Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Into the fray: Exploring the astrological winds of political fortune






"We spend our lives trying to discern where we end and the rest of the world begins..."--Maria Popova, Figuring

"The Time hath found us."--Thomas Paine, Common Sense






Well, ‘tis the Season, isn’t it?—we’re deep into the Holiday season as I write this, and I'm struck by the jagged disjunct realities we're called upon to juggle. Visions of sugar plums on one hand...impeachment hearings and gnashing teeth on the other!

Despite the twisted mess playing out in Washington, D.C. these days, however—I'm feeling that we have a lot to be grateful for this year. The impeachment process is a thankless, but necessary Saturnian exercise for Congressional committees, but I'm just glad that we have the opportunity to protect our democracy before it's too late. This could have been worse! Maybe we can’t appreciate what we have until we feel it slipping away? 

And it has been slipping away. There’s the daily drip, drip, drip of new revelations of corruption seeping out of a rogue White House—if his exploits as Trump’s personal lawyer weren’t so pitifully corrupt, Rudy Giuliani would be comical; there’s the specter of looming interference in the 2020 election—will we ever have another fair election as long as Facebook wields such influence?  If that isn't bad enough, we’re asked to get our minds around the constant betrayal of both common sense, decency and easily provable facts, not to mention the often racially-tinged divisiveness that threatens real lives and demeans us all. And so on. 
Many may be asking (I know I am): How can we look forward to the coming election year with any sense of hope and security when the rule of Law seems to mean nothing to this White House?

Yet, there seems to be some kind of cosmic wisdom at work in all this as well. Astrologically, we can appreciate the intensity of the challenges (they’ve been a frequent focus on this site), and the quickly approaching, major new beginning. Three major cycles are beginning anew in 2020: Jupiter-Pluto  in January; Saturn-Pluto in April, and Jupiter-Saturn in late December. These are significant cycles if the challenges we have in mind are reviving and re-engineering social institutions and systems, from Finance to Government (and the rule of Law) to Infrastructure. 

Think about it: the current administration has done an amazing job of pointing out the vulnerabilities of our systems (it’s like Trump et al have been studying where the cracks and leverage points are for a long while); the challenge will be to rebuild them and fortify them better than ever. 

These are all very pressing areas of concern right now­, of course—even the robust-seeming stock market is starting to worry economists who see beyond the numbers to the illusions shoring them up. GDP is not what they would expect with those numbers; current debt levels suggest vulnerabilities that are making some of them squirm.



A lot of economists seem to be holding their breath, in fact, waiting for the next geopolitical “shoe” to drop. This isn’t surprising, given that we’re in the end-stage of the Jupiter-Pluto and Saturn-Pluto cycles, and that all this is happening widely conjunct 2nd house Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). 

As if that’s not enough to keep track of and process, there’s another quieter, but deeply insidious challenge to this badly needed new beginning: Neptune will be wearing its water-wings in home sign Pisces through the end of March, 2025, so we can expect its distorting, destabilizing and eroding impact to live well beyond this coming election. This is especially concerning when we consider how Trump and his GOP enablers have learned to weaponize Neptune’s “gaslighting” prowess. If we’ve perceived something amiss with the Trump presidency, it must be our fault.  

Simply mind-boggling is the fact that Trump is (to some evangelicals) the chosen One, and those who criticize him must be doing Satan’s business (really?!); if he seems to be trampling our Constitution, the Constitution must be the problem. Or is it just that everyone is against him? Or is it that we’ve all fallen down the “rabbit hole” of a personality cult?  

Bottom line, that slimy feeling you get contemplating all this is pure Neptune (with ample Pluto energy in play for extra manipulation and control), and it will take longer than 2020 to cauterize (Neptune enters fiery Aries next) the dangerous delusions and gaslighting. We seriously need to learn something about ourselves from this experience and to find our way back to our core American facts and ideals. 

Consider that in 2022, transiting Pluto returns to our Sibly Pluto (Capricorn): what we’re going through now is all part of that long-term, slow-moving process of facing our true karmic “demons” (hint: they’re not our tendency to find fault with Trump). It won’t help to demonize Trump and company, either, but to my mind, we can learn something valuable from this experience of having everything we’ve taken for granted about this nation forever torn apart before our eyes.


