JUPITER, URANUS AND THE COMPUTER REVOLUTION
The Story of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates
By Sister Ray the Astrologer
©Gail Lawson Clough 2012 - This article is not to be reproduced or copied without author's permission.
This page is dedicated to the memory of my beloved brother
Donald Russell Lawson
artist, musician, cartoonist, humorist and computer whiz
March 20, 1955 - September 20, 2011
"There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air."
"Tangled Up and Blue," by Bob Dylan
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection and the Computer Revolution
Altair, Atari and Astrology
Woz the Wizard
Magic Steve the Mystic Guru
Cardinal Cross: The Search for Identity
Out-of-Sign Grand Trine
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection and The Two Pranksters: Synastery Between the Two Steves
Wild Bill Gates
Who Said There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch?
The DOJ v. MS
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection: Dueling Dignities
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection: Inception, Incorporation and IPO Dates
We all remember the days BC (Before Computers) when, if you needed information, you would go to a reference book on a shelf in a library somewhere. Now, information is instantly accessible on the Internet with a few strokes on your computer keyboard. Before Apple came along, computers didn’t have keyboards or monitors. In 1975, no one had a home computer. Less than 40 years ago, computers were finicky monsters requiring carefully climate-controlled rooms of their own, and miles of special tape for data storage. Documents were manually typed on IBM Selectric typewriters. Music was purchased via vinyl record albums and expensive sheet music. If you wanted to play a video game, you went to a video arcade (and the games were simple). Horoscopes were calculated manually with painstaking precision. Now, we have word processing software, sophisticated PC video games, horoscope calculation software and the Internet, which is like having the library of Alexandria at your fingertips. In less than 40 years, an electronics revolution has brought us the possibility of instantaneous worldwide communication with a few mouse clicks. This wondrous achievement is primarily due to the efforts of three men: Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The lives of these three remarkable men are as colorful as a comic book character’s. One was a clever child prodigy; one was a marketing genius and guru to world leaders and the stars; and the other was the youngest billionaire in American history who terrorized “suits” all over the world yet had to stop and buy a tie on his way to the most important meeting in his life with IBM in Autumn 1980! As one would expect, their horoscopes are distinctive and unusual, with much in common.
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection and the Computer Revolution
Our three uncommon Musketeers have much in common astrologically. Not surprisingly, the planet that rules revolution, electricity and computers, Uranus, is prominent in their horoscopes, as is the planet of law, abundance and good fortune, Jupiter. The largest planet in the solar system combined with the planet of revolution set the stage for the personal computer revolution. In accordance with the fundamental principle of astrology, As Above, So Below, Jupiter and Uranus are intimately connected to the computer revolution not only in the horoscopes of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, but also in the IPO horoscopes for Apple and Microsoft, the companies they founded. Let’s start with the three men who created the two flagship companies of the computer revolution. (1) Wozniak has a singleton Jupiter which is also part of his Grand Trine; Jobs, the point man in this triad, had Jupiter conjunct Uranus; and Gates has Jupiter conjunct Pluto. (2) Naturally, all three have the planet of electronics and computers, Uranus, in a position of power in their horoscopes. Wozniak’s most elevated planet is Uranus on the Midheaven; Jobs had Jupiter conjunct Uranus; and Gates has Uranus rising. (3) All three men have Midheaven conjunctions, the Midheaven being the zenith or highest point overhead and the cusp of the house that rules our career and standing in the world. Wozniak has Uranus conjunct the MC; Jobs had the North Node there; and Gates has the Moon on his MC. (4) All three have powerful Scorpio points: Wozniak has Mars in Scorpio; Jobs had Saturn in Scorpio; and Gates has the Sun, Venus and Saturn in Scorpio! (5) Our three computer giants all have power conjunctions to focus their energy: Wozniak has the Sun conjunct Pluto, giving him penetrating insight and an intense need to transform himself and his surroundings; and Mercury conjunct Saturn to focus his ideas into form. Jobs had Jupiter conjunct Uranus, focusing Uranian brilliance into Jupiterean abundance. Gates has Venus conjunct Saturn, the perfect aspect for a man in love with his work; and Jupiter conjunct Pluto – with the planet of abundance conjunct the planet of wealth, it is no surprise that he has the Midas touch. (6) Furthermore, these three remarkable men all have group aspects that set them apart: Wozniak has a water Grand Trine; Jobs had a Cardinal Grand Cross and an out-of-sign Grand Trine; and Gates has a Sun-Neptune T-square to Uranus and Chiron. (7) Finally, there is an amusing interplay between the planetary dignities of Jupiter and Uranus in the horoscopes of Wozniak, Jobs and Gates that will be discussed later in this story. What laid the groundwork for the personal computer revolution?
Altair, Atari and Astrology
In January, 1975, the first home computer, the Altair 8080, was introduced to the market in Popular Mechanics magazine. Named after the brightest star in the constellation Aquila, the Altair 8080 was a kit you had to build yourself like a HAM radio electronics kit. It cost $375.00 and was a flat-paneled machine with no keyboard or monitor, but every electronics buff in creation was ecstatic. One of our three computer giants, Bill Gates, wrote BASIC for the Altair. In fact, all three worked for one of the pioneer computer companies in their early careers. Steve Wozniak worked for Hewlett-Packard designing calculators – by the way, dear readers, HP turned down the opportunity to buy Wozniak’s original motherboard design, the one that became the Apple I! Steve Jobs was one of the first fifty employees of the Atari company, manufacturer of the wildly popular arcade games, Breakout, Pong and many more. At one point, Jobs was asked to design a horoscope-generating device for Atari, but the computing power just wasn’t there at the time. Now, astrologers and students can generate horoscopes in seconds. It is thanks to all the great software out there that astrologers can do research in a fraction of the time it took before computers. And, it all started with the personal computer revolution. If Altair and Atari laid the groundwork for the personal computer revolution, one person came up with the actual design.
