US natal Neptune 22Vir25 (planet of illusion, deception, fraud, and inspiration) is the first US planet to rise and it brings along our national and problematic Mars/Neptune square.
At 2:00 pm edt, May 23, 2011, chart-ruler Mercury 11Tau35 has just passed from 9th house into the Big Business 8th H of Shared Resources, Other People's Money, Debt, Credit, Insurance, and Transformation; also in 8th H are Venus 9Tau30, Mars 9Tau19, and Jupiter 27Ari29, with ideological, money-and-corporate-minded Jupiter the significator of the Republican Party. Jupiter's Sabian Symbol tallies with the American people's low approval rating for the US Congress: '28Ari' = "A Large Audience Confronts the Performer Who Disappoints Its Expectations."
8th cusp is also at a critical-crisis degree @ 12Ari19...'13Aries' = "A Unsuccessful Bomb Explosion" (which relates to 'a waste of opportunity and a futile expenditure of of self through vanity or petulance."
As for chart-ruler Mercury (planet of voting, negotiations, oration, trade, commerce, and thinking processes) makes no applying aspect to a planet in the gavel-in chart for May 23, 2011 and this sets the tone for how things will proceed this week in the House of Representatives: it doesn't. Or, everything depends on Mercury's house and sign placements, and its degree symbolism (see below.)
However, Mercury does trine the critical-degreed Ascendant (2:00 pm edt) whose Sabian Symbols (let's check out '17' and '18' Virgo) may give us word pictures of interest since they describe the WHAT? Point (ASC) of Congress' gaveling-in, the legislative session itself; Mercury also rules the Goal Point of the chart (MC 15Gem14):
'17Vir' = "A Volcano in Eruption"...EXPLOSION: negative expression: petulance and tantrum.
'18Vir' = "A Ouija Board"...ACUMEN: neg/unconscious/shadow side: a bondage to superstition and a surrender to the unknown.
Another factor of note is law-making Saturn 10Lib47 Rx in 1st house, a delay-restriction factor for the week (see: Congress agrees with Obama today to delay trade deals); plus, US natal Saturn 14Lib48 is in 2nd H of Earning Ability and Values in this chart; August 28, 2011 will be the 3rd of 3 'hits' of our national Saturn Return when accountability and responsibility issues look large when one hasn't acted honestly in the past. America's chickens of the debt persuasion are coming home to roost with our debt ceiling concerns looming large this summer, and the GOP's proposed austere budget (Saturn) cuts (Mars, in money sign Taurus conjunct evaluating Venus in 8th H.)
South Node, a point of separation and past behaviors too often depended upon, is in 10th H of Public Status, Saturn's natural house; Jupiter rules IC of Endings (and Real Estate) where NN (future direction) is posited along with wealthy saboteur Pluto 7Cap02 Rx, an actor who has been very busy deposing Saturnian leaders across the globe.
Sun 2Gem16 in 9th H of Philosophy, Religion, Higher Education, and Foreign Lands, is at a degree associated with the French Revolution...'3Gem' = "The Garden of the Tuileries"...LUXURY...neg: complete selfishness and a joy lording it over others. (The Sun is in process of conjoining and thus spotlighting President Obama's natal Moon in Gemini.)
The Moon (we-the-people; daily life; publicity) is @ 20AQ38 in 6th H of Daily Rounds, Work, Service, and Health; this indicates that Americans have a Lunar Return today depending on which version of the US natal chart you prefer for July 4, 1776 (natal Moon ranges on that date from 18AQ to 28AQ.) Also in 6th H are the traveling Neptune/Chiron duo, both moving direct now in mystical Pisces.
Disruptive, radical Uranus 3Ari41 in 7th H still travels with Hermes, an archetype of the Magician, Shaman, and Astrologer; the opposition between Saturn and Uranus (the duo connected with Palestine and Israel so those issues continue) has a 7 degr 6 min orb and will continue to separate after Saturn's Direct Station on Jun 12, 2011 @ 10Lib27 and Mr. Lesson-Bringer begins to move forward.
Mercury's Sabian Symbol is of note: '12Tau' = "A Young Couple Walking Down Main Street Window-Shopping" and we already know the topics relating to this degree: consumer purchasing or the lack thereof, our hope for consumer protections, and America's Main Street which the US Congress and others have sacrificed on the altar of corrupt, greedy Wall Street, the denizens of which should by law, be in jail.
Well, let's close with a few details concerning today's Sun-Moon blend with which Congress begins its week; it's an elegant and mental Air-Air combo of energies.
Sun Gem-Moon AQ is bright and light yet can be sober and serious. Wit, intelligence, and curiosity are indicated along with restlessness and perhaps the gift of prophecy. (Gemini brings The Good News, or is meant to.)
Finding a middle way resolves the blend's paradoxes of Spring vs Mid-Winter approaches; being fascinated with what makes people tick, this blend is one of life's great spectators and is a combo good for writing, speaking, and poetry. In business, opportunities can easily be spotted due to objectivity, cleverness, and a capacity for seeing the Big Picture.
Negatively, there can be a tendency to talk way too much (in Congress?!) while neglecting life's grittier realities (ours); a lack of connection with the dark and painful aspects of the self may be evident.
Images for Integration (of the Sun's Conscious Mind blended with the Lunar Unconscious):
"Sherlock Holmes...A scientist suddenly sees the caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly as one single being...Wagner's 'Der Ring des Nibelungen'."
(Sun Sign-Moon Sign, Charles and Suzi Harvey.)
That last image reminds me of what Mark Twain said when asked his opinion after he'd sat through a Wagner opera for the first time. To paraphrase: 'Wagner's music is better than it sounds.'
May the US Congress rise to the occasion on behalf of the American people who sent them to Capitol Hill expecting better outcomes than they've yoked us with over the last several years.
Alert! The broad expansion of presidential power being slipped into the upcoming defense authorization act will 'blow up the US Constitution' says, Thom Hartmann, and I totally agree - with endless war a predictable result - which US leaders aspire to.
The president's ability to assassinate any terrorist (or those deemed by the US government to be terrorists) anywhere in the world including the US is about to be slipped through Congress greased (they hope) by the much-touted May 1, 2011 assassination of Osama bin Laden. This naked US power grab answers the question many have asked since May 1st:
Why go after bin Laden now?
Imho, this reveals an ongoing, long term, cynical agenda for establishing global domination, m'peops (as I've typed so many times before - I'm fatigued with it, too), and it includes Jerusalem as World Capital in their NWO totalitarian plan.
The Sabian Symbols cited in this post are a mixture of Marc Edmund Jones'
The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, and Dane Rudhyar's An Astrological Mandala.