IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrested for sexual assault

(Posted May 18, 2011)  It's incredible how a single event can change a person's life.  Life is made up of literally thousands of individual decisions, each one guiding us along our unique journey.  Some of these decisions are important and we recognize them as such at the time we make them -- which university to attend, which job to take, which person to marry, and so on.  But some decisions are unintentionally important.   That is, we don't think much about them much at the time but its only in hindsight that we realize how important they were for taking us down a particular direction.  The missed bus that led to us meeting our future spouse, the random conversation in a cafe that leads to a new job. 

But I wonder if IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn -- or DSK as he's known in France -- had any notion of the potential consequences of his decision on May 14 when he allegedly sexually assaulted a hotel chamber maid.   He was arrested a few hours afterward at 4.45 p.m. as he boarded a Paris-bound plane in New York.  The IMF chief was widely touted as the front-runner in the upcoming French presidential elections as his Socialist party was seen as odds-on favourite to replace the unpopular Sarkozy.  But this bright future has been suddenly shattered by the events of May 14.  His friends and supporters are suggesting that he was set up and that the charges are untrue, as his removal from the presidential race would be a huge boost for the incumbent Sarkozy.   Nonetheless, there is now a near-unanimous call for his resignation from his post at the IMF and his political future may be irretrievably damaged. 

Dominique Strauss-Kahn April 25, 1949, 11.10 a.m. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

The stars tell their own story of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  His horoscope is very powerful and highlight the contours of his life quite well.  He has Cancer rising with first house ruler (lagnesh) Moon very nicely placed in the 9th house of good fortune in Pisces.  Moreover, the Moon gets an added bonus by virtue of its placement so close to the equal 9th house cusp (7 Cancer).  This elevates the success and good fortune of DSK as a whole. And look at that 10th house!  Mars, Rahu, Sun, Venus, Mercury all in Aries in the 10th house pointing to high public profile and career success.  The Sun is exalted in Aries so that further enhances his executive and leadership capacities.  Jupiter is debilitated on the 7th house cusp may give a hint about his difficulties in the marriage and relationship department, although Jupiter's aspect to the sign of its exaltation (Cancer) in the first house is a positive trade-off.  Saturn in the 2nd house is an interesting reflection of his reliable and deliberative approach to financial matters (2nd house) and may be one reason for the position of trust he enjoyed as head of the IMF.  There is no room for Rahuvian or Uranian-type gamblers at the top of the world's financial system.

If a debilitated Jupiter in the 7th house provided one clue about DSK's possible issues with women, then the condition of the love planets, Venus and Mars, are even more telling. Mars, the planet of sexuality, is tightly conjunct Rahu which often amplifies and distorts sexuality.  This would tend to be the case even more since Mars and Rahu are in fiery Aries.  His sex drive would certainly be strong and sometimes could conceivably get the best of him.  Venus, the planet representing women and love, is also in fiery Aries with Mars so this further heightens the importance of sex in his life.  Venus, Mars and Rahu conjunct in Aries: it doesn't get much more intense than that in terms of sexual appetite.  His natal chart therefore supports the notion that sex is a major part of his life.  It also would favour the view that he may have had other instances in the past where he crossed the line.  Some of these incidents are now coming to light as women step forward.  This is not to say that the horoscope can or should be used to judge or convict a person.  There is simply no way of knowing with any kind of certainty what he did on May 14 based solely on his chart.  However, what we can say is that his horoscope does suggest he is a highly-sexed person that may have problems controlling his impulses from time to time.  Whether or not he lost control on this occasion and assaulted this woman is best left to the legal system to decide.


If astrology can't say if he is guilty, it can nonetheless show why DSK's life has been turned upside down by this event.  His horoscope shows a high level of affliction as one would expect from an arrest, incarceration and possible loss of status and position.  His chart was running the Moon-Rahu dasha.  The Moon is well placed in the chart in the 9th house and would tend to suggest positive outcomes during its period from 2008 to 2018.  One possible source of weakness is that the Moon's dispositor, Jupiter, is debilitated in Capricorn.  This could create some problems during the Moon dasha.  But major dasha periods are more of background influence.  More important are the minor dasha periods, in this case, Rahu.  Rahu is a more unpredictable influence in the best of times, and in his chart it is tightly conjunct Mars in the 10th house.  That is a nasty combination that increases the chances of some sudden, negative events involving career (10th house).  On balance, we can say that the dashas only offer a hint of the potential problems that might face DSK.

The transits provide a more compelling picture of this unfortunate turn of events.  First, let's look at the situation of the dasha lords, Moon and Rahu.  While the Moon appears to be fairly positive natally, it is currently suffering from an exact transit conjunction with Uranus (9 Pisces).  Uranus is the planet of sudden changes and major shifts in life direction, so it is perhaps not too surprising that it should be implicated in this debacle. But what requires more explanation is why Uranus should have such a negative effect.  Typically, Uranus conjunctions are not that difficult.  They can often bring big and sometimes unexpected changes in life such as changes in residence or careers.  But Uranus transits often work out positively and more often suggest a horizontal shift in life to another path rather than something as negative as DSK is now facing. Why was this Uranus transit so difficult?

