Saturday, December 21, 2019

Banging the Solstice Gavel, Part I: The Astrology of a Capricorn Impeachment Vote



“Impeachments tend to happen when there is some existential question about who we are…”—Presidential historian Jon Meacham, December 19, 2019

“The Time hath found us.”—Thomas Paine, Common Sense


Remember those frightening stories children used to be told about Krampus, a mythic "dark"-Santa figure who punished bad children by filling their Christmas stockings with coal and rocks instead of sweets? 



Well, this year the Impeachment Krampus has already been busy!

As you may have been following in the televised House Judiciary Committee hearings of the past weeks, a party-line vote held on December 13th sent two Articles of Impeachment forward to the full House of Representatives by a margin of 23-17 (Dems-GOP), and 5 days later on December 18th, the full House passed those Articles, after a full day of hot debate

So Donald J. Trump is officially an impeached president: a comfortable majority of Dems and  Michigan’s former Republican-turned-Independent, Justin Amash carried the vote on both Articles. As for timing, the first Article received a voice vote at 8:09 p.m., but because of roll calls they were officially passed as House Leader Nancy Pelosi banged the gavel on them, at 8:34 p.m. and 8:52 p.m. respectively. Trump thus became only the third impeached Executive in American history, joining the ranks of Reconstruction-era Andrew Johnson, impeached in 1868, and Bill Clinton, impeached in 1998-99

In the wake of the Watergate scandal, of course, Richard Nixon faced impeachment charges, but he chose to resign in August, 1974, when it became clear that several GOP Senators planned to support his removal from office. 

The Impeachment process was deliberately divided between the House & the Senate.

 
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution deliberately divided the burden and authority of impeachment between the branches of Congress: the House investigates and hands down an indictment (one or more Articles of Impeachment) if the evidence gathered warrants it; the Senate then holds the trial, which is supposed to be substantive, fair and impartial, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. A two-thirds majority of the Senate is required to vote a president out of office: our Framers set a purposely high bar for removal since that outcome basically overturns an election. 

So whatever the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial may be in the end—it’s far from over, and the results are anything but certain—what is certain is that he’s been impeached by the House, and that’s at least some measure of accountability.   

We will be examining the chart for the first Article’s passage below, but let’s first be clear what Trump was impeached for. The articles accuse him of, 1) Abuse of Power (long story, but Trump basically used his presidential position and $300+million military aid to demand foreign interference in our 2020 presidential election from Ukraine), and 2) Obstruction of Congress (making a blanket refusal to cooperate in any way with the House investigation into this abuse of power, not allowing any members of the Executive branch to testify, and refusing to turn over the pertinent documents and communications requested).  

Even the GOP members of the House Impeachment Committees (Judiciary and Intelligence) didn’t try to dispute the known facts underlying the abuse of power accusation—they instead twisted themselves into pretzels trying to either justify Trump’s corrupt actions, or they simply denied there was anything impeachable about his actions. “There’s nothing there” was an often used phrase—how the Committees ended up producing a 500+ page report regarding the evidence underlying the charges with “nothing” is another story. 

Considering that Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for perjuring himself about having sex with an intern in the Oval House, these opinions about what’s impeachable and what isn’t ring pretty hollow.  Clinton actually cooperated with the investigations and oversight process he was faced with; Trump has offered no good faith cooperation at all, and has instead chosen to try to defame, deny and rage his way through. 

It’s anyone’s guess how low he’ll go to vent his spleen over this, of course: at a rally in Michigan on impeachment night, he decided to pick on Michigan’s beloved late Rep. John Dingell (the longest-serving House Representative), insinuating that he was “looking up from hell” because his successor and wife, Debbie Dingell, voted for impeachment. If the immediate outrage is any indication—from GOP Michiganders, as well—Trump may have gone too far for Michigan voters. 

The late Rep. John Dingell and wife, Debbie (now Rep. Dingell).


Tellingly, Trump intimated in his comments that because he ordered the flags in DC to fly at half-staff when Dingell died earlier this year, that somehow his wife owed him her support. Really?!!
 
Trump is, of course, taking for granted that he has an “Ace up his sleeve” in his Senate trial—he expects that the GOP-led Senate (and specifically Leader McConnell) will give him a “fair trial,” meaning one in which he, Trump gets to rig what happens. McConnell has, in fact, come out with a bald-faced statement that the Senate trial will be organized in “total coordination” with White House lawyers. 

