TMA This Week

President Trump’s First 100 Days

By Pat Paquette | November 15, 2016

As Donald Trump was walking to the podium to give his victory speech, it looked to me like he was about to cry. (1)

Perhaps it was simply fatigue. After all, it was 3:00 a.m. and the end of a grueling campaign that would have exhausted anyone, let alone a 70-year-old man. Even so, with the ultimate spotlight upon him, you would think a Rising Leo would be beaming ear to ear.

Maybe, like everyone else, he was in a state of shock. Only two weeks earlier, his own pollster conceded that he was way behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the odds-on favorite. (2) The abrupt reality that in six weeks he would be responsible for running the most-powerful nation on earth had to have been sobering, enough to humble even a billionaire business tycoon of the greatest, most amazing immodesty.

Trump’s brief address was uncharacteristically gracious, conciliatory, and restrained. Although it couldn’t erase 18 months of divisive rhetoric, it garnered cautious support from political leaders key to his future success or failure. President Barack Obama set the tone in an address to the nation the day after the election, followed by remarks the next day in a joint appearance with the President-elect.

“As I said last night, my number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” Obama said following a 90-minute meeting with Trump that was scheduled to last half an hour. “And I have been very encouraged by the, I think, interest in President-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces.” (3)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent who ran as a Democrat against Clinton in the primaries, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive Democrat from Massachusetts, both said they would be willing to work with Trump. “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him,” Sanders said. “To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.” (4)(5)

For his part, Trump indicated that he would rely on Obama’s counsel — a revelation that can’t have pleased Republican leaders hard at work on an agenda they hope will fly through the Republican majority in both houses of Congress. (6)

It’s too early to tell how much of it Trump will go along with. Already, he’s softening his positions on hard-line campaign statements, such as repealing Obama’s healthcare legislation and prosecuting Clinton. After months of calling her “Crooked Hillary” and suggesting she should go to jail, he now says it’s not a priority. (7)

For all practical purposes, all bets are off on what a Trump administration will do. The pundits have been making predictions for months, even though very few gave him any chance of winning. Even fewer predicted he would get support from liberal lawmakers such as Sanders and Warren. New estimates are coming out daily as information emerges from Trump’s transition team, but circumstances are changing so fast that they may not have a very long shelf life.

Astrologers didn’t fare much better in predicting the outcome of the election. There were some who correctly predicted that Trump would win, but most favored Clinton, including a panel of astrologers at the annual conference of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR). (8) ISAR President Ray Merriman has some good observations in his latest weekly forecast on how we missed it, not the least of which is that Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. “I cannot think of a single astrological model that would be able to measure or project an electoral vote outcome with more probability than a popular vote,” he writes. (9)

Maybe we can do better at forecasting his first 100 days in office. There are many charts we could analyze: the chart for the time the election was called for Trump; the inauguration chart; charts for the solar eclipses on September 1, 2016, and February 26, 2017; the 2016 and 2017 Aries ingress charts; Trump’s transits and progressions, and charts for major planetary transits, such as the Mars-Neptune conjunction on New Year’s Day (late New Year’s Eve in western time zones) and Venus retrograde on March 4. Many astrologers will have others, with many different ways to interpret them.

The three I’d like to consider here are for the moment the election was called for Trump, plus transits to Trump’s natal chart on his first and one-hundredth day in office. This isn’t intended to be a thorough analysis but rather a preliminary discussion of the astrological influences at work during the first 100 days of his administration.

The Associated Press called the election at 2:29 a.m. on November 9. (10) The chart has 25°14′ Virgo Rising, with Mercury at 24°53′ Scorpio in the 3rd house of communications, in an applying sextile to the Ascendant and partile quincunx to the Midheaven at 24°36′ Gemini.

All charts Placidus houses, True node

Election called for Donald J. Trump
Nov. 9, 2016
2:29 a.m. EST
Washington, D.C.
38N54 77W02

election called for Donald Trump

Mars is at 0°02′ Aquarius, having left Capricorn less than two hours earlier, as the last glimmer of hope for a Clinton victory was vanishing. (11) Mars is exalted in Capricorn, which is associated with the established order. Among its traits are patience, discipline, and respect for the rules. Conversely, Aquarius represents the rule-breaker and upstart, rebellions, shocks, and upsets. With Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries since late May 2010, world affairs already were in a volatile state. (12) We can expect major upheavals between now and December 19, when Mars enters Pisces. However, even after Mars enters laidback Pisces, there will be more surprises, possibly in the form of shocking secrets revealed to the public.

On January 27th, just a week after Trump takes office, Mars will enter its own sign of Aries. At the solar eclipse at 8°12′ Pisces on February 26, Mars will be conjunct Uranus by exact degree, in an ominous cardinal T-square with Jupiter and Pluto reminiscent of global civil unrest in 2013 and 2014.

Another standout feature of the election night chart is the close conjunction of Neptune with the lunar South Node at 9-10° Pisces, and the Moon in an applying conjunction. Neptune represents confusion and possibly deceit, although the fog is so thick that even when you know it’s concealing something, you just can’t see it — maybe because there’s nothing there after all. At times like this, we need reliable instrument panels, because we can’t trust our own eyes and ears. Unfortunately, anything with electronics can be hacked. Until the fog lifts, we need to proceed with caution, concentrate on remaining stable and upright, and remind ourselves that we don’t know what we don’t know.

Mars conjoins the South Node at 5° Pisces the day after Christmas, crosses 9° Pisces on New Year’s Eve, and conjoins Neptune on New Year’s Day. If there were any irregularities in the election or other unforeseen consequences, these are key dates to watch.

Much already has been written about the Inaugural chart for the United States, so I will only mention a few points. The Inauguration is always held on January 20 at noon. (13) This means the Sun is always in the first or second degree of Aquarius, and Taurus will always be on the Ascendant.

2017 Inaugural
Jan. 20, 2017
12:00 pm EST
Washington, D.C.
election called for Donald Trump

The Inaugural chart features a stellium of Neptune, Venus, and Mars in Pisces, plus Chiron and the lunar South Node. I realize how contentious this election cycle has been, with passionate arguments on both sides. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a good sign that Chiron, the planet of wounds and healing, is snugly tucked between Venus and Mars, which represent the polar opposites of female and male, all in Pisces, the sign of unity and compassion. Of course, Pisces isn’t the fish, but the fishes, whose negative characteristics include excessive secrecy, passive-aggression, addiction, escapist behavior, and feeling that one is always the victim.

One additional point worth mentioning is that the Inaugural chart has no retrograde planets, which is relatively rare and bodes well for the new administration. Inauguration Day happens to fall within a four-week window that is the only period of the entire year when all of the planets are direct.

There also has been enough written about Trump’s natal chart that it’s not necessary to go into a lot of detail here. (14)

Donald J. Trump
June 14, 1946
10:54 a.m. EDT
Jamaica, NY
40N41 73W48
election called for Donald Trump

The one thing worth repeating is the conjunction of his Sun, lunar North Node, and Uranus in Gemini. Sun-Uranus people display many characteristics we associate with Aquarius. There’s no denying that Trump can be shocking and that he’s anti-establishment. For those who wonder how any of his supporters could see him as an “outsider” when he’s one of the billionaire class that has reaped most of the benefits of the economic recovery while working families struggle even harder to make ends meet, remember that many top Republican leaders refused to endorse him precisely because he’s not a member of their “club.” In short, he’s not a Davos Man. (15)

Let’s turn to Trump’s transit charts for his first day in office and his 100th day. Technically, it’s the 101st, which just happens to be the day of the Full Moon in Libra, but it’s in the wee hours, well before the start of his 101st workday.

In the debate over who would win the election, much was made of Saturn’s pass over Trump’s Moon at 21° Sagittarius. Saturn transits usually occur in three phases. In Trump’s chart, the first pass falls on December 30, just as transiting Mars is closing in on the conjunction with Neptune mentioned above.

Donald Trump/transits for Inauguration
Bi-wheel: Inner: Donald Trump, natal
Outer: Inauguration Jan. 20, 2017
election called for Donald Trump

Saturn stations retrograde at just under 28° Sagittarius on April 5th and stations direct on August 25, two seconds from Trump’s Moon. That means he will have a prolonged Saturn-Moon conjunction, within 5° of exactitude from May 22 to November 16, 2017, and in a partile conjunction from July 24 to September 26. Saturn’s second and third pass over his Moon essentially will be a 12-day conjunction in late August, during which there is a total eclipse of the Sun directly over the United States — the so-called Great American Eclipse. I don’t know about you, but I’m all in favor of making American Eclipses Great Again!

The Saturn-Moon conjunction happens once every 29 years and is generally regarded as a depressing and lonely time. Trump might not feel so great about himself, which is easy enough to imagine of someone who has taken on a gargantuan job for which he is ill prepared. His confidence in his ability to forge deals could be badly shaken in the first 100 days, as could his confidence overall. He won’t be able to ignore the advice of staff and wing it, as he did during the presidential debates. And while he campaigned on “draining the swamp” of political insiders, those people know their way around Washington politics, and Trump could find himself in the weaker position.

We don’t know the “real Donald Trump” and so don’t know whether he really thinks he’s as great as he lets on. But if he does, the Saturn-Moon conjunction could bring a real come-uppance – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Ultimately, this could be a profound growth experience for him.

On the brighter side, he will be in the midst of a Jupiter return on Inauguration Day. This is another transit that usually happens in three phases. The first pass will be on December 4, 2016. By Inauguration Day, Jupiter will be slowing to its station retrograde at 23° Libra on February 5, in a tight square with Trump’s natal Saturn. This could help him meet challenges, particularly in choosing advisers. It won’t be surprising if he goes through several major personnel changes (as he did in his campaign) before assembling a team he’s comfortable with and that’s comfortable with him. With transiting Uranus opposing natal Jupiter and squaring natal Saturn, there could be some serious shakeups, and it won’t take long for embarrassing internal conflicts to be leaked to the media. There also will be adjustments to his everyday life that he could find confining and irritating. Sagittarius Moon needs freedom, but President Trump will not be free to go anywhere he wishes, whenever he wishes, and his personal life is going to be in a fishbowl.

Despite the overwhelming challenges, there are indications in the charts that President Trump’s first 100 days in office could be surprisingly successful. While Saturn on his Moon may bring a constant barrage of discouraging criticism and negative press, and with the stress of a T-square to his natal Saturn suggesting constant upheavals in staff and surroundings, there is an ace in the hole: Transiting Jupiter and Uranus, (while squaring natal Saturn) also form a tight trine/sextile to his Sun-Uranus conjunction. If he does manage to make good on some of his campaign pledges to help the suffering middle class, he will get the credit for it.

By the Full Moon at 21°32′ Libra on April 11, Trump will be two days away from the second pass of his Jupiter return, and the Full Moon in Libra will reinforce the “mystic rectangle” formation with Sun and Moon conjunct the North and South nodes of the Moon.

