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Jail-Terms of Endearment:
Bernard and Ruth Madoff, Insatiable Taurus Archetypes
What Ruth Should Do

By Shelley L. Ackerman
[From my 'Shimmering Stars' column in The Westchester Guardian, © 2009]

Photo: Rich Press

At the climactic end of the very first 1972 Godfather movie, it dawned on the very WASPY Kay Adams Corleone (Diane Keaton) that she was married to the mob, and that her husband Michael (Al Pacino) was probably behind the murder of her brother-in-law.

"Was it you?" she gingerly asked. Michael pounded on the table and screamed, "Don't ever ask me anything about my business!"

Keaton and Pacino

We all know that the scene ended with Michael lying to reassure his wife, which serves as an interesting contrast to what probably went down over the past decades between our newest omnipresent symbols of insatiable American Greed, Bernard and Ruth Madoff.

Both Bernard (April 29, 1938) and Ruth (May 18, 1941) each have four planets in Taurus, with the ones at late degrees now being squared by transiting Neptune.

Basic astrology teaches us about Taurus' affinity for sensuality, physical comfort, wealth, and the finer things in life. Often those born under Taurus have the 'Midas Touch' and are gifted at amassing fortunes and building empires (Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, Orson Welles, Duke Ellington, George Lucas and Google CEO Eric Schmidt- check out Schmidt's phenomenal interview with Charlie Rose- it's so timely and relevant) that stand the test of time. Like Hitler, a Taurus can go to extremes when their desire nature gets the better of them: Former Chief Judge of the NY Court of Appeals Sol Wachtler shares his April 29th birthday with Bernie Madoff. He ruined his stellar career by allowing his obsession with Joy Silverman to get the better of him. After pleading guilty to charges of intimidation, blackmail, and threatening to kidnap Silverman's daughter, Wachtler served an 11 month prison term. He published After the Madness, and was reinstated to the Bar on October 2, 2007, when transiting Saturn opposed the Saturn in the chart of his February 2, 1993 indictment.

Venus rules Taurus, and in addition to romantic and physical love, the sign (and where Taurus is in our individual chart) teaches us much about our personal values and the motivation behind why we relate to and treat those we love the way we do.

The movie, Terms of Endearment, which dealt with, well, those 'terms' was almost an all Taurus production: Jack Nicholson (April 22, 1937), Shirley MacLaine (April 24, 1934), Debra Winger (May 16, 1955) and director James Brooks (May 9, 1940) all had the Sun in Taurus. (Jeff Daniels, b. Feb 19, 1955, probably has the Sun in Pisces, was the only hold-out). It was perfect astrological casting.

The Madoffs

But back to the Madoffs: More than $65 Billion stolen, it's estimated that their net worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $823 million. Ruth has been moving money around like crazy in the past few months and has made it clear that at least $67 million of it legitimately belongs to the family. Such a Taurus! No Ruthie, why don't you voluntarily spare yourself and the rest of us this ridiculous spectacle, and cut a deal to keep $5 million bucks for yourself, and fork over the rest as a symbolic gesture of restitution. It's the least you can do.


On The 'Heels' of the Sun-Uranus Meet Up,
Mars Enters Pisces

Pardon the pun, but with all of these planets sloshing around in oceanic Pisces I just couldn't resist the above reference to feet, after all, Pisces does rule the feet. Every two years or so, the red planet spends about six weeks in the sign of the fish. And though the prevailing astrological wisdom tends to look down on Mars in water signs, I think that the strength of Mars in Pisces is often grossly underestimated. Mars in the Neptune-Jupiter ruled sign often gives a zealousness that can only be found in those with a sense of divine urgency to accomplish a goal and eliminate anyone who tries to stop them. Niccolo Machiavelli (for whom the term "Machiavellian" was coined) had Mars in Pisces. Born on May 3, 1469, he stood for "the ruthless politics and deceit practiced in obtaining and retaining political power". Nothing to sneeze at.