Democracy?

And no, Trump isn’t entirely to blame: the process of undermining our democratic institutions and elections has been a long-term project—Trump just seems prepared to push everything over the cliff for the sake of "absolute immunity" and unlimited Executive power. When did we become a monarchy? 

All is not lost, but it will help to consciously embrace our collective responsibility—this is not a time to remain passive.  This is a Capricorn sojourn, after all: determined and committed cardinal-style action is called for. The more committed we are to the renewal of our national Soul, the more our collective Power (Sibly Pluto) will be purged of corruption and flourish. 

We often hear the U.S. referred to as “the wealthiest nation in the world”…with Pluto’s return, we are being challenged to put that 2nd house strength to the highest purposes possible. All of the challenges of these times will be more approachable if we do. 

So—conscious of all this (and we shouldn’t minimize any of it)—how can we sanely and wisely approach what feels like an existentially-critical 2020 election? 

I will suggest in this post that we get down to work, analyzing what has happened in past elections and crunching numbers and data from there—tangible facts that we can get our arms around in a helpful way because they don’t lie. They may stimulate differing interpretations of why something happened the way it did, but the numbers and data are what they are, and we need that kind of solid, tangible foundation for any approach we take to 2020. 

What follows is just a start to this process, of course: I’ve spent hours poring over election-related charts, both past and present, and it occurs to me that we have an opportunity to learn something useful from examining their inner dynamics. Trying to predict outcomes for any one candidate is always a dicey affair, and I’m not entirely convinced that it’s even possible because there are too many factors that can be read multiple ways, but we can make educated judgments. And we can learn in retrospect what to look for in the next go-round.

The Democratic field has lost and gained candidates since this time.

First of all, however, let’s consider what constitutes the ideal candidate: a person who is most in tune with the feel of the times and most in synch with the beating heart of his/her nation and its concerns. Ideally, the right candidate would radiate emotional and practical intelligence, capability, competence and passionate commitment. Since our very lives depend upon whoever wins the presidency, we need candidates of solid character: voters should have no qualms about the value systems and moral fiber of candidates who find their names on our ballots! 

It is simply not normal to be three years into a presidency, with psychologists speculating on whether our president is even capable of understanding what it means to act in a moral fashion, yet here we are. 

Obviously, money is the three-headed Cerberus guarding the gates of the presidency these days—all the more since the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision that unleashed nearly unlimited corporate dollars into our elections. This reality distorts the will of the People in ways we can’t begin to comprehend—to my mind, this Supreme Court decision was as toxic and meddling as Russian interference was in 2016, and it could have unwittingly enabled the same.

In myth, Cerberus guards the Underworld to keep its denizens from escaping.

Whatever the case, both phenomena are dark Neptune-Pluto developments, and need to be taken seriously—a story for another day.

So, mindful of the potential distortions, what can we learn from studying past and present U.S. election and candidate charts?  For one thing, we can see that some Zodiac signs seem to do better than others with winning candidates. There’s even some rhythm to the shift of party domination that speaks to planetary cycles, modes, etc.. Even more surprisingly, we can discern the power of midpoints and progressions in these elections and candidates.  But one thing at a time—let’s begin.


The Zodiac and recent winning candidates

Table 1. Zodiac placements (Sun-through Saturn), for winning presidential candidates from 1980-2016.
Name/Planet
Sun
Moon
Merc
Ven
Mars
Jup
Sat
Reagan
Aqu
Tau
Cap
Pis
Cap
Sco
Tau
Bush, GWH
Gem
Lib
Tau
Can
Aqu
Sag
Lib
Clinton, B
Leo
Tau
Leo
Lib
Lib
Lib
Leo
Bush, GW
Can
Lib
Leo
Leo
Vir
Lib
Can
Obama, B
Leo
Gem
Leo
Can
Vir
Aqu
Cap
Trump, D
Gem
Sag
Can
Can
Leo
Lib
Can
Color key: Pink = Fixed sign; Yellow = Cardinal; Blue = Mutable.