Woz the Wizard
Steven Wozniak (who is nicknamed, “Woz”) is the inventor in this triumvirate, the only engineer and the wizard who actually designed the personal computer (PC). The first computer he designed and built, nicknamed the “Cream Soda Computer,” led to the fateful meeting with his cyber soul mate, Steve Jobs through a mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, who assisted him with the construction of the Cream Soda Computer (so named because he and Bill used to drink Craigmont Cream Soda from the Sunnyvale Safeway while they were working on the project). Jobs was the only person who loved electronics (and elaborate pranks) as much as Woz, and they became close friends, despite a four-year age difference. Jobs was an extrovert; Woz a shy introvert, notwithstanding his Leo Sun. In addition to having inhibited Virgo rising and the Moon in shy, secretive Cancer, all of Woz’s planets except for his singleton Jupiter are in the Eastern hemisphere of self, so it is no wonder that he was shy. Locking him into this introspective orientation are four squares in his Eastern hemisphere. The Moon is square Mars and Neptune; Saturn-Mercury is square Chiron; Venus is square Mars; and Uranus is square Neptune. This combination of squares in the hemisphere of introspection would make it difficult for Woz to break out of his shell.
Woz is a kind, shy person for whom social interaction is challenging, even sometimes painful. He needed someone who understood his deep sensitivity. Steve Jobs was the ideal candidate for many reasons. Jobs had the Sun in Pisces, the perfect complement to Steve Wozniak’s Pisces Jupiter. Woz’s lucky water Grand Trine from Mars in Scorpio to Jupiter in Pisces to Uranus in Cancer complemented Job’s Grand Trine between Saturn in Scorpio to Jupiter-Uranus in Cancer to the Moon in Aries. As abrasive as Jobs could be, Woz was the opposite, a big, lovable Teddy bear who would give you the shirt off his back. Woz has no oppositions in his chart and needed a go-getter like Jobs to interface with the sharks in the business world. Woz needed a front man to market his original designs and Jobs was perfect.
Woz was shy, but he was also very lucky. His singleton Jupiter in Pisces helped to attract just the right support at the right time over the course of his life. Steve Jobs was one of his most important supporters, and helped Woz build the first Apple Computer, but Woz’s biggest supporter and champion was his Dad, Jerry, a former Cal Tech quarterback and electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin. Jerry nurtured his brilliant son who had an IQ of 200 and was reading at age three. Jerry taught Steve all he knew about electronics. Steve put the knowledge to good use, building his first radio at age six, the same year he became an amateur radio operator (HAM). His brilliant, visionary mind was fed by three Quintiles that add sparkle to his Grand Trine – Sun Q Mars; Mars Q Pluto; and Saturn Q Uranus. Electronics and mathematics were always his main areas of interest, not surprising with Uranus, planet of radios, TVs, computers and electronics, on the MC. The MC at 29-degrees Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which is conjunct Saturn, giving Steve the ability to translate his ideas into form. Mercury is in its own sign, Virgo, in the 12th house of the subconscious and hidden treasure – this gives intense powers of concentration and the ability to translate complex concepts dredged up from the subconscious mind into concrete form to be ultimately put to practical use. Complementing Mercury conjunct Saturn is another powerful conjunction, the Sun conjunct Pluto in Leo. This gives intense focus to Woz’s character, which needs to change the world and entertain at the same time, craving the applause that accompanies a good show. In fact, Wozniak threw the show of the decade on Labor Day weekend 1982 with his rock extravaganza, the US Festival, which inspired Farm Aid and Live Aid. Little did he dream when he built the Cream Soda Computer that it would lead to the invention of a device that would make him rich enough to host a rock festival! How did this happen? Woz was a brilliant mathematician and engineering designer, but he was not outgoing. His relationship with Jobs gave him the social and business connections, as well as access to the sales and marketing know-how, that would lead to the successful launch of the Apple Computer. Who was Steve Jobs?
Magic Steve the Mystic Guru
Magic Steve the Mystic Guru was many things rolled into one. Part poet, part guru, part motivational speaker, the late Steve Jobs was above all a brilliant salesman. A charismatic and magnetic man, he could have sold the Brooklyn Bridge if he wanted to. His hypnotic gaze and dark, handsome good looks were instrumental to his success in life, but beneath the surface, there was something deep and mystical about him. In 1974 when he was 19, he traveled to India with a friend. During this trip, he was “converted” to Zen Buddhism by a revered Baba who singled him out of a large audience, hauled him to the top of a hill and shaved his head! A lifelong Zen Buddhist, he had the rare quality of wisdom, for which his advice was sought by Presidents (George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton), rock stars (Madonna), and even young upstarts like Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook. Legend has it that Zuckerberg consulted Jobs about his company, which at the time, was named The Facebook. Jobs told him to drop the “The” and make sure his product appealed to females because you wouldn’t do good business if ladies didn’t participate. His wisdom was as legendary as his temper, but, despite his reputation as a tyrant, Jobs was deeply sensitive, a part of himself that he mostly kept hidden. His Sun in Pisces in the 12th house of hidden things was masked by his take-charge Aries Moon and Mars.
