Bill O’Reilly’s Fall: The No Astro-Spin Zone
On April 19, 2017, Fox News announced it was parting ways with Bill O’Reilly, the most highly-rated prime time anchor in the cable news universe. Speculation had been swirling for weeks, following the release of documents showing that Fox had paid millions over decades to settle multiple sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly, but the news still sent shockwaves through the industry. It’s difficult to conceive of Fox without its founder, Roger Ailes, who was fired last year under a cloud of similar accusations, or its premiere mouthpiece.
It was a smack in the face for O’Reilly, who already has a thriving publishing career and received a reported $24 million golden parachute severance package, but will likely not impact his lifestyle greatly (beyond reducing the pool of women he can target for inappropriate contact). That payout is almost twice the $13 million Fox dispensed to at least seven women, coworkers and guests on his show, whom O’Reilly allegedly harassed, with complaints running from phone sex, lewd comments, and inappropriate advances, to threats and intimidation. The revelation of the settlements was bad, but the sponsor reaction was worse: upwards of 60 advertisers withdrew from the program, at one point leaving O’Reilly with just four minutes of ad time in an hour-long show. On April 11 O’Reilly announced a two-week vacation, returning on April 24, but events intervened, and O’Reilly’s time at Fox was over.
As always, celestial timing is perfect, and O’Reilly’s 19 April firing was announced under a conjunction of the Sun at 29 Aries with retrograde Mercury at 0 Taurus. The 29th, or critical, degree of any Sign can indicate an ending, and Mercury retrogrades often bring changes in news-related staffing, such as NBC anchor Brian Williams’ suspension in February 2015.
Additionally, the Sun was involved in an exact T-Square with asteroid Nemesis at 29 Capricorn and TNO Typhon at 29 Libra. Nemesis is named for the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution, and relates to self-undoing; Typhon is named for a Titan who created terrible storms and destruction, and relates to being beset by troubles and devastating loss. Typhon here is also exactly conjunct a Black Hole, which indicates sudden reversal of fortune, altered circumstance, and a major adjustment in reality. Personalizing this pattern to Bill O’Reilly is a conjunction of asteroid Williams at 27 Libra with Typhon, opposing the Sun; this is also conjoined O’Reilly’s (born 10 September 1949) natal asteroid Toro at 1 Scorpio, a point noted for its bullying, aggressive, overly macho tendencies. These square with O’Reilly’s reported behaviors when rebuffed, in threatening subordinates with dismissal and denying contributors air time, often in a pugilistic, hostile manner.
Asteroid William is stressed at this time as well, in exact conjunction with a stationary Saturn at 27 Sagittarius, both conjunct the Galactic Center, which promotes universal notice or attention. Also here is asteroid Askalaphus, noted for tale-bearing, at 25 Sagittarius. This shows an impact on O’Reilly’s (William) career (Saturn), potentially of a limiting or restrictive quality (also Saturn), based in revelations of an adverse nature (Askalaphus). All these points are standing still in the sky, at their station degrees, lending embedded power and force to their actions.
Worse, this grouping straddles natal points in O’Reilly’s chart which illustrate the difficulty and the venue: TNO Salacia at 28 Sagittarius, asteroid Aristaeus at 25 Sagittarius and asteroid Fox at 23 Sagittarius. Salacia, from whom we derive our word “salacious”, refers to crude or overt sexual content and actions; Aristaeus is named for Eurydice’s would-be rapist, and relates to inappropriate sexual advances; and Fox of course indicates Fox News, the location for the alleged harassment.
By transit, all these points collude to worsen the situation for O’Reilly. Salacia at 1 Aries is squaring its natal degree, emphasizing and energizing any latent potential in that direction; Aristaeus at 19 Aries opposes natal Venus at 24 Libra, exposing O’Reilly’s aggressive relating style with women; and Fox at 11 Scorpio is an exact match for O’Reilly’s natal asteroid Aphrodite, indicating illicit affairs.
Asteroid Fox is pivotal in the astro-story, as one might expect, for from 11 Scorpio it opposes transit asteroids Lust and Phaeton, at 11 and 12 Taurus; Lust of course is self-explanatory, while Phaeton refers to a spectacular fall from grace based in poor judgment. Fox is also opposing a natal pairing of asteroid Askalaphus (revealing secrets) at 16 Taurus and centaur Nessus at 13 Taurus, another point noted for forcible sexual contact and men generally behaving badly, in a sexual sense.
The stage was set for change by transit Jupiter’s retrograde station in February, which at 23 Libra conjoined natal Venus and natal asteroid William at 22 Libra, and was exactly atop natal asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and an indicator of endings generally. By the time of his firing, Jupiter had retrograded back to 16 Libra, just a degree shy of O’Reilly’s natal asteroid Ganymed at 15 Libra, noted for relationships involving an inequity of power or social standing between the partners, with an element of coercion thrown in for good measure.
The Lachesis “endings” energy is repeated in its transit position of 7 Pisces, which conjoins transit asteroid Wil at 12 Pisces, Nessus at 6 Pisces, and Neptune at 13 Pisces. This reiterates the theme of loss or ending (Lachesis) due to sexual misconduct (Nessus), personalized to O’Reilly (Wil), who in his public statement on the firing characterized himself as the victim (Neptune) in the piece. All these points oppose O’Reilly’s natal grouping of Wil, Saturn and the Sun at 6, 10 and 17 Virgo respectively. And having recently encroached on this stellium is transit asteroid Karma, representing the results of our actions, which is also stationary, and turned direct just the day before the firing, at 2 Virgo. As it resumes direct motion it will pass over O’Reilly’s solar stellium again, affording one more opportunity to reflect on his prior bad behaviors.
Recent eclipses also conspired in O’Reilly’s demotion. The Lunar Eclipse of 10 February at 22 Leo is only broadly conjunct natal Pluto at 17 Leo, ruling sex and scandal, but it sets up as the apex of a temporary Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with exact inconjunct aspects to both O’Reilly’s natal Jupiter, ruling reputation, at 22 Capricorn and natal Nemesis, self-created downfall, at 22 Pisces. The subsequent Solar Eclipse at 8 Pisces on February 26 opposes O’Reilly’s natal Saturn at 10 Virgo, identifying career as the area of life most at risk.