Notice that this table features only the classical luminaries and five planets, from Mercury to Saturn. 

Obviously, this leaves out many points that I usually include in a chart—the outer planets Chiron through Pluto and beyond to Eris, and the four key Asteroids Ceres, Juno, Pallas, Vesta. I wouldn’t want to minimize what these far-flung and less traditional points say about our election candidates, but for the sake of this exploration, we’ll sharpen our focus. More is not always better when it comes to grasping the astrological gist of a matter. Before we explore what exactly we mean by the gist of the matter, however, let’s take a quick look at Table 1.  


Here are a few observations that leap off the page to me:

ü  Bill Clinton is alone in having no mutable energy or water signs in his Sun to Saturn placements.

ü  Of 42 placements (total number of luminaries and planets), the sign distribution is as follows:
   o   Aries = 0; Taurus = 4; Gemini = 3; Cancer = 7; Leo = 8; Virgo = 2; Libra = 8; Scorpio = 1; Sagittarius = 2; Capricorn = 3; Aquarius = 3; Pisces = 1
ü  Of 42 placements, the mode (cardinal, fixed, mutable) distribution is:
o   Cardinal = 18; Fixed = 16; Mutable = 8
ü  Of 42 placements, the element (fire, earth, air, water) distribution is as follows:
o   Fire = 10; Earth = 9; Air = 14; Water = 9


Clearly, there’s a curious absence of Aries energy here, but cardinal placements abound, which makes sense for the sheer ambition and effort it takes to run for U.S. president, not to mention the awesome responsibility involved. I suspect if we were examining a broader sample of candidates that we would find some Aries energy at work, but a quick survey suggests that Aries Suns are rare. Perhaps those with prominent Aries energy have found themselves in the armed forces instead? 

On another cardinal note, there’s an interesting abundance of Libra energy, which contributes to more than half of the 14 Air-signed placements in Table 1. The typical strengths associated with Libra—the impulse towards sociability and diplomacy and the ability to engage and charm people—are valuable for public officials, who often tend to come from the legal profession, a field in which Librans are known to excel. 

It shouldn’t be surprising to see fairly strong Cancer representation here—the U.S. is a Cancer Sun nation (Sibly chart), after all, and the Cancer-Capricorn axis is of great significance in American history and affairs (this has been true of many of the major world powers over history—a story for another day). Earth and water together make everything grow—Capricorn ruler Saturn rules agriculture, not to mention the time-and-space bound existence we experience on this planet, while Moon-ruled Cancer moves the waters of life and nurtures that existence, keeping us ever vigilant against threats. 

Perhaps, in fact, this is best expressed by U.S. geography, surrounded on three sides by water. This used to be considered a comforting bit of protection (valued by Cancer), but times have clearly changed: rising sea levels, more intense hurricane seasons, etc., may bring challenges we never expected. Predictably, there’s equal emphasis on Earth and Water elements in these 42 placements. 

Finally, to put the charts listed in Table 1 into perspective, here’s a similar breakdown for the points found in the U.S. Sibly chart:


Table 2. Zodiac placements (Sun-through Saturn), for U.S. Sibly chart.
Sun
Moon
Merc
Ven
Mars
Jup
Sat

Can


Aqu

Can

Can

Gem

Can

Lib

Color key: Pink = Fixed sign; Yellow = Cardinal; Blue = Mutable.


Clearly, Cardinal energy wins out in the Sibly chart, which makes sense—the U.S. has had a reputation for getting things done and taking rapid (even pre-emptive) action when our national interests were at stake or our allies needed protection. It’s interesting that the two non-Cardinal placements are the Moon (Aquarius) – the People, and Mars (Gemini)—the Military, yet connections between candidate charts and both these points can be very significant. 

The big questions here are, do connections between candidate charts and the Sibly chart really matter in an election? When they happen, do those connections guarantee that such a president will serve the nation well? To my mind, the jury is out on both of these questions, although I’m fairly convinced that at least some connections to the Sibly are helpful in a winning candidate.  