Before we go any further in exploring the life of this fascinating man, it must be said that Jobs’ birth information is not reliable for several reasons: (a) he was adopted and the birth records of adopted children are sealed; (b) he was a secretive billionaire who went to a lot of trouble to protect his privacy and had the legal and financial resources to guarantee that his wishes to hide his birth data would be respected; and (c) he was a New Age mystic fully aware of the power of astrology and would have feared misuse of his birth information, thus giving him further reason to conceal his birth data. In fact, the available birth data for Steve Jobs from Lois Rodden’s original Astrodatabank 4 is C-rated due to ambiguities about his time of birth. Since Lois Rodden's passing and the sale of her legacy, there has been a change in the rating to AA based on an informational birth certificate that lists the names of Steve Jobs’ adoptive parents and a birth time stated as: "7:15Pa.m.". See http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/File:Stevejobs.jpg. Sister Ray does not agree with the posthumous AA Rodden Rating because it is highly likely that the informational birth certificate on which it is based is not the authentic birth certificate. One obvious reason is that the names of Jobs' biological parents (which are known to the public) are not on it. If the names of the birth parents were changed, as is routine with adopted children, other birth data could have been changed. For all of these reasons, we feel that Mr. Jobs' birth time must be rectified. According to Lois Rodden's original, authentic data, Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 7:55 a.m. PST. To test the probability of Jobs' birth time, Sister Ray prepared horoscopes for 6:00 a.m.; 6:40 a.m.; 7:00 a.m.; 7:15 a.m.; 7:55 a.m.; and 7:15 p.m. (PST) on February 24, 1955 in San Francisco. For the following reason, Sister Ray believes that 7:55 a.m. is closest to the correct time:
(1) The 6:00 a.m. chart: Retrograde Mercury in Aquarius is rising in this chart. It is unlikely that a master salesman would have Mercury retrograde at all, let alone rising. Jobs does indeed have Mercury Retrograde, but it does not belong on the Ascendant; it is much more comfortable in the 11th house home of its natural ruler. That is one reason to rule out 6:00 a.m. as the birth time, but there is an additional disqualifying factor in this chart, namely, the Moon in Pisces. Considering Jobs’ renowned fiery temperament and intimidating reputation, it is highly unlikely that he would have had both luminaries in the gentle, dreamy, low-key sign of Pisces. None of these adjectives describe the man who was so peremptory and abrasive that he was fired from his own company!
(2) The 6:40 a.m. chart: This chart has the Sun in Pisces rising with the Sun at five-degrees Pisces and the Moon in the 1st house at zero-degrees Aries and Mars in Aries in the second house. His Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is squarely in the 5th house. This chart does not fit Steve Jobs either because Pisces rising simply does not work with the fiery, temperamental image Jobs presented to the world.
(3) The 7:00 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. charts: Pisces is still rising, only now the Sun is in the 12th house. Once again, Pisces rising contradicts the public image of Steve Jobs and does not work.
(4) The 7:15 p.m. chart: Virgo is rising in this chart and Pisces is setting. Does anyone really believe that hot-headed, narcissistic Steve Jobs had shy Virgo rising? Steve Wozniak had Virgo rising, not Steve Jobs. The distinction is overwhelming. Pisces is on the 7th house cusp of partnerships. Jobs’ partnerships, although productive and profitable, were anything but Piscean in nature. Jobs was abrasive and even abusive in his relationships, after all, he was fired from his own company for the way he treated his partners. Pisces on the Descendant does not fit him anymore than Virgo rising does.
Let’s look at the planet of wealth, Pluto. In the 7:15 p.m. chart, it is hidden in the 12th house of secrets and the subconscious. His wealth may have earned him plenty of enemies, but it was not acquired through secret or nefarious means, he earned it openly through his partnership with Steve Wozniak, his superb salesmanship and his ability to persuade others -- the 7:55 a.m. chart has Pluto in the sixth house of work where it makes much more sense. The second house also deals with money and resources. In the 7:15 p.m. chart, the second house is ruled by the sign of relationships, Libra; in the 7:55 a.m. chart, the second house is ruled by Taurus, the sign of money ruled by Venus – Jobs used his good looks and charm to get people to want Apple products, which helped to make him an overnight millionaire. Jobs’ salesmanship was his key contribution to the computer revolution – in the 7:15 p.m. chart, Retrograde Mercury is in the fifth house of love and children; in the 7:55 a.m. chart, it is in the 11th house of friendship and the natural house of Uranus, the planet which rules computers and revolution. His ability to persuade (Mercury) was his main asset, along with his good looks (Venus, his most elevated planet), and has a wider range in the 11th house than it does in the 5th.
The issue of Jobs’ parents is a crucial one, which will be discussed in more detail shortly. In the 7:15 p.m. chart, Venus in Capricorn is in the fourth house of early childhood. At first glance, this fits, but when you look at the 7:55 a.m. chart, it is in the 10th house – Jobs found his original birth parents and favored the mother. In fact, she was completely absent during his childhood and doesn’t belong in the house of early childhood. In the 7:15 p.m., Jupiter in Cancer, symbol of the father, is in the 10th house in the elevated position. Jobs never had a relationship of any kind with his birth father and seemed to hold a grudge against him. Who could blame him? The adoptive father who gave him a childhood home is symbolized by Jupiter in Cancer in the fourth house in the 7:55 a.m. chart; both mothers are in the elevated position. Sister Ray believes that the two mothers should be in the elevated position, not the fathers.