I think one reason is that Uranus was placed in the 12th house in the natal chart.  The 12th house is a malefic dussthana house in Vedic astrology that represents sufferings, isolation and yes, even imprisonment.  So his 12th house Uranus was imprinted with some of this 12th house energy and it was brought to the Moon in this transit.  Remember that the Moon is lord of the 1st house (the person as a whole) so the symbolic equation might look something like this: 12th house (isolation/imprisonment) Uranus (sudden, unexpected) conjunct 1st house lord (person as a whole) Moon in 9th house (long distance travelling).  DSK was arrested in New York while waiting for his flight back to Paris to take off.   The other dimension of this Uranus affliction to the Moon was that transiting Mars (8 Aries) was in a close semisextile aspect with Uranus and the Moon so this gave it an additional "edge" and intensified the ability of this aspect to do harm.  I would also note that if his horoscope is relocated to New York, his Moon moves to the 12th house, so that Uranus-Moon conjunction is taking place in the house of loss and isolation.  Not good.

Now look at the transit situation of the minor dasha lord Rahu.  Transiting Rahu (1 Sagittarius) was aspecting its natal position and just past an aspect with Mars.  This is usually a bad influence. It was one degree past exact and just three degrees past if one uses the true nodes.  Rahu to Rahu transits can cause unexpected situations and generally reflect periods of change when a person's life is in flux.  The fact that DSK's natal Rahu was involved in a conjunction with Mars only made this transit more dangerous for him.  Mars-Rahu are placed in the 10th house, so that made sudden and unwelcome changes to career and status more likely. 

While both of these transits of Uranus and Rahu had the potential to produce some unwanted event for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I think we have to look at the role of Saturn to explain the severity of his current circumstance.  As we know, Saturn is probably the most malefic planet.  If it is poorly placed, Saturn's transits have the power to cause all kinds of hardship and losses.   But even though Saturn is considered the most negative planet in the solar system, it can still be "redeemed" and can actually bring about favourable events when it is well placed in the chart.  On this occasion, however, DSK appeared to have suffered from the full force of Saturn's malefic side.  At the time of his arrest, transiting Saturn (17 Virgo) was conjunct the IC, or unequal 4th house cusp.  While many Vedic astrologers do not use unequal house cusps, I found have them to be invaluable in my predictive work.  Unequal cusps are often just as powerful and important as the equal house cusps.  Here, the 4th house represents the emotions and the inner core of a person.  When the 4th house is influenced by malefic planets, it can greatly disturb a person and can symbolize upsets that shake their confidence.   In its more malefic guise, Saturn here represents loss and unhappiness, just as we would expect from such a sudden fall from grace.  It's also important to note that Saturn was likely more malefic that usual because it was retrograde and thus moving more slowly than usual.  It will back up to its direct station on June 13 at 16 Virgo, just one degree from conjoining DSK's IC.   Saturn was more likely to do damage here because it rules the 8th house of scandal and embarrassment as well as the 7th house (i.e. relationships) and it is aspected by Rahu in the natal chart, thus increasing the likelihood of negative or disruptive events at the time of its close transits.

The future for Dominique Strauss-Kahn is very uncertain.  Saturn will continue to afflict his 4th house cusp for the next month so that could mean he will have to resign from his post at the IMF.  That appears likely now and this Saturn transit would tend to support that notion.  Saturn will begin to back off its conjunction after June 13 so this may alleviate some of the pressure from this situation. Also, Jupiter is now transiting through his 10th house to conjoin all those planets in Aries.  That should help his recover some of his damaged status and reputation in June and perhaps July.  At minimum, this should boost his chances for release on bail, which have hitherto been blocked by the judge.   There is also the chance that the case may swing in his favour enough that he could even regain his IMF post.  This is perhaps more likely when Jupiter is near its station in August and September where it will conjoin his natal Venus.  While transiting Rahu will also be diminishing its negative impact as time goes on, Uranus will be coming back across his Moon during the summer.  This suggests that his life will likely retain a certain amount of unpredictability and disruption over the coming months.  That's perhaps rather obvious given his current predicament, but it's interesting that the planets seem to reinforce that notion.  

If the Jupiter influence offers some hopeful prospects for him in the summer, I'm not sure it will be enough to resurrect his political aspirations.  The primaries for the Socialist party are in October ahead of next April's presidential election.  Jupiter will still be in a good position in October but Saturn will be strengthening again by then as it moves to oppose his Mars-Rahu conjunction and aspect his ascendant by January 2012.  This would be a very difficult influence to launch a political campaign.  Even if he were somehow able to come back and regain the trust of his party in the October primaries (unlikely), it does not bode well for his electoral chances in a campaign against Sarkozy.  The other positive factor here is that his Jupiter minor dasha period begins in October, just in time for the primaries.  His Jupiter is a much better planet than Rahu, so we should expect some improvement in his overall situation after that.  But everything is relative.  At this point, a Jupiterian-like victory would simply be getting released on bail and avoiding conviction. 

It will be interesting to see just how much of a lift this Jupiter influence will give him over the coming months.  He should get some benefit that will help him avoid an extended confinement in jail.  Whether or not it helps him beat the charges and regain some of his lost status is more uncertain.  It's certainly possible, although I would not call it probable.   We may gain some insight into this future Jupiter influence when  Jupiter forms some lesser aspects in the coming weeks.  On May 23 there is a nice Sun-Jupiter aspect and on June 3 there is another positive aspect between Mercury and his natal Jupiter.  Saturn will still be bearing down on his 4th house cups at this time, so these transits may not bring much good news to him.  But the second half of June (starting around June 13th actually) could see more positive events as Jupiter conjoins his Sun and forms a minor aspect to his Moon.  The effects of this transit will help to shape the trajectory of DSK's post-arrest life.   I hope to do a follow-up post in the weeks ahead as developments warrant.