Trump, for instance, had the benefit of several strong Cardinal placements in his chart which all connect to Sibly points, plus a potent Fixed Mars opposing Sibly Moon from Leo, not to mention a complex of key points conjunct and opposite Sibly Mars (from Gemini to Sagittarius). So if we have the sense that he’s moved in and taken over, this overwhelming connectedness might be why. 

Unfortunately, we’ll never know to what extent his own astrological connections to the nation clinched the deal for him in the election, or if his Russian connections outweighed anything he could have done.

The House Judiciary Committee questioned key Constitutional scholars today.

Most importantly, has all this made him a good American president/public servant? After the dust finally settles on this administration, it’s hard to imagine that Trump will be remembered that way—as a write this, the House Judiciary Committee has been debating the Impeachment Report, and even Trump's defenders aren't calling him a “good public servant.” However this all shakes out, Trump will certainly be remembered as the most controversial president we’ve had (perhaps ever). 

The above questions about candidate connections to the Sibly chart will figure into a later discussion in this post, when we map out the placements of current presidential candidates in Table 3 and then consider a couple key charts from there. For now, however, let’s get back to figuring out how we can discern the astrological gist of a presidential candidate’s appeal.   

Consider Triwheel #1 below—Ronald Reagan’s nativity (Republican two-term U.S. president, 1980-1988) set against his nativity progressed to Election Day 1980 (Nov. 4th) and the radix Election 1980 chart itself. We’ll take a very quick look at these charts—just enough discussion to arrive at what seems to be the key astrological advantage that Reagan leveraged in that election. 

It’s not hard to figure out what realities Reagan leveraged in a non-astrological sense: the relatively weak position of then-incumbent Jimmy Carter loomed large. Carter found himself entangled in the Iran hostage crisis for most of 1979, with Iran agreeing (with a little help from Reagan’s camp, the story goes) to end it only after Reagan was inaugurated. 

This situation was made worse by continued economic fallout from the early 1970s oil crisis and the legacy of Watergate, so Reagan’s victory was a slam dunk.  It also legitimized Reagan’s famous buzz phrase that “government is not the solution; it’s the problem.” This sentiment was branded into the GOP’s hide from then on, and has deeply influenced its campaigns ever since. The question here, however, is how does all this manifest astrologically?






Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Ronald Reagan, February 6, 1911, 4:16 am ST, Tampico, IL; (middle wheel) Ronald Reagan, Secondary Progressions for November 4, 1980, 12 pm GMT Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Election 1980, November 4, 1980, 6:11 am ST (sunrise), Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. Note: Reagan’s birth time is disputed; the time here is taken from family sources.

Reagan Mars/Mercury (midpoint, Capricorn) conjoins Reagan Progressed MC (Capricorn); these points square Election Saturn-Moon-Venus/Pluto (midpoint, Libra). Clearly, Reagan aggressively and purposefully (Capricorn) leveraged the waning balsamic phase of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, which would soon thereafter (Dec. 1980) start fresh as an anomalous cycle in Air sign Libra, at that. All this helped shift the nation’s priorities toward structural social change and made Reagan look like the man for the job. It didn’t hurt that his Progressed MC (Capricorn) fell opposite Sibly Sun (Cancer), either. 
The Jupiter-Saturn-Moon-Venus conjunction also seen here undoubtedly enhanced the widespread appeal Reagan had that day, as well, but his aggressive, behind-the-scenes push for victory (Mars and Pluto influences) probably tipped the balance. It may have gone differently.

In fact, the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle, with all those nice energies hitching a ride was launching conjunct Carter’s Libra Sun as well. Considering the amazing peace-keeping and humanitarian work that Carter has accomplished in the near-40 years since his presidency, perhaps that defeat was the launching pad for his true legacy? 

A quick aside. It’s not unusual for these transition periods between one cycle and another during election years to signal a shift in party dominance: a similar thing happened with G.W. Bush in 2000 and the Jupiter-Saturn cycle in Taurus that launched new earlier that year. 

Decades earlier, when JFK took over for Dwight Eisenhower in January 1961, the 1940 Taurus cycle was all but completed, with a new cycle launching the following month (Feb.) in late Capricornopposite his Saturn (Cancer) and trine his Jupiter (Taurus). The list goes on.