Finally, Jobs was a seeker who, as an adopted and highly intelligent child, had more than one identity crisis. He sought solace in the Oregon commune which inspired the name, “Apple,” because of its apple orchard. He went on a pilgrimage to India when college didn’t help him find the answers he sought. When his own company threatened to subsume his identity, he went on a hegira to Japan. What sign is on the cusp of the 9th house of Sagittarius and the seeker in the 7:55 a.m. chart? Its natural sign, Sagittarius. What sign is on the cusp of the 9th house in the 7:15 p.m. chart? Down-to-earth, conservative Taurus. Which sign fits, dear reader? Jobs was one of those Hegelian world historical figures that history requires at certain times in human evolution. Aries rising with the signs of the zodiac proceeding in their natural order reinforces the selection of 7:55 a.m. as the proper rectified time of birth.
(5) The 7:55 a.m. chart: Now Aries is rising with the Moon very close to the horizon with Aries Mars in the first house of self; Pisces Sun in the twelfth house of hidden things; and Aquarius Mercury in the eleventh house of friendship. For the foregoing and following reasons, I believe that this chart is the correct one. Jobs had a reputation for being charismatic, but difficult. Aries rising with its ruler, Mars, in the first house fits the hard-charger, type-A person whom the world knew as Steve Jobs. The mysterious Moon on the horizon gave Jobs the hypnotic power he had over people with his Rasputin-like gaze. Mercury in the sign of humanity in the house of friendship symbolized the friendly relationships Jobs had with so many salesmen in the electronics business, which is how he procured the hard-to-get, expensive chips Woz needed to execute his original computer designs, which led to creation of the Apple I. Finally, the Sun in Pisces in the twelfth house of hidden things represents Jobs’ sensitive side and a tenderness that he tried to hide from the world and sometimes even himself. This brings up the important subject of Steve’s hidden birth parents.
Cardinal Cross: The Search for Identity
Steve Jobs was adopted. No matter how much he loved his parents, he always felt like he didn’t belong and was haunted by the rejection of his biological parents, especially his father. In his famous 1985 Playboy interview, he says:
Playboy: You had been adopted, hadn’t you? How much of a factor in your life was that?
Jobs: You don’t ever really know, do you?
Playboy: Did you ever try to find your biological parents?
Jobs: I think it’s quite a natural curiosity for adopted people to want to understand where certain traits come from. But I’m mostly an environmentalist. I think the way you are raised and your values and most of your world view come from the experiences you had as you grew up. But some things aren’t accounted for that way. I think it’s quite natural to have a curiosity about it. And I did.
Playboy: Were you successful in trying to find your natural parents?
Jobs: That’s one area I really don’t want to talk about.
At age twenty, Jobs set out to find his birth parents. In his horoscope, the biological parents are symbolized by Jupiter in Cancer in the fourth house (his father) and Venus in Capricorn in the tenth house (his mother). They are exactly opposite each other, symbolizing the fact that his birth parents were at odds with each other about keeping their first-born child and separated despite having a child together. The anguish of being abandoned by his birth parents, particularly his father, had a profound effect on Jobs. In his horoscope, Jupiter in Cancer opposite Venus in Capricorn intersect with Mars opposite Neptune to form a Cardinal Cross. Jobs was up on the cross of uncertain identity (Mars in 1 opposite Neptune in 7) and made several mystic pilgrimages to find himself (Sagittarius, sign of the seeker, on the ninth house cusp of long distance travel). The first hegira was to India in his late teens and the second to Japan in the early days of Apple when Jobs feared he was losing himself in the company. In his search for identity, he also experimented with drugs (Neptune), Eastern religion (Jupiter) and radical diets (Mercury/Pluto/6th house), eventually becoming a pescatarian. With Pluto in the sixth house of health opposite the Sun, he went to extremes when it came to his health and this may have shortened his life. Virgo is intercepted in the sixth house, so it is no surprise that Jobs was obsessive/compulsive about his health.
The quest for his birth parents led to the discovery of a hidden sister. In 1984, Jobs discovered his soul mate, his sister, Mona Lewis, symbolized by the sign of the twins, Gemini, on his third house of siblings. So, despite the pain of rejection by his biological parents, Jobs found a silver lining in the discovery of his beloved sister, who adored him for 27 years and was by his side with the rest of his family when he passed from this Earth on October 5, 2011. Driven by his Grand Cross, he was like Don Quixote, always on a quest, always searching, tilting at windmills and upsetting the apple cart! He had luck on his side: His lucky Grand Trine helped counteract the weight of the Grand Cross.
Out-of-Sign Grand Trine
Steve Jobs had an impeccable sense of timing. So many times in his life, he was at the right place at just the right time, under the influence of his Moon-Jupiter/Uranus-Saturn trine. Balancing the tension of Jobs’ Cardinal Cross was an out-of-sign Grand Trine from Saturn in Scorpio to the Moon rising in Aries to the Cancer Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. Talk about electric –he was the kind of person who could light up a room. Known for his showmanship, it was Jobs and his creative marketing vision in wanting to make the personal computer aesthetically pleasing that won the hearts of the ordinary people whose buying power would make our three heroes not only rich, but super rich. There was something other-worldly about Steve Jobs, no wonder, with all the intense activity in his chart. With that hypnotic, cobra-like gaze of his, when he spoke, people listened. He was a superstar salesman who knew how to make people want things. The Apple II was called, “the Cadillac of computers” (p. 238, The Little Kingdom) and everyone wanted one because it had a color monitor and a very useful software program called VisiCalc, which could perform basic accounting tasks and appealed to the home user. Without his superb salesmanship, the PC revolution would not have occurred. Jobs’ bold, brash, eccentric, dynamic Jupiter-Uranus conjunction made him the perfect mouthpiece for the computer revolution.