If the country was capable of being further shocked by the workings of this administration, this statement should be the lightning bolt that blows everyone’s minds and cracks open the shell of inertia we’ve been encased in. McConnell’s transparent willingness to rig the Senate trial definitely had an impact on Dems who put weeks examining the facts of the case. From the Washington Post:
 
‘I think it was pretty bad for who is essentially the foreman of the jury to announce the verdict,’ said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), a Judiciary Committee member and potential impeachment manager. ‘The idea that he is working like that is pretty shameful.’
Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) went further, calling on McConnell to recuse himself from the Senate proceedings based on his Fox News remarks.
‘He’s working hand in hand with the White House, the president’s attorney, and yet we are supposed to expect him to manage a fair and impartial impeachment inquiry?’ she said. ‘They’ve screamed ‘bias,’ ‘kangaroo court,’ ‘witch hunt’ and everything else. . . . When the Senate majority leader stands at the microphone and says I’m basically going to coordinate with the president’s attorney,  that scares me.’”

Of course, Trump and company refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Congressional oversight—the 500-lb. ideological “elephant” in this scenario—so it’s easy for them to dismiss the whole thing as a “witch hunt,” and to ignore the facts it has uncovered. That should raise some questions in everyone’s minds: for instance, when we become a monarchy, with an autocratic leader who is above the Law and beyond any kind of Congressional oversight? 

No, it’s even more deeply troubling – as Nixon tried to claim in the 1970s before he was forced to resign, Trump seems to believe that anything he does must be legal because he was president when he did it! Nixon found it didn’t work to conflate himself with the State—a ploy that is straight out of the authoritarian playbook—but Trump has surrounded himself with yes-people (like Barr and McConnell) who are enabling that perspective.

Some commentators like to remind us all that Executive power has been out-of-balance with our constitutionally co-equal branches of government (Congress & the Judiciary) for decades, and clearly, they have a case—a long story, for another time. Suffice to say here, there’s an astrological reason we’re suffering the results of this long evolution now—the Saturn-Pluto opposition that stretched across the Sibly horizon (Sagittarius-Gemini) on September 11, 2001, ushered in a long, torturous transformation of Executive power and authority in this nation, and the years that followed led inexorably into Pluto’s (Capricorn) long opposition with Sibly Sun (Cancer), empowering the “leader” (Sun) in myriad, often toxic ways. 

Not surprisingly, this heavy Saturn-Pluto activity is also impacting Trump’s natal chart in ways we will consider a bit below, and much more in the next post. 

So the developments we’re seeing in shocking living color today didn’t happen overnight, but Trump has certainly found ways to take full advantage from his vantage point in the White House. Too bad his motives are far from clear. 


Ancient societies celebrated seasonal transitions, challenging authority and the norms.


The Astrology

As we’ll see in the charts below, Capricorn looms very large with transits these days, which is quite appropriate—this calendar month features the Winter Solstice (Dec. 22), when the Sun enters Saturn’s earthy domain of Capricorn. This, of course, is why the traditional solstice celebration is known as Saturnalia, aka the “Festival of Lights.” 

I’ve written at length every December about this interesting festival and its historical, cultural and social significance, so I won’t repeat most of that in this post, but for more on the significance of the Sun reaching this final key astrological cross-quarter point (the four quarters of the cosmic year begin at the 0° point in Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), see here, here, here and here

But this post isn’t about Saturnalia itself—it’s more about the Capricorn impeachment “Krampus” that’s threatening to sabotage our spirits during this Holiday season. We’re approaching a difficult and distracting final quarter in the natural/astrological year, and the transition can be wrenching, even without major drama in D.C. 

Yet here we are, immersed in the final heady, fiery degrees of Sagittarius (Sun), energies that basically unleash and promote our wildest excesses leading into the holidays (Black Friday stampedes, wearing out our credit cards, celebrations, etc.), and then we’re on to the Solstice, where we run flat up against the sober wake-up call of that serious old goat, Capricorn. It can feel like a collective hang-over, and the Holiday gatherings are still in progress! 

Interestingly, two of the now three impeachments in U.S. history have gaveled in during the Holiday season—Bill Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998. So, as unfortunate as the timing seems, there may be some astrological sense to it. The late degrees of Sagittarius are very potent because transits through that sector conjoin the massive black hole known as the Galactic Center (currently at 27°3)—significantly, this cosmic point is thought to rule whistleblowers. Astrologer Melanie Reinhart writes extensively about this phenomenon and analyzes several whistleblower charts from this perspective here.   


That no one is above the law is an essential feature of American democracy.

