Don’t you ever wonder how this all works? I know I do. After 15+ years of intense engagement with asteroids, I’m no closer to an answer, but sometimes I like to revel in how even the most mundane of mundane events can be reflected in the stars. On January 28, two Biden-related stories made the news: a bridge in Pittsburgh, PA collapsed just hours before a presidential visit touting the need for repair of crumbling infrastructure, and, the White House acquired a new furry occupant, a grey tabby cat with jade-green eyes named Willow.
(N0) Water Under the Bridge
The bridge in question was the Fern Hollow Creek Bridge on Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Frick Park, which fell at 6:39 AM EST on January 28, 2022. Thankfully traffic was light at that hour, though a city bus was crossing and caught in the collapse, along with several cars. Ten were injured, four sent to the hospital, but there were no fatalities.
The resulting chart for the incident is an excellent teaching tool for the use of place names and foreign (i.e., non-English) language words as celestial markers of terrestrial events. There’s quite a lot of asteroids useful in stories involving bridges. Most straightforward for English-speaking astrologers is asteroid Bridges, but there is also Bruck (German for bridge); Bro (bridge in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish); Briggs (a northern England regional corruption of bridge); Bruges (named for a Belgian city whose name derives from Old Dutch “brugga”, meaning bridge); Pons (Latin for bridge); and Pontecorvo (named for a town in Italy, meaning “curved bridge”, with ponte the Italian and Portuguese for bridge).
As place names and proper nouns for this story, we have Fernie, Hollows and Crick, for the Fern Hollow Creek Bridge (with “crick” a regional American dialectal pronunciation of creek); Forbes, for the avenue which the bridge serves; Fricke and Parks, for the Frick Park location of that span of roadway; and Pittsburghia, named for the city. And we’ll be using asteroid Bida for Joe Biden.
So let’s dig in! How about a Grand Trine Kite pattern, focused on asteroid Pittsburghia at 23 Aries trine asteroid Hollows at 29 Leo and asteroid Fricke at 29 Sagittarius, with asteroid Bridges at 29 Libra opposed Pittsburghia on the String? Not bad, for the Fern Hollow Creek Bridge in the Frick Park enclave of Pittsburgh. Take another look at Bridges. That opposition to Pittsburghia becomes a T-Square when we factor in Pluto, Mercury retrograde and asteroid Nemesis at 26, 27 and 29 Capricorn respectively. Pluto rules decay and deterioration of the type that brought down the bridge; Mercury rules traffic and cars and is famous for snarling these during its retrograde periods; and Nemesis represents ruin or destruction and a figurative roadblock (or in this case, quite literal!).
We can add asteroid Bida at 19 Cancer for a wide Grand Cross, with Bida also conjoined the Descendant at 20 Cancer, its angularity denoting the importance of Biden’s pending visit and his interactions (Descendant) with the locals. Further evidence of his looming presence is seen in the 14 Scorpio MC, the focus of all eyes, which squares the Sun at 8 Aquarius with asteroid Whitehouse at 9 Aquarius and Saturn at 15 Aquarius, both additional referents for the President, as occupant of the Oval Office (Whitehouse) and Chief Executive (Saturn).
Saturn also gives a nod to the infrastructure bill which Biden was there to tout (with some $1.63 billion earmarked for Pennsylvania roads and bridges), while the Sun puts him in the spotlight for the day. This becomes a T-Square with the addition of asteroids Bruck and Pons at 7 and 13 Leo, focusing (Sun) Biden’s (Whitehouse, Saturn) visit on the fallen bridge (Bruck, Pons; our first bridge-related foreign language asteroids) as a real-time example of the necessity of this legislation.
As if to drive home the bridge theme, Bida is traveling with asteroids Bruges and Briggs, both at 13 Cancer, our next foreign language referents for bridge, in a T-Square with asteroids Forbes and Fernie at 11 and 13 Libra, opposed Venus at 11 Capricorn. This reiterates the Forbes Avenue location for the Fern Hollow Creek Bridge, and the investment (Venus) from the federal government (Bida) to replace it. As well, asteroid Fernie is at station, about to turn retrograde four days later on February 1, marking a literal “turning point” in the history of the bridge (which a total collapse would surely qualify as!).
