American politics has regularly scheduled elections, although this regularity has only been in place for the last hundred years or so. Congress introduced a universal Election Day in 1845, but 1914 was the first election year where all Senators were popularly elected. Since then, every two years (even-numbered years), we have had Federal elections on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Therefore, the earliest possible date is November 2 and the latest possible date is November 8. Astrologically, this puts the Sun between 9º-15º Scorpio, in the tropical zodiac.
Members of the House of Representatives serve a two-year term before facing an election. U.S. Senators serve six-year terms; however, their terms are staggered — every two years, about one-third of the Senate is elected. So, our President is elected every four years and our Congress holds elections every two years. This sets up a phenomenon known as “mid-term elections,” since they are Congressional elections near the midpoint of the four-year presidential term. Historically, these usually don’t turn out well for the party of the President; in the past 17 mid-term elections, the President’s party has lost an average of 28 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate. (1)
Astrologically, this mid-term phenomenon begins to make some sense when viewed through the lens of the synodic cycle of Venus. Because of a 13:8 resonance with Earth, Venus has one of the most regular cycles of any planet. She completes five synodic cycles in almost exactly eight calendar years, tracing a five-pointed star in the sky.
This means that every eight years Venus makes her retrograde conjunction with the Sun near the same degree of the zodiac. Furthermore, these conjunctions drift backward through the zodiac about 2.5 degrees every eight years, so after twelve conjunctions and 96 years, any particular arm of Venus’s five-pointed star will change zodiac signs. Since 1930 (and through 2026), one arm of the Venus star has resulted in retrograde conjunctions in the sign of Scorpio. This means that, for the last 80 years, one in four federal elections have been held with Venus retrograde. Since 1970, Venus’s retrograde conjunctions with the Sun have drifted into mid-Scorpio and, thus, have been very close to Election Day.
When understood as a visible phenomenon, Venus’s involvement with U.S. federal elections begins to make even more sense. While only one in four federal elections currently occur during Venus retrograde, half of them occur with Venus invisible. At the mid-point of her eight-year cycle, Venus makes a superior (e.g., direct) conjunction near the same degree as the retrograde conjunction four years earlier. When Venus is conjunct the Sun, either retrograde or direct, she is not visible in the sky — she is either passing in front of, or behind, the Sun and cannot be seen within the bright solar glare. At the mid-term elections this year Venus is invisible. (Venus retrograde is conjunct the Sun on October 28.)
Currently, the U.S. Presidential elections happen with Venus shining brightly — either as Morning Star in the sign of Libra, or as Evening Star in the sign of Sagittarius. Two years later, at the time of mid-term elections, Venus is close to one of her conjunctions with the Sun in Scorpio, unable to be seen. Thus, the brightest planet in the sky at the time when any President is elected becomes hidden when he faces mid-term elections. With the President’s party usually faring poorly in mid-terms, this visual disappearance of Venus every two years seems to correlate with the vagaries of voter opinion.
It is almost as if the American voting public suffers from a kind of “buyer’s remorse” and they decide to take back the support they gave only two short years ago. The upside of this is that it seems to activate the system of checks and balances the Founding Fathers put in place. It is not often that one party controls all three branches of government. The downside is that it provides an opportunity for a man, who once brazenly passed out money from Big Tobacco right on the floor of the House, to now possibly become the leading lawmaker in this country and third in line to the Presidency. (2) Yet, even the long dark shadow of corruption via corporate money in American politics makes sense in terms of Venus. Following the chain of dispositorships, any July 2 or 4 charts for the U.S. show Venus ruling Saturn in Libra, who then rules Pluto in Capricorn. In the Sibley chart, using whole sign houses, this is all happening in the financial houses: the 2nd, 8th, and 11th. Perhaps Venus’s retrograde intrusions on our election processes are here to teach us a lesson.
Recent polls have suggested that voters are more negative now about re-electing members of Congress than in the last five mid-terms, including the 1994 and 2006 elections, which saw dramatic shifts of power in both houses of Congress. (3) Mercury was retrograde at the 2006 election, and Mercury and Venus were conjunct the Sun in Scorpio. In 1994, the North Node of the Moon was conjunct the Sun, and Venus was retrograde in Scorpio, with Jupiter in Scorpio as well. The 1954 election saw a reversal in both the Senate and the House — a Democratic majority shift in the Senate, which would last until 1980, and in the House, which would last until 1994. In 1954, both Mercury and Venus were retrograde in Scorpio and Saturn was conjunct the Scorpio Sun. Astrologically speaking, it appears to this astrologer that if we were going to have a reversal in both houses of Congress, we would see more emphasis in Scorpio than we have this year. It is possible that the House may change to Republican control, but probably not the Senate.
Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach to spiritual growth, exploration, and transformation. Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique multi-discipline approach to Astrology over 17 years. Connect with Gary at DreamAstrologer