Donald Trump/April Full Moon
Bi-wheel: Inner: Donald Trump, natal
Outer: Full Moon April 11, 2017
election called for Donald Trump

If he can climb the steep learning curve between now and Inauguration Day and also find a way to allay fears that hate groups will have free rein during his presidency, his first 100 days will give him the momentum he’ll need to make it through what’s sure to be an intense summer, when the eyes of all the world will be on him.

Footnotes:

(1) Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Victory Speech, C-SPAN, Nov. 9, 2016.

(2) Kellyanne Conway Says It’s ‘Disappointing’ Some GOP Leaders Are Not Voting for Donald Trump, ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, Nov. 8, 2016.

(3) Remarks by President Obama and President-elect Trump After Meeting, Nov. 10, 2016.

(4) Sanders Statement on Trump, Nov. 9, 2016

(5) Read Elizabeth Warren’s speech about working with President-elect Donald Trump, by Nik DeCosta-Klipa, boston.com, Nov. 10, 2016.

(6) GOP Congress Begins Crafting Agenda for President Trump, by James Arkin, Real Clear Politics, Nov. 10, 2016.

(7) Trump and advisers hedge on major pledges, including Obamacare and the wall, by Jose A. DelReal, Nov. 11, 2016

(8) Astrologers Align Against Trump, by Edward Snow, Astrology News Service, Oct. 20, 2016.

(9) Raymond Merriman’s Weekly Preview for 2016-11-14, The Merriman Market Analyst, Nov. 12, 2016.

(10) The Latest: Trump promises ‘I will not let you down’ The Associate Press, Nov. 9, 2016.

(11) Mars entered Aquarius at 12:36:28 a.m., November 9.

(12) Uranus entered Aries on May 27, 2010, but stationed retrograde a month later and returned to Pisces in mid-August. It re-entered Aries on March 11, 2011, and will remain there until May 2018.

(13) Unless the President-elect has an astrologer who insists on fine-tuning the Inaugural chart to the arc second. Incidentally, if January 20 falls on a Sunday, the president is sworn in officially in a private ceremony, and the public celebration takes place on Monday.

(14) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, Jamaica, N.Y. Rodden Rating AA, BC/BR in Hand.

(15) “Davos Men” refers to an elite group of wealthy (predominantly) men exemplified by members of the World Economic Forum, which hosts an invitation-only annual meeting in the winter in Davos, Switzerland. From Wikipedia: “According to political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, who is credited with inventing the phrase ‘Davos Man’, they are people who ‘have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the élite’s global operations.'”
Wikipedia: World Economic Forum

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In the Food Fight Over Hillary Clinton’s Birth Chart, Who’s Got Egg on Their Face?

By Pat Paquette | October 31, 2016

Astrologers are always arguing over something, and it’s not uncommon for a debate to devolve into a food fight. Even so, it’s a safe bet that no one ever compared another astrologer’s data to a [rhymes with spit]-burger until the recent brawl over Hillary Clinton’s birth time. (1)

I won’t take up space recapping the chain of events, which Eric Francis covered commendably in a TMA blog post on October 4. (2) If you weren’t following the exchange, you might want to take a few minutes to read his account. This article picks up where his report left off and addresses some issues that didn’t get resolved in the radio silence following collector Marc Penfield’s startling admission that he had fudged some of the details.

I was following multiple threads on Facebook and online discussion forums. Amid the torrent of accusations and blame-shifting, a link to a particularly lucid observation caught my eye:

“We astrologers are more than a bit conflicted on the point of criticizing our own. I have a letter on my desk from a well-known astrologer who writes, ‘It is so destructive for astrologers to carry on such a vendetta when we should be supportive of each other.’ I might respond, ‘It is so destructive for astrologers to present data that they can not substantiate. I would rather know when a colleague has a blemished record, in order to make up my own mind as to whether they can be trusted.’

“I totally agree that it is really tacky to call someone a liar. At the same time, a valid point remains. Whenever there is any question of validity of data, the issue may only be resolved with hard evidence. When data is questioned, it must be presented as C data: “Caution, source not confirmed.” Period. No editorial. No name-calling, no defamation of character. The bottom line on this point is, don’t just tell me the data came from B.C. I want to know who has the B.C. Who sez so?”

You might be thinking, “I was following this whole thing very closely, and I don’t remember reading that.” Well, that’s because the astrologer who wrote it is dead. In fact, it was written 17 years ago and had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. The writer was none other than Lois Rodden herself. The above quote is from an essay posted on Astrodienst, which acquired Rodden’s company, Astro-Databank, five years after her death in 2003. (3) Until finding the link to her article in a Facebook comment, I’d never read it. I reckon that many others haven’t either.

Preceding the above paragraphs is Rodden’s description of the circumstances that led to her commentary:

“Recently an astrologer gave out two data over the ‘net for which he stated that he had the [birth certificate]. He further claimed that two astrologers had seen the B.C., but for reasons of confidentiality, no one else would be permitted to see the documents. Others responded that it was impossible to get a birth certificate from these states and a debate exploded about whether or not the data was accurate or a sham. If the alleged documents may not be examined by someone who could compare them to other actual documents on file, it remains suspicious. Some of the correspondents presented valid evidence of prior deceptions, but some became ugly with personal aspersions — responded to by threats of legal action.”

What I found most remarkable, other than that Rodden was describing the current clash almost exactly, was her clarity. Does a birth time meet the reliability test or doesn’t it? If it does, great; if it doesn’t, end of story. Insisting that it does and twisting the rules to fit is guaranteed to piss off a lot of people. It was as though Lois heard what was going on and threw a hammer through the transom from the other side.

As Eric Francis noted, the most obvious problem with Penfield’s “true birth data” for Hillary Clinton was the lack of documentation; not simply inadequate documentation, but none at all. Penfield claimed to have called the Illinois Vital Records Division and persuaded a clerk to play a game in which he would give times, and she would say “no” if he was wrong but remain silent if he was right. According to Penfield’s original story, the clerk remained silent when he gave 2:18 a.m.

Setting aside for a moment Penfield’s retraction three weeks later, it’s difficult to understand how any professional astrologer could claim that the elusive key to Clinton’s birth time had been found. Accusations began to fly about the motivation. Was it a cheap publicity stunt by ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research) to sell its upcoming conference? It’s a reasonable question, but from that point on, the debate descended into an ego battle, making it difficult, if not impossible, to have an objective discussion about whether the birth time met Rodden’s rules for anything higher than a DD rating.

Back in February, I wrote a post for the TMA blog challenging an alleged birth time for Bernie Sanders that had been circulating the Internet. (4) It was incomprehensible to me that anyone would have taken it seriously, when it supposedly came from an unnamed source claiming to have seen a chart 30 years ago that he got from Bernie’s girlfriend at the time, also unnamed, and since he didn’t recollect the exact degrees, he rectified it to 12:27 p.m. Even Astro-Databank fell for it briefly, inexplicably giving it an AA rating. Better judgment prevailed and they downgraded it back to X (date without a time).

After the post went live, there were comments around the web by folks who were absolutely positive that the 12:27 p.m. time was accurate, because it fit him perfectly and the chart “worked.” My favorite was by a blog reader who commented that while The Mountain Astrologer was disregarding the time, it came from “many sources,” including a chart done by Bernie’s former girlfriend, “who would most definitely know.” By “many sources,” the reader meant it had appeared on numerous websites and popular blogs. We can roll our eyeballs at the lack of critical thinking, but it’s not any worse than the arguments that were used to justify an AA rating for Penfield’s alleged “new” birth time for Clinton.

Again, setting aside Penfield’s eventual retraction, why wouldn’t a time sleuthed from an anonymous records clerk at the Illinois Vital Records Division qualify as AA? According to Rodden’s rating system, AA data “may include quotes from the Registrar or Bureau of Records, Baptism certificate, family Bible or Baby Book.” (3)

Registrars and records bureaus are reliable precisely because they are official government sources. A quote by a registrar or clerk is a citation from an official document, the type of which is specified. When acting in their official capacity, government employees can be quoted by name and title. An anonymous person who answers the phone and can’t be quoted, because giving out any information is illegal, can in no way be considered an official source, nor can silence be construed as a “quote.” Rodden was clear that data must be verifiable: “There is no reason to assume that any astrologer has valid data if he or she does not quote a source that can be backed up with documentation or verification.”

Illinois administrative code also is clear that it’s illegal for Vital Records personnel to give a birth certificate or any information contained on it to anyone unauthorized to have it. That’s pretty much everyone except the person whose name is on the document, parents of minors, and legal representatives. (5)

There’s nothing in the code saying it’s illegal for someone to obtain information. Accusations that Penfield broke the law are baseless, as are charges that he caused the clerk to violate the law and thus lose her job. Even if the clerk had played along, which Penfield later denied, he didn’t hold a gun to her head. Her response was her choice and her sole responsibility. However, there are ethical considerations, which in turn pose a practical dilemma.

Although there’s nothing illegal or unethical about getting information, there is an ethical responsibility to protect the source. The question then becomes how information gained in this manner can be used. The short answer is, “It can’t.” The dilemma of exposing a source to possible disciplinary action versus giving no source at all makes unauthorized data from a registrar totally worthless. It doesn’t merit even a mention, let alone a top rating.

While we’re on the subject of investigative reporting techniques, I need to point out that old-school journalists like Woodward and Bernstein didn’t rely on one “Deep Throat” source for an entire story. Moreover, their editors had to know who they were talking to. I have no idea what the current standards are (there don’t appear to be many), but when I was an investigative reporter in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s, I was required to reveal the identities of my unnamed sources to my editor, who once or twice had to share the information with his boss and corporate attorneys.

When Penfield told a reporter for The Washington Post that his story was “a bit of an exaggeration,” there was a lot of gloating by those who were convinced from the beginning that he made up the whole thing. (6) One enterprising blog reader even contacted Vital Records officials and cited, as proof of Penfield’s mendacity, their denials that information was ever given out over the phone. Well, of course they’d deny it! Does anyone seriously think they’d admit to an illegal violation of someone’s privacy, particularly when that “someone” is the likely future president of the United States? It’s called “covering your ass.”

Penfield’s retraction makes it difficult to believe any part of his story. However, he was consistent all along in his claim to have made the call. Whether he backpedaled because he was threatened by accusations that he committed a crime, or for some other reason, we can never know. Consider, though, that he had nothing to gain by sticking to his story. The only people defending the AA rating were those using it for publicity. Almost everyone else immediately recognized that Penfield’s time didn’t meet the requirements even for a C rating, because it wasn’t the “hard evidence” needed to override all other reported times.