Time will not be stopped; reality will not be ignored, even with Neptune transiting Pisces. Wishful thinking doesn’t work very well with Saturnian Capricorn: if the outraged 6-page letter Trump sent a couple days ago to House Leader Pelosi is any indication, Trump didn’t really think he would find himself impeached by the House, but here we are. As so many have repeated throughout this process, in the U.S., “No one—not even the president—is above the law.” 

Trump may, in fact, be acquitted in the Senate and not removed from office, but even that won’t change the reality that he has been impeached by the House. So this is progress: as a few commentators pointed out last night after that historic vote, Trump has always found allies and ways to work around any serious attempts to hold him accountable in the past—if law suits and public relations stunts don’t work, he buys his way out (paying off porn stars for silence comes to mind). But this time may just be different. 

For one thing, many more are no longer giving the victimization narrative that’s been framed around Trump any credence—is he really being treated like one of those poor women in the Salem witch trials, like Jesus was by Pontius Pilate??  Are all his problems brought upon him by the Dems, who just “hate” him?  Is he even capable of being objective about his own behavior, much less responsible? 

All the distorted hyperbole is Neptunian for sure, and wouldn’t you know it, Neptune is currently transiting over Trump’s natal 7th house of enemies, so it’s possible he experiences free-floating anxiety that the world is out to get him and it’s quite possible that he’s not capable of objectivity. Even so, does any of this put him above the law? 

This is the dilemma today’s astrological realities confront us with, in fact: Neptune in distortion- and delusion-prone Pisces makes grasping the facts and holding anyone to account a slippery affair at best, yet Saturn and Pluto, transiting in rules- and authority-grounded Capricorn, are determined to clear out the corrupt dross of society and make way for renewed structures and institutions. 

The U.S. Constitution defines "impeachable offense" in a few key words.


So if this time is different for Trump, it’ll be because astrologically, it’s time for some accountability—if not for high crimes and misdemeanors committed in the highest office, then for something else: Saturn and Pluto (Capricorn) are both transiting opposite his natal Saturn-Venus (Cancer) conjunction and these planetary energies demand that we reap what we sow, one way or another.

Besides, Trump is no longer just a “private” person who might be able to skirt the law and work the system with little accountability, simply because he’s wealthy and connected. His “avatar” in the US Sibly chart, if you will, is the Sun, which makes his behavior a matter of collective, institutional importance, and the Saturn-Pluto cycle is all about transforming social structures and institutions for the most critical purpose: survival. As adept as Donald Trump has been at using the law to his advantage over his controversial career, as former President Harry S. Truman used to say, now “the buck stops here.” 

So let’s examine one of the history-making charts that was produced by the final Impeachment votes in the House. The two Articles of Impeachment passed within 18 minutes of each other: the first, at 8:34 p.m. and the second at 8:52 p.m., so the differences between the two are mainly with the angles and the Moon degree. We’ll consider the first one here, and because this gets to be a lengthy discussion, we’ll consider other impeachment-related charts (including Trump’s nativity in relation to the Impeachment vote chart) in the next post. 





Chart #1: Trump impeachment vote, Article One, December 18, 2019, 8:34 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Sun trines Eris (Aries) and widely conjoins Pallas (Sagittarius) and Jupiter (Capricorn) in 5th house; Sun rules Leo ASC. In mundane astrology, the 5th house is the natural home of the “leader” (Sun), so it’s not surprising to see it here in both impeachment charts (it doesn’t leave this house for the Article Two vote). Interestingly, the Sun’s companions in this house may be less than supportive. Sagittarius ruler Jupiter is widely conjoined the Sun from Capricorn—traditionally, the sign of Jupiter’s “fall.” 

 Pallas deals with matters of Justice, so essentially the Sun is sandwiched in between the forces of Justice on one side and a weakened Jupiter. This rather dour looking Jupiter speaks to the serious ideological and philosophical debate about the Rule of Law that underlies the entire impeachment.  

Trump’s impeachment has been a study in the extremes of partisanship, as well: there may be no solid body of evidence to prove this, but I’ve often observed that Jupiter seems to resonate more with the regulations-averse GOP than it does with the Dems, who are more likely to see the government and the Law as the “solution,” rather than the “problem.”   

So if we consider the 5th house the Leader’s arena of influence, Jupiter’s presence does seem to strike a partisan note of support, albeit weakened support at this time. This weakness didn’t stop the GOP members of the Impeachment committees from putting up a fight and causing as much disruption as they could get by with on Trump’s behalf (Sun trines Eris). 

