WikiLeaks' Julian Assange surrenders to police

(Posted December 7, 2010)  The media storm around WikiLeaks and its controversial founder Julian Assange reached a frenzied pitch yesterday as Assange surrendered to British police.  The organization whose stated aim to expose oppressive and corrupt regimes around the world is all over the media these days following an unprecedented release of classified US diplomatic cables.  Operating since 2006, WikiLeaks is an organization that publishes leaked or anonymous information on the internet so that journalists and internal whistleblowers do not have to face prosecution by their domestic governments.    WikiLeaks has been thrust into the media spotlight in the past week due to the compromising and embarrassing nature of the leaked information for the US and many other countries.

This latest chapter in the WikiLeaks saga has brought its founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange into the public limelight.  Yesterday, he surrendered to British police as there were international warrants for his arrest from sexual assault charges brought by two Swedish women.  Born in Townsville, Australia on July 3, 1971, Assange is a journalist and publisher largely motivated by fervent left wing beliefs-- he refers to the US government as "an authoritarian conspiracy" -- and seeks to hold the wealthy and powerful to account and reveal corruption and other transgressions of power.  Although he is using the unregulated internet to his advantage, he sees himself in the same mold as a traditional journalist who seeks to uncover truth wherever it finds it.   However, Assange is a hugely polarizing figure with the US right wing accusing him of terrorism or worse and arguing for his immediate capture or even assassination, while the left wing regards him more as a 21-century version of the muckraking journalist folk hero who speaks truth to power.  For everybody else in the middle, there is confusion and uncertainty about what the implications might be for the future of world diplomacy.

Natal Chart for Julian Assange born July 3, 1971 12.00 Townsville, Australia

Julian Assange's horoscope confirms many of the widely accepted views of his personality.   His close Sun-Uranus square reflects his antagonism towards authority and convention and his inherently rebellious nature.  He resists routine and normal ways of doing things and prefers novelty to tradition.  Certainly, his whole anti-authoritarian philosophy is very much in keeping with this Uranian view of the world.  Sun-Uranus squares are often unpredictable and change their directions quickly and without warning.  Assange has emerged as an enigmatic figure, as there are many accounts of his itinerant lifestyle and long working hours.  Even among his admirers on the left, he is seen as a person who thinks too highly of himself and whose unlikeability serves to undermine his aims.  Sun-Uranus people can often get caught up in their own unique views of the world, often to their own detriment. 

Another key chart pattern is his conjunction of Mars and Rahu (aka the North Lunar Node).  Actually, it should be noted that Assange's Mars sits in the degree of its highest exaltation at 28 Capricorn.  Here Mars' strength and best qualities of assertiveness, leadership and executive power are emphasized.    This seems to be in keeping with Assange's reputation as an indefatigable crusader and tireless worker.  Some accounts have him working without food or sleep for days on end.  The conjunction of Rahu with Mars would tend to exaggerate and further strengthen his martial disposition although it may make him overly combative or even vindictive at times.  Rahu tends to magnify and distort the planets it is associated with so its contact with Mars here ramps up Assange's identity of being a fighter, but it may unbalance him in some ways, too.  When this conjunction comes under stress through a malefic transit contact, his Mars energy may get the best of him and he will suffer the consequences of his hasty or rash nature.  When Mars and Rahu are favourably aspected, however, he is more likely to fight his enemies with courage and find success.

His Mercury is aspected nicely by Jupiter so this is one important source of his intelligence and ability to communicate, including working with computers.  Jupiter is a planet of wisdom and respect so its influence on Mercury is one reason why he has been successful in his various journalistic efforts.  Since his birth time is unknown, I like to use the Chandra Lagna chart that relies on the position of the Moon to mark the1st house and interpret the horoscope from there.  His Mercury is in the 10th house (Cancer) from his Libra Moon so that suggests his communication skills will be involved with his career and status in some way since the 10th house is associated with life goals and objectives.  Jupiter is in sidereal Scorpio and so it is placed in the 2nd house from the Moon -- a good indication of wealth through speech and overall prosperity. 