Jobs must have been an amazing person to know with his sexy masculine rising Aries Moon and Mars in the first house combined with his dreamy Pisces Sun, which gave depth and sensitivity to his sometimes harsh outer persona. His powerful Saturn in Scorpio gave him a commanding mastery over others. Saturn in Scorpio is domineering and craves authority over others, which Jobs certainly had as CEO of Apple. Jobs had a dark side, brought out by the trine from Jupiter-Uranus to Saturn and the Moon. Like Gates, he had an explosive temper – it’s the Aries Moon. Jobs was a fanatical worker and perfectionist (he has Virgo in the 6th house of work). He put great drive into realizing his ambitions, and was as relentless with himself as he was with others. After he left Apple in 1985, he bought what would become Pixar from LucasFilm for five million dollars. Using his marketing magic, he built the company into a hit-movie making machine, eventually selling Pixar to Disney for $7.4 billion dollars! Ultimately, he returned to and resuscitated his own company, too, with iTunes, the iPhone and the iPad. What is Apple going to do without him? Wozniak must have been devastated when he lost his little brother. Together, they changed the world.
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection and The Two Pranksters: Synastery Between the Two Steves
Woz and Jobs have multiple magnetic astrological connections between them. Job’s 12th house Sun at 5-degrees Pisces is one degree from Woz’s singleton Jupiter at 4-degrees Pisces in the 6th house of work. They are opposite and symbolize the exciting, dynamic relationship between the two men who would change the world. Woz had the actual designs and Jobs had the marketing strategy and creative vision needed to turn a blueprint into an object of consumer desire. Before Apple, computers were flat-paneled behemoths with lots of LEDs and switches and could only perform highly specialized tasks. Woz wanted to design a computer that could perform practical tasks and do useful work for regular people. Initially, his main problem was getting the rare and expensive chips he needed -- Jobs used his magic to cadge the chips for Woz, and the computer revolution was on its way.
Jobs’ Cancer Jupiter-Uranus conjunction was a magnet for Woz’s Pisces Jupiter, which harmonized with Jobs’ Pisces Sun. There was only one thing that the two Steves like more than electronics and that was playing pranks on people. Woz was the first person to set up a “Dial-a-Joke” phone line in the U.S. Woz nicknamed himself Stanley Zeber Zenskanitsky and told Polish jokes (he is Polish American). The humorous hot-line was a huge hit, but Woz had to change from Polish to Italian jokes after the Polish American Congress complained! The most famous prank attempted by the young Woz and his younger accomplice was The Finger Flag. They had created a banner with a giant logo of the middle finger to unfurl during Woz’s high school graduation ceremony, and even though the joke was foiled by a rat, it was legendary. Another prank turned into their first business venture together -- selling blue boxes meant to tap into long distance phone lines. Their capers during this period are renowned, including a few run-ins with the law, naturally, because Jupiter and Uranus together is a dangerous combination. Uranus rules Aquarius, the sign of brotherhood, and no two blood brothers were closer than the two Steves in their youth. Even their nemesis, Bill Gates, eventually buried the hatchet and joined forces with Apple. This was Jobs’ Second Coming – there is a famous anecdote about how Jobs dressed up as Jesus Christ on the first Apple Halloween party, which was to become the annual company holiday. During the ten years after Jobs was fired, the company stagnated. After his return in 1997, he turned the company around and, among other things, engineered a deal with Microsoft that infused Apple with $150 million in exchange for licensing Internet Explorer on Mac computers. Who is Bill Gates and what makes him tick?
Wild Bill Gates
From his mild-mannered (some might say nerdy) appearance you would never guess that Bill Gates is a wild man, a driven, poker-playing speed demon with a megalomaniacal need to amass tons of money. Gates is (or at least was in his youth) a completely fearless wild man with nerves of platinum and balls of steel. He once returned a Porsche 911 to the dealership because it wouldn’t go over 125 MPH! Believe it or not, without his ruthless business practices, the computer revolution would probably not have happened, or at least it would have taken a lot longer. Woz invented the actual device; Jobs gave it the right packaging and sex appeal so people would want to buy it; but Gates helped develop the language which allowed others to write the programs that would makes computers indispensible because of all the useful work they could perform. How did he do it?
Bill Gates is a maniac workaholic, a firebrand driven to be Number One! Like Jobs, Gates has an angular Moon in the first decanate of Aries. It is also a singleton, like Woz’s Jupiter: Gates’ Aries Moon is the only planet in the Southern hemisphere and is opposite its ruler Mars, which is conjunct Mercury. It is easy to see where Gates volcanic temper and wild rants come from. Controlling his temper is not easy for him and with Mercury conjunct Mars, his tongue lashings are frequent, fiery and sometimes vicious. He really can’t help himself because with two fixed sign conjunctions involving the two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn; and the Sun in Scorpio, he is obsessive/compulsive by nature. In addition, his Sun-Neptune T-square to Uranus and Chiron gives him an acutely nervous, high-strung disposition with an addictive personality. When he was a freshman in prep school, his parents made him give up computers for a year because he had become a “computer bum,” spending night and day obsessing over computers and computer programming, not even bothering to undress or pull back the covers when he went to sleep for a few hours every day.