Election Pluto (Libra) squared Reagan Mercury-Uranus (Capricorn). Reagan was certainly in the right astrological place and time for the somewhat revolutionary role he would play in negotiating an end to the Cold War (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”). Capricorn would be a key sign in the saga that unfolded as the Berlin Wall did come down in 1989, and the Soviet Union crumbled between then and 1991. 

As Pluto and Saturn transit into those same late Capricorn degrees these days, this late 80s-early 90s period is extra relevant: clearly, our relationship with Russia still leaves a lot to be desired. It doesn’t surprise me that Reagan’s Russian counterpart in the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev, has been in the news lately

So, if I had to draw one major point from these charts as the gist of Reagan’s victory in 1980, it would be that he approached the campaign as though he had an important job to do—his Progressed ASC-Sun conjunction (Aries) fell square his aggressive natal Mercury-Uranus (Capricorn) conjunction and his Progressed MC (Capricorn) was well-positioned for the presidency.  




The Obama phenomenon

Presidential elections don’t always depend upon the Jupiter-Saturn cycle reaching a major milestone, of course—if our Founding Fathers wanted that to be the case (they were quite aware of astrological cycles), we’d have elections roughly every five years instead of four, and they would be timed to coincide with those milestones. In fact, other cycles often seem to help set the tone of the new presidencies that result. 

Take Barack Obama’s 2008 election, for instance: he was inaugurated in the midst of the so-called “Great Recession,” with Wall Street falling apart around the new administration from day one, but yet there was an exuberant, idealistic feel to it all. There are astrological reasons for this unusual combination of factors:  

First, Obama’s election and inauguration were preceded by the 12/2007 Jupiter-Pluto (Sagittarius) cycle of 12/2007, and its wild excesses manifested in the 2008 financial crisis/recession—and second, the new administration got its start during the final months of a much lighter feeling Jupiter-Neptune cycle, which would be starting fresh in electric Aquarius (26+) in May, 2009, just months after the inauguration.  

The “irrational exuberance” that helped bring Wall Street, credit and housing markets to their knees, spawning thousands of defaulted mortgages and foreclosures, was also influenced by the fact that Uranus (Pisces) and Neptune (Aquarius) were still in mutual reception. Curiously these combined energies also produced a palpable sense of euphoria that Obama captured well in some memorable lines, like “the audacity of hope,” and “change we can believe in,” and “Yes, We Can.”

Exuberance and desperation were parallel realities when Obama took office.

Of course, the euphoria was short-lived, as Wall Street and D.C. realities hit, but every once in awhile an uplifting Jupiter-Neptunian wave (together these two co-rule Pisces) would crest again, re-stimulating that mutual reception, which finally ended when Uranus entered Aries in 2010. That 2003-2010 mutual reception period was a challenging and spirited time that combined an ill-conceived war in Iraq with great expectations for new technologies—notably the first smart phone in 2007.  

Despite the recession that followed shortly thereafter, causing high unemployment and crushing financial difficulties for many, the charts of that 2008 Election day also show some lighter dynamics in play. 

It’s quite possible that the idealistic Neptunian/Piscean energies in play provided just enough critical support for Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act to squeak by in Congress and become law. Other factors helped on March 23, 2010, but Neptune (Aquarius) conjoined Sibly Moon (Aquarius) that day (chart not shown), with ACA Jupiter (Pisces) conjoined ACA Sun/Neptune (Pisces)—the time had come for the nation’s first successful stab at “universal health care.” 

Also reflected here was Obama’s ability to inspire people to believe that something we had never been able to do as a nation was, indeed, doable. And that health care was a “right, not a privilege,” an idea whose time had come—as we’ll see in Triwheel #2 below, Mercury/Jupiter (midpoint, Pisces) conjoined Uranus (Pisces) that day, and just to be certain of the evolutionary moment at hand, and that the public would accept the idea, Mercury/Pluto (midpoint, Aquarius) conjoined Sibly Moon (Aquarius). 

The passage of the ACA was more than a year into Obama’s presidency, of course—the question here is, what was the astrological gist of his 2008 victory? As with Reagan, for the sake of brevity, we’ll examine only the first presidential election he won. 







