. Jupiter, in its capacity to maintain ethical and humanitarian standards, has very little power to do so next to Saturn’s insistence on material wealth, security, dominance and rulership. Under a strong influence of Saturn in Capricorn, money tends to dictate what is valuable and why.
Jupiter-Saturn in Capricorn
Let’s take a brief historical overview. Our contemporary global economy is currently over-running the world much as Genghis Khan and his Mongolian Empire overran most of Asia in the late 13th century. Genghis Khan actually lived earlier in the 13th century, but it was he and his descendants who ruled over the largest empire (land-wise) in the history of the world. We call it “globalization.” Back then we do not know what they called it, but this Mongolian Empire gave absolute power to the ruler. The Chief-of-state (the Khan or Khalif) was also head of the army, head of the religion, head of court, and owner of the palace, a large gem collection, and a large harem. The Khan collected exorbitant taxes over his subjects and had tight control over his many principalities. Genghis Khan was considered a great military leader and though his wars were marked by ruthless carnage, he was considered a prophet and worshipped by later generations of Mongols. The Mongol was also known as a Mogul – from which we derive our contemporary concept of a “mogul” as a powerful or important person and a mighty autocrat!
What these two epochs have in common astrologically is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. The conjunction that occurred on February 18, 1961 (at 1:53 Capricorn) was the first to occur in Capricorn in 675 years. (That one occurred on December 31, 1285 at 24:07 Capricorn in the wealth-producing Dhanishta nakshatra.) This is big news astrologically, as the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the earth element, especially in the first pada of Capricorn and Vargottama creates great strength for Saturn and thus, big business. Financial profits and galvanized consumerism triumph over most other matters. There are huge implications for the powers of the elite rich business interests to dominate over those with a fraction of that wealth and power.
What we would expect to suffer in the same period is ethics and humanitarian concerns, since Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn and is quite overwhelmed by Saturn here in terms of Saturn’s capacity to succeed beyond all previous parameters, materially speaking. Note that directionally, Saturn is the only planet that derives strength in the West! Also, when there is an especially powerful conjunction of any kind, it has a tendency to have effect long after the next subsequent conjunctions have occurred.
Looking at the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction chart of February 18, 1961, the most important factor is Jupiter-Saturn Vargottama in Capricorn, garnering enormous strength for Saturn and repeating in the Navamsa along with Mercury-Venus. In addition, Mars in Gemini aspects Jupiter-Saturn in Capricorn, thereby fuelling it in Mars’ sign of exaltation. A waxing Moon closely conjunct exalted Venus in Pisces, both in Revati nakshatra, brings in the wealth connotations of Revati. In the world setting, the early 1960s marked the beginnings of America’s involvement in the Viet Nam war. From the vantage point of trade, this war, in turn, led to the burgeoning international drug-trafficking industry, now unofficially estimated at over $1 trillion annually, and closely linked with a highly lucrative international arms trade —most arms being supplied by the USA. Being able to command military support for one’s trade has made the CIA very active in all these endeavours, starting perhaps with the CIA backing of the United Fruit Company in Guatemala in the mid-1950s. The Guatemalan Government of that time did not initially wish the United Fruit Company to set up business in their country.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction on December 31, 1285 at 24:07 Capricorn, did not have the advantage of being Vargottama, but did occur in the wealth-producing Dhanishta nakshatra. By 1300 A.D., the Mongols had taken over most of Asia and part of Europe. They started to come to power in the early 13th century and were in power until 1395. The Russian principalities were governed as tributaries of the Khan, who confirmed princely succession and extracted exorbitant taxes. Early in the 14th century, Islam was adopted as the official religion of the Empire of the Golden Horde, a Mongol state comprising most of Russia, and initially assigned to the oldest son of Genghis Khan. Islam suited this military culture, much as it appeals to military cultures today. Our attention should be drawn to the long and evidently ruthless domination of the Golden Horde Empire in Russia for another 110 years after the conjunction of 1285. The Mongols were expelled from China in 1382.
Crisis Point in the Cycle: Gold-Dollar Link Severed
The biggest crisis in any Jupiter-Saturn cycle can come at the Jupiter-Saturn opposition, when the smooth workings of the cycle are under intense scrutiny. There were three Jupiter-Saturn oppositions, the first on December 29, 1969 (8:38 Libra-Aries), the second on November 18, 1970 (25:07 Libra-Aries) and the third on October 17, 1971 (12:22 Scorpio-Taurus). These Jupiter-Saturn oppositions following the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn (1961) coincided with the end of the gold-dollar based monetary system. For all practical purposes, the dollar was completely removed from the gold standard in 1970 —when the requirement was dropped that Federal Reserve notes have a backing of at least 25% gold. Then on August 15, 1971, President Nixon announced he was formally severing the gold-dollar link.
By unpegging the dollar, and thus all world currencies from the gold standard, no nation from then on has had control of its own currency, since the currency market has been free-floating and speculative. Nixon was most likely pressured to take an action that would insure his re-election in 1972, putting the emphasis where interest groups were urging him to place it — on domestic economic interests and security over and above international concerns, such as preserving the international monetary regime.
Removing the gold-dollar standard was also essential for the globalization process, which favors lifting sanctions on international currencies and banking practices. Such free-flowing capital benefits transnational corporations in particular and makes money laundering almost impossible to control.