That being the case, and given the real possibility that the clerk who spoke to him might get into trouble, Penfield did the honorable thing by saying he exaggerated, despite the irreversible damage to his reputation. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time. Frank Clifford, a close friend of Lois Rodden’s, knew firsthand about her issues with Penfield. In a tribute to her following her death, Clifford wrote:

“During my stay at [Lois’s] home in Yucaipa, California, in June 1996, she took me to meet various astrologers, including Ed Steinbrecher, Dana Holliday, and Marc Penfield. Dana became a friend and we had lots of fun chatting and writing over the years. As for Marc, well, I was intrigued to meet him because Lois had spent many years chiding him publicly for what she felt was his ambiguous data sourcing. It wasn’t until years later that I understood that, in her crusade for accurate data, she probably needed a villain, a bête noire. And, for her, Marc fitted the bill.” (7)

In the years that followed, Penfield became more exacting in his data collection and has done some valuable work, including impeccably sourced birth times on Astro-Databank. Clearly, he knows the standards, but for whatever reason, slipped back into his earlier habits.

The decision to promote the 2:18 a.m. time wasn’t Penfield’s alone, though, nor was it he who condescended to astrologers who refused to accept the flimsy arguments in its favor. Yet he was the one who took most of the heat.

In the food fight over Hillary Clinton’s chart, there’s egg on more than a few faces. If Lois Rodden is peering over the transom, what thoughts must be going through her mind?

Footnotes:

1. Why Marc Penfield’s 2:18 AM Birth Time Claim for Hillary Is a Japanese Turd Burger Patrick Watson’s astrology blog, Oct. 4, 2016.

2. It’s October 2016 And We’re Still Speculating About Hillary Clinton’s Missing Birth Data by Eric Francis, TMA Blog, Oct. 4, 2016.

3. Lois Rodden, “Data Collecting.” Original publication Sept. 16, 1999, archived on Astro-Databank.

4. The Startling Success of the Insurgent Bernie Sanders by Pat Paquette, TMA Blog, Feb. 8, 2016.

5. Illinois Administrative Code pertaining to birth records. See paragraphs (b) and (g).

6. ‘This is not to be trusted’: Astrologers are battling over Hillary Clinton’s true birth time by Justin Wm. Moyer, The Washington Post, Oct. 14, 2016.

7. “Lois Rodden – a personal and professional recollection,” by Frank Clifford, The Astrological Journal, journal of the Astrological Association of Great Britain, Nov/Dec 2013.

Bio:Pat Paquette is a writer, editor, and astrologer living on Vashon Island, WA. After eleven years of astrology blogging, she is taking a break to devote more time to a new project in the works. A collection of her past articles can be found on her website, RealAstrologers.com.

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A Nobel Prize

By Mary Plumb | October 17, 2016

On October 13, 2016, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature, the latest of many awards and tributes in his life. As in any horoscope, especially in someone so prolific, there are many astrological points that we can trace in his biography; I will mention a few highlights in this brief sketch.

He was born Robert Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. (1)

Bob Dylan
May 24, 1941
9:05 p.m. CST
Duluth, MN
Placidus houses, True node

Bob Dylan, natal

He was born with Sagittarius rising on the day before the New Moon — the Moon is in Taurus and the Sun in Gemini. Mercury and Venus are also in Gemini — trickster, wordsmith, nimble minded-one, and bringer of the news are within Gemini’s sphere.

Mercury is strongly dignified in the horoscope. It’s in Gemini, the sign it rules, it is also triplicity ruler and in an angular house where it has emphasized power to express itself.

If you were a young person in the 60s, The Times They Are A-Changin‘ (1964) was the call you had been waiting for.

“Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
Cause the times they are a-changing” (2)

(The Uranus-Pluto conjunction was exact for the first time in 1965. Bob Dylan has the natal the Uranus/Pluto midpoint at 29°30′ Gemini, and the North Node at 29°52′ Virgo, both on the Aries Point.)

Astrologers know that Gemini collects, differentiates and reassembles.

David Remmick encapsulates Dylan’s lyrical diversity in a tribute in The New Yorker: “The songs—an immense and still-evolving collected work—are the thing, and Dylan’s lexicon, his primary influence, is the history of song, from the Greeks to the psalmists, from the Elizabethans to the varied traditions of the United States and beyond: the blues; hillbilly music; the American Songbook of Berlin, Gershwin, and Porter; folk songs; early rock and roll.” (3)

A significant astrological marker in his early biography was in 1962 when natal Mercury was immensely highlighted — the solar arc directed Sun came to natal Mercury at 23° Gemini.

His first album, Bob Dylan, came out in March 1962 and in August 1962 he legally changed his name to Robert Dylan.

In Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary No Direction Home, Dylan describes his early life in language that captures his natal Balsamic Moon phase: “I had ambitions to set out and find, like an odyssey or going home somewhere… set out to find… this home that I’d left a while back and couldn’t remember exactly where it was, but I was on my way there. And encountering what I encountered on the way was how I envisioned it all. I didn’t really have any ambition at all. I was born very far from where I’m supposed to be, and so, I’m on my way home, you know?” (4)

The wanderer, the mystic, the traveler pulled towards some as yet unrealized future are some qualities of the Dark Moon phase birth. An unusual artistry and a deeply individuated life path are also common with a natal Balsamic Moon.

A brief note in testament to the exalted Moon in Taurus: In 2005 in an interview, Dylan’s son Jakob said: ” My father said it himself in an interview many years ago: ‘Husband and wife failed, but mother and father didn’t.’ My ethics are high because my parents did a great job.”(5) (His parents had divorced in 1977.)

When asked about his name change in a 2004 interview, Dylan said: “You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.” (6)

Here’s a planetary signature that speaks to this quote: the Sun/Moon midpoint (27°30′ Taurus) is on the Uranus/Jupiter midpoint (28°08 Taurus’).

And a funny story (perhaps an echo of natal Mercury 23°02′ Gemini square Neptune 24°56′ Virgo): “Dylan famously turned the Beatles on to marijuana, at the Delmonico Hotel, in August 1964. Before they all smoked, the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein told Dylan that the band members hadn’t tried the drug before. Dylan was shocked: He’d been mishearing the line ‘I can’t hide’ in the chorus of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ as ‘I get high.'” (7)

Take a change from the usual channels and listen to some songs:

Footnotes:

(1) Bob Dylan, May 24, 1941; 9:05 p.m.CST; Duluth, MN. AA data. Astro-Databank

(2) The Times They Are a-Changin‘ lyrics © Bob Dylan Music Co.

(3) The New Yorker

(4) Wikipedia: Bob Dylan

(5) Wikipedia: Sara Dylan

(6) Wikipedia: Bob Dylan

(7) Vulture

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It’s October 2016 And We’re Still Speculating About Hillary Clinton’s Missing Birth Data

By Eric Francis | October 4, 2016

It’s been an interesting week to be an astrologer. It all started when The Wall Street Journal published an article on September 29, Who’s Demanding to See Hillary Clinton’s Birth Certificate? Baffled Astrologers  

That would be us. Astrologers are the new birthers.

As if on cue, The Wall Street Journal did its once-per-11-year front-page article on astrology. The last time was their piece on how astrologers were responding to the demotion of Pluto and the naming of Eris (that was in August 2006).

While the rest of the political dialog swirled around Donald Trump’s $900 million write-off, his tax returns, and his comments about an allegedly zaftig Miss Universe, the astrology world was abuzz with a newly revived discussion about Clinton’s missing data, thanks in part to Dow Jones and Company.

Why exactly is WSJ the only mainstream news outlet that takes astrology seriously enough to write a real article every now and then? Maybe they have fond memories of Evangeline Adams counseling J. P. Morgan about how to be a billionaire.

“There is one crucial detail Hillary Clinton hasn’t divulged to the American people, and it’s driving Michael O’Reilly bonkers,” the article by Yogita Patel begins. O’Reilly, from Bend, OR, has loads of other birth data on major political candidates, but he’s got nothing substantial on Clinton.

“Mrs. Clinton was born Oct. 26, 1947, at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Ill., according to the Cook County Clerk. After that, astrologers must play gumshoe to get any closer. There’s decent historical evidence for two times at either end of the day. The Clinton campaign declined to answer questions, ensuring the mystery will continue,” Patel writes. (quotes from WSJ article linked above)

This must be a running joke at both Clinton headquarters and Cook County Vital Records.

The article goes through the litany of birth times and various sources for them. Phoenix-based astrologer Patrick Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s widely used 8:02 a.m. chart, which the newspaper published in the web edition. Watson used a whole-sign house version of the chart. Score one for Hellenistic astrology.

Although Watson provided the Journal with Clinton’s 8:02 a.m. chart, based on the Journal’s research, it would seem that the 8:00 p.m. time is better documented. With the 8:00 p.m. chart, Clinton would have the last degree of Gemini rising; at 8:00 p.m. and 47 seconds, it would be the first degree of Cancer rising. There are moments when the exact birth time matters, and this is one of them.

“The resulting evening chart, astrologers say, shows strong Gemini-Uranus influences, suggesting an erratic or unpredictable nature. Yet fast-forward the chart to 47 seconds after 8:00, and that could indicate a nurturing disposition,” the Journal informed its incredulous readers.

“There are two disappointing things about this article,” one reader commented. “One, that the WSJ published and printed it.? Two, I learned that I share the same sign as HRC. Keep me away from sharp knives and tall bridges!”
 
“In an era where the internet rules political discourse, and things which are demonstrably and empirically untrue can alter the thoughts of voters so dramatically, pandering to nonsense astrology is stupefying,” wrote another commenter.
 
“Nowhere in the article is the premise of these ‘astrologers’ questioned as they should be. You write their ‘conclusions’ without questioning their basis in empirical fact. This article contributes to the disarray in our political discussions. One cannot have rational discussion about irrational beliefs.”
 
You can say that again.

Adding to a week of intrigue, on September 25th, ISAR (the International Society for Astrological Research) announced that it would be revealing Clinton’s true birth data at its conference in California next weekend.

ISAR’s press release said that data collector Marc Penfield “will reveal the Democratic contender’s time of birth then, and the process he went through to find this KEY missing astrological link for forecasting the 2016 USA presidential election.”
 
Notably, this revelation was planned for the end of the conference, which would have kept the data concealed for all of the preceding discussions of the forthcoming election.
 
Other astrologers, not afraid to point out that this looked like a way to get people to come to the conference, put the pressure on ISAR and Penfield to reveal the data sooner. ISAR responded by releasing a video on Sunday, October 1st, in which Raymond Merriman and Shelley Ackerman interviewed Penfield.
 


 
Both are well known astrologers: Ackerman is reputed for having obtained Bill Clinton’s birth time from his mother in 1992. Merriman is a noted financial astrologer whose work is actually read by traders.
 
Introducing Penfield, Merriman said, “Marc has rocked the astrology world with the revelation of a new birth time for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the time that we’ve been seeking for so many years as astrologers.” Merriman said that this would be AA (double accurate) data based on a birth record.
 
