Dominique Strauss Kahn: A Tragedy Unfolds

Tuesday May 17th 2011
“That old black ram is tupping your white ewe.”
Othello strangles Desdemona
 from Othello

Othello rose to the highest public office; he fell because of a fatal flaw, a personality defect so big that it opened its mouth and swallowed him.

Right now we are witnessing a tragedy. Dominque Strauss-Kahn may or may not be guilty of the crime for which he has been arrested, but he will certainly no longer be head of the International Monetary Fund and his career in politics may be finished.

I hesitate to grace his alleged behaviour with the label Shakespearean, because that would dignify something that is essentially sordid, vulgar and for the victim, frightening and dirty. Nevertheless, the story unfolding is following the rules of tragedy.

Othello’s flaw was jealousy; Strauss Kahn’s is arrogance. The particular punishment chosen for him is humiliation, the perfect opposition to arrogance.

Here is the description by one of his previous victims – the French journalist Tristane Banon – of his alleged assault on her in 2002. This is from the website Business Insider. Banon was a 21-year-old trainee journalist and arranged to meet Strauss Kahn for an interview.

“… It ended very badly, because we ended up fighting … I told him clearly. … We fought on the ground, it was more than a couple of slaps, I kicked him, he opened my bra, tried to open my jeans. … It finished very badly. …
I got out of there and he immediately sent me a text message saying, “So, are you scared of me?”I had said the word “rape” when we were struggling to scare him, and it didn’t seem to scare him, as if he was used to it. After [the incident] he wouldn’t stop sending me text messages saying “Are you scared of me?

I pulled up DSK’s chart, thanks to the French website Astrotheme. The most immediately striking thing about the chart is the stellium across Taurus Aries at the top with the Moon approaching it from the Aries Midheaven. This all speaks of someone who lives his life in public. (Even Strauss Kahn’s predatory attitude to women was apparently no secret, except that the French press does not report such things.)

He has Leo Rising at 0°. I would normally be wary of assigning ascendant when it’s so close to the cusp of a sign, but Leo works for someone who is so much in the limelight. Leo rising always has a tendency to arrogance, and one of the life lessons for the native is to learn to tone it down a little.; to learn to think of the “little people”.

I imagine with the Venus, Sun, Mars combo plus the Leo rising, that DSK is the kind of person who energises a room. When he walks in, you know about it. A real CEO/pols quality there.

Lesson in tragedy: One of the ways in which the
aging bully Agamemnon asserts power is by
claiming other people’s women.
Here’s Brian Cox playing the part in Troy.

His Mars is extra-strong in Aries. Since it is just 8° from the Sun its energy is subsumed into the ego, but not overwhelmed by it, especially because it is an out of sign conjunction. I bet he’s super-competitive, everything is about winning and losing. He sees himself as a winner – and so far he has won everything. That does mean that the rest of us are losers more or less.

I’d guess he’s a brave man though, with the Aries Moon and Mars. He can’t see what’s to be gained by pussyfooting around. He hasn’t been felled by this incredible humiliation. He’ll come out fighting.

This is the chart of a warrior, a fighter. This stellium is conjunct the North Node, which, in particular, is right next to the warrior Mars. So fighting is his destiny. Politics is, after all, a form of battle. DSK was gearing up to run for president of France. The battle lines had already been drawn between him and the current incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, another fighter, known for his willingness to play dirty.

Taurus Sun in the first 10° can be very strong-headed, wilfull.

The Mars-Sun-Venus is a sexual combination. Mars-Venus conjunctions are famously “hot” but with the Sun in there as well, his sex drive must be an important part of his identity.

Venus is strong in Taurus but she’s combust the Sun, which means fried to a crisp by the power of the ego. Venusian stuff – money and women – is fodder for DSK’s ego, but at the same time Sun is ruled by Venus by virtue of being in Taurus. Who’s on top?

Strauss Kahn is a very wealthy man as well as a notorious chimpanzée en rut. His own femininity is debilitated yet he needs these Venus things to feel himself.

Pluto rising is about power and penetration. In DSK’s world sex and power are all mixed up. Sex may be an assertion of power, an assertion of his identity.  Fascinatingly, there’s the tightest conjunction in the whole chart, between Pluto and his ancient enemy Ceres, the earth goddess and mother of his wife/victim Persephone. You can see the Pluto rising in his alleged text messages to Bannon – “Are you scared of me?” Pluto likes to intimidate. In the myth, of course, Persephone is very young, just as Bannon was in 2002. If he couldn’t have her, he would frighten her.

Clearly, he’s a risk-taker. With that Aries Moon his instinct is always to act first and think afterwards – a curious trait for someone in charge of the world’s kitty (by which I mean the pooled cash held by the IMF). I think his instinct is to fight. This is a very aggressive chart, but I think the aggression may not be obvious – unless you’re a woman at the receiving end of DSK’s attentions.

Why did he take such risks? Here’s an interesting astrological answer.

Sagittarius is the gamblers’ sign, five is the gamblers’ house. DSK has Chiron, which indicates a wound, or maybe in this case, an itch that just has to be scratched in Sagittarius in the fifth. I wonder sometimes if we would not do well when discussing Chiron to remember Achilles’ heel.