Triwheel #2: (inner wheel) Barack Obama, August 4, 1961, 7:24 pm ST, Honolulu, HI; (middle wheel) Barack Obama, Secondary progressions for November 4, 2008, 12 pm GMT, Washington, DC; (outer wheel) Election Day 2008, November 4, 2008, 6:11 am (sunrise) ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. Rated: Rodden AA: BC/BR.

 Interchart Grand-Square: Election Pluto (Sagittarius) opposes Obama Venus (Cancer); this axis squares Obama Progressed Sun (Virgo) opposite Obama Progressed MC-Natal Juno (Aries).  This rather amazing configuration reflects a number of realities that would mark the Obama years, but let’s focus on how it helped him in the election. Notice that Pluto was working its way back to Capricorn after turning Rx in April, 2008, so technically, it was in its post-retrograde shadow period

On November 28, Pluto finally re-entered Capricorn for the duration, but it remained opposite Obama Venus (with an orb of roughly 5°) through the end of 2011, so a factor to take seriously here—without a doubt, taking on the presidency can be rough on relationships.


Obama daughters Sasha and Melia grew into young adults in the White House.

In Obama’s case, however, Pluto was also transiting square his Progressed Sun opposite Progressed MC this whole time. Perhaps this reflects the weighty, historical role he was about to take on as our first African-American president?  The possibility that we could cross that historical threshold brought many out to vote for Obama (the turn-out was relatively spectacular that year)—Pluto dynamics often reflect that the evolutionary time is simply ripe for some development, and that appears to be the case here. 

Election Saturn (Virgo) conjoined Obama Mars (Virgo) and opposed Election Uranus (Pisces). Election Saturn also trines Obama Saturn (Rx, Capricorn). In other words, the Saturn-Uranus cycle was in its full phase, reflecting not only the heady technological developments of the time, but the perfect time for transitional, structural change in our institutions.  Not surprisingly, the 2008 election brought in a commanding shift of party dominance (which was subsequently reversed in the 2010 midterms), but Obama struck the  right Saturn-Uranus notes when he promoted widespread change in his campaign. 

The conjunction of this Saturn with Obama Mars (Virgo) suggests that Obama seemed like the person capable of acting on that change. The fact that the waning trine phase of his 2nd Saturn cycle was, on Election day, fast approaching (Election Saturn was widely trine his natal Saturn Rx) suggests that it was time for him to take on the responsibility that would become his “legacy” in the world. 

In fact, both final dispositors in his natal chart (planets placed in their ruling signs) were challenged to step up into this new role and responsibility by this Election chart: we’ve seen what that means in terms of Obama’s Capricorn Saturn, but even more dramatically, Obama Sun (Leo) opposed Progressed Moon-Election Chiron (Aquarius) and Election North Node (Aquarius)

Not only was he experiencing the full phase of his progressed lunar cycle (perhaps  being forced to face some deep Chironic wounds in the process), this passage was conjoined by the Election Nodal Axis (Aquarius-Leo). It was simply time for Obama to take on something of this magnitude, and the public seemed to get the message.

Election Jupiter-Part of Fortune (Capricorn) opposed Obama Progressed ASC (Cancer). Jupiter isn’t particularly strong in Saturn-ruled Capricorn, yet it’s given a boost by the Part of Fortune here that probably felt like a tentative “seal of approval,” especially with the Progressed ASC directly opposite. Rather than a full-throated approval, however, this was more conditional, like, “Ok, you’ll do…if we're stuck with you.”  

 The state of our politics was already seriously polarized at that time, assuring that Obama would be denied support from across the partisan aisle the entire eight years he was in office. Tea Party politics got their start in response to his election (in 2009), so the resistance to his presidency was very real from the start.

Finally, perhaps it was significant that Obama’s Progressed ASC (Cancer) also fell at the Sibly Sun/Mercury midpoint (Cancer-chart not shown). His powers of persuasion were a strong factor in his electoral appeal, even though the “honeymoon” was quickly over when he tried to act on many of the issues he campaigned on, like Wall Street reform, etc. In retrospect, this feels like a cautionary tale for 2020 progressives—grand ideals are fine, but persuasiveness only goes so far!  