Penfield, in the interview, said that this was actually old data, first published in March 2008 in the AFA Journal. He started with the story of how 2:18 a.m. data purportedly originated with an unnamed cousin of Hillary Clinton, who, in turn, got it from Clinton’s mother.
 
However, he added that he got the same data from Zayin Cohen, who claimed to have got it from the Court Clerk of Cook County, Illinois. (Other versions of this legend have him getting the data from an unnamed source in “Israeli intelligence.”) Several political astrologers I spoke to said that over the years, Cohen has given out three different times for Clinton’s birth (1:18 a.m., 2:08 a.m. and 2:18 a.m.).
 
Penfield said, “I called the records office in Springfield, the state capitol, and I asked the gal there to verify this birth time for me. I knew that she could not give me the information verbally over the phone. So we worked out a deal which a lot of reporters do whereby if I’m wrong, you tell me so, and if I’m right, say nothing.”
 
Using this method, he determined it was a morning birth, thus eliminating 8:00 p.m. and 8:02 p.m. Then, he said, they went through a number of questions: “We worked around a couple of other times and I got down to 2:18, at which point she said nothing.”
 
“We saw that in All The President’s Men. Woodward and Bernstein used that device as well,” Ackerman said.
 
“This is a trick that reporters use all the time!” Penfield added. However, Penfield did not claim to have recorded the discussion, which would be required by most fact-checkers and editors. Many apps make this easy from a cell phone. He does not have anything on paper.
 
Patrick Watson, the Phoenix-based astrologer, said this scenario seems implausible, because revealing private records in the State of Illinois is a felony carrying jail time and a $25,000 fine.
 
So, it would seem that something intended to resolve the controversy over Clinton’s birth time has only added to it.
 

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Eclipse on a fallen planet: Jupiter in Capricorn

By Mary Plumb | September 5, 2016

Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and CEO of Theranos, a privately owned company that she founded in 2003 while a student at Stanford. Holmes dropped out of college when she was 20 to devote herself to the startup. She raised over $700 million from investors to fund the company, which was eventually (and temporarily) valued at $9 billion, leading her to be called “the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world.” (1)

Theranos is a blood-testing company, promising to have the technology to allow for painless, fast, and affordable blood tests that are easily available and accomplished with one single pin prick, one drop of blood. Theranos’s slogan: “One tiny drop changes everything.” (2)

The company started to be in serious trouble in October 2015 when an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal stated “that Theranos had probably exaggerated the reach and reliability of its technology.” In July 2016, among a host of other legal troubles (including a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors and the SEC), Holmes was banned from owning or operating a blood-testing company for two years. (3)

One writer observed, “From the day it became apparent that Theranos had gone to great lengths to hide serious issues with its blood testing technology, it wasn’t hard to predict that things would end badly for the much-hyped $9 billion startup and its iconic founder, Elizabeth Holmes. But I doubt if anyone foresaw it going this badly this quickly.” (4)

Holmes was born on February 3, 1984, in Washington, D.C. There is no known birth time, so I will look at her sunrise chart to get a broad sense of what we can see about such a spectacular rise and fall (albeit temporary, she’s only 32 years old).

Elizabeth Holmes
February 3, 1984
Sunrise chart, Whole sign houses, True node

Elizabeth Holmes, sunrise natal

Born with the Sun in Aquarius, she was always interested in science and encouraged by her family. “When she was about seven, she showed them drawings for a time machine; rather than dismissing her, they regularly asked how the project was going.” (5) (By 2014, Holmes held 84 patents and is credited as a co-inventor on over 100 patent applications.)

This striking creativity can be seen by Uranus in Sagittarius (12°43′) in close sextile to the Sun (13°51′). The Sun is also squared by Mars and Saturn in Scorpio, and there are four planets in Capricorn.

When she was growing up, her family traveled, as her father worked in the U.S., Africa, and China for government agencies doing disaster relief. Holmes had an early experience in China of starting a business selling a specialized computer program to universities. “It was at this point that I began to view business as a vehicle for making a change in the world. I had always assumed I would go into public service, but the idea of doing something good through business began to resonate very strongly with me.” (6) (The planets in the Capricorn stellium  — Uranus, Neptune, Venus, Mercury — are exactly parallel in south declination, increasing their connection.)

She was inspired to create Theranos at a very young age, when her uncle was diagnosed with skin cancer that spread quickly. “He died before Holmes was able to say goodbye. She wondered, What if an ordinary blood test could have caught the disease earlier? “My wish is that no person has to go through what it means to have to say, ‘If only I had known sooner,’ she says.” (7)

Along with Mars in its sign of rulership (and the chart’s final dispositor), and Saturn — the Sun’s dispositor — in Scorpio, Holmes was also born with Pluto stationed retrograde at 2°08′ Scorpio. The Scorpio planets (and Pluto station) are also strong features of what we know of her public biography. Not only is the company about blood diagnosis (Mars rules the blood), and inspired by a death, Scorpio is connected to wealth and power. She attracted enormous funds and her board of directors was composed of very powerful and worldly men. In a nod also to the stellium in Capricorn, the men on the company’s board were mainly those with “diplomatic or military backgrounds” (including Henry Kissinger and former Secretary of State George Schultz). (8)

Among the other echoes of Scorpio, Holmes was known for her “stealth” approach, developing the company in secret, without any peer-review of her products. This secrecy was in part what led to the company’s demise. (9)

So, what happened? Many astrological events transpired, of course — and I hope to see an accurate birth time one day — but we can see one dramatic picture: natal Jupiter is in Capricorn, the sign of its fall. Her very public troubles began in October 2015; there was a total lunar eclipse on September 28 at 4°38′ Aries, followed by a lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016 at 3°10′ Libra — both squaring natal Jupiter.

Elizabeth Holmes was born two days after the New Moon; the vigor (and potential for reinvention) inherent in a New Moon birth carries throughout life. Although she seems to be on a downward slope at this moment, Holmes has said: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. Never, never, never give up.” (10)

And besides, how can the world stay mad for long at a vegan who drinks “a pulverized concoction of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery several times a day.” ? (11)

Footnotes and references:

(1) Biographical notes from Wikipedia: Elizabeth Holmes

Direct quote from Glamour: Elizabeth Holmes Wants You to Have Control of Your Health Info

(2) NY Times:The Narrative Frays for Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes

(3) Wikipedia: Elizabeth Holmes

(4) Entrepreneur

(5), (6), (7) Glamour: Elizabeth Holmes Wants You to Have Control of Your Health Info

(8) Wikipedia: Theranos

(9) A few recent headlines: Vanity Fair: Theranos’s Culture of Secrecy Comes Back to Haunt It

Fortune: Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Had the Chance for Redemption — and She Blew It

(10) Horatio Alger

(11) Wikipedia: Elizabeth Holmes
“According to a 2014 profile by Ken Auletta in The New Yorker, Holmes ‘lives an austere life’ in Palo Alto, California, where she has a two-bedroom condo. Holmes is a vegan, drinking ‘a pulverized concoction of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery’  several times a day.”

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The Nomination Chart Part 2: Hillary Clinton

By Kevin Burk | August 1, 2016

On July 21, 2016 at 10:19 p.m. EDT, in Cleveland Ohio, Donald Trump became the official Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. The moment he officially and publicly accepted the nomination represents the birth of his campaign. The chart for that event should, in theory, provide some insight into his chances of success. In Part 1 of this article I explored Trump’s nomination chart, which shows the outcome of his campaign from his perspective.

Now that the Democratic National Convention is over, we know that Hillary Clinton is the official Democratic candidate, and we can look at the chart for her nomination and see how her campaign looks from her perspective.

Please remember that neither chart provides an objective answer to the outcome of the election itself. We can only view the campaigns from the perspective of each candidate and then compare and contrast.

Trump’s chart contained a host of challenges. And with the conventions only a week apart, Clinton’s chart was expected to contain many of the same challenges as Trump’s chart.

Only it doesn’t.

It’s possible that the Democratic National Committee consulted with an astrologer.

Hillary Clinton began her acceptance speech on July 28, 2016 at 10:30 p.m. EDT in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But she didn’t actually accept the nomination until 10:47 p.m., and that changed everything.

Before we consider the chart itself, let’s review what we’ll be looking at.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to interpret an event chart.

The first house represents the nominee. We’ll consider the planet that rules the First House and evaluate its condition including both Essential Dignity (power) and Accidental Dignity (prominence). We’ll also consider any planets that occupy the First House because they further describe the condition of the nominee.

The seventh house represents the opposing candidate, but here’s where things get a bit complicated. The ruler of the Seventh House specifically represents how the nominee perceives his or her opponent. We’ll consider the dignity and debility of this planet, both independently and in comparison with the dignity and debility of the ruler of the First House.

The tenth house is the prize. In this case, the Tenth House, and the ruler of the Tenth House, is the Presidency.

The second house relates to the nominee’s money and resources available for the campaign.

The Moon shows the action and events. Every aspect the Moon makes before it changes signs is significant. And if the Moon doesn’t make any aspects before changing signs — if it’s Void-of-Course — that’s also significant. A Void-of- Course Moon suggests that nothing will come of the question.

Here’s the nomination chart for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election.
HRC accepts nomination

This chart has 6°25′ Aries on the Ascendant, so Mars, the ruler of Aries, represents Clinton.

Mars in the chart is in Scorpio, and it’s by far the most powerful planet in the chart. It has dignity by both Rulership and Triplicity. Had Clinton accepted the nomination at the start of her speech, the final degrees of Pisces would be on the Ascendant, and Clinton, like Trump, would have been represented by a debilitated, powerless Jupiter in Virgo.

Planets in Rulership set their own agenda and control their own fates. And planets with dignity by Triplicity tend to be lucky. Clinton is an exceptionally strong candidate, far more powerful than Trump is in his chart.

But Clinton gets an extra boost in this chart. She accepted the nomination at the moment when the Sun — the natural ruler of Kings and leaders — was exactly trine the Ascendant. The Ascendant is at 6°25′ Aries and the Sun is at 6°25′ Leo. That’s an exact trine. (1)

I can’t believe that’s a coincidence. Adjusting a chart so that the Sun has a close, harmonious connection to an angle is one of the tricks used by astrologers when electing a chart for an optimal outcome.

As good as this chart is, it still has some challenges.

Mars occupies the eighth house, which is not considered a positive or supportive placement. Planets in the eighth house have trouble being seen; they receive a prominence score of -4. Clinton also has some potential upsets and surprises in store because Uranus is in the first house. (2)

The good news for Clinton is that unlike Trump, she doesn’t have to deal with three malefic influences in her first house: Neptune, the South Node, and Chiron. The bad news is that they’re in her twelfth house.