Jupiter widely conjoins So. Node (Capricorn), opposes No. Node (Cancer) and trines Uranus Rx-MC (Taurus). The impact of this aspect ripples further, of course—you may recall that Trump’s Mercury (Cancer, chart not shown)—a key point in his nativity—tightly conjoins the transiting No. Node

As for this chart, a weakened Jupiter conjoined So. Node suggests a “drag” on collective progress, exacerbated by the “Leader” (Jupiter rules and conjoins Sun).  The trine to Uranus (Taurus) suggests that the forces of change are active and pushing for expression at the highest levels. More on this in the next post when we discuss Trump’s nativity next to the impeachment charts. 


One of many House Judiciary Committee hearings in regards to impeachment.

Saturn conjoins Pluto (Capricorn) and together they square Eris (Aries); Pluto widely conjoins Venus (Capricorn). Significantly, this is all transpiring in the 6th house, the house of military and other public servants, including the “worker bees” on the House committees. There is transformative force behind the efforts of these committees, as we’ve seen—Trump won’t admit to feeling impeached (preferring to dismiss it all as a “hoax”), but he is impeached. Saturn traffics in facts, not feelings, and with Pluto, those facts can be weighty and transformational. 

Venus not only conjoins Pluto in pragmatic, authoritative Capricorn, but it squares Uranus Rx (Taurus)—an out-of-sign square off between Money/Power and the forces of change and disruption. There’s no getting around the fact that all this impeachment drama is overlapping with Election drama—if Trump remains in office after his Senate trial, he’ll be the first impeached president to seek re-election, and it doesn’t take much to imagine that he will be courting billionaires around the world (why stop at Russia and Ukraine if he can’t be held accountable?). It’s quite possible, of course, that impeachment will make for an effective fund-raising prod within the country as well. 

For its part, disruptive Uranus inhabits the 9th house, which could certainly point to foreign meddling or change flowing from international relationships. Vladimir Putin’s pronouncement yesterday (12/19) slamming Trump’s impeachment raises exactly these questions. Reportedly, even some White House members say that Trump believes Ukraine meddled in our 2016 election (meaning not Russia), because “Putin told” him. Of course he did. 


Sparks flew between Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY, l) & Louie Gohmert (R-TX, r).

From this perspective, Jupiter trine Uranus also reflects the GOP’s baffling support of Russian talking points—a phenomenon that briefly exploded into view in the final Impeachment debate.  

The bottom line here is, will Trump be allowed to normalize seeking out and accepting foreign assistance that benefits (Venus) his political fortunes?  One way or another, considering that Venus also conjoins Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) here, Trump’s impeachment could have a serious impact on his election funding. 

It’s also quite possible that Venus in stately, no-nonsense Capricorn reflects the role that Madame Speaker (the most powerful woman in U.S. government) is playing in all this. The opposition between Pelosi and Trump will make even more sense when we consider all this in the next post.

Finally, the square between the Capricorn points to Eris (Aries) reflects how combative and discordant recent times have been, and we shouldn’t expect that to improve any time soon. 

Saturn-Pluto-Venus (Capricorn) trines Moon (Virgo); Moon squares Sun (Sagittarius). The Moon in a mundane chart speaks to the People and I would offer that it also captures the emotional tone of the national discourse. So what does the nation’s “gut” have to say about Trump’s impeachment? Clearly, the People and the Leader are at odds in this chart, and yes, with Moon in the 2nd house, there may be financial ramifications. A Virgo Moon can be stressful—the pressure to “do the right thing,” yet remain pragmatic is intense. 


Editors of CT published an article urging Trump's removal from office.

In fact, this Moon may have stimulated the amazing editorial that just ran in Christianity Today (CT,founded by the late Billy Graham), titled “Trump should be removed from office.”  The gist of the article is captured nicely in the following excerpt:

“But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.
The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.”

This article is amazing not just for the way it zeroes in on Trump’s “profoundly immoral” actions, but because this is a deep-rooted Evangelical publication, and the Evangelicals have been staunch Trump supporters, despite his long, “checkered” history. Publishing this article must have taken some deep soul-searching on the part of CT’s management, yet they seem to have run up against a sense of duty and commitment (good Virgo traits) to a “higher good:” 

“The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”
Trump, of course, has dismissed this article as being from a “far-left” magazine—which raises the question of Neptune in this chart.


Poseidon, aka Neptune in ancient myth.

