Edward Snowden & the NSA

by Joyce Levine

published in NCGR Memberletter September - October, 2013 issue 

There's an old saying astrologically – that it can be hard to tell the chart of the victim from the perpetrator – but that there is always a connection.  An analysis of Snowden's birth chart and that of the NSA clearly shows a connection. 


Snowden's birth data is reported as June 21, 1983 at 4:42 am in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  The NSA was established on November 4, 1952 in Washington DC.  I'm using noon as the time, as I could not find a time for President Truman's signature.


Interestingly enough, the spy agency has the Sun in Scorpio, the sign most associated with clandestine activities.  The NSA's purpose was to keep an eye on foreign governments. 


First, here's a little history.  Events in World War II led the US to recognize the imperative of intelligence.  Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor was meant to draw the US into a war, which the Japanese believed the US could not win.  At the time the Japanese fleet was far superior to that of the US.  The US ultimate advantage came from breaking Japan's naval code.  Many believe that this, combined with the allies cracking German codes, led to the allied victory in World War II. 


The memory of Pearl Harbor was deeply imbedded in the US psyche in the 1950s.  The Cold War brought fears of future surprise attacks from Soviet Union and China.  Many families built bomb shelters so that they would be safe just in case of an attack.  Collecting intelligence became the norm, not just in the US, but around the world.  As technology advanced, so did the collection. 


At the end of the Cold War, this fear subsided--until September 11, 2001.  Then fear once again gripped the land.  How could such an attack occur undetected?  Finding out that Al Qaeda had communicated on the internet led to NSA programs such as PRISM, which would comb the internet for potential threats.


As American citizens were included in this program, it presented an attack on American civil liberties, but not the first in US history.  Precedents had been set.  During World War II the US imposed postal censorship on the military and the FBI intercepted letters from overseas.  Japanese Americans were interned (certainly not the US finest hour).  President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War (sound like Guantanamo?). 


The War on Terror though is a different kind of war.  It has no criteria for attainable success as the elimination of all future terrorism is an unattainable goal.  So, as it stands, the suspension of civil rights is permanent.


Snowden, an employee of NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton revealed the extent of NSA spying.  First and foremost, the US government, without obtaining any court warrants, collects phone logs of Americans who have no links to terrorism.  Phone companies Verizon and A.T. & T. gather the information, in essence acting as subsidiaries for spy agencies.  The second revelation was that the NSA has the capacity to access user data from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Skype. 


The NSA's astrological chart has Sun in Scorpio opposite Jupiter in Taurus – clandestine activities entered into with optimism and practical ideals.  Mercury and Venus are in Sagittarius, the sign which represents foreign affairs but certainly not keeping secrets.  Once again, high ideals.  In spying, the NSA is doing precisely what it was designed to do.   


The chart also contains a T-square with Mars in Capricorn, Uranus in Cancer, and Saturn and Neptune in Libra.  It's likely that this represents the turmoil and distrust and the problems of negotiating treaties after World War II.


The Moon and Ceres in Gemini in the NSA chart tie into the US chart which has Uranus and Mars in Gemini (and a Gemini Ascendant if the 2:17 am chart is used).  The North Node in Aquarius conjoins the Moon in the US chart (closely if the Gemini Rising chart is used).  The stronger the ties between the founding of agencies or the passage of laws and the astrology charts of countries, the more importance they are likely to have.  If we look at the Moon as the public and Ceres as relating to both family life and the environment, it stands to reason that the NSA was created to protect public safety.


The Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars all fall out of bounds in the NSA chart.  Out of bounds is a term defining planets that have declinations beyond the maximum possible declination of the Sun. (The Sun's maximum declination is 23 degrees 28 minutes either North or South of the Celestial Equator.)  Simply explained, planets that fall out of bounds generally behave in a manner that might be considered out of the bounds of normal, ordinary, or expected behavior.  In a mundane chart, the Moon represents the public; Mercury, communication and commerce; Venus, society; and Mars, the military.  So while the NSA was originally set up to protect the public, it was likely to function outside what might be considered "normal convention."


Snowden's chart includes a stellium of Mercury, Mars, the North Node, Sun and Ascendant in Gemini, the Moon in Scorpio, Jupiter and Uranus conjoined in Sagittarius, Neptune in Sagittarius, Venus in Leo, Ceres in Aquarius, and Chiron in Taurus.


Many of his planetary placements form aspects to the NSA chart.  Among them, Snowden's Moon conjoins the NSA Sun and opposes its Jupiter.  His Jupiter and Uranus in Sagittarius conjoin the NSA Mercury. His Mercury and Ascendant in Gemini conjoin the NSA Moon and Ceres.  His Venus conjoins the NSA South Node and forms squares to its Sun – Jupiter opposition.  One could deduce that these planetary aspects are similar to a love affair gone bad.  There is both closeness and conflict.


