South Korea’s beleaguered President
South Korea’s leader, Park Geun-hye is engulfed in a scandal that threatens her presidency. She is accused of allowing a close friend, Choi Soon-sil, to view secret documents, which Soon-sil subsequently used for personal gain. Adding to the extent of the scandal are rumours that the president permitted shamanistic rites to be practised in the presidential Blue House.
Why should we not be surprised at such a scandal erupting at this time? Geun-hye’s Saturn-Neptune conjunction is currently “under fire” from Pluto and Uranus as is South Korea/s Mars-Neptune conjunction.
PARK GEUN-HYE’S HISTORY IS COMPELLING. She was born on the 2nd February, 1952, the daughter of President Park Chung-hee who ruled South Korea for eighteen years. In 1974, aged twenty-two and studying in France, her mother was killed by a North Korean sympathizer attempting to assassinate her father. Five years later her father was assassinated. A combination of her tragic plight and her gentle, reserved nature drew her to the people’s heart and paved the way for her presidency almost forty years later.
After her father’s assassination in 1979, his close friend Choi Tae-min, took Geun-hye under his wing. And he remained her mentor until his death in 1994. This one-time Bhuddist monk and Catholic convert had formed his own cult, the Church of Eternal Life, which, by all accounts, draws deeply on occult and shamanistic practices.
To describe Tae-min as a mentor is a compliment; in truth he was more the manipulator, and he had exerted a similarly Rasputin-like influence over her father. A leaked diplomatic document from 2007 suggested he had complete control over Geun-hye – “body and soul”; so corrosive was his influence that her siblings petitioned the then president to “save” their sister.
After Tae-min’s death his daughter, the recently disgraced Soon-sil, slipped into his shoes, bringing her own advisers – apparently including a music video director and a male prostitute – into Geun-hye’s inner circle. And the rest, as they say, is history.
IT SEEMS, WHETHER THROUGH INSIGHT or with the encouragement of the Choi family, that Geun-hye was aware of her ineluctable destiny. In her 1990 diary, she wrote that her life was “destined to be rough”.
Geun-hye is popular among the older generation who have respect for her heritage, but with unemployment levels high for the younger generation, she lacks their support. Her approval ratings were a mere 30% before the recent scandal impelled them to 5%.
Criticism of her presidency ranges from a failure to live up to her pre-election promises to a reserved style of leadership that borders on the remote – only one press conference a year, and little personal contact with her cabinet.
WE DO NOT HAVE A TIME OF BIRTH FOR Geun-hye so we should make do with a sunrise chart. However, given what we know of her nature and life experience I believe there is a strong case to be made for a morning birth. I have set a speculative chart for 08:50, which yields Pisces rising, and places her Aquarian Sun in the twelfth house. The angles of the chart resonate with the horoscope for South Korea and those life-defining events of her parents’ assassinations and the current political crisis.
IT IS CURIOUS HOW MANY LEADERS have twelfth house planets. Surely twelfth-house people are meant to shun the limelight and remain behind-the scenes? However, it makes a certain sense when you consider that politicians must be able to slither and slide around inconvenient truths and hide their feelings behind a public mask.
Gordon Brown and Hillary Clinton are both perfect examples of this talent to misrepresent; they are at best “misunderstood” people who have become victims of their inability to clearly and openly present themselves. They are enigmas. But at worst, they are devious and deluded.
Not only may Geun-hye have her Sun in the twelfth house and Pisces rising but Mercury, her vehicle of communication, is squaring Neptune.
Pisces, Neptune and the twelfth house have a strong association with sacrifice and suffering. And Geun-hye’s life has been suffused with loss. Aside from losing both her parents at a young age, she appears to have sacrificed her personal happiness for her country. At sixty-four years old, she remains unmarried.
She has said she is “married” to the nation, which resonates with a Pisces-Neptune-twelfth house theme. When nuns take the veil and priests make their vows of celibacy they are similarly devoting their lives to a greater cause and giving up their personal freedoms. Interestingly, Geun-hye appears also to have allowed herself to be sucked into a cult, or at least to become heavily influenced by people whose motives are distinctly questionable. How twelfth house is that?
With a Grand Cross in fixed signs – a Venus-Uranus opposition squared by a Saturn-Jupiter opposition – marriage for Geun-hye is unlikely to be a bed of roses, and maybe sub-consciously she has kept the institution at bay for that very reason. However, I believe she is a fiercely ambitious woman for whom love and family life would have been an inconvenience.
Park may be small in physical stature but she is a Goliath in political terms. She is, after all, South Korea’s first female president and the eleventh most powerful woman in the world. An achievement underpinned by her Sun-Pluto opposition, which together with her Jupiter Saturn opposition, create the axes of a configuration known as the “Mystic Rectangle”. Despite its name such a configuration does not bestow magical powers, but it does allow an individual to maximise the qualities of the planets involved.
To have two major configurations could be said to be a powerful karmic legacy but three… The third configuration is a Kite made up of a Grand Trine (Mars trine Uranus trine the Ascendant, with the Moon in opposition to Mars sextiling the Ascendant and Uranus). All right, we cannot be sure of this time of birth so we may not be able to include the Kite, but, hey presto, there’s another Grand Trine – Venus trine the Moon trine the South node.
