A Beleaguered Presidency

Transit Neptune in Square to Barack Obama’s Midheaven

History has shown that U.S. presidencies quite often are shaped by events. While in office, presidents may face circumstances requiring the declaration of war, or natural disasters necessitating mobilization of all available resources in order to help victims, or economic conditions impacting the ability of their administration to advance its legislative priorities. These tribulations are seen in the progressions and transits after the election.

Barack Obama has been no exception. The transit of Neptune in square to his Midheaven, along with the transit of Saturn over his progressed Sun, have brought him one crisis after another. From the Gulf oil spill, to firing his commanding general in Afghanistan, to an anemic and jobless recovery from the Great Recession, he now has the lowest approval ratings of his presidency (45%), with a job disapproval rate of 48%. (1)

The perception of his authority and leadership as weak and ineffective has grown to the point of concern. Neptune, having turned retrograde on May 31st in 28º42′ Aquarius, is holding a stationary square to Mr. Obama’s MC for three-and-a-half months, within a one-degree orb between April 5th and July 29th. This difficult transit stays with him through January 2012 and, combined with his upcoming progressions, looks to remain problematic.


The Gulf oil spill is an environmental catastrophe of the highest magnitude. Politically, it has consumed the president’s attention for over two months and has hampered his ability to move forward with his legislative priorities before the break for the midterm elections. This man-made disaster is another manifestation of the transit of Saturn over Mr. Obama’s progressed Sun, while transit Uranus opposes it, giving him an unexpected heavy burden.

There is but one Sabian Symbol out of 360 that refers to wildlife being adversely affected by the destructive actions of man. At the time (2) of the Deepwater Horizon Rig explosion on April 20th, the midpoint of Pluto (eruptions from beneath the surface) and the event Ascendant (3) (representing the surface, or horizon, of something) was in 18º45′ Sagittarius.

Remarkably, the Sabian Symbol for the 19th degree of the Archer is:

The pelicans have been distressed by the intrusion of man; they are moving their habitat to places unknown.

The Tetradic Yod in the oil spill event chart illustrates a turning point for energy policy in America. Offshore drilling will now have to face regulatory scrutiny as never before. With the president having the transit of Neptune (ruling the oil and gas industry) over his South Node (a sensitive degree for self-undoing), and with the third pass of this transit not over until January 2011, one suspects that this ongoing environmental disaster will spell big trouble for the Democrats in the November elections, leaving Mr. Obama in a weakened political position from which to execute the remaining two years of his presidency.

Unfortunately, Neptune will again transit in square to his Midheaven next year, holding another stationary square from August 9, 2011 until January 31, 2012. This time period coincides with the beginning of the planned drawdown of American combat forces in Afghanistan and if the war is still going poorly, Mr. Obama will once more be perceived as a weak wartime president, as his natal MC is again under assault by Neptune.

Many of the president’s ongoing predicaments can be attributed to his rising degree.

Aquarius 19, from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:

A boat upon the sea to which a submerged man is clinging for support.

This symbol is related to one in whose life some great catastrophe will occur
at a time when providentially there will be a friend at hand to rescue him
from his danger. It indicates that a deficiency of tact and skill is liable to
render him subject to adversity of fortune, and he will suffer financial
disaster and even peril of death. But there will be raised up to him a friend
capable of sustaining him in his extremity, and he will not therefore sink into
the depths. This will be in response to his great faith. The nature, although
daring, is lacking in tact and strength. All his troubles will arise from failing to
admit his own incompetence. He will travel afar. It is a degree of INSECURITY.

Looking ahead, two very important secondary progressions for President Obama appear to validate and verify the dramatic scenario illustrated in the symbolism for his Ascendant. His progressed Sun will ingress into Libra on August 25th, and shortly before that, on July 3rd, that progressed Sun begins a two-year trine with his natal Jupiter. This aspect can be understood as the providential intervention to which his rising degree refers.

Shortly afterward, on October 7th of this year, Mr. Obama begins a concurrent three-year period in which his secondary progressed Mars will be in square to his natal Saturn, with this troublesome aspect perfecting on April 5, 2012. This will be a crucial progression for the president, as it involves the planetary rulers of his natal Midheaven and Ascendant, as well as the rulers of his progressed Ascendant and progressed MC.(4)

The assessment of this aspect by Alan Leo is rather sobering, and underscores the second part of the symbolism contained within his natal rising degree – the great catastrophe.

