TMA This Week

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.

(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.


(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:

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

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


(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:, or, visit her websites: SophiaVenus and VenusStarRising.

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Looking back, looking forward: the Volatile Cycles of Election 2016

By Raye Robertson | March 21, 2016

(Editor’s note: See Chart Data below for details on birth times used herein.)

Election years are great times to explore outer planetary cycles. History is being made (and possibly repeated) during these years, and providing a cosmic framework for historical trends, events, social change, and evolution is what these cycles are all about. Election 2016 has been an especially good study because we’re “blessed” with: 1) an unconventional set of candidates and, 2) a deeply polarized, angry electorate that’s pushing the country’s ideological limits. Not surprisingly, these extremes and the general desire to “shake things up” are reflected very well in planetary cycles, so we have a lot to explore.

A key premise here is that history repeats itself through the individuals who resonate with significant planetary cycles and carry forward the agendas signaled by the inception charts of those cycles.

For instance, in history, both the Saturn-Uranus cycle and the Saturn-Neptune cycles have marked times of social and economic change along ideological extremes. As we’ll see with examples below, this has been especially true against a backdrop of cardinal Uranus-square-Pluto. The platforms of Election 2016 candidates embody all of this at the same time — an ongoing mutable (change-oriented) Saturn-Neptune square, a rapidly-perfecting Saturn-Uranus trine in fiery Sagittarius-Aries, and of course, the enduring cardinal Uranus-Pluto square.

Not to be underestimated, the waning Saturn-Pluto cycle (a new cycle begins at 22° 46′ Capricorn in January 2020) is clearing out outworn power structures and creating a new social context for the upcoming cycle. This post will focus specifically on the 1988 Saturn-Uranus and the 1989 Saturn-Neptune cycles prevailing in this election year, and on the upheavals they are creating. Whatever transpires from the election in November will lay the groundwork for the new Saturn-Pluto cycle in 2020 .

Right, Left and all of the above
Right-wing political leanings relate to the Saturn-Uranus cycle, according to Andre Barbault, who says this approximately 45-year-long cycle is “…essentially conservative/authoritarian” — deeply concerned with law, order, individualism, and defensive positions. (1) Barbault also associates capitalism with this cycle, so perhaps today’s waning trine (exact for the first time in December) explains why even normally conservative voters are questioning capitalism’s preference for channeling wealth to the top.

Barbault views the Saturn-Neptune cycle in history as more left leaning, promoting more broadly-shared prosperity, along the lines of socialism or other forms of collectivism. Grass roots movements tend to thrive under Saturn-Neptune, which explains not only physical movements like the migrant crisis overseas, but also the new civil rights movement (i.e., Black Lives Matter) and the record voter turnouts inspired by this year’s unconventional election candidates.

In everyday practice, these cycles influence the roles we assign to government in our private and public lives, but as we’ll see, even the most extreme governments employ some mixture of right- and left-leaning policies. Depending upon the mixture, however, radical imbalances can take over such societies, and it is these imbalances that trigger either warfare or revolutionary times. Which brings us back to today.

Saturn, a  “social” planet that helps organize and structure societies and their governments, combines with Uranus to shake up those structures, usually for a more orderly “strong man,” or hero-centered alternative. Donald Trump’s campaign certainly taps into the longing people have for a tough-guy “hero” who has a simple answer for all problems. These heroes tend to have strong ties in their natal charts to prevailing Saturn-Uranus cycles, and Trump is no exception, as I will show below.

On the other hand, Saturn and Neptune combine to wash away old structures and manifest the dreams and ideals (or negatively, the delusions) Neptune is inspiring in the collective. In a startling example, the 1989 Saturn-Neptune conjunction marked the rapid demise of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. Bernie Sanders’ liberal call for a “political revolution” to rescue the U.S. middle class from oblivion fits the Saturn-Neptune idealistic mold, but implementing his ideas might require some “tough guy” maneuvering.

As we’ll see, both right- and left-wing extremes in history have employed both cycles to their advantage, and we’re seeing this same phenomenon in 2016. Let’s consider a couple of  “archetypal” examples from the World War II era.

On the extreme Right

Trump has been labeled a “fascist” in the course of this election year, and, in all fairness, his immigrant-bashing, tough guy rhetoric does conjure up images from that extreme right pole, whether that’s his intention or not. The historical milestones highlight some compelling astrological parallels:

Germany’s Third Reich was established on January 30, 1933: Uranus was square Pluto in the cardinal signs Aries-Cancer, the so-called cardinal “power axis,” which is active again today. Saturn in Uranus-ruled Aquarius was at 7° Aquarius inconjunct Neptune at 9° Virgo (amazingly, exactly opposite its current Pisces placement).

