Monday, 23 October 2017

Weinstein and the Anaretic Degree

The film industry was rocked by allegations in the New York Times on 5th October 20171 that producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein had been sexually harassing young women, mostly actresses, for decades. Following the first wave of accusations, on October 8th, he was fired from his own business, The Weinstein Company. He was also subsequently suspended from the British Academy and the American Academy, the organisations responsible for the BAFTA and Oscars awards.

Born with the Sun at 29 degrees Pisces and the North Node at 29 degrees Aquarius / South Node at 29 Leo, he is sensitive to the 29th, anaretic degree. When a planet, natally or by transit, is at that critical degree it’s said to be emphasised, powerful. According to the Café Astrology website2, with a natal planet at 29 degrees, “there can be some real issues with decision-making in that part of the personality represented by the energies of the planet”. It goes on to say that, “it’s also associated with a sense of urgency…it can be a point of poor choices, difficulties, crisis or overcompensation.” So, for Weinstein, with the Sun and Nodes in the anaretic degree, it’s about poor decisions, crisis and overcompensation related to his life mission, purpose and direction. It also perhaps represents the playing out of some intense karma (Nodes) - the release of the need to be ‘king’ of his creative domain (Leo), to be brought back down to the level of the common people (Aquarius).   

By transit, planets at the aneretic degree can bring crisis and on October 8th, when the scandal began to gain traction, transiting Jupiter at 29 degrees Libra triggered his Sun via a partile Quincunx and his Nodes via a partile Trine to the North Node and sextile to the South Node. Transiting Jupiter was also applying to a Trine with his natal Venus at 3 degrees Pisces (Venus in Pisces a fitting symbol for the actresses he’s said to have abused). Appearing before reporters a few days later, Weinstein told them, “we all make mistakes,” (reflecting the issue of poor decision-making associated with the anaretic degree) telling the press that he’d been good to them and asking for a second chance (un-evolved Pisces is prone to inappropriately playing the victim).

The Quincunx is interesting. It’s an awkward aspect between two signs which don’t see eye to eye and often plays out in the context of relationships. Adjustment is required. In this case, the justice and fairness urgently demanded by transiting Jupiter in the last degree of Libra, awkwardly meets his Sun in the last degree of Pisces. The Sun at the very end of the zodiac could mean that poor life choices are made out of a fundamental difference in how he perceives reality, himself and his life purpose, compared to reality as perceived by his multitudinous victims. The Quincunx from transiting Jupiter to his Sun highlights the irreconcilability of these different points of view - he continues to assert that the sexual acts between him and his accusers were consensual. That his Sun is un-aspected (although there may be a Square to the Moon), lends it even more emphasises – he dances to the beat of his own drummer, led by his ego need, perhaps even unaware that his actions were causing so much emotional damage. But he knew he had the power to make or break a young woman’s career and he used it. Natal Mars in Scorpio tightly Squared to Pluto in Leo is a powerful symbol for using sexual predation to satisfy the urge to wield power and control.

Weinstein’s wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced she was leaving him on October 10th, the day Jupiter ingressed into Scorpio3.

On the 11th October, he was more contrite, saying in a statement to celebrity gossip website Page Six, “I apologise to everyone I have hurt by my actions…I realise I need to work on myself and to change. I am in intense therapy and counselling.” Weinstein is now the subject of a number of police investigations in the US and beyond.

We don’t have a birth time for Weinstein, but transiting Pluto in Capricorn is currently Squaring his natal Mercury-Jupiter Conjunction in Aries.  During Pluto’s transit through Capricorn, the historical crimes and transgressions of powerful people and institutions have surfaced and often these have been ‘open secrets’ or rumours that have circulated for years. Egregious behaviours and actions were tolerated or ignored because the victims felt they had no power, or actually had no power. Under Pluto in Capricorn, however, when a shift change occurred in the collective, these transgressions were finally acknowledged, with the sordid details rising to the surface for all to see and judge, precipitating a crisis.

Collective shift changes are of course reflected in Pluto’s long, slow transits through each sign. In Capricorn it’s been about revelations that endemic within the culture of major institutions there exists a rotten boil that needs to be lanced, with not undeserving scapegoats (Capricorn) as the central focus. First it was banking culture (the early scapegoat being Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin, CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group). Next, Plutonian crisis rocked the institution of television, in particular the BBC crisis around the exposure of Jimmy Savile’s prolific child abuse. And now, with these allegations against Harvey Weinstein, it seems that the glamour has fallen away from the movie world, with many saying his actions are just the tip of the iceberg and such behaviour is widespread in the film industry.

There is an Interesting astrological correlation between the timing of the full exposes of Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile's abuses of power through sexual assaults on a huge scale (alleged in the case of Weinstein). The 'open secret' about Savile was finally acknowledged publicly when Saturn was just about to go into Scorpio and with Weinstein it was when Jupiter was just about to go into Scorpio. A few differences - there's been no suggestion that Weinstein abused children and also, unlike Savile, Weinstein is still alive to answer for his crimes. Proving that Jupiter isn't always the planet where you 'get away with it.'

British actress Emma Thompson, when interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight4 show made the connection, asking, “isn’t it the same story as Jimmy Savile?”

Referring to news stories that Weinstein was checking himself into rehab for sex addiction (addiction can be a negative expression of Pisces, a way for this sensitive sign to avoid painful realities), Thompson went on to say,
 “I don’t think you can describe [Weinstein] as a sex addict.  He’s a predator – that’s different. He’s at the top of, as it were, the ladder, of a system of harassment and belittlement and bullying."

Thompson has outspoken Mercury in Aries Sextile Venus and Square Mars and Saturn (speaking up for/fighting for women against male authority figures). She also has Venus in Gemini (again, speaking up for women) Opposite Jupiter, with both Squaring Pluto to form a T-Square, she concluded, "I didn't know about these things, but they don't surprise me at all, and they're endemic to the system anyway…this isn't about one man's crimes against women. This is about our system's imbalances, our system's gender crisis.”

Under Jupiter in Scorpio there is the potential for this scandal to spread far and wide and of course, Scorpio in its worst expression can be about abuses of power of a sexual nature. Indeed, the #metoo campaign on social media has seen women (and men) in extraordinary numbers, from all walks of life, share, for the first time, their own stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

References
3http://people.com/movies/harvey-weinstein-wife-georgina-chapman-separating/

Charts
https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Weinstein,_Harvey
https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Thompson,_Emma


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