This past spring I wrote a blog entry that related the Venus Retrograde transit to the capture of female journalists abroad. Roxanna Barberi has since been released from Iran. Laura Ling and Euna Lee are still in detention in North Korea. They were detained on March 17, were given a trial beginning June 4, and found guilty of crossing the borders illegally on June 8. They were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in a prison camp. Since the U.S. has no diplomatic ties with North Korea negotiations are particularly difficult. According to Wikipedia, Lee and Ling were reporting on the trafficking of women between the two countries.
I haven't found a birth date for Euna Lee. She is said to be 36 years old and originally born in South Korea. She is a producer for Current TV. I've just found a birth date for Laura Ling. I have no idea if this is the correct date for her, many entries are confusing her birth date with her sister Journalist Lisa Ling (who is a Virgo). If this birth date is correct, Laura Ling is a Sagittarius. That's good. Sagittarians are hardy folk.
b. Dec. 1, 1976 Carmichael, CA
Sun 10 Sagittarius; Moon Aries; NN 2 Scorpio
source for birth info About.com
Laura Ling's chart is dominated by Fire. She has a conjunction of the Sun, Mars, and Neptune in Sagittarius which is trining her Saturn in Leo. This trine may possibly expand out into a Grand Trine with an Aries Moon but without a birth time it is impossible to know where the Moon's exact placement is but it will definitely be in Aries (assuming that this is her correct birth date).
With this conjunction/stellium in Sagittarius it is easy to understand why Ling would be attracted to adventure, publishing, an independent lifestyle like journalism, especially journalism which involves reporting on affairs in foreign countries. This is anything connected with the sign of Sagittarius.
With the Sun conjunct Mars and the Moon in the sign which Mars rules Ling could be attracted to dangerous situations. She definitely would be a highly idealistic person. And with a Saturn-Neptune trine could be a very compassionate person who is very empathetic towards suffering. Placement of the Moon in her chart could really complicate things if it's placed within a Grand Trine with these planets. The Moon rules Feelings and Emotions. This could be an indicator for rash behavior. But, a Trine also brings a lot of luck in life. Fire can flow into and out of situations easily. The Moon might also oppose Pluto which would turn the Grand Trine into a Kite pattern. This indicates that Luck in Ling's chart will focus itself and not stay self-contained within the chart and the life. But, Moon-Pluto oppositions can show some deep, complicated feelings about attracting resentment from others. Her Scorpio North Node repeats this more complicated theme.
Ling was taken into custody during the long Venus Retrograde transit that occurred this past Spring when Venus was in Aries for a really long time. This could have been hovering over her natal Moon for an extra long time. Venus was also squaring t.Pluto for an extra long time because of the transit. Pluto = Power plays and she and Lee are being used as Pawns in big Politics between North Korea and the United States. Their personal problem just seem to explode out into bigger and bigger issues.
Ling's stellium is really fascinating to study. This conjunction of Sun to Mars and Neptune in Sagittarius is prominent because the three planets are also parallel with each other. Parallels are like mini-conjunctions so this means that the 3 planets try to work together in a Double Whammy conjunction. The Sun and Mars together can be a bit self serving, or at least rash, but in conjunction with Neptune they can be directed towards an idealistic, perhaps not very realistic self expression.
With Neptune's ability to blur boundaries it is interesting that Ling has been jailed for crossing borders into enemy territory in a major International case. Neptune/12th House rules prisons and other institutions. Transiting Neptune and Jupiter are also hanging out over Kim Jong-Il's Sun which is pretty interesting. Ling's Sagittarius Sun and Neptune are represented in literal terms here in his chart.
I was curious to see where this conjunction has progressed to by Solar Arc to see if anything significant was going on there. Yes. With Mars and Neptune and Sun hanging out over this Venus there is an Aura of Danger (Mars), Rashness (Mars), Boldness (Sun-Mars) and Confusion, Hiding, Prisons (Neptune). Capricorn is related to Career and Government and Authority. All these symbols are mashing together into Ling's life. Ling and Lee were apparently covering a story about trafficking of women over the North Korean/Chinese Border. It's almost as if Ling has fallen into the story she was covering, very Neptunian. Sort of almost Alice in Wonderlandish.
In addition to this big Solar Arc Progression, Ling's Secondary Progressed Mercury is also in conjunction with this spot. Mercury rules Writing and also communication. A Retrograde likes to throw curve balls. Ling's Mercury stationed Retrograde back around 2004-5. I wonder if there was somehow a mix-up of communications related to her situation which could show a need to be more circumspect with regards to anything having to do with communications. Supposedly the women were caught because they didn't have information about a military drill that was breaking up in the area.
At any rate, there will be a Total Eclipse in July at the end of Cancer/Capricorn right near the spot where Ling's Venus is at the end of Capricorn. I hope that she will be released before then as this could be very hard on her emotionally. As she is of Chinese descent I dont' understand why the Chinese are not working with the North Koreans to have her and Lee released.
Ling's Progressed Mars is also in Capricorn at 2 degrees. That's the Aries Point which brings a person into the public eye. It is also on the same spot where t.Pluto is. Pluto, of course, brings Fame, but usually a great crisis as well. When Mars and Pluto are together they can bring an element of danger and a need for great self will. This aspect is not relating strongly to Ling's natal chart, it is perhaps echoing a situation that occurred when Pluto transited over natal Mars a few years ago. That would have been around the time that Ling's Prog. Mercury went Retrograde.
One last thing (I can't stop.) Ling's chart doesn't have many squares. That's sort of odd for someone who takes so many risks in her life. Squares bring challenges and obstacles. It is considered good to have a few in the natal chart. Dealing with some internal tension early in life sort of helps one to develop an inoculation against when things go wrong later on. But, perhaps this is what will pull her through this situation. A person with a Grand Square would be tortured out of their minds just because the captors would pick up on their difficult vibe.
I only hope that the U.S. will send a Super Neptunian person over to Korea to try to spring these women. It will take some super charm to get to them out. And I hope they do it quickly.
AsianWeek.com has a petition to sign to request that significant measures be taken to secure the Women's release.