Hitler’s consolidation of power under the Nazis: This process took place during the early 1930s, which was the waning Capricorn-Aries square of the 1897 Saturn-Uranus cycle (beginning at 27°39′ Scorpio). This 1897 cycle gave way to the next Saturn-Uranus cycle in May 1942 (29°19′ Taurus), conjunct Hitler’s Neptune-Pluto conjunction in early Gemini. This new cycle exactly conjoined the natal Pluto of then-President Roosevelt, helping to bring the U.S. into the fight.

Interestingly, Saturn had also transited opposite Neptune in Virgo during 1936 and 1937, and the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party was powerfully enabled by Neptune’s added influence. During the 1930s, Hitler built popular momentum for his genocidal ideology with vitriolic rants about Germany’s economic victimization (Neptune) at the hands of the World War I peace agreements and to the ever-present “Others,” i.e., German Jews. In doing so, Hitler was leveraging the August 1917 new Saturn-Neptune cycle (at 4°45′ Leo), which was conjunct his Midheaven and sextile his Neptune-Pluto conjunction in Gemini. This Neptune-Pluto conjunction (first exact in 1891 and marking the beginning of a new 492-year cycle) marked a major turning point in civilization, and Nazism embodied its “dark side” to a tee.

Also attuned to both cycles

Drawing parallels from Election 2016 to 1930s Germany will hopefully prove shockingly wrong, but Trump’s natal chart also resonates strongly with both the current Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune cycles. He’s “talking the talk,” that is, sounding like 1930s Germany, so we have to wonder. The Saturn-Uranus cycle seems to anticipate the powerful tactics we’ve seen him deploy.

(All charts use Tropical Equal houses and the True Node.)

Inner wheel: Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA.
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Trump natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

The 1988 Saturn-Uranus conjunction (new cycle) at 29°57′ Sagittarius trines Trump’s natal 12th house Mars (26°47′ Leo) and Ascendant (29°58′ Leo) and widely opposes his natal Sun (22°56′ Gemini). A “knight-in-shining-armor” aspect, this configuration blessed Trump’s fortune-building quest and perhaps reflects his tendency to view the world in terms of “winners” and “losers.”

The Saturn-Uranus conjunction chart has Jupiter and the Midheaven at 24° – 25° Aries, which square Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus conjunction at 23° – 26° Cancer. This reflects his deft use of extreme defensiveness and verbal “pre-emptive strike,” and perhaps the particular vitriol he saves for women (Venus) who challenge him. Hillary Clinton in November?

The Saturn-Uranus conjunction chart has Chiron and Mars in opposition to each other (24°15′ Sag – 23°15′ Gemini), which conjoins his Sun-Moon axis (Gemini-Sagittarius). This reflects the tough guy character he’s created and his ability to leverage criticism to his advantage. Archetypally, heroes are victims who overcome their enemies for the good of all. What better battle cry than “make America great again?

Inner wheel: Natal, Donald J. Trump
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Trump natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

The 1989 Saturn-Neptune conjunction degree (11°55′ Capricorn) opposes Trump’s natal Mercury (8°52′ Cancer) and squares his Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter (5° – 17° Libra). This cycle marked a major milestone for Trump’s career, promoting him and the sales of his 1988 book, Art of the Deal. Trump clearly anticipated the powerful cardinal energies that 1989 would bring to bear, and he continues to benefit. In his 2016 campaign, he’s demonstrated that political deal-making is all about deploying cardinal energies: build rapport (Libra), stimulate fears and promote defensive action (Cancer), control the narrative (Capricorn).

In the Saturn-Neptune chart, Mars and Jupiter were conjunct (25°- 29° Taurus), and conjoin Trump’s Midheaven (24°22′). Aggressive Uranus in Capricorn (4°45′) closely squares his Neptune (5°51′ Libra).
The 1989 cycle signaled a strongly conservative Capricorn cycle and robust growth for Trump’s “brand.” Trump has managed to leverage his wealth as a campaign plus (despite the negative feelings about billionaires these days) and is using this final waning square of the 1989 cycle to solidify his political “brand.” The conservative movement re-engineered the U.S. economy so wealth is driven largely to the top. Trump profited greatly from that movement, and he is now profiting from the backlash to that movement. Whatever we think of his platform, his deal making has worked for him thus far.