Looking at the chart of Nixon’s announcement of the gold-dollar severance, using a 12 noon chart, since the time is unknown, Libra is rising in Washington D.C. Jupiter, planet of money and prosperity is in the 2nd house of income opposite Moon-Saturn in Taurus. The karaka for income in a house of income is classically not good. However, in a watery sign and a sign of a friend, prosperity can spread in unknown or hidden ways (Scorpio). Nixon’s announcement took place on a Sunday, the planetary day of the Sun. And the Sun, karaka (or significator) for gold, is in Rikta Sandhi at 28:42 Cancer in the 10th house — symbolic of being on its way out, and potentially unpredictable or even treacherous. Venus, a planet of buying and selling, is combust in Cancer in a Parivartana Yoga with the Moon in Taurus in the 8th house.
Mars-Rahu oppose Ketu-Venus-Sun in Cancer indicating the domestic interest groups with the power to influence the President. This is shown even more dramatically through the Nadi Yogas.  The Moon is in Mars-ruled Mrigasira nakshatra, while retrograde Mars is in Moon-ruled Shravana nakshatra. Such an exchange of nakshatra lords is very powerful, especially when both planets are exalted. Mars rules the 2nd house of income and the Moon, the 10th house of status. Moon’s additional exchange by sign with Venus keeps pushing matters of monetary standards into an 8th house setting, where they are less visible, less accountable, and presumably less taxable. The Moon as karaka of the people at large, somehow suffers emotionally — along with experiencing big ups and downs, due to aspects from both Jupiter and Saturn.
Notice that in any Jupiter-Saturn cycle, Saturn’s entrance into Rohini nakshatra has special significance, as Saturn is an a-Lakshmi planet, one that tends to create restraints, now situated in a Lakshmi or prospering shakti. Transit Saturn entered Rohini on July 20, 1971, a few weeks prior to Nixon’s announcement. Saturn’s presence in Rohini signals recessionary trends and in a cycle set for material success as this particular Jupiter-Saturn cycle, attempts to resist a downtrend and to protect the rich. This was a response that was to change business practices in a very far-reaching way. Following Nixon’s August 15th announcement, there was one last Jupiter-Saturn opposition on October 17, 1971 (at 12:22 Scorpio-Taurus), with Saturn still firmly entrenched in Rohini.
Perpetuating the Dream: More Jupiter-Saturn in Earth
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of on February 1961 was followed by another Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in an earth element, in Virgo, in late 1980 and 1981. All three of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in Virgo, occurred in Hasta nakshatra, and being ruled by the Moon, their cycle has brought exponential changes in the lives of the average citizen through the personal computer and other communication technologies such as the cell phone. The high-tech communication industries, especially the computer industry took off, both practically and profitably during this era. And indeed, such giants as Microsoft, although in business and selling its products since November 1975 under the name Microsoft, it did not start trading its own stock on the NewYork Stock exchange until March 13, 1986. This date falls during the waxing square of Jupiter-Saturn, with Jupiter at 11:19 Aquarius and Saturn at 16:00 Scorpio, both planets aspected by Mars at 28:42 Scorpio. The chart of the first trade of Microsoft (March 13, 1986, 9:30 a.m. (EST), NYC) indicates strength with a fixed Ascendant in Rohini and Sun-Jupiter in the 10th house in Aquarius. Of course, with Mars-Saturn in the 7th house in Scorpio, Microsoft would be bound to have its share of enemies. But profits are well indicated by a Dhana Yoga in the 11th house (Mercury and Venus). Ascendant lord Venus is exalted in the 11th house of financial gains.
At the crisis turning point, the Jupiter-Saturn opposition (10:09 Cancer-Capricorn March 16, 1991 and at 13:07 Cancer-Capricorn May 17, 1991), the USA was involved in the Gulf War, starting back in January 1991. Each planet is very strong in this opposition, Jupiter exalted and Saturn Swakshetra (in its own sign). Thus, it would be difficult to totally beat the opposition. And, of course, Saddam Hussein was never truly beaten. Many knowledgeable experts believe him to be still actively involved in a basic network of Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Note that as of fall 2001, we were still dealing with Saddam Hussein. Former President Bush’s son is now in office and with many of the same staff that were involved in Bush Senior’s war team against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, including Vice-President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Copyright © 2001, revised 2010 By Edith Hathaway. All rights reserved.
 Written in1974 by Paddy Chayefsky for the 1976 movie Network, about the takeover of television networks by corporate conglomerates. Quoted again on Sept. 9, 2001 by Maureen Dowd in her New York Times column, calling Chayefsky “eerily prescient.” Dowd rails against the legal unleashing of Microsoft: “signaling media conglomerates that they can conglomerate away, accelerating the centralization of American power into the hands of a very few very rich people.” The story continues with the Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon explosion April 20, 2010. A UK correspondent makes a key comparison in “BP and Union Carbide: A tale of two moralities,” June 28, 2010, by Peter C. Glover: http://troymedia.com/?p=12020
 Vargottama means the planet repeats in the same sign in the Navamsa, or 9th harmonic chart, strengthening it if it is already strong, or weakening it, if it is already weak.
 A Parivartana yoga is a mutual exchange of signs, blending the energies of two planets, for good or for ill, depending on whether they are planetary friends, and can benefit each other. If one of the planets is exalted and a friend to the Ascendant chart, it can also be beneficial.
 Considered in Nadi astrology to be even more powerful than the Parivartana yoga, the Nadi yoga is an exchange of nakshatra lords, though it blends planetary energies in a similar way.