With so many planets in Gemini, Snowden would place significant value on openness and communication.  This is further reinforced by his Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius opposite the Ascendant and Mercury.  A Mars, North Node, Sun conjunction gives him a fighting spirit.  His tendency would clearly be to "spill the beans."  The opposition of Mars, North Node, and Sun to Neptune conjoining the South Node in the 7th house shows both idealism and naïveté.  I suspect he expected, or at least hoped for, far different treatment for his revelations.


An exact date of when Snowden began revealing NSA secrets to the British newspaper The Guardian is hard to track.  On May 13, 2013, Snowden was permitted leave from Booz Allen Hamilton.  On May 20, 2013, he flew to Hong Kong, where he was staying when the initial articles that he had leaked on the NSA were published.  On June 9, 2013 The Guardian made Snowden's identity public.


The following are the planetary aspects under which Snowden revealed his secrets.  Transiting Jupiter conjoined Snowden's Mercury in Gemini in March, 2013, his Gemini Ascendant in early April, 2013.  It formed a sextile to Venus in Leo in April, formed a trine to his Midheaven in May, conjoined his North Node and Mars in June, formed trines to his Pluto and Saturn in Libra and an opposition to his Neptune in Sagittarius, conjoined his Sun in Gemini, all in June.  Transiting Uranus formed a trine to his natal Uranus in Sagittarius in February, and sextiles to Mercury in May and the Ascendant in June.  Transiting Neptune formed an exact square to Jupiter in March and formed a station not quite reaching his natal Uranus in June.  Pluto formed quincunxes to Mercury in January and June.  Chiron formed squares to Uranus in January, Mercury in March, the Ascendant in April, and a trine to his Moon in May and July.  The North Node formed a square to his Midheaven in February, his Venus in June, and conjoined his Moon in July.


His solar arc Venus formed a square to Uranus in February, and his solar arc Sun formed a square to natal Saturn in March.  The solar arc Sun had formed a square to natal Pluto one year earlier.  In September his solar arc Moon will conjoin his Descendant.


The Jupiter and Uranus transits to Snowden's chart indicate that he was likely to be motivated by high ideals and truly wanted to seek out "truth."  Gemini is not a sign to keep secrets.  The solar arc squares to his Sun to his Pluto and to Saturn indicate the probability of severe disappointment and disillusionment.  Remember that solar arcs start to exert an influence approximately a year before they become exact, so this disillusionment likely started two years before his public revelations. 


Squares from transiting Neptune in the 10th house of career to Jupiter and Uranus in the 6th house of work once again exemplify his high ideals.  Snowden in quoted in The Guardian (London) June 9, 2013 as saying, "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things…I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded…  My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."


Neptune is the planet of idealism and spirituality, but it is also be the planet of illusion and victimization.  At the time of Snowden's statement to The Guardian he may not have expected such a large negative reaction to his expose.  Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein joined Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner in calling Snowden a traitor.  However, his actions did spark debate.  On the other side of the issue were Tea Party favorite Representative Justin Amash, Republican from Michigan, and liberal Representative John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan.  Together they filed an Amendment to the House Defense Department appropriation bill that would defund an NSA program that collected telephone records of American.  (An analysis of this Amendment was published in Enews.  You can read it at https://joycelevine.com/NSA%20-%20Amash%20-%20Conyer%20Amendment.htm


While the Amash – Conyers Amendment did not pass, the debate on NSA spying goes on – as well as the debate over whether Snowden is a patriot or a traitor. 











Joyce Levine is a full-time professional consulting astrologer with more than 30 years experience.  She serves as a catalyst for her clients to overcome astro/psychological obstacles so that they can achieve their full potential.  Joyce is available for consulting work with individuals, couples, families, and businesses.  Joyce is the Clerk of NCGR, President of NCGR's Boston Chapter, and Level IV Certified in Consulting.  She has been a certified professional member of the AFA since 1979.


Joyce is the author of Breakthrough Astrology, Transform Yourself and Your World, A Beginner's Guide to Astrological Interpretation Transformational CDs:  Self-Help Series:  Meditation, Creative Visualization, Healing Anger, and Contacting Your Guardian Angel; and Integrating Astrological Cycles Series:  Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn, and Jupiter


Joyce can be reached at joycel@joycelevine.com or 2353 Massachusetts Avenue #91, Cambridge, MA 02140, 617-354-7075.  Her website is https://joycelevine.com.