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Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the U.S. Orcus Return

The U.S. 2016 presidential election cycle is producing a never-before-seen enthusiasm for two non-establishment candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  Could this be a reflection of the impending U.S. Orcus Return?  (1)

In the U.S. natal chart (Sibly), Orcus falls in 9°09’ Virgo, in the 9th house. Transiting Orcus came to 8° Virgo in November 2015, stationed there in early January 2016, and will retrograde back to 6° Virgo in July.  By August, it will resume direct motion and station at exactly 9°09’ in mid-December. Although Orcus will move forward and retrograde over 9° Virgo for almost three years, it is well within a 3° orb of its Sibly return point at this time.

There are similar ties that connect the Orcus positions of these two unconventional candidates with the U.S. Orcus during this return. In the birth charts of both Sanders and Trump, the natal Orcus position squares the U.S. Orcus position. Trump’s natal Sun is in a stellium with Orcus (19°58′ Gemini), Uranus, and the North Node, all of which square the U.S Black Moon and Neptune. It is also conjunct the U.S. Mars (21°22′ Gemini).

Orcus in Trump chart: 19°58′ Gemini

Orcus in Sibly chart: 9°09′ Virgo
US Sibly natal


Sanders’ chart boasts a Virgo stellium of the Sun, North Node, Neptune, and Mercury, all of which conjunct the U.S. Black Moon and Orcus. This stellium also squares natal Orcus (14°33′ Gemini), and his North Node (22° Virgo) exactly conjuncts the U.S. Neptune. His Orcus/Jupiter conjunction falls on the U.S. Mars. Unfortunately, there is uncertainty about Sanders’ birth time, but if we use the birth chart showing a 25° Scorpio rising, the U.S. Orcus at 9° Virgo conjuncts Sanders’ Midheaven.

Orcus in Sanders chart: 14°33′ Gemini

Bernie natal

To add to the drama, there will be some additional celestial activity at 9° Virgo this fall.  A New Moon eclipse occurs at 9° Virgo on September 1, 2016 and the North Node of the Moon comes to 9° Virgo in late November 2016.

Some astrologers teach that eclipse points become “sensitized” degrees and that the first celestial body to transit the eclipse degree can be a trigger for an event.  The event is then colored by the nature of the planet, the aspects it makes, and the house and sign of the eclipse. After the September 1 eclipse, Orcus will be the first significant body of our solar system to make this transit about a month after the North Node.

In mundane astrology, Virgo is associated with health and healthcare, employment, wages and the conditions of our everyday work environment, labor unions, disaster preparedness, and the military. Since it is an earth sign, it may also have some association to the natural environment. Typically, 9th-house affairs include higher education, religion and philosophy, the courts, air travel and shipping, imports and exports, immigration, and weather conditions around the coast. Quite a few of these seem to be big issues in this election cycle. Might we see catalyzing events of a dramatic nature or perhaps a clearly defined turning point with the September 1 eclipse?

The Sabian Symbol for 9° degrees of Virgo is “two heads looking out of the shadows.” This is a fitting symbol for these two candidates, who are an expression of voters of both parties who seem to be looking for a way out of “politics as usual.”

Perhaps the influence of these two candidates and this U.S. Orcus Return will usher in a new era in U.S. politics that will culminate at the Pluto Return in 2025.  Even if neither of these men get the nominations for the two major political parties, their influence will likely be felt for some time to come as they clearly have mobilized strong anti-establishment forces in the electorate.