Neptune (Pisces) quincunxes ASC (Leo), squares Pallas-Mercury (Sagittarius) and trines Mars (Scorpio). The Leo ASC here is uncomfortably challenged by Neptune and its "alternative," often distorted perspective--who is this larger-than-life, egoistic person at the heart of this impeachment? It strikes me as interesting that Pallas-Mercury trine ASC as well. Asteroid experts Demetra George and Douglas Bloch point to Pallas’ decidedly political dimension, saying:

“Astrologically, then, Pallas Athene symbolizes a feminine-defined quality of heroism, bravery, courage, and sensible toughness. In the birth chart, she describes the political activist, militant feminist, or champion of oppressed minorities. ..As protectress of the state, Pallas extended her political domain into the laws and political life of the polis.[1]
The authors further characterize Pallas in Sagittarius as “a defender of truth and righteousness, fighting for ideologies,”[2] which certainly fit the scenario on Wednesday night. Mercury-Pallas combined indicates the potential for mediation, negotiation, and communication—perhaps reflecting how carefully parsed and narrowly focused the official impeachment Articles are. 

Words carry weight in these affairs—another reason Trump’s vicious comments later that night regarding the late Rep. John Dingell struck such a negative chord. It’s possible that the square from Neptune to these Sagittarius points could be channeled in both uplifting and cynical ways: to elevate the debate and the tone of the proceedings on one hand, while simultaneously enabling the “fog” of rhetorical “war.”

The Mars-Neptune trine (Scorpio-Pisces) is interesting in this regard. The Mars/Neptune (midpoint) falls about 2 degrees shy of Saturn (Capricorn), which is a bit wide, but the proverbial “shoe” seems to fit here. From midpoints expert Michael Munkasey:

“Frustrations encountered when punishing those who deceive others; blockage of anger toward people who avoid reality; pessimism over arguments received from clerics or mystics…”[3]
Anger and deception do seem to be two major themes in the Trump presidency, so it’s not surprising to see them in play in the Impeachment Articles. Mars sextiles Saturn-Pluto as well—the Article’s intention is to hold a rogue president accountable, but a measure of restraint is called for. Acting out of anger or revenge (Scorpio Mars) could undermine the opportunity presented.  




House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) presided over the Impeachment Votes.


Final thoughts

This has been stage one of a two-part exploration into the impeachment history made on December 18th—IMHO, it’s a complicated story that deserves this extended treatment, so thank you for your patience! 

The coming post will focus primarily on a triwheel between the US Sibly chart, Trump’s nativity and the Impeachment Vote chart we just considered above. My hope is that we’ll gain important perspective from looking at all this together—especially as we wind down one of the most chaotic years in modern U.S. history. We know from considering the key planetary cycles that are quickly waning for re-launch in 2020 that change, renewal and a critical election year are on the horizon, and these cycles will continue having their say, whatever happens with the Senate impeachment trial. 

Finally, a nod to the Winter Solstice, which perfects late this evening, at 11:19:19 p.m. EST. Set for Washington, D.C., 20°+Virgo rises, which just happens to square Donald Trump’s significant Gemini-Sagittarius full Moon axis. Clearly, the Capricorn quarter of this astrological year will challenge him to “do the right thing.” What might that be?

I leave you with that Solstice chart to consider—and a note of relevant interest from history. The Thomas Paine quote that I cited at the top of this post, “The Time hath found us” is being bandied about quite a lot these days in reference to the impeachment and to political platforms calling for major changes. I would argue that this phrase is in “the ether” because we are so deeply caught up in waning cycles that demand we clear out the old and begin anew. 

Will the coming quarter bring major change? See what you think in the chart below!





Chart #2: Sun enters Capricorn (Winter Solstice), December 21, 2019, 11:19:19 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. 

Thomas Paine, Founding Father & author of Common Sense

Speaking of Capricorn "moments," our very colorful and profoundly revolutionary founding father, Thomas Paine, was born on February 9, 1737, with Uranus at 0°+Capricorn—conjunct the Winter Solstice point (aka the Capricorn "World Point"), so it’s no wonder that he and his compatriots (many of whom were younger, born with Uranus in revolutionary Aquarius) saw the need for fundamental structural change and a break from the British monarchy.  IMHO, the bottom line here is that history—and the astrology that helps us understand its echoes in our own times—are important guides for these times. 

So what will we do this time around? 

Above all, refresh our spirits for the times ahead: enjoy a blessed Solstice and Holiday season with families and friends!









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—contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2019. All rights reserved. 



[1] Demetra George & Douglas Bloch, Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine. Ibis Press, Lake Worth, FL, updated edition, 2003, p. 91.
[2]Ibid, p. 104.
[3] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 241.

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.