An evil aspect, which will act very much against the native’s progress, causing him to be at the mercy of two very opposing forces, corresponding to heat and cold, force and inertia. He will be prone to give expression to outbursts of temper or exhibit very hasty and at times rash conduct, which will bring trouble; indeed, if the other directions operating are very evil it may cause dishonour or disgrace, if not complete ruin, through his impulsive desires and willful actions. There is no occasion on which this aspect may be said to operate favourably, for it is a war
between two very powerful malefics and is likely to rend the native in its violence if the vibrations are more than he can control; therefore more than usual care is necessary at this period to avoid quarrels, disputes, or any friction with others, especially if it is likely to deprive him of his liberty for any time. This is an excitable and turbulent aspect, and when not otherwise acting as a disturbing element gives over-enthusiastic and extreme tendencies. The more evil the lunar directions, the more evil this mutual aspect.

A very critical and trying period necessitating great caution and self-control.

During the three-year period from October 2010 until October 2013, when this malefic progression is within its one-degree orb, the president will have the following adverse lunar directions:

1. March 17 to May 5, 2011 – Progressed Moon opposing natal Mars
2. October 28 to December 16, 2011 – Progressed Moon square natal Venus
3. June 2 to July 23, 2013 – Progressed Moon square natal Saturn

In November 2011, Mr. Obama will experience a secondary progressed Full Moon in the 2nd degree of Aries. This upcoming progressed lunation is remarkable in that it will be exactly conjunct the meridian in the U.S. Sibly horoscope, with the progressed Sun on the nation’s MC and the progressed Moon conjunct the Sibly IC.

Many who voted for President Obama in 2008 were longing for a departure from the trials and tribulations of the George W. Bush era. In significant irony, Mr. Obama may ultimately turn out to be as much of a wartime president as Mr. Bush, as is evidenced by the degree symbol for his progressed Full Moon:

Aries 2 from Sepharial’s translation of La Volasfera:

A man standing, armed with sword and spear; richly dressed in scarlet
and purple, with jeweled clasps, and helmet of fine brass or gold
– apparently prepared for battle and confident of victory.

It denotes a proud, warlike nature, with much self-reliance and confidence in
his own powers. One who will have few friends and will be very independent
in his way of living; at all times willing to assert his opinions and to evidence
his powers. A nature somewhat fond of DISPLAY.

One conjectures from this progressed Full Moon symbolism that a youthful president, with no military experience, and while attempting to become a respected commander-in-chief, may be inclined to become over-zealous in his efforts to act and appear presidential and authoritative when dealing with the Pentagon and his generals in the battlefield.

Your correspondent has written previously that he believes Mr. Obama is a reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. What is fascinating about the November 2011 progressed Full Moon for the president, and its alignment with the Sibly MC/IC axis, is that it is a close echo of a U.S.progressed Full Moon of April 3, 1861, nine days before the outbreak of the Civil War.

When President Lincoln gave his June 1858 speech while accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Illinois, he said, regarding slavery, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This is a clear reference by Mr. Lincoln to the New Testament, where in Matthew 12:25, it is written:

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them,
‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation;
and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.’

In Mundane Astrology, the 10th house rules the party in power and the 4th house rules the party in opposition. Progressed Full Moons that align with the national meridian are an indication of a deeply polarized and divided country. Next year, when the retrograde Mercury cycle transitions into the fire element, and identity politics, such as immigration reform and gays in the military, take center stage, the United States will become as deeply divided as it was in the years leading up to the Civil War.

With President Obama having the concurrent secondary progressions of Sun trine Jupiter and Mars square Saturn, he is about to enter into a similar political environment as Lincoln had to navigate in the 1860s. The real test of his beleaguered presidency will be if he can summon up the spiritual courage and wisdom to guide the nation through its violent polarization without our house dividing amongst itself and no longer remaining standing.

© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke


Lecture~Lessons,  Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Assembly, 1931
The Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolised, Charubel, Astrology Classics, 2005
(Includes a Translation by Sepharial of a Similar Series of Degree Symbols Found in La Volasfera)
The Progressed Horoscope, Alan Leo, L.N. Fowler & Co. Ltd., 1906
The Holy Bible, King James Version, 1611


(1) Wall Street Journal Poll

(2) Horizon oil spill date and time.

(3) Horizon oil spill latitude and longitude.

(4) Mr. Obama has natal Mars trine Saturn; thus, according to C.E.O. Carter’s Nativity Rule, making this a priority progression.

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