In the three months since his sons revealed their father’s massive Ponzi scheme and his subsequent arrest, Madoff’s firm, business associates and others underwent extensive investigation. Accounts were frozen, monies recovered, investigations started, and the hopes of investors were raised and dashed in quick succession. Most of all, many innocent people lost their investments, savings, retirement and expectations for a more comfortable set of later years.
On March 12, 2009 Bernard Madoff entered a guilty plea before the court relative to his securities fraud charge. The Progressed Daily Angles chart for this event is shown below.
There is one particular pattern in the chart that jumps out at the astrologer relative to this date, this pleading of guilty — t/Pluto at the Ascendant. Before we interpret this pattern, lets review just what transiting Pluto brings to the chart when at the Ascendant.
- N/Pluto was near the natal chart’s 12th house cusp: A sense of aloneness, of some reason for self-separation due to something like arrogance, superiority, a need to be in control, to be manipulative, etc. This could all be related to feeling that he was at the nexus of all of those attitudes and feelings. In this daily chart, n/Pluto squares the MC and IC axis — an interesting aspect when one considers that Madoff’s status and image was being destroyed with this formality of pleading guilty.
- t/Pluto at the Ascendant indicates a point of total transformation, more appropriately would be the term “self-destruction.” Arrogance, hopelessness, total leave-it-all-behind, death of a life time, separation are all terms that might partially reflect Madoff’s view of his life on this date.
- t/Pluto broadly squares t/Uranus in the 3rd. This aspect has been developing for some time — as has the increasing pressures of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to keep new funds coming so as to pay off demands for withdrawals.
- t/Pluto also broadly opposes t/Sun. The smallest and darkest planet in our solar system opposes the biggest and brightest component of the solar system. A small man in a dark place faces the society’s brightest force of justice.
Since t/Sun is involved with t/Pluto at the Ascendant, lets jump over to see what n/Sun is doing. n/Sun is bracketed by a trailing n/Moon and the n/Uranus leading it. A time of emotions in turmoil shapes his sense of self — he must have hid much of this natal pattern throughout his life. Is this why he pleaded guilty, just to relieve himself of a life long personal dilemma in dealing with factors represented by his chart?
n/Mercury at the IC angle suggests his words and thoughts are in a new place, will have an effect of “change”.
If we back up for a moment and instead look at the chart’s Asc. (28 Sag), the n/Asc. (28 Leo), and n/Mercury (26 Aries), we have a grand trine with Mercury at a midpoint of t/Asc. and n/Asc. Mercury had to speak for Madoff the criminal and Madoff the man who had to fight life by any means possible. Perhaps there are no two Madoff’s, perhaps there is only one Madoff, a tortured person who treated others as he felt he was treated.
We need to better understand Mr. Madoff before we can pursue this line of thought. I suspect there might be much for us, as astrologers and as everyday human souls, to understand. Dave