The electoral power of progressions and planetary midpoints

We’ve seen a few examples of the ways in which progressions (especially of candidate angles) and midpoint dynamics play into election results, but I would suggest that we should pay more attention to them in general when it comes to elections. Candidate progressions often reap key information about the development of these ambitious people, why they are driven to run for the office and whether their quests are timely or not. 

By considering those points against the Sibly chart (and the progressed Sibly), we can tease out whether the nation is in tune with their quest or not.  

Milestones in a major progressed cycle (like the lunar cycle) usually portend some significant transition or development, which doesn’t have to signify victory, but if several other factors look favorable, a case might be made for it. 

I would like to suggest that we pay more attention to the progressed Nodal Axis, as well. In the 2016 election, the Sibly Progressed No. Node conjoined Trump’s Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer, and as anyone who has watched this blog knows, that thin-skinned, grievance-prone conjunction in his chart has been an important key to his behavior in and approach to the presidency. 

It also helped set the aggrieved tone of his candidacy—always complaining that other nations weren’t paying enough for their protection (Cancer Venus), that our borders weren’t protected (Cancer Saturn) enough, that our trade deals were unfair, and so on. 

The nation’s progressed Node helps us understand how receptive the public is likely to be to the candidates and their messaging. In retrospect, it’s clear that Trump used his aggrieved attitude to tap into a deep well of dissatisfaction and insecurity (Cancer) in those who would become his base—those who perhaps felt ignored or otherwise let down by the Obama years—and he knew how to leverage this base for his purposes by goosing their fears and resentments over corporate outsourcing, over “criminal immigrants” taking their jobs, and so on.

Hyperbole and irrational emotionalism played well on the campaign trail because enough people were receptive.

Ivanka Trump.
Significantly, Trump’s glamorous daughter Ivanka (now employed in the White House; doing what, is unclear) has natal North Node at 26+Cancer—conjunct that Election 2016  Progressed Sibly Node—no surprise, those grass roots folks who liked Trump were receptive to her celebrity persona, and it’s likely that she had some impact. Even so, it’s very difficult to grasp what she’s really about: it’ll be interesting to see what happens if Dad remains in the 2020 race.  

As for the importance of midpoint dynamics in these discussions, I’ve come to see them as critical to an in-depth analysis of election-related charts. For one thing, midpoints seem to reflect the inner forces at work that often escape notice. Consider Sen. Kamala Harris’s ill-fated campaign effort. 

Along with current transits, a  few key midpoints in her nativity[1]  could very well reflect her failure to raise enough funds to continue campaigning: Pluto and Saturn are now transiting opposite her Jupiter/Pluto  and Venus/Jupiter midpoints (19+ and 20+ Can respectively), Venus/Jupiter, suggesting that her revenue streams and fund-raising were running up against heavy obstacles. 

The personal devastation that goes along with running aground in this way can be seen in the way Harris’s Sun/Moon midpoint (27+Cap) conjoins Sibly Pluto (Capricorn, chart not shown). This could have been a positive if she was likely to garner support from Big Finance, but in the absence of that, the mounting pressure from transits seems to have sealed her campaign’s fate.

This convergence of factors may also explain why her campaign seemed to lack focus to many observers—one commentator went so far as to say that, despite many positive attributes, Harris didn’t seem to know why she was running!  Perhaps she's not out of it entirely, however: fellow candidate Joe Biden just commented that he "would consider Harris as a running mate!"

Bottom line, if we didn’t have the tool of midpoints to rely on for astrology-based analyses, we might miss out on some key dynamics. We’ve seen a couple instances in which combining progressions with midpoints yields interesting insights, as well—especially when the candidates’ chart angles are involved. So many ways of getting to the heart of things—the gist!  







Going forward
 
As the months tick off between now and Election 2020, there will be time to employ all these tools we’ve discussed with candidate- and election-related charts, but for now, the intent here is to simply gather useful data. As it becomes clear who the nominees will be on both sides (even the Republican side is a bit up in the air at the moment, with the impeachment inquiry), we can consider how the opponent charts interact with each other and the other charts. 

