Today I continue to look at the characters and events involved in the UK phone hacking scandal. This time on the hit list is James Murdoch the 4th son of billionaire and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Rupert himself and his company News Corporation.
I have been through the outline of the scandal rocking the UK in previous posts, however the net goes out further than the cessation of the News of the World newspaper and the arrest of the aide of David Cameron. Central to the whole situation is the management of the UK arm of the worldwide media empire owned by Rupert Murdoch through his companies News International and News Corporation, the former of which is run by Rupert’s son, James.
Rupert Murdoch was himself the son of a wealthy Newspaper magnate in Melbourne, Australia. Born in Melbourne on 11th March 1931 at 23.55, Murdoch is an elusive Sun Sign Pisces with a pioneering Sagittarius Moon and a hard nosed Capricorn Ascendant. The Pisces Sun is tightly conjunct to Mercury at the point of a wedge formation with Saturn in Capricorn opposing a Pluto and Jupiter conjunction in Cancer. This is a hugely powerful wedge. Murdoch will see things his way (Sun/Mercury), has huge money making acumen (Pluto/Jupiter) and incredible drive and ambition to run things (Saturn opposite Pluto). He will be stern and uncompromising in his pursuit of success (Saturn in Capricorn in 1st house) and of course with Mercury and the Sun in Pisces, no surprise his business is based around creative media (TV ruled by Neptune) and the press (ruled by Mercury). Murdoch is shrewd and a good strategist, and because Mercury is in Pisces he will “feel” what course of action to take to improve his position. He is private, hard to track down, studious (Sun/Mercury in 4th/ Mercury square Pluto) and very elusive, unless of course he has a desire to meet you. People work around Rupert’s schedule, not the other way around.
The Sun makes a quindecile to Neptune in the international 9th house, so this business is focused on having a wide reach all over the world. Pluto in the 7th will bring Murdoch to have powerful connections and contacts, however friends in high places can also turn into ruthless and nasty enemies if trust is breached. Remember in the stratospheric level that Murdoch networks in, his peers are and can be as ruthless and nasty as he can be. Saturn/Pluto oppositions can bring unimaginable success, but also catastrophic falls from grace when the opposition is activated. This one connects the first and seventh houses, dealings with powerful foes (Pluto in 7th in the house of open enemies) can bring hard lessons to be learned on a personal level (Saturn in 1st). Pluto conjuncts with Mars in the 8th house and this Mars also opposes to Saturn. When Rupert wants something, he will get it, no too ways about it. Through this opposition he will have incredible determination and willpower, but sometimes he will be too rash and impulsive and this will cause a setback. Not that it will deter Murdoch for long, he keeps on going, because he is unable to stop. The reason? He is obsessed by acquiring money and possessions. Venus sits peregrine in the 2nd house of finance. Not aspecting with any other planet, it’s effect will be very strong, especially emanating out of the 2nd. Murdoch’s attitude to women will be hot and cold with Venus in Aquarius, committed one minute then suddenly losing interest. Uranus in the 4th house suggest his home life would be disruptive and it is borne out in the fact that he is already onto his 3rd wife, 42 year old Wendi Deng who is 37 years his junior.
Now, Murdoch has bowed to British public and parliamentary pressure and cancelled his bid by News Corporation to fully buy out British Satellite Broadcaster BSkyB run by his son James who has ben embroiled in the middle of the scandal rocking the British media. How will he react with regard to his son and will he even consider pulling out of the UK media market completely? My feeling is that he will play for time, cutting out anybody who will damage the long term viability of his businesses in the UK rather than pulling out of the market completely. The 8th house of big business and change is not highlighted in the transits or Solar Arc charts, which is something I would expect to see if he was planning this course of action.
Putting the transits of the day against Murdoch’s chart is however interesting and accurately describes the situation Rupert finds himself in. Transiting Saturn is opposing natal Uranus and square to natal Jupiter. Saturn is operating out of the 10th house, so his work practices are being restricted because of family problems (Uranus in 4th house) and these restrictions are being brought about through open enemies, in this case the public and UK Parliament (7th house). Looking at how these restrictions will manifest themselves, Capricorn (Saturn) sits on the ascendant so Rupert the person or his personal actions will be affected. Sagittarius (Jupiter) is intercepted in the 12th house, so indicates that Rupert will have no control over what is going on leaving him isolated and suffering in some way. Finally Aquarius (Uranus) sits on the cusp of the 3rd house so this is a learning curve for Rupert, communication and media will be focused upon and changes will have to be made. I will look at a couple more aspects. Transiting Pluto conjuncts the ascendant and trines to natal Neptune. Here the self is affected (Ascendant) through actions from the 7th house (Pluto – powerful adversaries or those in control) and 9th house (deceptive practices in foreign media). Ultimately this will lead to a loss of power (Scorpio on cusp of 12th) and a finalisation of a situation (Pisces on 4th house cusp) possibly involving the family. Finally as this crisis ratcheted up, transiting Mars in the 6th was exactly square to natal Mercury in the 4th. Mars in the 6th indicated that his everyday work routine (6th) was being upset by the actions (Mars) of an employee (6th) in his media empire (Mercury) and this situation was impacting on someone in the family (4th).