(1) Readers may enjoy Jeremy Neal’s recent TMA blog: Orcus opposite Neptune: then and now

(2) The author is using these times:
Bernie Sanders (unverified time)
September 8, 1941
12:27 p.m.
Brooklyn, NY

Donald Trump
June 14, 1946
10.54 a.m.
Jamaica, NY – AA data

Bio: B.A. (Bee) Eaton is a retired educator and holds a Master’s Degree in education and degrees in art and design. She coordinated a large educational research project at Kent State University in Ohio, and worked as a public school teacher. She began her love affair with astrology at the age of 15, and now devotes her time to learning, practicing, and teaching astrology in between short excursions to her garden. You can visit her astrology blog at The Living Sky


  1. Just at a glance,Trump’s opposition to Saturn this year is all I need to know. He’s not going to win.

    • And also, when Mars gets closer to Trump’s Moon and opposes his Sun, he will be more easy to provoke and may lose his temper one too many times.

  2. Transiting Saturn is not particularly compatible on election day with either Trump or Bernie!
    Perhaps Hilliary will pick Bernie as her running mate!
    Hah! That’s my fantasy. That is if he can stop wagging his finger at her.
    WHat a time this is.

    • Regarding Not Winning- We’ll See.

  3. Its refreshing to read an astrologer that puts the information first and interject their party affiliation into their readings.

    In the future, hopefully more will do the same.

  4. Maybe Hillary will pick Elizabeth Warren, for a dynamic duo. 🙂 (I agree Hillary’s chart looks like the likely winner, not my choice, but better than Drumpf).

  5. Very interesting, Barb. Many thanks for this.

    I will admit that I’ve given little thought to Orcus. In general, I regard the smaller celestial bodies as indicators of secondary or supplemental information. Nonetheless, I found this very interesting, and I’m always curious to learn more, so I did some digging. And I’m puzzled.

    As best as I can tell, Orcus was simply an alternative name for Pluto, used by the Romans. That makes sense, since the IAU requires that newly discovered bodies with similar size and orbit to Pluto’s be named for underworld deities. Mike Brown, who discovered Orcus, said he liked the idea of keeping Pluto and Orcus separate, but the ancient literature is clear that Orcus was Hades/Pluto. The punisher of “oath breakers” is actually Horkos, an entirely different deity. Horkos, also spelled Horcus, was the son of Eris, and in any case, his name doesn’t refer to oath-breaking, but lying under oath – perjury; for example, someone who swears on a stack of Bibles that he did not have sex with that woman. That’s quite different than, say, breaking an oath to protect and serve by shooting someone you were supposed to be protecting. In my brief search, I couldn’t find any indication that Mike Brown confused the two deities, so that had to have come from somewhere else.

    Wikipedia makes the case that they are the same, but gives no explanation and no citation. To add to the confusion, Virgil used “Orcus” when he was writing about Horkos, but the difference in their parentage makes it quite clear that they were not the same character (links to references below). From there, someone somewhere along the line evidently made the leap that Orcus sent oath-breakers to Hades. Horkos avenged perjury, but not necessarily by sending the perjurer to hell. Impeachment probably was sufficient.

    So if Orcus is just another name for Pluto, what would that mean for astrology? I read Jeremy Neal’s detailed blog post with fascinating history, but don’t understand many of the underlying assumptions. Who was the first astrologer to decide on a meaning for Orcus? On what basis? And if that person confused Orcus and Horkos, as appears to be the case, does that change the interpretation?

    As for Orcus the plutino, he is in orbital resonance with Neptune. As Jeremy noted, the two have been in opposition since 2008 and will remain within orb until 2019. That does seem significant, particularly in light of the historical precedents he outlines. And in fact, Neptune opposes the degree of the September 1 eclipse by exact degree and minute on October 30, the day of the New Moon in Scorpio, the final lunation before Election Day.


  6. Hello Pat,

    Thank you for your comments. Jeremy Neal has recently published a very in depth text entitled Orcus after studying thousands of charts, many biographies and searching the mythology. To date he seems to be the “expert” on Orcus, and I would recommend reading his interpretation of the mythology where he sees Orcus as a different figure than Pluto with great similarities.