We may not end up with an accurate prediction in the end (it’s an educated guessing game, at best), but we’ll have a much more clear idea of what factors and variables are significant, and we will know the candidates so much better! 

So, in the interest of data-gathering, Table 3 below contains some key midpoints from the nativities of the stronger-seeming 2020 candidates (those who show some potential for staying in the race at this point).  I’ve chosen midpoints that I find often feature in political analyses, but of course there could be an argument for looking at all midpoints in specific cases. As for the candidates listed here, we’re losing the less well-funded candidates one by one these days, but here’s the field as I see it at this point. 

Notice that I’ve also included data for several past presidents (highlighted in green) and the presumed incumbent, Donald Trump (highlighted in blue).  These will come in handy in future posts, and if you’re doing some comparative analyses of your own in the meantime, they may be of interest.  


Table 3. Candidate (selected past and present) midpoints
Candidate/
Midpts
Su-Mo
Merc-Sat
Ven-Jup
Mars-Sat
Mars-Plu
Jup-Sat
Jup-Ura
Sat-Ura
Jup-Plu
Sat-Plu
Biden
14+Aq
0+Vi
26+Vi
26+Le
24+Vi
2+Cn
28+Ge
6+Ge
1+Le
8+Cn
Bloomberg
21+Aq
3+Ar
9+Ar
20+Ta
26+Ge
1+Ge
3+Ge
24+Ta
7+Cn
28+Ge
Booker
5+Cn
12+Ta
3+Cn
23+Aq
4+Sc
13+Cn
28+Vi
15+Cn
24+Vi
11+Cn
Bush GWH
0+Vi
3+Le
19+Vi
17+Le
24+Le
7+Vi
18+Le
7+Cn
14+Vi
3+Le
Bush GW
19+Le
12+Le
0+Li
25+Sa
3+Ta
20+Sc
2+Aq
8+Cp
27+Vi
3+Vi
Buttigieg
29+Sa
19+Sa
20+Sa
17+Li
20+Li
0+Sc
21+Sc
12+Sc
2+Sc
24+Li
Castro
24+Vi
1+Vi
10+Ge
24+Le
4+Li
14+Ta
3+Cp
6+Vi
23+Sa
26+Le
Clinton, B
8+Cn
4+Le
17+Li
4+Vi
9+Vi
12+Vi
22+Le
11+Cn
17+Vi
7+Le
Harris
27+Cp
29+Sa
20+Cn
24+Ta
3+Vi
11+Ar
18+Cn
5+Sa
19+Cn
6+Sa
Obama
7+Cn
28+Li
16+Ar
23+Sc
14+Vi
28+Cp
13+Sc
10+Sc
18+Sc
16+Sc
Patrick
26+Ge
8+Li
1+Le
24+Cp
10+Ge
15+Li
18+Le
29+Vi
1+Vi
11+Li
Reagan
29+Pi
11+Pi
8+Cp
2+Pi
0+Ar
7+Aq
20+Sa
13+Pi
4+Vi
28+Ta
Roosevelt, F
23+Ar
1+Ar
26+Pi
1+Ge
12+Ge
11+Ta
17+Cn
12+Cn
22+Ta
16+Ta
Sanders
2+Cn
0+Le
21+Le
11+Ta
14+Ge
9+Ge
10+Ge
29+Ta
12+Cn
1+Cn
Steyer
4+Cn
18+Vi
24+Le
6+Li
16+Le
1+Sc
29+Le
7+Li
11+Vi
18+Li
Trump
22+Vi
16+Cn
6+Vi
10+Le
18+Le
5+Vi
17+Le
5+Cn
13+Vi
1+Le
Warren
9+Ge
21+Cn
24+Ar
20+Cn
11+Cn
16+Sc
15+Ar
1+Le
7+Sc
23+Le
Yang
28+Cp
26+Ar
27+Aq
4+Li
16+Sc
15+Ta
8+Cp
8+Vi
27+Sa
27+Le


Stay tuned—much more on all this soon!











Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—for specifics, contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2019. All rights reserved. 



[1]Birth data: Kamala Harris, October 20, 1964, 9:28 pm DST, Oakland, CA. Rated: AA-BC/BR in hand.