Facebook celebrated it's 6th birthday on February 4th and it got me curious about its chart and the chart of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. I still get a huge thrill when the astrology chart of a person, event, or company so compellingly represents the essence of its owner, especially at first glance. Facebook's chart is seems to be no exception.

Facebook's mission statFacebookement is: "Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." While it's evolved over time, it's always seemed to include the idea of connectivity and people coming together, over the Internet, of course. How perfect, then, that its birth happened under a Sun Neptune conjunction in Aquarius. The Sun in a person's chart represents their core identity, and the sign, house, and planets involved with the Sun show how to keep that core warm and able to sustain the person's life. The Sun in a company's chart is no different.

The core identity of Facebook's natal Sun is about Individuals (Aquarius) uniting (Neptune). Individuals are sharing the things that make them individuals: photos, thoughts, experiences, in a seamless way, with no apparent boundary (Neptune) between them and everyone else in the collective community. The Internet itself is an Aquarian dream, technology enabling community, so it's a perfect medium for this kind of mission. Neptune also adds a fluidity to the identity: constantly evolving and morphing, although Neptune's presence on the Sun can indicate a vulnerability to shifting and adapting to its environment so much that it's hard to tell what it really IS. Neptune can add a nebulous quality that can make it difficult for even Facebook to know itself clearly.

I always look at the chart not as a manufacturer of what is, but a guide to what can be. Like a car's user manual gives tips for best performance and has  a recommended maintenance schedule, a natal chart holds the clues for how a person, or even a company, can live its life to the fullest, by remaining true to itself. Facebook's Aquarius Sun reveals that not only does it need to continue to serve the needs of the individual rather than the status quo, but it also needs to remain true to walking its own path – which will often be off the beaten trail, as is sometimes typical and needful with Aquarius. A great example of this is when Facebook got big enough to start collecting serious offers to purchase it, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's creator, turned down the offers. In a 2007 interview with Time Magazine, Zuckerberg said: 

 "We're not really
looking to sell the company. We're not looking to IPO anytime soon. It's
just not the core focus of the company."

Why didn't he sell? Ideals? Or did he sense he could get more money? Who can say what the motivation was, but if it had anything to do with the reason he gave in the Time interview, it can certainly make that Aquarian Sun happy. Unfortunately,
without a time of birth to narrow it down (a common problem with
business and mundane charts) we cannot pin down the moon sign, nor the
rising sign, and obviously no house placements are available. So my eye wanders next to the Jupiter, Venus, Pluto configuration.

Jupiter in Virgo illustrates that their best method for growth is a steady, humble, and accountable one, where it does not rely on anything but it's own willingness to work hard. Opposite Venus in Pisces, they will have to choose partners carefully, and would do well with an even balance of the visionaries (Pisces) and the pencil pushers (Virgo sorry Virgo, but I love ya!) Oppositions, especially with Venus, are where we often find people outside of us to help us manage an imbalance inside of us. There is a need for balance between practical growth and the vision. This sounds pretty obvious; one could argue that its something every company needs, but its of particular importance in Facebook's chart, not to mention there's Pluto up there, one's potential unconscious agenda, having the potential to drive a wedge in the balance when not managed with integrity (and sometimes even then).

A house placement for Pluto would be greatly helpful, but it looks like difficulties involving the issue of partnership can reveal (and/or create) skeletons in the Facebook closet. The management of existing and potential partners then becomes a more significant issue (and potential source of landmines) than it already would be for any company. In the absence of house placements such as planets in the first house (the face of the company) or the 10th house (the reputation of the company) as well as the very important moon sign which would represent its customers, I would look to Venus primarily for insight on how best to manage public relations. Venus rules connections and Facebook, as a company and a product, is very much invested in connections, so it can be quite relevant here.

When interfacing with the public, again in the absence of other public relation chart clues, Venus in Pisces would indicate the necessity of maintaining the appearance of openness, non-aggression, and always a sense that it's not about a hierarchy of power as much as a collective, participatory effort. As all businesses tend to want to do, painting an optimistic picture of itself will be a good thing in some ways, but tricky. 'Less is more' might be a useful adage here, since overwhelming the public with 'hard core realism' can send a wave of paranoia and backlash, and with 400 million users,1 that's a wave big enough to drown anything. There's that tricky Neptunian/Piscean influence again; while there is such a thing as vision, optimism, and one's best intention, Venus in Pisces here has a vulnerability to going down the dark road of white-washing and manipulation of the 'spin' it puts on its activities when communicating with the public. Whether it's right, wrong, or simply the best means to an end, Pluto and Jupiter in this configuration say to me that there's huge potential for something to go boom if those skeletons come out of that closet. If they do have any (um, yeah) they'll be very big (Jupiter), very scary (Pluto), and very devious although they may try to appear innocent and have been created out of naivete (Pisces).

Another important issue to manage will be the 'truth-lite' public relations need  (Venus in Pisces) and the fact that Mercury is in Capricorn and conjunct Chiron. Mercury in Capricorn is about direct, down to business type of communication, although it can lean to the side of information being delivered on a "need-to-know" basis in order to get one's message across with the most effective outcome. Chiron feels like an Achilles' heel to me here, where it's vulnerable to shooting itself in the foot (forgive me for the hopefully amusing and playful reference to the Chiron myth). So, communicating as clearly and efficiently as possible, but not without strategy, is needful. Giving the appearance of connecting in an open way (Venus in Pisces) and doing so by communicating matter-of-factly (Mercury in Capricorn) might be a good balance.

Back to the idea of Jupiter and sustainable growth, Mars in Taurus supports the Jupiter agenda of sustainable growth (which so far has not exactly been the case as it's growth is so rapid its head is probably spinning!). However, Mars at 0 degrees Taurus is a double-edged sword: on one hand, it's direct and in stable Taurus, so there's a sense of the possibility of staying power. However, it's in what some consider a critical degree,2 which can be an indicator of instability. Again, because I see the chart as a prescription, not a promise of glory or doom, the key would be for Facebook to govern itself with slow, steady growth. It will also need to be especially humble, careful, and vigilant when it reaches the inevitable breaking point that any company does, where the skeletal structure that has supported it is now becoming brittle and needs to be repaired or cave in entirely, usually due to rigid and eventually outdated processes and policies.3

Congratulations, you made it to the end of this very long entry. There is no way this would fit into a Facebook status update!

1 http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?blog_id=company&blogger=4

2 Critical degrees vary for different signs. In Taurus, it's said to be 9 and 21 degrees, but many astrologers consider 0 and 29 of any sign to be critical because it is on the threshold of the change from one sign to the other and can often indicate instability.

3 The Tower card in the Tarot always comes to mind for me in these cases. It does not necessarily have to be that the tower was flawed and therefore could not stand, but that everything inevitably decays, especially if it is not continually renewed and reinvented. Sustainability has nothing to do with stasis, but with measured growth.