    To summarize Neal’s view, Orcan energy is capable of executing violence, torture and punishment in a very cold and detached manner. The mythology of Orcus “encompasses themes and tenets of integrity, revenge, judgement, isolation, desolation, implacability, and imprisonment.” The following is a quote from a recent TMA article by Neal:

    “Where Pluto is intense and personal and represents the compulsion to attempt control of situations and people in our lives, Orcus is detached and impersonal and attempts to manage challenging circumstances.”
    December 14, 2015.

    But to illustrate Orcus’ higher gifts, he states:

    “The sign and house of natal Orcus is where you learn to create authenticity in your life, often starting out from a weak position, but learning integrity and depth in this area.”

    I first read about Orcus on Neal’s blog where I learned that it is the same size as Pluto, it inhabits the same area of the solar system, and its orbit appears to be a mirror image of Pluto. Orcus is categorized as a “plutino” by astronomers because of these Pluto- like characteristics. Some have suggested that Orcus is “the anti-Pluto;” others are suggesting it is Pluto’s “twin.”

    Thus, I surmised, if we accept that Pluto has profound influence, then a body of equal dimension and mass that follows a similar orbit must also. With that thought in mind I began studying Orcus in charts, and one of the first things I noticed was the prominent Orcan presence in the charts of serial killers. I had always been puzzled about the charts of these murderers since many did not display the more accepted astrological signatures of violent tendencies such as difficult aspects to Mars. In this search, I clearly came to agree with Neal in his statement from the TMA article about its ability to express in detached violent actions, acts of revenge or perceived justice.

    I have refrained from making “predictions” about what the USA Orcus return might bring because of the newness of our understandings about Orcus. But if we accept that the USA Pluto return in 2025 will be significant, and many do, then surely the Orcus return is likely to be quite significant also.

    If you have an interest in reading about the USA Pluto return, Michael Lutin has a very good article here.

    Yes, your observation that Neptune is also going to be in orb of Orcus by opposition in addition to the eclipse at 9 Virgo and the North Node transit at 9 Virgo in the fall and does add another very significant layer to the events all coinciding with the presidential election.

    Bee Eaton

  7. Thanks for the thorough response, Bee. A woman after my own heart.

    The anti-Pluto label for Orcus is based on an orbital peculiarity. When Pluto is at its farthest point from the Sun, Orcus is always at its closest point, and vice versa. Their orbit is the same number of years, which also is unique. And both bodies are heavily influenced by Neptune’s gravitational field. Knowing that, I’m tempted to rethink how I see Pluto. As for their similar size, they are within a range for objects in that part of space, but Orcus actually is much smaller than Pluto and not even as big as Charon.

    Fortunately, the mythology chapter of Jeremy’s book is available on Amazon, so I was able to read his rationale. He concedes that there’s not a lot in the ancient literature and therefore he speculates about what might have been the meaning. Likewise, he notes the similarity in the names Orcus and Horkos, and even while showing that the characters came from different roots, he decided that it was valid to fuse them into one entity based on etymology, as others before him have done. I disagree with that conclusion, and will have to leave it at that.

    As to how it plays out in charts, I obviously have no information. The only point I’d make is one that I’ve repeated many times over the years, which is that one of the trickiest tasks confronting astrologers is identifying which chart feature is the underlying signature for a particular personality trait, behavior, life situation, mundane event, etc. Often it’s not one feature but a combination of features, and since there is no way to prove who’s right, arguing about it is pointless.

    I do wholeheartedly agree that Michael Lutin’s article on Pluto in Capricorn and the U.S. Pluto return is classic. I saw it the week it came out and have cited it in several articles, and linked to it from my blog many times. He got a lot of media attention after that article was published and even got invited to the National Press Club. His talk was hilarious, and it was funny watching the nervous laughs from the Washington press corps (of which I used to belong, eons ago when I thought astrology was that column buried on the comics page).

    Anyway, thank you again for this thought-provoking article. Great job. I hope we’ll read more from you.

  8. Could You Be Even More Dark? Let alone from Mountain Astrologer.

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