On the other side…
In the U.S., the 1930s period that manifested Nazi Germany saw the rise of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) as our only 4-term president (1933-1945), serving from the end of the Great Depression of 1929 through all but the end of WWII. FDR’s administration transformed the U.S. economy and society for generations to come. He gave us the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act restraining banks and Wall Street (legislation dismantled under Bill Clinton) — the same Act that Bernie Sanders wants to reinstate. FDR also passed Social Security legislation and a robust public works approach to recovering from the Depression.

What does it mean to be a “progressive” these days?
So, which of our current Democratic candidates is more “progressive?” Not surprisingly, Clinton’s chart ties in most tightly with the Saturn-Uranus chart, which probably reflects her more centrist liberalism (“conservative lite”). Competing with Sanders has drawn her leftward, but her natural tendencies are more centrist and technocratic.

Inner wheel: Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’); Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.)
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Clinton natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

Interchart t-square: The 1988 Saturn-Uranus conjunction (29°57′ Sagittarius) was opposite Clinton’s natal Uranus (25°56′ Gemini), square her Pisces Moon (22°51′). Emotions seem to take a back seat to more technical and administrative concerns in Clinton’s policies. As for her “softer” agenda, promoting programs that benefit women and children, Clinton’s Pisces Moon trines her Venus-Mercury in Scorpio, and those points square her powerful Leo stellium.

Clinton’s 9th-house Saturn (21°59′ Leo) trines the conjunction degree (29°57′ Sag) and trines Jupiter, the dispositor of the conjunction (25°27′ Aries). The 1988 cycle’s inception was powerfully ambitious and bellicose as well, ushering in the most tumultuous geopolitical times since WWII. So it’s not surprising that Clinton found herself in the powerful role of Secretary of State during several years of it. We can see here that global statesmanship becomes her, and that she had the mental/physical stamina to tackle the incredible rigors of that career (natal Saturn exactly squares Mercury in Scorpio). This Saturn-Mercury connection and her heavy Scorpio 12th-house energies probably speak to the “trust” issue that dogs her steps. Whether she can be trusted to promote a true progressive agenda is an open question.

Inner wheel: Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Clinton natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

Clinton’s 11th house Neptune (11°21′ Libra) squares the 1989 conjunction degree at 11°55′ Capricorn. The new-cycle degree is in her 2nd house and sextiles her natal Venus in Scorpio (16°14′). This conservative 1989 cycle was also good to the Clinton political partnership, ushering in Bill Clinton’s centrist liberal presidency and building their joint wealth and influence. There were tough moments that steeled Hillary for the challenges to come as well. In retrospect, key milestones that have challenged the Clintons’ political careers have tracked with this cycle:

1992 – 2000 as First Lady: Saturn’s waxing square to Neptune unfolded over 1998-99, during the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal and Bill Clinton’s impeachment and subsequent acquittal in February 1999. Hillary Clinton characterized the crisis as a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” which isn’t far-fetched during a Saturn-Neptune square, enhanced by Jupiter (then) in Pisces. This may reflect her distrust of Neptunian tactics and idealism, which can be easily distorted and difficult to control.

2006-2008 as presidential candidate: Saturn opposed Neptune from mid-Leo to Aquarius from mid-2006 to mid-2007 during the conception of the 2008 campaigns. This probably helped her build early support, but in the end, Neptunian dynamics left her run aground — on Obama’s celebrity-style pull with young voters and his “Audacity of Hope” theme. As with her husband’s impeachment, there was a silver lining: her career in the State Department was just getting started. The trust issue hurt her in 2008 as it still does, but her fixed planetary energies and ambitious 1st-house Jupiter just keep on ticking.

2016 presidential campaign: Now, in the final, waning Saturn-Neptune square, Clinton’s campaign is promising to clean up the excesses of the lingering conservative cycle, but her promises ring hollow to many, the primaries are far from over, and if she ends up running against Trump, a nasty, bruising campaign lies ahead. Could she still end up being the “default” candidate this year — the one people vote for because they can’t stand the idea of President Trump? A plausible scenario, with today’s planetary picture, but Sanders has an equally strong (if not stronger) relationship with that picture.