His Sun and 1st lord Venus are placed in the 9th house from the Moon, suggesting that justice and higher principles are very important to him, even if he seeks to blaze a new trail (Sun-Uranus) involving his ethical beliefs.  Clearly, he is not a mere attention-seeker and deeply believes in the ideas that are behind his actions.  The Sun and Venus are in Gemini here, so that adds to the quickness of his mind and his aptitude dealing with information and communication. 

For all his apparent Uranian and Rahuvian excess and eccentricity, Assange's Moon may be his saving grace.  As the significator of the mind and mental health, the Moon often reveals a person's emotional situation.  His Moon is placed in sidereal Libra and does not receive an aspect from any planet.  Its dispositor is Venus and it is likewise unafflicted and well-placed in Gemini.   Such a strong Libra Moon is no doubt a great help to Assange throughout his many stressful activities.  The Libra Moon enamours him to other people and gives him an innate charm that allows him to be quite persuasive in arguing his case and encouraging people to work with him.  The fact that he appeals to so many people on the left is perhaps testament to his strong Libra Moon.  At the same time, it's worth noting that some of this emotional stability will be undercut by the fact that his Mars-Rahu conjunction is in the 4th house from the Moon.  The 4th house is the house that represents the emotions and peace of mind.  Having Mars and Rahu in the 4th can bring emotions quickly to the surface, so he may overreact to difficult situations from time to time.   Of course, all of this analysis is somewhat limited since his time of birth is unknown. 

His current circumstance may be seen in the positions of transiting Jupiter and Saturn.  His sudden fame and notoriety are evidenced through the recent station of Jupiter (29 Aquarius) in November that was in exact trine (120 degree) aspect with his natal Mercury (0 Cancer).  Jupiter transits to Mercury often bring positive results pertaining to career matters and the the fact that it was a direct station ramps up the significance of this moment of good fortune considerably.   Even now a full two weeks after the station, slow moving Jupiter is just at 0 degrees of Pisces and thus is still boosting his natal Mercury.  Assange's natal Mercury is placed in his 10th house of status so his sudden thrust into the limelight was likely coincident with this powerful aspect from Jupiter. 

But fame apparently has come at a high price as Assange has been facing sexual assault charges for several weeks now.  His WikiLeaks site has been blocked while his his Paypal and bank accounts have also be taken offline by international authorities.   By turning himself into British police, Assange appears to be confronting some very Saturnian realities in his horoscope.  Transiting Saturn (21 Virgo) is now in exact aspect to his natal Rahu (21 Capricorn).  Saturn-Rahu contacts often bring unwelcome interruptions in the status quo that constrains or restricts the individual.  What makes this Saturn transit arguable more damaging is that Saturn is in the 12th house from the Moon, the house of loss and isolation.  Moreover, Rahu is conjunct Mars in his natal chart and Mars is a planet that symbolizes punishment.    So that transiting Saturn aspect to Rahu is actually invoking Mars -- exalted though it is -- and this may be an additional factor in Assange's arrest and imprisonment.   As noted above, the Mars-Rahu conjunction will tend to be lead to unpleasant situations when it is involved with a malefic planet by transit, as is the case here with Saturn. 

So what does the future hold for Mr. Assange?   Without knowing his exact birth time, it is a lot harder than it otherwise would be to make astrological predictions.  Nonetheless, we can see that transiting Saturn will remain in fairly close proximity to that aspect with his natal Rahu for the next two or three months.   Saturn will turn retrograde in late January at 23 degrees of Virgo at such time it will again fall under the influence of Rahu.  The first half of February could be especially tough sledding as transiting Mars will conjoin his natal Rahu and then Mars.  The absence of any major Jupiter aspects during this time suggests that he is likely to have more frustrations than victories until February at least.   More troubling, however, is that transiting Saturn will end its retrograde cycle in May and June at 16 degrees of Virgo -- almost exactly square Assange's natal Sun.  If anything, this is an even worse influence than what he faces at the moment.   Transiting Ketu also conjoins his Venus at this time, and this is another probable negative influence that suggests troubles from authorities.  I wouldn't want to predict definitively what the outcome of this period might be, but his situation is clearly quite serious given the fact that he's already under arrest.  Things look likely to go from bad to worse for this 21st-century anti-authoritarian crusader for the first half of 2011.