Previously praised for unprecedented genius and hustle, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud investors. She faces up to 20 years in prison, irreparable reputation damage, future civil claims against her, and the implacable enmity of multiple power-players.
Mind you, Jennifer Lawrence is playing her in the movie version so that’s something. Seriously, if you have narcissistic tendencies, that fact alone would be quite soothing. Still, it’s a steep descent from 2014’s “youngest female self-made billionaire” platform. Holmes is also experiencing the most public and lurid Saturn transit on record.
The Most Public & Lurid Saturn Transit On Record
She was born in 1984, at the dawn of the tech era, ten days after the first Apple computer was launched. She’s an Aquarius Sun plus (probably) Moon and when her scam/delusion was working, she embodied the spaced-out, zeitgeist-tripping innovator ideal of that sign. Saturn, however, has been buzzing around her Sun since last May and it’s exact from January 20 to 27. Saturn-Sun transits have benefits but they don’t blend well with hubris.
Theranos was hubris central – the ultimate in vaporware: an imaginary product that burned unbelievable amounts of money, hype, and resources before crashing. The technology was to upend the apparently ripe for disruption realm of pathology and health tech, allowing speedy pin-prick blood testing and diagnosis. Apart from being a figment, it worked brilliantly.
Holmes has a magnificent Mars-Saturn conjunction in Scorpio, the signature alignment of high-velocity, driven achievers, and Jupiter conjunct Neptune in Capricorn – your go-to for maximal visionary commercial hustle. However, her Mars-Saturn is square the Aquarius Sun, potentially upping the obsessive zeal factor. So Saturn currently conjunct her Sun is also square her Mars/Saturn. It’s gnarly.
She Became A Billionaire On Her Saturn Return
She began her company in 2003, at the age of 19, with Neptune conjunct her Sun. Then she became a billionaire on her Saturn Return, thanks to the venture capital money for her imminent revolutionary genius product. She hit peak fame in 2014 – the year of Pluto conjunct her Venus – with major mainstream media buzz, think pieces, style raves, honorary university fellowships, and general awe all around. Media swarmed for her Issey Miyake turtleneck sweater uniform – like Steve Jobs – and ‘hot scientist girl boss’ vibe.
The bubble of awe burst in October 2015: An investigative journalist published a thoroughly researched and legit takedown piece on Theranos in the Wall St Journal, triggering the entire unravel. That was Uranus square her Mercury FYI. 2021 was Pluto conjunct her Mercury and she spent the year blaming her ex-partner, employees, and investors – everyone but herself – for the fraud.
But she missed an opportunity to put the system on trial: Elizabeth Holmes is a daughter of Enron. It sounds like a senior Tolkien elf but it was an energy company with the dubious distinction of being the most notorious bust/scandal in corporate history. Like Theranos, it went down owing billions: the company motto was “endless possibilities” and in terms of grifting the then fresh concept of deregulation, the horizon really was infinite.
Her father was an Enron vice president responsible for “due diligence on potential investments in the environmental and energy sectors.” Another Aquarius with Mars conjunct Saturn, he wasn’t one of the executives who went to jail: he actually went on to hold several lofty regulatory positions within government. As a teenager, Holmes saw Enron flame out in a haze of mismanagement, greed, and corruption. She would also have noted all the phoenixes emerge from the ashes of other people’s lives, winging it straight down to the bank for their next round of finance.
She Saw All The Phoenixes
Holmes grew up in Washington DC, in a neighborhood of Berkley called Foxhall Crescent – a subdivided Rockefeller estate where the streets are big leafy loops like crop circles – the designer didn’t like grids. She met her first investor via one of her friend’s fathers and once he’d essentially ‘endorsed’ her, others followed.
But there is more to it than just the privilege of being born into a ‘prestigious and pristine’ environment – literal circles of wealth and power. It’s easy to imagine a child Elizabeth, with her quirky Aquarius-Scorpio energy, prowling around this strange power vortex of a neighborhood at night, picking up stray frequencies. It may never even have occurred to her that she needed to tell the truth or have a viable product.
Maybe she acquired the impression that hype, a hypnotic way with investors, gaming the government and rah-rah leadership was the success formula?