The twelfth house governs hidden enemies, sorrows, adversity, and self-sabotage. It’s Clinton’s shadow — and her blind spot. Everyone can see it clearly but her. What’s working against her is the wounded energy of Chiron, the drain of the South Node, and the deception, illusion, corrosion and corruption of Neptune.

Especially when it comes to Neptune, facts don’t matter; it’s all about perception. Clinton’s hidden enemies will continue to paint the most unflattering picture possible. And given that the twelfth house also relates to imprisonment, we can expect more calls for criminal investigations and indictments. None of these placements connect back to Mars, so it’s unlikely that anything will stick. But Clinton will continue to have to defend her reputation throughout the campaign because the twelfth house smear will never go away entirely.

Libra is on the Descendant, so Venus, the ruler of Libra, represents her opponent, Donald Trump.

In this chart, Venus is in Leo in the fifth house. Venus has no Essential Dignity and receives a power score of -5, compared to Mars’ power score of +8 for Rulership and Triplicity. From Clinton’s perspective Trump is hardly a worthy opponent. She’s the heavyweight champ and he’s the water boy.

Venus is applying to a square to Mars, so Trump may be the aggressor coming after Clinton more than she goes after him. It would be a mistake to dismiss Trump because he’s so weak; he may still get lucky. Venus is applying to a trine with Uranus in the first house, and Trump may score some easy points with unexpected personal attacks on Clinton.

Next, let’s see how Clinton views the prize: the Presidency.

The Midheaven of Clinton’s nomination chart is 3°27′ Capricorn, so Saturn represents the prize.

Saturn is retrograde in Sagittarius. It’s peregrine, so it’s damaged. And it’s also conjunct the Fixed Star Antares. Antares is in the heart of the constellation of Scorpio, and it’s associated with destruction and malevolence, as well as rash, headstrong activity. It’s often linked to stubborn and self-destructive behavior. To Clinton, the Presidency will be very hard work, and filled with challenges.

There’s no connection between Saturn (the prize) and Mars (Clinton), at least not yet. They are both in the eighth house of the chart, and with Saturn retrograde and Mars direct, they’re moving towards each other. And they’ll meet up. Eventually.

But it won’t be easy.

Mars and Saturn do come together, but they don’t come together until Mars moves out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius. When Mars moves into Sagittarius, it loses all power. It goes from having Rulership and Triplicity to being peregrine. Clinton may be quite strong as a candidate, but if she is elected, that power may disappear.

And before Mars and Saturn come together, Saturn changes direction. At the moment, they’re moving toward each other, but soon Saturn will start moving away from Mars, and Mars will have to work twice as hard to catch up. This suggests that her campaign will start off well, but then something will change and it will falter. The last part of the campaign will be an uphill climb.

It’s fortunate that Clinton doesn’t have to worry about having enough money to run her campaign.

Donors will line up to fund the campaign … in exchange for influence.

Taurus is on the cusp of the second house, so Venus in Leo represents the finances of the campaign. We’ve already seen that Venus is peregrine, so it’s not in great shape. If they stick to a budget, there’s probably enough money. The real issue is that the campaign money is in the fifth house of bribery and influence. Clinton’s donors expect a return on their investment.

The Part of Fortune in Gemini is in the second house, which helps Clinton’s finances because it shows there’s money in her coffers. But the ruler of the Part of Fortune is Mercury in Leo in the fifth house, so even that money is tied to Wall Street investors who hope to influence policy.

This in no way reflects on Clinton personally. Big money political donors assume their contributions will influence policy. Whether Clinton is prepared to deliver on that implied arrangement is beyond the scope of this chart. But this financial picture suggests that Clinton’s donor base will receive close scrutiny, and she may have to pander and curry favor to receive patronage to support her campaign.

Finally, let’s look to the Moon to see what the outcome will be.

Everything we’ve covered so far has described the context of the campaign, but the Moon determines the outcome. When considering horary, electional, or event charts, we have to pay close attention to the sequence of aspects the Moon will make before it leaves the sign it’s in.

In Clinton’s nomination chart, the Moon is just separating from a sextile with the Ascendant and conjunction to the Part of Fortune, and is applying to a sextile with the Sun. These are extremely supportive aspects, suggesting a positive outcome for Clinton.

Next, the Moon forms an opposition to Saturn, the prize. When an opposition is involved in the outcome of a chart, Lee Lehman warns, “If you do it, you’ll regret it.” The Moon then forms a square to Neptune, a sextile to Venus, a square to Jupiter, a simultaneous square to Chiron and sextile to Uranus, and finally goes Void-of-Course with a sextile to Mercury.

All of these aspects suggest that Clinton’s campaign is just getting started. She can expect a number of ups and downs, and she will have to address the twelfth house scandals more than once. But the final outcome, as seen by the last aspect the Moon makes before changing signs (i.e., Moon sextile Mercury), is positive.

By contrast, the Moon in Trump’s chart is Void-of-Course, so nothing else happens in his campaign.

Clinton’s campaign clearly has the best chart. Does that mean she’ll win?

Not necessarily. There’s no definitive way for astrology to predict the outcome of the election. But given what we can tell about the campaigns and the candidates, we can adjust the odds.

First, let’s compare the candidates.

In both charts, Clinton is far more powerful than Trump. In her own chart, Clinton is Mars in Scorpio with a power score of +8, while in his chart, Trump is Jupiter in Virgo with a power score of -10. Within each nomination chart, the planet that represents Clinton is much stronger than the planet that represents Trump.

In this context, power represents the ability to influence the outcome. Clinton has plenty of power. She can make things happen in her campaign and she can fight for what she wants. Trump has no power at all. For Trump, the die has been cast and all he can do is wait for events to play out. External factors can still influence events, but nothing Trump does personally between now and the election will alter the outcome of his campaign.

Next, let’s see where the candidates are in relation to the prize.

In Trump’s chart, Jupiter in Virgo represents both Trump and the Presidency. In a real sense, he already has the prize. And he doesn’t want it. Jupiter in Virgo is in awful condition, so the prize isn’t worth it. And it’s in the seventh house, which belongs to Clinton. It’s almost like Trump is handing her the win.

In Clinton’s chart, Mars (Clinton) and Saturn (the prize) are both in the eighth house, and even though they’re in different signs, they’re moving toward each other. Eventually, they’ll meet. Clinton really wants the prize, and she’s willing to fight for it.

Trump’s campaign appears to be over, while Clinton’s is just getting started.

The difference between the Moon in the two charts is very significant. The Moon in Trump’s chart is Void-of-Course, so literally nothing else happens with his campaign. Remember, Trump has no power to change that. And he has little interest in continuing.

The Moon in Clinton’s chart shows initial success as it applies to a sextile to the Sun. It makes seven more aspects before going Void-of-Course, but it ends on another positive note. It’s going to be a long, eventful campaign for Clinton, but she will probably be pleased with the outcome.

At least initially.

When you add up all of the factors, the odds favor Clinton.

It’s going to be a very close race. I expect much nail-biting and hand-wringing along the way. But I’m calling it for Clinton because she really wants to win, and Trump has never had any interest in becoming president. The big win for Trump was getting the nomination.

Editor’s notes:

(1) The author sent this chart using Solar Fire software, which gave the Ascendant at 6°27′ Aries, a trine from the Sun with 2 minutes orb. I use IO for the charts on the blog, which shows the Ascendant as 6°25′ Aries.

(2) The author uses the Accidental Dignity and Debility scores as described in Nicholas de Vore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology.

Bio: Kevin B. Burk is the Headmaster of The Real Astrology Academy, which provides astrological information, education, and training to astrologers and astrology students around the world. He’s the author of eleven books, including Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1. Read more of his articles in the Talented Astrologer Blog.

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The Nomination Chart: Part 1: Donald Trump

By Kevin Burk | July 25, 2016

I recently wrote a TMA blog titled Why Astrology Can’t Predict the Next President. One of the core arguments in that article is that astrology can’t answer every question. Astrology can only answer questions that are specific, precise, and have a limited set of possible answers.

Astrologers started asking the question, “Who will be the next President of the United States” more than a year before any candidates had officially entered the race. Astrology doesn’t work with hypotheticals. Until the candidates are official, the question isn’t valid.

To be sure, the question isn’t valid even after the candidates are official. There’s no definitive way for astrology to predict the winner of a presidential election.

That being said, astrology can now provide some insights into the election.

So, what changed?

We finally have an objective event to consider.

On July 21, 2016 at 10:19 p.m. EDT, in Cleveland Ohio, Donald Trump became the official Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. The moment he officially and publicly accepted the nomination represents the birth of his campaign. The chart for that event should, in theory, provide some insight into his chances of success.

When considering the presidential election, the nomination charts are the most specific and relevant charts to consider. However, they’re still not specific enough to predict a definitive winner. The nomination charts show the outcome of the campaigns from the perspective of each candidate. They don’t provide an objective chart for the election itself. We still have to consider two independent charts, and there’s no objective metric to judge the outcome.

In this article, I will consider the chart for Donald Trump’s nomination, and in Part 2, I will explore the chart for the Democratic candidate, once that candidate becomes official.

Before looking at the chart itself, we need to define what we’ll be looking at.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to interpret an event chart.

The first house represents the nominee. We’ll consider the planet that rules the First House and evaluate its condition, including both Essential Dignity (power) and Accidental Dignity (prominence). We’ll also consider any planets that occupy the First House because they further describe the condition of the nominee.

The seventh house represents the opposing candidate, but here’s where things get a bit complicated. The ruler of the Seventh House specifically represents how the nominee perceives his or her opponent. We’ll consider the dignity and debility of this planet both independently and in comparison with the dignity and debility of the ruler of the First House.

The tenth house is the prize. In this case, the Tenth House and the ruler of the Tenth House is the Presidency.

The second house relates to the nominee’s money and resources available for the campaign.

The Moon shows the action and events. Every aspect the Moon makes before it changes signs is significant. And if the Moon doesn’t make any aspects before changing signs — if it’s Void of Course — that’s also significant. A Void-of-Course Moon suggests that nothing will come of the question.

 So here’s the nomination chart for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.
Trump NominationLet’s take a closer look at the players.

The chart has 1°32” Pisces on the Ascendant, so Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces, represents Trump.

Jupiter in the chart is in Virgo in the seventh house. Jupiter is in detriment and has no Essential Dignity, so it’s also peregrine. It gets a score of -10 for power, which is about as weak as you can get. (1) Trump is severely damaged. He has no control over the outcome of events. All he can do is go along for the ride.

Of even greater concern is that Trump is in the seventh house of his opponent. The seventh house is angular, and planets in the seventh receive a score of +4 for prominence. This does not work in Trump’s favor. Accidental Dignity does not compensate for Essential Debility. On the contrary, it means that everyone will see how weak he is. And being in the house of his opponent suggests Trump is exactly where his opponent wants him to be.