That someone of course is his son James. He was born on 13th December 1972 in Wimbledon, London (I have no birth time for him). James has an adventurous Sagittarian Sun and a Piscean Moon, complementing his father’s Sun. More than likely his Moon would be in conjunction with his father’s Sun, so there is a natural affinity between them and no surprise to me that Rupert has seen James as his heir apparent. James’ Moon is difficultly aspected, squared by both Sun and Saturn (which is retrograde) forming a stressful t-square. This aspect suggests a problems between his mother and father (they divorced in 1999), the retrograde Saturn tells me that he never received the love that he needed from his father. As he needs to feel approval (Moon square Saturn), James will do anything to feel accepted by his father, and with a Sagittarian Sun, he has the instinct of a gambler. James is a bit of a risk taker and it is fine when you win, but it spells trouble in big business when you don’t. Saturn is quindecile Mercury, so James will not enjoy making speeches or speaking in public as a rule. He will have a serious demeanour and will appear as someone with the weight of the world on his shoulders. In someway, at only 38 and in such a high powered business position, it is.
Also in Sagittarius is a Neptune and Mercury conjunction. Along with the Pisces Moon, there is a huge amount of creative talent on this chart, especially with regard to music which James will love. This will surely be his release away from work. In cutting his teeth in business, James ran record companies, which eventually were absorbed into the News Corp portfolio. James will like the creative side of the media business, however one thing he is not blessed with is huge common sense and logic, his mind will work in a non-linear fashion. The Neptune/Mercury conjunction is sextile to Pluto and as a result he will be interested in anything secret mysterious or unusual.
Uranus in Libra is at the point of a wedge formation fanning out to the Sun/Saturn opposition. James will like his independence and will not be afraid of using technology or non traditional techniques to forward his work ambitions. There is also a mini grand trine on this chart based around the Moon trine Mars/Venus conjunction sextile to Jupiter. Venus/Mars can be a little pushy and in Scorpio is very deep, emotional and jealous. There is a sting to his temper and huge determination to get the better of rivals. Mars in Scorpio sextile Jupiter in Capricorn is clever, very confident and hugely ambitious and associated with big achievers. One will be able to plan and follow a clear strategy and this aspect will give James a very professional attitude in his endeavours, however there is the risk of being over confident thinking that one can get away with almost anything.
Putting all these elements together, you can see a possible picture forming. James needing the approval of his father would be tempted to sanction his employees to risks to keep his newspapers at the top of the market. The allegations coming out of News International are truly shocking, and as more leak out, one does have to ask how far did these alleged practises go? Is it just contained within the UK, or does this contagion spread throughout the whole Murdoch empire, and just who has been victim to the same alleged illegal activity?
James transit chart is very stressful. Transiting Neptune is exactly square natal Mercury so you can see deception (Neptune) and media (Mercury) causing him trouble. Transiting Uranus is trine natal Neptune – technology and bizarre practices (Uranus) used for these deceptive acts. Uranus is also square to natal Pluto and transiting Pluto is square it’s natal position too. This to me suggests a transformation in James’ life of some sort. Transiting Saturn is square natal Jupiter, so James over confidence will lead to difficult consequences, defeat and lessons for him to learn.
Without James’ birth time, it is difficult to guess how this situation will pan out, however if the allegations do lead to his door, then father Rupert will have an agonising decision to make. To protect his own company, will he have to sack his own son? The transiting Pluto square Pluto aspect on James’ chart does not bode well for him. As much as he loves James as a father would, Rupert is a hard nosed businessman and I believe he would not shirk in his responsibilities.
**** Update 29th Feb 2012 ****
James Murdoch today left News International in the UK being “moved” by his father to other duties in New York looking after pay TV expansion. Sounds like a bit of a demotion. He moves as transiting Uranus at 3 Aries is just one degree from exactly opposing James’ natal Pluto at 4 Libra. This will bring a great sudden change in his life and the power he wields. Transiting Neptune is also exactly square to his natal Mercury which is quite deflating. One wonders if he has a Virgo or Gemini Midheaven?
This move is obviously designed to take him out of the line of fire in London, especially as the “Sun on Sunday” has now launched replacing the long departed News of the World. Does it show that James is more culpable than the Murdoch family have let on so far? I always thought there was a potential cover up between father and son, and the events of 29th Feb 12 only strengthen my views. I very much suspect he stayed just until the new newspaper was launched, and then by mutual agreement with his father he went to hide away in New York. The family business as such stays alive and well, for now at least…