GEUN-HYE WAS BORN AT A TIME OF GREAT global change: post World War II saw the dissolution of the borders of many nations and the establishment of new ones. Korea was no exception. Of which more shortly.
In 1952 the Korean War was raging – a war which killed over three million people. Thus, like all individuals born under a Saturn-Neptune aspect Park carries the sense of loss and suffering and repression of that period within her psyche; she may have no conscious memory of the events of the time but they are nonetheless imprinted on her consciousness.
And like all individuals with a hard Saturn-Neptune aspect, the cycles of these planets play an important part in her life story.
In October 1979 on the assassination of her father, Saturn and Neptune were in-square, and if my suggested time of birth is correct Neptune would have been on Park’s Mid-heaven and Saturn on her Descendant. Some six weeks prior to the assassination a total lunar eclipse had fallen on her Ascendant-Descendant axis, squaring her Mid-heaven.
In August 1974, when Park’s mother was killed, transiting Neptune was squaring her Ascendant-Descendant axis; a matter of weeks earlier a lunar eclipse had flanked her MC/IC axis and on the day itself Mars was close to her Ascendant, opposing Jupiter and squaring Neptune. There were other crucial transits, not least Pluto squaring her Venus, and Saturn opposing Venus and conjunct Uranus.
Both these tragedies shaped Park’s future, and both involved strong Saturn-Neptune influences. Now, as Neptune is once again in-square to Saturn, she faces another life crisis, one that may well end her political career.
NOT SURPRISINGLY SOUTH KOREA’S HOROSCOPE is resonating with the current crisis. Transiting Pluto is squaring its natal Mars-Neptune conjunction while Saturn is making steady progress towards its Moon-Jupiter conjunction. Transiting Uranus is approaching a square to the nation’s MC/IC axis and will be exact in the July of 2017.
South Korea is a country of power and influence. It is the fourth largest economy in Asia and eleventh in the world. Its people are hard-working, entrepreneurial and outreaching – factors reflected by the Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius in the eighth house, which trines a stellium in Leo in the fourth and fifth houses.
After years of struggle, first against Japanese colonialism and then the military dictatorships that ruled in the wake of the partitioning of Korea by the Americans, in December 1987 South Korea held its first free and fair election paving the way for democracy.
The presence of Saturn and Pluto on either side of South Korea’s Sun and Mercury in Leo not only tells the story of its transformation and struggle but also despite its modern outlook it is a country that has its secrets and intends to keep them; it is a country that does not brook opposition from its people or its neighbours.
And now this proud and profitable yet secretive country faces the ignominious demise of its president in the full glare of the world’s spotlight, and at a moment when it is preparing to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. No wonder we are seeing Pluto homing in on its Mars-Neptune conjunction. A threat to hopes, dreams and illusions.
IF WE COMPARE MY SPECULATIVE CHART FOR PARK with that of South Korea, we find her Midheaven at 18 degrees of Sagittarius conjunct the nation’s Moon-Jupiter conjunction; her natal Saturn (which, of course, is conjunct Neptune) falls on the mid-point of South Korea’s Mars-Neptune conjunction; her Mercury at 28 degrees of Capricorn sits on the country’s mid-heaven (and, of course, is subject to the approaching Uranus conjunction); her Venus opposes South Korea’s Venus, which in turn is caught up in Park’s Grand Cross.
THE SINKING OF THE SEWOL and the loss of 304 lives, most of them school children, occurred on Park’s watch. The tragedy exposed the criminal behaviour and depraved indifference of the shipping owners, which in turn reflected the failings in Korean society. It was the biggest test of the Park administration until now and most would say she failed miserably.
On the day the ferry sank, Geun-hye was “missing in action” for almost seven hours – an anomaly debated live throughout the day on national television. Much too was made of her inappropriate remark when finally making an appearance, “If the passengers were wearing a life vest, why is it so hard to find them?” Park was apparently unaware that most of the passengers were trapped in the hull of the overturned and submerged ferry.
At the time of the Sewol disaster Mars was conjunct South Korea’s natal Mars-Neptune conjunction and Park’s natal Saturn-Neptune conjunction. Prior to the Sewol’s departure a lunar eclipse had squared Park’s Mercury and the country’s MC/IC axis. The transiting Venus-Neptune conjunction of the time fell on Park’s Ascendant.
April 16 2014 is only a little over two years ago, so more than one of the transits presiding over the Sewol disaster are still in play. Pluto is still angling the South Korean Mars-Neptune conjunction, now closer than ever to Mars, while Neptune at 9 degrees of Pisces and stationary direct is bang on Park’s Ascendant. And we should also note that the recent solar eclipse fell in precise opposition to Neptune and was therefore conjunct the president’s Ascendant-Descendant axis. As for the preceding lunar eclipse in Aquarius, it was exactly opposed to South Korea’s Saturn and the rest of the stellium in Leo.
The hands on the cosmic clock are indeed pointing to a sacrifice.