The chart also has three malefic planets in the first house: Neptune, the South Node, and Chiron. Neptune suggests deception, illusion, and fantasy, but especially in the first house, it also suggests the dissolving and corroding of Trump. The South Node is a drain, and that drain is perhaps magnified because it’s conjunct Neptune. And Chiron represents a core wound.

Things do not look good for Trump so far. Let’s see how he views his opponent.

Virgo is on the Descendant, so Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, represents Trump’s opponent.

In this chart, Mercury is in Leo in the sixth house. Mercury in Leo also has no Essential Dignity, and receives a power score of -5 because it’s peregrine. Trump’s opponent is damaged, but not nearly as badly damaged as Trump. Jupiter is both peregrine and in detriment. In this context, Mercury is far more powerful than Jupiter.

Mercury occupies the sixth house in the chart and is just emerging from the Sun’s Beams (less than 17° from the Sun). Both of these are severe Accidental Debilities that have a negative effect on prominence. Mercury has a prominence score of -8, but keep in mind this is all from Trump’s point of view. Trump can’t see his opponent.

Strategically, this is bad news for Trump. It means he won’t be able to respond effectively to attacks or challenges during the campaign. Every attack will come as a complete surprise.

At the time that Trump became the nominee, the Democratic nominee had not been selected. But there’s an interesting connection between Mercury, representing Trump’s opponent in his nomination chart, and Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee.

 Trump’s Opponent is on the Back of the Bear.

In the nomination chart, Mercury is conjunct the fixed star Dubhe. Dubhe forms the back of the Great Bear in the Ursa Major constellation, and it’s considered to be a violent, destructive influence. (2)

Oh — and Hillary Clinton has both natal Mars and natal Pluto conjunct Dubhe.

This seems to suggest that underestimating or dismissing his opponent, especially if it’s Hillary Clinton, would be a huge and probably fatal mistake for Trump. It’s never a good idea to poke the bear. You could lose everything.

But losing is only a bad thing if the prize is worth having.

The Midheaven of the chart is 14°37” Sagittarius, so Jupiter is also the prize.

From the moment he threw his hat in the ring, I’ve maintained that Donald Trump has no interest in becoming president, but only wanted to run for president. I explored this in detail, while exploring the predictive triggers to Trump’s natal chart, in my article, Trump TV: The Season Finale, in the June/July 2016 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.

The nomination chart supports this theory. The prize, being elected President, is a poison pill. Jupiter is in Detriment and peregrine, and is applying to an opposition with Chiron and a quincunx to Uranus. There’s nothing fun or entertaining about Jupiter in Virgo. Jupiter in Virgo is endless, expansive bureaucracy.

And here’s where things get tricky. Jupiter rules both Trump and the Presidency, and when considering horary and event charts, that belongs clearly in the “Yes” column (that is, to the question about the success of his campaign). Trump is literally one with the prize.

But to judge the outcome of the chart, you have to consider all of the factors. The prize is badly damaged (Detriment) and lacks power (peregrine). It would be an empty win for Trump. More importantly, the prize is located in the seventh house of his opponent.

At best, this suggests that Trump is conflicted about winning, but I think it can also be viewed in a different context. Trump won the only prize he sought: the nomination. He wants the celebrity without any of the responsibility.

And then there’s the question of money.

Running a campaign in the general election takes lots of money, and Trump can’t count on it being there when he needs it.

Oh, there’s lots of money on the table. With Aries on the cusp of the second house, Mars in Scorpio, the ruler of Aries, represents the available resources to Trump’s campaign. Mars is powerfully dignified with both rulership and triplicity, so there are some very deep pockets involved. The problem is that those pockets are in the ninth house. At best, they’re far away.

Getting the money from the ninth house into Trump’s second house campaign coffers won’t be easy. Uranus occupies the second house, suggesting chaos, disruptions, and financial upsets for Trump’s campaign. But more importantly, Mars and Uranus are quincunx each other, suggesting an even greater divide between Trump and the financial support of the party.

The quincunx between Mars and Uranus is significant for Trump on a personal level because it’s one of the dominant themes in his 2016 Solar Return, which I explored in the Trump TV: The Season Finale article. In that chart, it suggests both personal and professional disaster for Trump because Uranus is on the Midheaven of the return chart.

But what really matters in an event chart is the Moon.

Everything we’ve covered so far has described the context of the campaign, but the Moon determines the outcome. When considering horary, electional, or event charts, we have to pay close attention to the sequence of aspects the Moon will make before it leaves the sign it’s in.

In Trump’s nomination chart, the Moon doesn’t make any future aspects. Trump accepted the nomination literally minutes after the Moon in Aquarius went Void of Course, completing its final aspect, a square to Mars in Scorpio.

Astrologically, this may be the last straw for Trump. His acceptance speech was the beginning and the end of his campaign. There are no new events and nothing will come out of the campaign. And Trump’s lack of power (Jupiter being peregrine and in detriment) means he can’t do anything to influence or alter the course of things. All he can do is play the hand he’s got and hope that his opponent has worse cards than he does.

But let’s take a moment and acknowledge his acceptance speech.

Trump’s speech perfectly embodied the moment, bringing to life the energy of the Moon in Aquarius in the twelfth house exactly square Mars in Scorpio in the ninth house. Trump played up the idea of hidden enemies and unconscious fears and continued to tap into the deepest twelfth house shadows of the population. He emphasized the Aquarian idea of freedom — at least as it applies to the members of a particular group. The enemies, of course, are ninth-house foreigners and immigrants who pose a Mars-in-Scorpio dire and direct threat to our very existence. And given that it’s a fixed square, his solution is to build a wall, strengthen our borders and boundaries, and prepare for a siege.

So let’s summarize what we’ve learned from Trump’s nomination chart.

Trump as a candidate (Jupiter in Virgo) is not only powerless (peregrine), but also damaged (detriment). He’s further weakened by the presence of Neptune, the South Node, and Chiron in the first house. His weaknesses are quite prominent because Jupiter is in the seventh house, and since the seventh house represents Trump’s opponent, his opponent will have an easy time exploiting those weaknesses.

Trump’s opponent (Mercury in Leo) is also powerless (peregrine), but she’s less damaged than Trump. She’s potentially destructive because Mercury is conjunct the fixed star Dubhe. Because Mercury lacks so much prominence from being under the Sun’s beams (less than 17° from the Sun) and in the sixth house, Trump doesn’t see her. This gives her a tactical advantage because every attack will be a surprise.

The prize, the Presidency, is a poison pill. It’s also represented by Jupiter in Virgo, and given that it’s in the seventh house, from Trump’s point of view, it belongs to his opponent.

And most importantly, the Moon is Void-of-Course, so nothing else happens with Trump’s campaign. The high point of the campaign was his acceptance speech, and it’s all downhill from here.

But this doesn’t mean that Trump will lose the election.

This chart describes Trump’s campaign in the general election from Trump’s perspective. It does not describe the outcome of the election.

Objectively, this is a lousy chart for Trump. But it still has to be considered in context. In poker, a pair of twos still beats an ace high. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic candidate, has yet to accept the nomination. And with the conventions only a week apart, her nomination chart will have many of the same challenges that Trump’s chart does.

Stay tuned for more!

In Part 2, I will consider the Democratic nomination chart, both on its own and in comparison to Trump’s nomination chart. It’s still not possible to definitively predict the winner of the presidential race, but the nomination charts may reveal what we can expect in the next few months.

Editor’s notes:

(1) The author uses the Accidental Dignity and Debility scores as described in Nicholas de Vore’s Encyclopedia of Astrology.

(2) The fixed star Dubhe is at 15°21′ Leo (in the Ursa Major constellation). Source: Astrology Weekly: Fixed Stars 2011

Bio: Kevin B. Burk is the Headmaster of The Real Astrology Academy, which provides astrological information, education, and training to astrologers and astrology students around the world. He’s the author of eleven books, including Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1. Read more of his articles in the Talented Astrologer Blog.

 

 

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Why Astrology Can’t Predict the Next President

By Kevin Burk | June 27, 2016

You may have heard the story of the blind men and the elephant. It’s a parable that has been around for quite some time, and then turned into a poem by John Godfrey Saxe in the early 19th century.

A group of blind men encounter an elephant, each feeling only one part, and then attempt to make sense of the whole. The man who feels the side thinks the elephant is like a wall. The man who holds the trunk thinks the elephant is like a snake. The one who grabs the tail insists the elephant is like a rope. Their individual observations are valid, but their conclusions are wrong because they missed the big picture. 

Every time I encounter astrologers asking big questions, such as who will be the next President of the United States, I think of the blind men and the elephant. Each astrologer insists that his or her predictions are accurate, but no one sees the big picture.

The big picture is that astrology has limits.

Astrology can answer a lot of questions, but astrology can’t answer every question. Astrology can only answer questions that are specific, precise, and have a limited set of possible answers. At the moment, the question “Who will be the next President of the United States?” fails on all counts.

Astrologers started asking this question more than a year before any candidates had officially entered the race. I’m writing this in June 2016, and it’s still not a specific enough question because there are not yet definitive candidates for the general election. Astrology doesn’t work with hypotheticals or presumptions. Until the candidates are official, the question is not valid.

But there’s a bigger problem than the fact that the question is not yet valid. Every attempt I’ve seen to answer the question uses triggers to the natal charts of the candidates.

You can’t use natal charts to answer the question of who will be elected president.

The question itself is not contained in the natal chart. The question is objective, about mundane events, and the natal chart only contains answers to subjective questions — experiences that directly affect the individual.

Astrology can answer specific questions about the future, but only if those questions can be contained within a single chart. Attempting to use astrology to forecast the next president by looking at the natal charts of the potential candidates is pointless. There’s no objective standard you can use to evaluate the data and therefore no way to get a clear answer.

This hasn’t stopped many astrologers from predicting winners and losers based on how “good” or “bad” the transits, progressions, or directions are to the charts of the potential candidates. Their observations may be valid, but their conclusions aren’t. They’re describing the elephant’s tusk, not the whole elephant.

“Good” and “bad” triggers to a natal chart are subjective.

When you work with predictive natal astrology and look at triggers or derivatives of a person’s birth chart, you can forecast upcoming events for that individual. You can identify the timing of events, and often the nature and quality of those events. But you can’t identify the specifics of the event.

If you’re looking at triggers to a candidate’s natal chart around the time of the November election, all you can tell is whether that person is going to be privately and subjectively happy with the outcome. That’s not the same thing as knowing what the outcome will be.

An objective win for Trump would be a subjective loss.

In the June/July 2016 issue of The Mountain Astrologer, I explored the predictive natal astrology for Donald Trump covering the entire election cycle. From the beginning, I suggest that Donald Trump has never wanted to be elected president; he only wanted to run for president.