DSK’s a compulsive risk-taker. The fifth also rules flings, sexual adventures rather than relationships. He has a wound here, something was damaged.  The main aspect from this Chiron is, you guessed it, to that combust Venus up in the 10th. What is more Chiron is conjunct one of the brightest stars in the sky, Antares, described by Elsbeth Ebertin thus:

“A Mars nature, in which the powers of Mercury and Jupiter and Saturn are also added. Antares makes people tough, belligerent and pugnacious. This is an important star for military personnel and is said to convey mental alertness, strategic ability and courage and to make dare-devils, especially if tied up with the MC, Ascendant, Sun or Jupiter.” For more on Antares click here.

All that wounded anger is directed (indirectly via the uncomfortable, hard-to-resolve quincunx) at Venus. I wonder what happened to him as a child or young man.

According to reports, some people have long claimed that DSK has a “problem” with women. No kidding. I’d say his aggressive attitude to women is a classic case of being unable to integrate the feminine in himself but how did this disjuncture happen?

Sagittarius is a sign associated with big horizons and foreigness. Does DSK feel like an outsider and does he compensate for that by trying to shag everything that moves (allegedly)? Sex can be an assertion of power and ownership – especially with Pluto involved. Apparently, he found the attitude of his civil servants last time he was in public office in France, snooty. He’s an outsider who wants to be an insider. This, again, is a classic pols psychological profile. Sarkozy is the same.

Some exact transits and a fascinating progression
tr Pluto (7° Cap), the planet we associate with rape, is exactly trine DSK’s already besieged Venus (7°) in Taurus. Pluto is also, of course, associated with unpleasant truths being revealed. One unpleasant truth here is that DSK despises women and until now has probably gotten away with abusing them.

tr Uranus (surprise, you got caught) is exactly conjunct his natal Moon (compulsions) in Aries (3°).

tr Jupiter conjunct natal Mars exactly at 26° Taurus. Big overkill on the energy/libido there DSK and in the public 10th house.

Pallas Athena wears the Medusa on her shield.
Please see this post to see how Algol (the Medusa’s head)
fits in with the DSK story.
prog New Moon conjunct natal Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom and good sense. Natally, she is excellently placed for him, putting a restraining hand on the shoulder of that impulsive Aries Moon. Apparently, he is very smart, but I don’t think you’d see that from the natal chart without the Pallas. It suggests he has intelligent instincts. Pallas has always been his friend in battle. So what about a New Moon there. This is quite a big deal with progressions. It only happens every 28 and a half years or so. This is the end of a chapter for DSK and the beginning of something new. I think he’s going to come out of this with a whole new plan for his life – Pallas is all about strategy.
(Just as an aside, I note that the royal star Regulus is conjunct DSK’s Saturn in the second house of money – pretty good for one of the world’s top bankers.)
What’s going to happen?

He has powerful friends, of course, with Jupiter on the descendant, but that also means powerful enemies and it squares his Sun quite closely.

Dominique Strauss Kahn may be guilty or he may have been set up. There could be an Iago to DSK’s Othello. But the fact is, he was an easy target because he is flawed – and it seems no one has told him that his behaviour and attitude to women is not civilized. One thing I’m sure of, he’s going to fight.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How have the mighty fallen.

  2. diastella says:

    fascinating exploration…head of the IMF with Saturn conjunct Regulus in the 2H…wow. The Pluto Ceres conjunction rings the alarm bells louder than a purely sarkozy ploy. It would be interesting to uncover what the childhood trigger was.

  3. Christina says:

    I agree with what you say about Pluto/Ceres. It is a combination that shouts rape. Pluto and Ceres conjuncted earlier this year of course. I think I wrote a post about the Gusher in the Gulf and this combination – and of course the Chilean miners.

  4. Dee says:

    The complete lack of the water element in his chart is very telling, I think. His behavior towards defenseless women is certainly callous, cold and utterly insensitive.

    To think that someone with this lack of character has been given such power over the world’s money. Good riddance!

  5. Christina says:

    Good point about the water.

    Don’t you think the choice of DSK tells us a lot about the people making these decisions. Sometimes I begin to they just might not give a ****.

    And in contrast. Say what you like about Barack Obama, Americans should feel jolly pleased with themselves that they have a decent man for president.

  6. Christina says:

    oops meant to say begin to think …

  7. P says:

    This is a REALLY good post.

    Perhaps a comparison of this b******* and other CEOs would be usual.

    My original suggestion was the comparison of CEOs caught for fraud and sexual predators, because there are psych books out there on psycho/sociopaths. However, that may well be too depressing / stressful, etc.

    (Okay, now I have a really bad taste in my mouth)

    Where’s the beautiful Pallas pic from? It looks like Klimt.

  8. Christina says:

    That’s Klimt all right – speaking of kinky men.

    Absolutely – it would be interesting. I think I’ll keep that for a fallow patch.

  9. Very interesting analysis? How would you interpret the forthcoming transit of Jupiter on DSK’s Sun? Do you think he might be exonerated? You might also want to read my own analysis of this scandal as part of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn.

  10. Christina says:

    @vangelis – I like your post on Capricorn and Pluto. I think it’s a great overview of what’s been happening during this transit so far.

    @piper – I had not made the connection between the severed head of John the Baptist and Algol etcetera – but now that you mention it, yes.

    It’s always struck me as a particularly weird story in a big book of weird stories, though. And furthermore, it’s interesting that of all the tales in the Bible, that’s one of the one to inspire a lot of art.

    Then there is Judith and Holofernes of course!

  11. […] clumsily. That is what the sex-addiction is about. He is trying to get himself to feel. Click here for my previous post about […]