Here's a small list of those with Mars in Pisces. None are pushovers and most are known to either fight for causes and win or portray characters on a mission. Either way, they get their point across. Often great acting or music talent is present: Heather Mills McCartney, Tom Hanks, Elton John, Mickey Rourke, Bono, Bob Dylan, Denzel Washington, Gayle King, Rob Reiner, Phil Collins, Anthony Hopkins, and the multi-talented Billy Crystal. Some with Mars in Pisces have issues with substance abuse, as is/was the case with Hopkins, Rourke, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, or Heath Ledger. Some are addicted to fame or to the wrong guy (Paris Hilton, Chandra Levy).

Between March 14-April 22, check out where Mars in Pisces is transiting your chart and go for the gold with a spiritual zeal to overcome that which has eluded you in the past two years. You may well succeed now in this Spring '09 Mars in Pisces cycle, and get to the next level with greater ease than you thought possible.

Chart: Mars in Pisces
Click for larger view

The Planets This Week: All times EST.

March 12: Moon in Libra, Sun conjoins Uranus in 9:26 pm
March 13: Moon V/C @ 6:39 pm, enters Scorpio @ 8:22 pm
March 14: Mars enters Pisces @ 11:20 pm
March 15: Moon in Scorpio V/C @ 8:43 pm
March 16: Moon in Sagittarius @ 5:21 am
March 18: Moon V/C @ 1:47 pm, enters Capricorn @ 5:19 pm
             Mercury opposite Saturn @ 11:59 pm

*Moon v/c = ‘void of course’, Best for spiritual not earthly pursuits

Bonus: 2009 Astro Crib Sheet

Major Planetary Activity for 2009.

Mercury begins 09 @ 0˚Aquarius07’ & ends 2009 @ 19˚Capricorn29’ Rx
Mercury Retrogrades 2009:
Jan 11-Feb 1, May 6-30, Sept 6-29, & Dec 26-Jan 15, 2010
Venus begins 2009 @ 27˚Aquarius48’ and ends 2009 @ 7˚Capricorn13’
Venus Retrograde: March 6-April 17, 2009
Mars begins 2009 @ 3˚Capricorn57’ and ends 2009 @ 18˚Leo54’ (Retro)
Mars turns retrograde on December 20th (thru March 10, 2010)
Jupiter begins 2009 @ 29˚Capricorn02’ and ends 2009 @ 26˚Aquarius15’
Jupiter enters Aquarius on January 5, 2009
Jupiter Retrograde: June 15-Oct 13, 2009
Saturn begins 2009 @ 21˚Virgo46’ Retrograde and ends 2009 @ 4˚Libra30’
Saturn Retrograde: Dec 31, 2008-May 16, 2009
Saturn enters Libra on Oct 29, 2009 (will retrograde back into Virgo in 2010)
Uranus begins 2009 @ 19˚Pisces15’ and ends @ 23˚Pisces05’
Uranus Retrograde: July 1-December 1, 2009
Neptune begins 2009 @ 22˚Aquarius27’ and ends 2009 @ 24˚Aquarius34’
Neptune Retrograde: May 28-November 4, 2009
Pluto begins 2009 @ 1˚Capricorn16’ and ends 2009 @ 3˚Capricorn17’
Pluto Retrograde: April 4-September 11, 2009

Weekly Horoscope

ARIES: If you're looking for hard cold and indisputable evidence in the here and now that you're on the right track, it may be tough to come by. But if you're good with working on the inner planes and forgo your need for constant proof, you'll be rewarded before too long. From March 14-April 22, as your ruler, Mars transits your 12th house of hidden affairs, your psychic, intuitive, and empathic abilities are that much stronger. You may feel pulled to do more for those who are ill or in need, and if so, go with it. You'll feel so good after burning off a chunk of bad karma.

TAURUS: Slow to change (it's your birthright :-) ) you are none the less uber inspired (or forced as the case may be) to look at things differently. The needs of a group you're strongly affiliated with has made a mark on your psyche and as mars enters your 11th house of community affairs (March 14-April 22) it feels right to put the needs of that group or of others in general before those of your own. You're in a profound re-evaluation phase. Give yourself time to reflect before making any long-range plans.

GEMINI: Eureka! Career jolts and unexpected changes at the top will (if you jump on it) get you that much closer to the vocation of your dreams. Yes, from out of the blue, the moves you make now can and will alter your professional life for the better. Stop wasting time on BS, take some chances, and show yourself to be the innovative leader that you are. The key to making it work is in blending fantasy and fact, and in organizing your thoughts. You're capable of doing all of the above beautifully. Align your will with your talent and it's a go!