Biden adjusted his travel agenda to visit the site of the collapse, so the Fern Hollow Creek Bridge in Frick Park finds its moment of fame and celebrity with Jupiter at 6 Pisces corralling a cluster of asteroids Crick, Parks and Bro at 0, 4 and 7 Pisces respectively, squared asteroid Pontecorvo at 7 Gemini, doubling down on the bridge reference. Pontecorvo is also at station, and turned retrograde the day before the bridge collapsed. Trined both the Sun/Whitehouse/Saturn conjunction and the Forbes/Fernie pairing, Pontecorvo forms a Grand Trine Kite pattern, with Bruck and Pons at the String.
If you’re keeping track, that makes seven of seven bridge referents active on the day this bridge collapsed, with proper nouns further describing the scene also prominent. And I call that, a direct hit!
Also on January 28, the White House announced it had finally adopted the long-promised cat, named Willow by First Lady Jill Biden in honor of her hometown, Willow Grove, PA. A gray-striped tabby with jade-green eyes, Willow is about three, a former farm cat who has a history with the family.
Dr. Biden had met Willow when she was just a young feline in Pennsylvania. As spokesman Michael LaRosa put it, “Willow made quite an impression on Dr. Biden in 2020 when she jumped up on the stage and interrupted her remarks during a campaign stop. Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden.”
The Bidens didn’t feel comfortable introducing another animal into the White House environment with their two large German Shepherd dogs, but after Major’s reassignment due to aggressive behaviors in March 2021 and Champion’s passing last June, the decks were cleared. After adopting a German Shepherd rescue puppy, Commander, in December, they felt the time was now right to bring in a feline, while the puppy was young and they could adjust to their new lives together.
Willow was actually brought into the East Wing on January 26, but was allowed a brief respite before the white-hot glare of the press spotlight was turned her way. “Willow is settling into the White House with her favorite toys, treats and plenty of room to smell and explore,” explained the First Lady’s spokesperson. Calls for a press conference were deemed pre-meow-ture.
I’m using a chart for January 26, 2022, the actual date of Willow’s rehoming, not the formal announcement of her residence on January 28. Sadly, there is no Willow asteroid, but there is a Wil, and a Willacather (with “Willa” a close phonetic match for “Willow”), as well as an asteroid Salix, which is the genus name for the willow tree. For cats in general I’m using asteroids Kitty, Katz (German for “cat” and a phonetic match), Fellini (for “feline”) and Wildcat (for strays and rescues).
As ever, the skies reflect the reality. A triple conjunction of the Sun at 6 Aquarius with asteroid Whitehouse at 8 Aquarius and a retrograde Mercury at 29 Capricorn throws the spotlight (Sun) on doin’s at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Whitehouse), specifically regarding pets (with Mercury ruling small animals). Mercury’s retrograde status suggests going back into an old agreement or decision and bringing it to fruition, as is the case with the oft-deferred desire to adopt a cat for the White House. That’s the general atmosphere of the story, but of course there is much, much more.
Like an exact opposition from asteroid Bida at 20 Cancer to a pairing of asteroids Fellini and Wildcat at 20 Capricorn, linking the Bidens specifically to the idea of a feline (Fellini) and a rescue (Wildcat because, while not exactly a stray, Willow had been living as a “free range” kitty on the farm, not in a domestic environment). With Venus at 11 Capricorn trailing 9 degrees behind this cat-themed duo, and Mercury at 29 Cap running 9 degrees ahead, there’s an excellent chance for Willow to evolve into a much-loved (Venus) house pet (Mercury).
Another set of influences on the period involves stationary points, and brings together the First Lady and her new First Feline in direct proximity. There is no asteroid Jill, but there is a Jilin, and a number of CNAs (Compound-Name Asteroids, with a first and last name strung together as one word) which begin with Jill. Among these are asteroid Jillwatson, which at 17 Gemini is about to station, turning direct on February 5 at that degree. As well, asteroid Jilin is stationing retrograde at 5 Libra on 3 February, from where it conjoins asteroids Kitty and Katz, at 8 and 10 Libra, with Kitty actually stationing retrograde on January 28, the very day the adoption was announced (Katz will station a degree later, at 11 Libra, on February 13). Mercury’s station February 4 in the thick of this is another indicator of picking up the thread of a prior commitment regarding a pet, and putting it into effect.