During his sophomore year in college, Bill became addicted to poker, earning the nickname, “Gravy Train,” because he would never fold and would keep raising the stakes (Hard Drive, page 62). What finally diverted him away from the poker table was his love of mathematics. At his prep school, Lakeside, where he met his close collaborator and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, he was the top math student in the entire school. His third house is in Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, so he is highly intelligent and quick-witted. At Harvard, he was also one of the best math students, but grew bored because he went there “to learn from people smarter than he was . . . and left disappointed.” (Hard Drive, p. 53). Gates’ parents were mortified when their son dropped out of college in June, 1977 to concentrate on developing his own company, Microsoft. In the beginning of his career, Gates wrote BASIC programs for Altair. He always realized the importance of software, which led to his strategy of nearly cornering the market for operating systems and word processing software, which spread the computer revolution. He did this by giving away his product for free!
Who Says There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
WordPerfect by the Novell Corporation dominated the business world before Microsoft Word became the premium word processing software program. Gates defeated Novell’s dominance of the market by giving away his brainchild word processing program, Microsoft Word, which made it irresistible to the profit-minded business community. Gates gave away 450,000 copies of Word with Windows, and another 100,000 diskettes in a special edition of PC World magazine. Of course, everybody took the free software because WordPerfect was expensive, hard to learn and required constant upgrades. Word used icons and a mouse (like Apple) and didn’t require memorization of hundreds of commands, (like WordPerfect). This strategy would allow Gates to come close to cornering the operating system/word processing market and would help make him the richest man in the world, but it would also lead to years of litigation. Jupiter represents the law: In Gates’ horoscope, Jupiter is conjunct Pluto in mutual reception with the Sun. The law would play a major role in Gates’ life, not just because his father is a lawyer, but because he has had endless legal problems throughout his career. The first big case was filed in 1986 when Gates was sued for $60 million by Seattle Computer Products over the ownership rights to DOS. The case was settled out of court. The next big case was filed by Apple in 1988 over alleged copyright violations. There are other cases, but they are dwarfed by the one that threatened to break up Microsoft the way Bell Telephone was dismantled in 1984.
The DOJ v. MS
William Henry Gates III (nicknamed “Trey” by his parents because of the III) is no stranger to the legal community. His father, symbolized by the Sun in Scorpio in the fourth house, is a successful litigator at the Seattle law firm of Shidler, McBroom, Gates & Lucas. Over the years, there were many complaints about Microsoft’s unfair and anti-competitive business practices. Many of these complaints resulted in litigation. Gates got away with cornering the market on operating systems with Windows, and word processing software with Word, but when he tried to corner the market on Internet browsers with Internet Explorer by bundling it with Windows, the U.S. Department of Justice got involved. Jupiter represents the law, which is inextricably interwoven with the life of Bill Gates. Any big company is going to face litigation at some point in its existence, but Microsoft must hold a record for lawsuits. In the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington alone, there are 258 cases in which Microsoft is a party, whether plaintiff or defendant. Most of these cases have been adjudicated, but there are other cases in other districts of the US. Microsoft’s deadliest battle would take place in the District of Columbia beginning in 1991 with a Federal Trade Commission investigation of Microsoft. It ended in a stalemate, as did a second FTC proceeding, but these led to an investigation by the US Department of Justice beginning August 21, 1993. The investigations and lawsuits continued, until the big one in 1998, Microsoft’s bitter antitrust battle with the U.S. DOJ. Here is the dark side of Jupiter conjunct Pluto. The company that made Gates the richest man in the world was facing the might of the U.S. government. Aries warrior Gates fought for his company and won, but the experience could only have sobered him. Now that he has stepped down as CEO of Microsoft, it appears that the years of cutthroat competition, legal wrangling and bad press are behind him. Jobs got his share of bad press, but no one got more bad press that Wild Bill Gates. He was called, “The Silicon Bully,” the “Bullying Billionaire,” and a “software Judas.” (Those are some of the polite nicknames). There is an interesting astrological lesson to be learned here involving a classic Ptolemaic concept, the lesson of planetary honors or dignities.
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection: Dueling Dignities
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection manifests in a very subtle way in the planetary honors (also referred to as dignities) that occur in the horoscopes of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Studying planetary honors helps in the analysis of how effective a planet is going to be, along with its aspects and house placements. Ptolemy’s dignities are explained by Claudius Ptolemy himself in Chapter 22 of the Tetrabiblios, but for a modern interpretation, Alan Oken has the best explanation (and a great chart) in his book, The Horoscope, the Road and its Travelers in Chapter 8, “The Planets in the Signs.” Ptolemy’s detailed explanation of the exaltations is too long to include in this article. The exaltations are: Sun in Aries; Moon in Taurus; Mercury in Aquarius; Venus in Pisces; Mars in Capricorn; Jupiter in Cancer; Saturn in Libra; Uranus in Scorpio; Neptune in Cancer; and Pluto in Scorpio. A planet can be in its honor, detriment, exaltation or fall. When a planet is in the sign of its rulership, it is in its honor; when it is in the sign opposite its ruler, it is in its detriment; and when it is in the sign opposite its exaltation, it is in its fall. A planet in its fall or exaltation can carry as much as, or more, weight than the Sun, depending on its disposition. In the case of our three computer heroes, the planetary dignities interact in an almost comic-book way like the good cop/bad cop game! Woz and Jobs have ALL good dignities and Gates has ALL bad ones! The contention between Apple and Microsoft was part of the soap opera of the computer revolution and it is reflected in the planetary honors in the horoscopes of their leaders. Good cop Woz has the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter in their honor. Good cop Jobs has Mars in its honor and Mercury and Jupiter in their exaltation. Bad cop Gates has Venus, Mars and Uranus in their detriment. Gates was always the bad guy in this triad, even though Jobs was just as famous for his bad temper (Gates was never fired from his own company). Here again, we see the Jupiter-Uranus connection: Jupiter is the “good cop” (the two “good cops” have Jupiter in honor and exaltation); and Uranus is the “bad cop” (the “bad cop” has Uranus in its detriment). It was easy for the press to pick on Gates, whose rising Leo Uranus was a lightning rod for them, but without his ruthless business practices, the computer revolution might have stagnated like Apple did after its IPO (Initial Public Offering).