CANCER: Every now and then it's wise to rewrite your 'mission statement' based on how your philosophy of life has evolved of late. And though security is, was, and always will be first and foremost on your agenda, redefining what security actually means is a good way to start. Is it money in the bank, people you can depend on, or faith that no matter what happens on the physical plane, you will be okay, that guides your every move? Obviously, the latter is the healthiest ethos to live by, but it takes guts and maturity to get there. Now is a very good time to work on it.

LEO: The upheaval in your psychologically sensitive 8th house is about to get another jolt, but this one could actually prove to be the ultimate blessing in disguise: For the next few days, flashes of insight will pepper your waking and dreaming states, so keep a log on the ideas and images that come to you. Much of it may not make sense in the moment, but upon review a lot will. From March 14-April 22, Mars in Pisces makes you extremely susceptible so be extra careful with meds, drugs, pot and pollutants in the environment. Avoid hanging with a seductive drinker.

VIRGO: As a rule, you're well within your rights to expect and even demand a certain amount of maturity from those you're in close partnership with. But this week, all bets are off: A spouse, significant other, or best friend could be thrown by events beyond their control and the fallout will affect you. On March 14, Mars, the planet of action, aggression, and agitation enters your relationship house (through April 22), and the above mentioned players will be that much more prone to acting out. Take none of it personally, but re-establish your boundaries and protect yourself.

LIBRA: Stop fantasizing about all of the wonderful things you're going to do for yourself health-wise in the future and take some action in the hear and now. During the next six weeks, you have a fine opportunity to reverse the damage of too much good food and not enough exercise. Watching the workout DVD isn't enough. Be open to a surprising but truthful insight into what you've been doing wrong and a clever way to fix it. This also applies to the way in which you tackle your work load and day to day schedule. An upgrade in that dept. will give you a new lease on life.

SCORPIO: When you get right down to it, the thrill of an escapade laced with just enough danger to make it interesting trumps all else for you. As crazy as it sounds to members of the rest of the zodiac, tempting fate always has been (and always will be) your favorite past time. But from March 14-April 22, do yourself a favor and use that penetrating mind of yours to size up all situations carefully: Looking before leaping could mean the difference between a day at the races and a pit that will be tough to climb out of. Conversely, where you've been too cautious, a little loosening up clears the way for a win that's eluded you for ages. Discernment between the two polarities is key.

SAGITTARIUS: Surprises in and around the home could put a monkey wrench in your best laid plans, but don't let that or an unexpected outburst from a family member throw you. People are on edge these days, and though your patience is thin, your sense of optimism is needed more than ever. From March 14-April 22, avoid un-win-able confrontations by channeling excess frustration into home improvements. Concentrate on plumbing and anything (i.e. mold) that if unchecked will compromise your health and safety.

CAPRICORN: Have a pair of roller skates handy and tune up that car of yours to perfection (that's an order!): The next few weeks will have you in constant motion, and you wouldn't want any 'surprises' on the road to derail you. Mars enlivens your 3rd house of communication, transportation, and neighbors, and an unexpected SOS from a brother sister, or the guy across the hall (or yard) is likely. Do what you can (you always do), but not at the expense of a legal situation or an obligation involving a church or a university: Paradoxically, none of those high-minded 'bigger' guns are in a forgiving mood these days.

AQUARIUS: In this current economic climate, most people are paralyzed with fear about their financial future and rightly so. But you, being the visionary that you are, know that better days are ahead and that it's not a matter of 'if' but 'when'. In the meantime, an opportunity to improve your lot in the cash department may appear like a bolt from the blue. If and when that happens, don't look that gift horse in the mouth- and act fast! From March 14-April 22, you have a phenomenal touch and seamless ability to make positive economic and professional strides. Go for it!

PISCES: Your world is suddenly filled with one 'Aha!' moment after another, and though it would be oh so easy to get high and trip on all of the revelations that come by way of this series of new awakenings, staying grounded is crucial. As Mars enters your sign (March 14-April 22), taking action is what it's all about. But run everything by someone you know to be a good judge of what will fly and what will fail. From March 14-April 22, your dual mottos should be: "Act and ye shall receive" and "No man is an island".