Remarkably, asteroids Wil and Willacather appear at the same degree, 17 Pisces, conjoining Neptune at 21 Pisces, ruling rescue generally. These place holders for Willow exactly square the stationing Jillwatson at 17 Gemini, defining just who is doing the rescuing. And just so we’re sure to get the point, the cosmos obliges with asteroid Jillhirsch at 25 Pisces, joining the Neptunian rescue group.
Asteroid Salix, named for the scientific designation for the willow genus, appears at 26 Scorpio, semisquare Katz, but is more telling in this narrative for its transit placement in the Bidens’ natal charts. Joe Biden (born 20 November 1942 at 8:30 AM EWT in Scranton, PA; Rodden Rating A) has his Mercury at 21 Scorpio, with the Sun and Venus at 27 and 28 Scorpio, so transit Salix is conjoined them all. Jill (born 3 June 1951 at 8:50 PM EDT in Hammonton, NJ; Rodden Rating AA) has asteroid Fellini at that same 21 Scorpio degree, opposed exactly by Mercury at 21 Taurus, so both Bidens are receiving Salix transits to the planet which rules pets (Mercury) at a time when the First Lady adopts a cat (Jill’s Fellini) named Willow (Salix).
Resonances with both natal charts continue. Joe sports a pairing of Kitty and Wildcat at 3 and 8 Scorpio, with transit asteroid Washingtonia (for DC, their current city of residence) exactly conjoined Kitty for the adoption, while transit Whitehouse (their precise current address) exactly squares Wildcat from 8 Aquarius. Natally Kitty and Wildcat oppose his Moon, the domestic environment, at 0 Taurus, signifying a feline in the home at some point. Joe also has an exact pairing of natal Neptune and asteroid Fellini at 1 Libra, suggesting a rescue cat adoption at some point, with the transit Jilin and Kitty stations within orb.
More, Joe’s 0 Taurus Moon is exactly conjunct asteroid Willacather (dare we parse this as “Willa-cat-her”, a female feline named Willow?), for Willow the cat entering his household (Moon). Even more remarkably, the announcement of this move was made by FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) spokesman Michael LaRosa, with transit asteroid Rosa at – you guessed it – 0 Taurus for the statement! Reminding us that the First Lady was the moving force behind this adoption, we find asteroids Jillburnette and Jilltucker at 25 and 29 Aries for the adoption, conjoining her spokesman’s PNA. The icing on this catnip cake is Joe’s exact pairing of natal asteroids Wil and Whitehouse, both at 18 Aquarius, squaring natal Mercury!
Jill Biden’s natal asteroid Katz at 17 Gemini is an exact match for the transit Jillwatson direct station at the adoption, exactly squared its exact transit Wil/Willacather conjunction at 17 Pisces, which also conjoins her natal Wil at 12 Pisces, itself exactly squared the natal 12 Gemini Sun. Just as hubby Joe’s Willacather exactly conjoins his Moon, her Willacather at 3 Virgo closely squares her 5 Gemini Moon, making “Willow” a name that resonates deeply in their domestic life together (both Moons). Jill’s natal Wildcat at 18 Cancer feeds into the adoption polarity between transit Bida at 20 Cancer and transit Fellini/Wildcat at 20 Capricorn, T-Squared by Jill’s natal asteroid Kitty at 16 Aries, just for good measure. (By the way, the future First Lady has asteroid Whitehouse at station, turning retrograde from 2 Aquarius May 25, 1951.)
What a purrrfect enmeshment of celestial factors, for the first Oval Office kitty since the Bush’s beloved 18-year-old cat India exited the stage just weeks before the Bushes themselves left office, in January 2009. Here’s to a long and happy life for Willow FFOTUS (the First Feline of the United States)!