The Jupiter-Uranus Connection: Inception, Incorporation and IPO Dates
Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system and the symbol of abundance, religion and the law, worked directly with Uranus, symbol of revolution, electricity and computers, throughout the computer revolution, not just in the horoscopes of the three key players that directly brought about this great revolution, but also during key dates in its short history. Let’s start at the beginning.
The Formation of Apple – April 1, 1976, Santa Clara, California
Apple got its name from an apple orchard on a commune in Oregon. The agreement forming Apple was signed on the evening of April 1, 1976. Jupiter in Taurus was opposing Retrograde Uranus in Scorpio. This is a very tense, even explosive opposition, not to mention the fact that Mercury is combust the Sun on this day and therefore at a disadvantage. In Apple’s favor is the fact that Uranus is in its exaltation in Scorpio and the opposition is separating. By far, the most fascinating Jupiter-Uranus connection in the horoscope for Apple’s formation is the Yod from the Moon and Jupiter in Taurus to Pluto in Libra and Neptune in Sagittarius, both of which are retrograde. The Yod is sometimes called the “Eye of God,” or the “Finger of Fate,” and those who are Yod Bearers are said to have a special purpose. The theme for a Moon Yod is chosen to nurture and for Jupiter it is chosen to expand - Woz would nurture his invention and Jobs would expand it into a must-have product. These two young men changed the world with their ideas and obviously fulfilled their special purpose. Who would have thought that when Jobs and Woz designed the Finger Flag that they were foreshadowing the Finger of Fate that would one day be pointed at them?
In modern astrology, the outer planets can represent entire generations, so it is fitting that the planet of good fortune is in Yod formation with two of the outer, generational planets. The third outer planet, and the subject of this study, Uranus, is on the Yod Activation Point, so despite the drawbacks of this horoscope, it could be said that the hand of God is apparently at work here through the Yod. The three men who signed the papers that fateful night, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ron Wayne (a co-worker at Atari who was bought out almost immediately), couldn’t have imagined the outcome of their date with destiny.
Apple’s Incorporation – January 3, 1977 – Cupertino, California
At first glance, this date is none too auspicious. Now Jupiter is retrograde, but at least its former opposition to Uranus is widely separating. Retrograde Saturn is square Jupiter and Uranus (still in Taurus and Scorpio respectively). This square is a symbol of the power struggles, conflicts with authority (especially IBM) and stumbling blocks faced by Apple throughout its history. The Finger of Fate appears once again with a Retrograde Mercury Yod quincunx the Moon and Saturn. The theme for a Mercury Yod is chosen to think, generate an idea – what comes to mind instantly is the Think different campaign, which was narrated by Jobs and is one of his best Zen-Buddhist-like and poetic proclamations. Yods are challenging, and Apple was in for an uphill struggle even though fate forged a path to Wall Street and fortune. Once again, the most positive force at work here is the fact that Uranus is exalted. Apple has had many ups and downs in its brief history and the testy celestial circumstances under which it was formed and then incorporated reflect this. Too bad Jobs didn’t consult an astrologer!
Apple’s IPO – December 12, 1980 – New York, New York
On December 12, 1980, Apple went public, launching the biggest, most successful IPO since Ford Motor Company. Now, the golden apple of success is shining for Apple in its IPO horoscope. The first thing we notice is the separating Grand Conjunction that had so many of us worried at the time. There are also three powerful, beneficial conjunctions in the IPO horoscope: The Sun conjunct Neptune, Jupiter conjunct Saturn and Venus conjunct Uranus. But, Apple would not have it easy. Both Apple and Microsoft would have rough seas in their history, full of managerial bickering, conflicts with authority and shaky product line decisions. But, Apple’s IPO was glorious. It made the two Steves overnight millionaires. Once again, the shepherds of the computer revolution, Jupiter and Uranus, are powerfully placed. Both are in adjoining signs: Jupiter is conjunct Saturn and Uranus is conjunct Venus The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the sign of balance and relationships, Libra, is square Mars, sextile Mercury, trine the Moon and quintile the Sun. Although the IPO was very successful, Apple had growing pains at first and didn’t have a big seller until the Apple II. In fact, Woz and Jobs built the first 200 Apple I machines they sold by hand! Venus conjunct Uranus represents the sex appeal of Apple products, which was a projection of Steve Jobs’ personal sex appeal. The Sun-Neptune conjunction represents the idealism of the two Steves, especially Woz, who wanted to invent things that would make people’s lives better. The Sun conjunct Neptune is also an encapsulation of the disillusionment that would plague the two “good cops” over the years for the Steves fought over design specs and even parking spaces! No kidding, Jobs had a fit when he found out that Woz got the #1 parking space and insisted he get the “0” parking space. With Pluto and Venus in mutual reception, money poured in, but with the Moon square Venus-Uranus, it didn’t make the two good cops happy. Woz considered his wealth a distraction and Jobs was paranoid over being robbed and became obsessed with his money. One of his most famous quotes is: “It is harder to give away a dollar than to earn a dollar.” So our computer cowboys were rich and famous, but this did not make them happy. If Apple’s IPO was a smashing success, Microsoft’s was problematic.