Running a country is an incredibly difficult job. The stress is unimaginable. Trump has no interest in taking on those responsibilities. Whatever he may say in public, in private, he’s terrified. Yes, a loss would be a blow to his ego, but in the long run, subjectively, Trump will profit the most from not winning the election. An objective loss will be a subjective win for him.

You can’t answer these kinds of objective questions by looking at natal charts. The presidential election is an event, so you need to consider an event chart. Of course, it’s still not that simple. The election is actually a series of events.

The first event is the moment a candidate declares his or her candidacy.

As J. Lee Lehman explored in her blog, the declaration charts, the charts of the moment each candidate entered the race, have a lot of practical value. (1) The charts describe the path to the convention and how the campaign will play out during the primaries. The declaration charts provide insight into the campaign and the candidates, but they can’t tell you the outcome of the general election. They can’t even tell you the outcome of the primary elections.

The problem is that you’re evaluating multiple charts. Each chart gives you a different perspective on the same event, that is, becoming the party’s nominee in the general election. Even when considering only two charts, you may not be able to draw any conclusions. It’s possible that one chart shows triumph and the other shows disaster, but you can’t count on that. For example, the declaration charts for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are inconclusive. (2) Neither one suggests a clear winner or a clear path to the nomination.

The next event is the moment a candidate accepts the party’s nomination.

The campaign towards the general election is not a continuation of the primary campaign. It’s an entirely different event, and it has its own chart. These charts would represent the campaign of each candidate heading towards the general election. But even these charts can’t reveal the outcome of the election. We’re faced with the same problem we had with the declaration charts: two different perspectives on the same event and no clear, objective path to a definitive answer.

This brings us to the general election, which is an event. In fact, it’s a competition with a winner and a loser. And that’s the kind of question astrology can answer.

Theoretically, the chart for the general election should show which of the two parties will win.

J. Lee Lehman and Bernadette Brady developed a model for predicting the winners of major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl. At the start of the season, it can’t tell you which specific team will win because there are too many options. But it can tell you which conference will win.

You consider the chart for the start of the game. The challenger is the 1st house, and the defender is either the 7th house (for open warfare) or, if they have a home field advantage, the 4th house (for castle besiegement). You then evaluate the dignity and debility of the planets that rule the houses, using a specific point system, and determine the winner.

In theory, this could work for the presidential election. The chart would be for the moment the polls open in Washington D.C., the capital of the country. Because the Republicans do not currently hold the presidency, they’re the challengers, and the Republican candidate is the 1st house. The Democrats are defending, but because there’s no incumbent, there’s no home field advantage. It’s a 1st-7th open warfare model, rather than a 1st-4th castle besiegement model.

It’s an interesting idea. But it still won’t work.

There’s more than one race and more than one winner.

If there were only one choice on the ballot, it might be valid to look at the chart of the election to determine the winner. But we’re not just electing a new president in November. We’re electing congress and voting on various state and local initiatives. And every one of these issues is tied to the event chart of when the polls open.

Yes, you could argue that the most important election is the presidential election, and that’s why most people come out to vote, but that doesn’t matter. The chart isn’t even specific enough to answer the question of which party will win the presidential election.

So let’s review, because these points are important:

• Astrology can’t answer every question. The question has to be specific and there must be a finite choice of outcomes. 

• Predictive natal astrology that uses triggers to the natal chart to answer questions can only provide answers to subjective questions. It does not answer questions about objective events.

• You can see the outcome of an event by interpreting the chart of the event. However, the event must have a clear beginning, and the chart is only good for the life of the event. If there’s a significant change in context, the original chart will no longer be valid.

• The event must be discrete for the chart to be valid. You could interpret the event chart of an election with only one race, but not the event chart of an election with multiple races and multiple winners.

The big picture matters.

Some very talented astrologers have weighed in on this election and provided accurate reporting on different parts of the elephant. But the elephant — and the question, “Who will be the next President of the United States?” — is just too big to know.

Footnotes:
(1) The Declaration Chart, by J. Lee Lehman, PhD.
(2) Data for their declarations in in Lee’s blog.
 
Bio: Kevin B. Burk is the Headmaster of The Real Astrology Academy, which provides astrological information, education, and training to astrologers and astrology students around the world. He’s the author of eleven books, including Principles of Practical Natal Astrology: Talented Astrologer Training Book 1. Read more of his articles in the Talented Astrologer Blog.

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Solar eclipse: a moment in a longer cycle of time

By Mary Plumb | May 2, 2016

We are in the aftermath and continued rolling waves of the March eclipse, which had Sun, Moon, Mercury, Neptune, Chiron, Ceres, and the South Node in Pisces, the sign that can easily dip into sorrowful endings.

The solar eclipse on March 8 (18°55′ Pisces) was a total eclipse — that is, the Sun was within 5° of the node. Total eclipses are thought to have a stronger or longer lasting impact.

The eclipse was not only total, but also exactly opposite its (traditional) dispositor Jupiter at 18° Virgo, both squaring Saturn at 16° Sagittarius, bringing the impact of those slower-moving planets into the eclipse picture.

(I set this chart for where I live; you can set it for where you were for the eclipse, or for Washington D.C. or any capital city for a mundane analysis. The angles are sensitive to location and, in this case, these angles happen to connect to my natal chart, one of the indications that this eclipse would be meaningful for me.)

Total solar eclipse
March 8, 2016
5:54 p.m.
Ashland OR

Solar eclipse March 2016

Here are a few times when this eclipse might be particularly activated (no matter what the location):

Mid-May when the Moon progressed from the eclipse gets to 21° Pisces, the south node (and nodal axis) of the eclipse, always a sensitive point.

July 8 – 12: Jupiter (turning direct on May 9) arrives back at 19° Virgo, opposite the eclipse degree.

September 9: Mars in Sag will conjoin the eclipse Saturn (16° Sag) right before squaring eclipse Jupiter (18° Virgo) and the Sun/Moon (19° Pisces). Mars went retrograde at 9° Sag in mid-April, so it will not square the eclipse degree for many months. (The transiting Sun will also oppose the eclipse degree on September 10.)

December 10: Saturn in Sag squares 19° Pisces. (As with Mars, the retrograde motion delays Saturn’s exact square to the eclipse degree.)

Although events close to the day of the eclipse assume great significance, and transits to the eclipse also can mark how events are developing, eclipses are also part of longer cycles, which connect to larger cycles of time.

There are two primary ways of tracking these cycles:

The Metonic cycle is the repetition of the same eclipse degree every 19 years. (This explains why on birthdays that are 19 years apart, the Sun and Moon repeat the birth degrees — birthdays 19, 38, 57, 76, etc.) (1)

The previous eclipse in the Metonic cycle of the March eclipse — 19 years ago — was on March 9, 1997 at 18°31′ Pisces. You can check 18° – 19° Pisces in your birth chart to see what houses and planets may have been suddenly awakened, then and now.

The Saros cycle, on the other hand, connects eclipses at 18.3-year intervals and were understood by the earliest known astrologers, the Chaldeans. (2) Events in the same series are tied together; both Metonic and Saros cycles are used in mundane forecasting.

I have looked at both cycles over the years, in both personal and mundane work. Recently, though, in my personal life — and following up with a few friends and clients — I have a new respect for the Saros cycle. (3)

Bernadette Brady described a profound new way of interpreting eclipses in her 1992 book, The Eagle and the Lark. (4) Essentially, she looks at the original eclipse of the Saros series and delineates its most essential features (i.e., closest aspects — and midpoints — to eclipse degree or node, etc.). Those features will carry through all eclipses in the series.

The March 9 solar eclipse is part of the 18S Saros series. The first eclipse in the series was on August 20, 1096, and its key theme is:
“Node=New Moon/Neptune=Venus/Saturn.”

Brady delineates this pattern: “This family of eclipses is concerned with endings and separations. Thus when it affects a chart, individuals will find themselves dealing with a parting. This parting can be anything from a friend traveling overseas and the saying of goodbyes at the ending of a relationship with a loved one, which could bring much anguish and grief. However, the pain of separation is lessened by encountering new situations which lead to very positive outcomes.” (5)

This description is particularly meaningful to me as I did lose a very close family member at the time of the previous eclipse in this series on February 26, 1998 — 18 years ago.

I suggest that you look at both cycles in your life and see what you find that may feel similar to what you are experiencing in this eclipse cycle. The eclipses that conjoin or oppose sensitive places in your natal chart — the Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun or Moon, chart ruler — will no doubt have more significance for you. (As we know, it’s not a one-size-fits-all system.)

(To look ahead: The next solar eclipse is an annular eclipse on September 1, 2016, at 9°21′ Virgo. That is part of Saros 19N about which Brady writes: “This Saros Series is about realism, a coming down to earth. The individual will become aware of an old situation and see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was. This can be a constructive time for tackling the truth.” (6)

Onwards! Have a good week, everyone.

Footnotes:

(1) Although they were recognized earlier by the Chinese and Babylonians, Metonic cycles were written about by the astronomer Meton of Athens in 500 BC.

(2) There are cuneiform tablets from 670 BC marking this cycle. The cycle lasts about 1300 years and is comprised of approximately 75 eclipses.

(3) Resonating with my experience, I recently heard eclipse master Bill Meridian mention that he finds the Saros cycle to have a deeper or more lasting impact; the Metonic cycle triggers the degree and its connections to other planets, either in the horoscope you are looking at, or the aspects that the eclipse itself makes. The repeating degree sets it off, maybe dramatically, but the Saros series seems to have an impact of greater depth. (I’m paraphrasing Bill from his webinar in Nina Gryphon’s wonderful RubiCon series.)

(4) Republished in 1999 as Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark.

(5) Bernadette Brady, Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, Samuel Weiser, 1999, pg. 334.

(6) Ibid., p. 335.

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The Goddess of Discord, The U.S. Chart and the 2016 Election

By Arielle Guttman | April 4, 2016

Eris is not the first thing people think of in terms of the astrology of the current election cycle, but Eris may hold the secret that we need to understand the strange scenario we are witnessing in the political arena.

Clearly, there appears to be some disruptive quality affecting U.S. politics of late, and it’s more than just the mutable t-square involving Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, though that in itself could qualify for a bewildering set of circumstances. The U.S. Sibly chart is the most frequently used by astrologers. The Sibly chart has 12° Sagittarius rising, the exact territory of the above-mentioned mutable t-square. But there’s something else beneath the surface view that you wouldn’t notice unless you happen to focus on the darling and mischievous little dwarves that reside just beyond our Pluto.

The largest of these dwarves is Eris, classified as a large dwarf (sounds like an oxymoron) planet beyond Pluto, discovered and named about a decade ago. Her orbital cycle is both long — 560 years — and elliptical around the Sun. So we are dealing with a very slowly moving body whose influence over one degree of the zodiac can last up to, and even beyond, a decade. For example: Eris entered Aries in January 1927 and sat on the 0° Aries World Axis through 1929. She has slowly been making her way through Aries since then and is now passing over the Washington D.C. Geodetic Ascendant at 23°11’ Aries. She will not clear that degree until 2022, clearly affecting the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (1) Let me emphasize that singling out that degree is important because it is the degree of the Washington D.C. Geodetic Ascendant. We have never witnessed this particular event before and now it is unfolding right before our eyes.

U.S. Sibly chart using the Geodetic Zodiac
(created by the author in Solar Fire)

Koch houses, True node
July 4, 1776
Washington D.C.

US Geo Washington DC

So, who is this Eris? The Greeks tell us that she was the uninvited guest at an important wedding that all the other gods and goddesses attended. She was not invited because she was known as a disrupter. Eris crashed the affair when she turned up suddenly and tossed into the assembled crowd a golden apple bearing the message: For the Fairest. This sent many goddesses scrambling to claim the apple as their own. Paris was chosen to decide which of the goddesses was the fairest, and he ultimately chose Aphrodite, whose prize to him was Helen of Sparta, then married to the King. Paris shuttled her off to Troy, and when the Greeks learned of this, they proceeded to respond in the dramatic event known as the Trojan War. Helen has come down to us as “the face that launched 1,000 ships.” (Brush up on your reading with the Iliad and the Odyssey for the full story on this.)

Meanwhile, Uranus, who we know so well as the revolutionary voice of liberation and change, has been in Aries since 2011 and quite coincidentally is also about to conjoin the Washington Geodetic Ascendant. Bam! Immediately I understood the nature of the chaos that has been disrupting the Washington political scene in 2015 and 2016, during which time we’ve witnessed the Republican Party limping around like a wounded, aimless army.

Then, more recently, it has been noted that the death of Chief Justice Scalia will ultimately cause an upset in the balance of justices, including the disruption of how a justice is actually selected following the passing of a prior member. And, finally, how Washington insiders are being treated with scorn and disdain, while the outsiders are hailed as the new messiahs.

Welcome to the world of Eris and her shenanigans. Who, then, does Eris pick as her representatives? The two outsiders, of course. The uninvited guests to the good old boy party system: Trump to the right and Sanders to the left.

Let’s start with Trump. The portrait of the current Donald Trump is one of total disrupter, the uninvited guest, as Eris was in the above story. There is a fascinating amount of press and presence that this uninvited guest has claimed, regardless of how the establishment party, the media, and most political analysts are in total bewilderment about how much attention he has received and how long it has lasted. In a short period of time, he has managed to alienate and disgust large segments of the population by his words and actions, a man whose Mars rising in Leo engages in combat as sport and delights in watching his enemies perish. He was easily able to knock out the old guardians of the Republican Party in no time at all — especially the establishment candidate Jeb Bush. (Though, in his favor, there was nothing substantial there for him to challenge, either in Jeb or the other Republican offerings, as the Republicans themselves are in a state of crisis, hanging on for dear life right now.)

Meanwhile, another disrupter, Bernie Sanders, appears on the political scene, this time challenging the Democrats and their establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. He has similarly given the old guard Democrats something to be worried about. Once again, as in 2008, Hillary must fight her way to the top after having almost been assured of the nomination barely one year ago. The current Leo Venus Star Point (22° Leo) — begun in August 2015 and running until June 2016 — and the current Eris-Uranus pairing at 22° Aries, tightly aspect her natal Saturn (21° Leo). (2) What does natal Saturn want? What does Hillary want? How long can she ride both sides of the fence, catering to the billionaires who finance her and also promising to take out the billionaires who help her get the vote? Like Trump and Sanders, her Nodal axis (23° Taurus/Scorpio) is being activated, but in the challenging quincunx and square — an uphill climb.

Hillary Clinton (3)
Oct. 26, 1947
8:00 p.m. CST
Chicago, IL
Koch houses, True node

 

Hillary, natal

So, what is the message of Eris, Uranus, and that 22°- 23° Aries Geodetic Ascendant (for Washington) for both of these disrupters?

Donald Trump
June 14, 1946
10:54 a.m. EDT
Jamaica, NY
AA data
Koch houses, True node

Trump, natal

Trump’s Sun is 22° Gemini, his Moon is 21° Sagittarius, and his Nodal axis is 20° Gemini/Sag. Eris has been trine and sextile them all since his rise (oh, the power of enabling trines and sextiles!). Soon, when she gets back to 23°, she will square his Saturn. He could literally fall off the podium right before our eyes. Donald will ultimately go down, but, meanwhile, what a spectacle to behold.

Sanders has natal Mars at 23° Aries.

Bernie Sanders
Sept. 8, 1941; time unknown; chart set for noon
Brooklyn, NY
Koch houses, True node

Bernie, natal

Eris and Uranus is right there on it. Bernie Sanders is also an activist, with a pure Aries Mars. Bernie’s Mars clearly shows in his Martian demeanor, but it looks so much better on him than Trump, since it is backed by wisdom and compassion. He has consistently, without wavering, continued to rouse the masses, challenge the system, and loudly broadcast his socialist reform ideas no matter how few people have been listening through the years. His message resonates with such a large part of today’s America; it’s like watching an idea whose time has come. The activation of a pure Mars in Aries — let’s see what kind of power and force that has. Some people would see his Mars in Aries as indicating someone who gets out of the starting gate at the pace of a speeding bullet, but then burns out and can’t sustain the pace. Yet, observing his natal Mars right smack on the Washington Geo Ascendant for the entire 40-plus-year history of his political career would signify that he’s been the perfect embodiment of an activist who continually reminds us that Washington needs to be shaken and awakened. His Nodal axis, like Trump’s and Clinton’s, are also the subject upon which the spotlight shines in the current transit pattern.

His Nodes at 22° Virgo/Pisces have been the recipient of the transiting nodes at 22° Virgo/Pisces, while Jupiter at 22° Virgo and Chiron at 22° Pisces illuminate the heart, soul, and compassion behind his political agenda. (An interesting side-note here is that the nodal axis of all three leading candidates are at 20, 22, and 23 degrees of their respective signs, receiving direct activation from transiting Uranus, Eris, the nodes, Jupiter, Chiron, and the Leo Venus Star Point at this time.) Another noteworthy point: All three leading candidates have Mars in a fire sign — Trump and Clinton in Leo and Sanders in Aries, demonstrating their forcefulness in engaging in intense combat with their rivals.

If there’s any doubt that the revolution is upon us, let’s just wait until the Eris/Uranus pairing plays out this year and into the whole term of the next presidency. We are only in Act I of this mystery play, with several more acts to follow.

Eris and Uranus may be affecting many of us. Look at your charts. Where is 22°- 23° Aries? How might we deal with this uninvited goddess of discord in the best possible way? What type of revolutionary changes are we in need of making? New viewpoints, habits, awareness are in store for the collective.

One way to satisfy Eris is to include her presence and perspective rather than pushing her away, whether you agree with it or not. Both Trump and Sanders have been pumped up by a citizenry who feel they have been ignored and forgotten and are hailing their leaders somewhat like gods. Clinton may have a strong following, but her fans are not exactly bowing down and kissing her feet, like the two aforementioned male counterparts. Sometimes things need to be disrupted in a dramatic fashion to point out the absurdity of it all. The stories tell us that Eris delighted in the chaos and confusion she caused for humans when she worked her magic. She enjoyed watching them being thrown completely off balance. In some stories she was paired with Ares (Mars). Their glyphs resemble one another; hers is the shape of Mars, with the arrow pointing downward. Eris and Mars do seem like a pair that one would want to give a fairly wide berth.

No matter what side of the political fence they reside on, there are literally millions of people across the country delighting right now in the disturbance of the established two-party old-guard system. The Republicans certainly didn’t invite Trump and would love nothing more than to shove him out of the picture entirely, and as this is being written, plans are underway to do just that. The Democrats did not invite Sanders, but his Mars is shining now and he is gaining strength and recognition as the process unfolds. The current three leading candidates — Sanders, Trump, and Clinton — are positioned on an interesting part of the political spectrum. At one extreme is Trump and at the other is Sanders. Hillary sits in the middle, trying to decide where she actually belongs in terms of the people whose votes she would like to garner.

Stay tuned for this rendezvous. Uranus and Eris tango around the Washington D.C. Geodetic Ascendant in the coming months, as follows:

Uranus:
June 1, 2016
September 28, 2016
March 22, 2017

Eris:
May 3, 2016
October 5, 2016
April 12, 2017
October 29, 2017


Footnotes:

(1) Author’s note: The Geodetic Zodiac is my go-to house system for analyzing anything political and mundane, and I think it works quite well in the U.S. chart. My article Geodetic Angles and the U.S. Chart (TMA, Nov. 1995) detailed some major events affecting the U.S., and in each case there was an outer-planet transit or an eclipse over the geodetic angles of Washington.
(Editor’s note: Here is an explanation of the Geodetic Zodiac from Arielle’s 1995 TMA article:
“To briefly summarize how this system works, imagine the 360 lines of longitude around the world applied to the 360° of the zodiac. Each line of longitude becomes a degree of the zodiac. The most universally agreed upon starting point is 0° longitude which occurs at Greenwich, England. Therefore, Greenwich = 0° Aries Midheaven (MC). West of Greenwich, the MC becomes Pisces; east of Greenwich it becomes Aries, and so on, all the way around the world. The Ascendant and other house cusps are derived from the local MC. For instance, the MC for 0° Aries at 51° north latitude (London) yields an Ascendant of 26° Cancer (therefore London’s geodetic angles are 0° Aries MC and 26° Cancer Ascendant) — yet the Ascendant for the same degree of longitude as the equator gives an Ascendant of 0° Cancer.”

(2) Editor’s note: The Venus Star Point (VSP) is the author’s terminology for the degree of the most recent conjunction of Venus with the Sun. Venus retrograde was conjunct the Sun at 22° Leo on August 15, 2015. The next conjunction will be on June 6, 2016 at 16° Gemini.

Here is a TMA blog on the subject.  And, Arielle’s web sites (linked in her bio below) have more information on her work.

(3) Hillary Clinton’s birth time is unknown – Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. The author is using the p.m. time herein, although it is unverified.

Bio: Arielle Guttman began her formal studies in astrology in 1974 in San Diego, CA. Based in Santa Fe for over 25 years, she recently relocated to Oakland, CA. Arielle’s work primarily focuses on private one-to-one client sessions, group seminars, and writing books on astrological subjects. Conversant in the many fields of astrology, her specialty areas are reflected in the five volumes she has written and published for the astrological community. Since the publication of her fifth book, Venus Star Rising, Arielle has been touring the country to introduce the Venus Star Point® theory, a revolutionary new astrological point that transforms a person’s chart and their perceptions of how they can function most harmoniously in life.
Contact Arielle via email: arielle@sophiavenus.com, or, visit her websites: SophiaVenus and VenusStarRising.

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