Microsoft’s IPO: March 13, 1986
If Apple’s IPO horoscope was favorable, Microsoft’s was formidable, and a bit scary. The first thing one notices is an exact Mars-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. Here is an explosive combination, perfect for our firebrand “bad cop.” The Jupiter Uranus connection comes in with a Quintile between Uranus in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Pisces. Microsoft was very “creative” in its business practices, always testing the limit of what the legal system would allow. Gates made billions, but he was engaged in constant battles, in keeping with his warrior Aries Moon. Jupiter is square Saturn in the IPO chart, signifying the legal and corporate battles that would beset Microsoft through its history.
The most dramatic celestial event in this chart is the double Chiron-Pluto Yod. The first Yod is from Pluto to Chiron and Venus and the second one is from Chiron to Neptune and Pluto. Little Chiron plays a big role in the Microsoft IPO chart and sets off Bill’s T-square from the Sun-Neptune to Chiron and Uranus. His painful T-square and powerful Jupiter-Pluto and Venus-Saturn conjunctions drove him to get outside of himself and achieve something great for all of us. The planetoid Chiron represents suffering and its motto is “the gift is in the wound.” The transition from typewriter to PC was painful for many people, who were uncomfortable with learning new ways of processing information, especially document creation. The first few versions of Windows and Word were riddled with bugs (remember the “Jason” tab?) and there was great resentment against Gates and his company. By giving away Word, Gates in a sense forced it on the world. Here is the Yod from Pluto to Chiron and Venus in operation. The theme for a Pluto Yod is chosen to annihilate, transform and resurrect and the theme for a Chiron Yod is chosen to suffer. Microsoft would annihilate the competition and transform the world. Many would suffer along the way, the small companies who couldn’t compete and the helpless workers who had to deal with whatever crazy software their employers utilized. Microsoft would suffer in a symbolic way with all of its costly litigation battles and its bad press. Gates was driven to succeed and he homogenized the personal computer market. Now, computers are everywhere, in every office, home and even in pocketbooks and briefcases. Windows, Word and Internet Explorer are ubiquitous! With Chiron, Pluto, Venus and Neptune intertwined here, there is definitely a higher power at work and the double Yod points the finger at Gates, making him a scapegoat in this drama. He was easy to despise, but what has he done with his life and fortune, but benefit humanity, his Uranus rising at work. Of course, he benefitted personally, but he also put his company first, pouring his heart and soul into it over the years. For all his billions, he has a certain humility and does not lead a sybaritic lifestyle. In a recent interview, for example, he said “Once you get beyond a million dollars, it’s still the same hamburger.” The computer revolution helped empower the whole world with respect to efficiency and quality of communication and entertainment. Now, as head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Charitable Foundation, Gates is one of the world’s leading philanthropists, with one of the Foundation’s goals the eradication of malaria. Bill may have been a brash, swashbuckler firebrand as a youth, but he has matured into a world figure with noble, altruistic motives. Bill bashing is now passé. Becoming a husband, father, and world-renowned philanthropist has rehabilitated his reputation. Let’s see what he does with his fortune!
Steven Wozniak, Steven Jobs and William Gates changed the world. They became rich and famous while still young and have had to live up to their own achievements like a rock band trying to follow up a platinum album. Bill is now one of the world’s leading philanthropists. Woz is still inventing things and late in life became a fifth-grade teacher, teaching young people electronics like his father taught him. Both mourned the loss of their friend (and for Gates, his former rival), along with millions of others who were saddened by the loss of Steve Jobs in October, 2011. He may have been a difficult person, but he was a visionary who inspired the whole world. In his own words: "Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” Think different, narrated by Steve Jobs (commercial for Apple) from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rwsuXHA7RA
Date, Time and Location Sources:
Steven Wozniak–AstroDatabank - Rodden Rating AA – 8/11/1950 9:45 a.m. PDT, San Jose, CA.
Steve Jobs–AstroDatabank- Rodden Rating C – 2/24/1955 7:55 a.m. PST, San Francisco, CA.
Bill Gates – AstroDatabank – Rodden Rating A – 10/28/1055 22:00 PST, Seattle, WA.
Apple formation date: p. 148, The Little Kingdom – 4/1/1976, evening, Santa Clara, CA.
Apple IPO date: p. 285, The Little Kingdom - 12/12/1980 – New York, NY
Apple incorporation date: 1/3/1977, Cupertino, CA (Official records of the California Secretary of State, see http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/cbs.aspx).
Microsoft IPO date: p. 329, Hard Drive – 3/13/1986, 9:35 a.m., New York, NY.
Illustrations from Dover Royalty-Free Publications
Sister Ray uses Time Passages Software
Erickson, Jim and Wallace, James, Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, HarperBusiness, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York, 1992.
Moritz, Michael, Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs, The Creation of Apple, and How it Changed the World, The Overlook Press (originally published by William Morrow & Co.), New York, 1984.
Oken, Alan, The Horoscope, the Road and its Travelers, Bantam Books, New York, 1974.
Ptolemy, Claudius, as translated by J.M. Ashmand, Tetrabiblos, North Hollywood, Symbol & Signs, 1976.
Wozniak, Steve, with Gina Smith, iWoz, Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I invented the personal computer, co-founded Apple and had fun doing it, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, 2006.