What about Sanders?
A lot of would-be revolutionaries are “Feeling the Bern” these days, and the Sanders’ campaign certainly evokes the post-Depression, New Deal policies of FDR in its populist appeal. Sanders is old enough to have experienced the perks of that New Deal era, and his chart taps into both 1988 and 1989 cycles in strong, uncomplicated ways that reflect his “what you see is what you get” candidacy.

Inner wheel: Natal, Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y. (40°N38’ 73°W56’) DST. Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time).
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Sanders natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

The new-cycle degree (29°57′ Sagittarius) is inconjunct Sanders natal Saturn-Uranus conjunction (28° Taurus, 0° Gemini) and trine Mars in Aries (23°42′);  as noted above, Jupiter in the conjunction chart is at 25°27′ Aries. The authoritative energies and conservative agenda of Saturn-Uranus have likely rubbed Sanders the wrong way for decades and have inspired a career-long commitment to action. His Taurus-Gemini conjunction suggests an ability to project his own authority with strong determination and sufficient adaptability. This has probably helped him survive as a self-professed Socialist/Independent in Congress since 1991.

Sanders natal Saturn trines Neptune (28°33′ Taurus – 26°59′ Virgo) and Neptune conjoins the North Node (22°54′ Virgo). This is a generous-feeling Saturn-Neptune, reflecting Sanders’ confidence in a liberal agenda that spreads tangible wealth (earth signs). His North Node conjunct Neptune confirms that his “socialism” is an idealistic mission.

The conjunction degree (29°57′ Sagittarius) squares Sanders Neptune-Node in Virgo; his natal Mercury (2°40′ Libra) trines his Saturn-Uranus conjunction.
Achieving this mission runs counter to the aggressive, belligerent nature of this Sagittarius cycle, and Sanders is well aware of the forces he is fighting. Every speech (Mercury) contains an identical litany of these forces (some which implicate Clinton), and he’s convinced many with his relentless messaging.

Inner wheel: Bernard Sanders
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Sanders natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

The Saturn-Neptune conjunction degree (11°55′ Capricorn) trines Sanders Sun (15°35′ Virgo). This aspect suggests that Sanders fully embraces the liberal agenda of Saturn-Neptune, and that his career (which is difficult to separate from the person) will somehow thrive in what remains of this Capricorn cycle.

In the Saturn-Neptune conjunction chart, Mars and Jupiter (25°- 29° Taurus) conjoin Sanders natal Saturn-Uranus and trine his natal Neptune (26°59′ Virgo).
Taurus Mars and Jupiter reflect not only Sanders’ persistence in the face of enormous opposition, but also suggest a pragmatic principle underlying Sanders’ career: that wealth creation and prosperity are not the sole province of conservatism, and that some conservative principles can be deployed for liberal purposes.

Wheels within wheels…

To my mind, this election is proving too volatile for generalizations, and although I respect the many efforts, predictions feel more like wishful thinking than true insight. I do believe, however, that we can begin to understand the unconventional dynamics we’re faced with by digging into these Saturn-Uranus-Neptune cycles and considering what part of history we wish to repeat. If radical change is upon us — as today’s astrology suggests — what does that mean to us, and to what purpose? It’s all there in the cycles, in those “wheels within wheels.” Let’s choose wisely!


(1) Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion, Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, Thorsons, 1984, p. 181.

Chart Data and Sources

Chart 1. Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA. Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m., Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”) ST.
Chart 2. Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA. Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 3. Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’); Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.) Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”) .
Chart 4. Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’) ST. Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.) Outer wheel: Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 5. Natal, Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. EDT (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y.C., NY (40°N38’ 73°W56’) DST. Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time). Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 6. Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. EDT (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y.C., NY (40°N38’ 73°W56’). Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time). Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Bio: Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer, and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. She can be contacted at her blog, Diary of a Mundane Astrologer, or by email:

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

By Barbara Eaton | March 7, 2016

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

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The Startling Success of the Insurgent Bernie Sanders

By Pat Paquette | February 8, 2016

I have to admit that I’m taking a wicked amount of pleasure watching the news media flail about trying to explain how a Socialist upstart from a state known for maple syrup and a ban on billboards could have interrupted the “inevitable” election of the long-presumed next president of the United States.

When Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced last April that he was running for president, he gave fair warning: “People should not underestimate me.” The media did just that, politely calling him a “long shot” who couldn’t even get the support of the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party. That the longest-serving Independent in Congress chose to run within the two-party system was somewhat newsworthy. However, the pundits expected him to have little impact other than perhaps moving the political discussion to the left. There was zero chance, they said, that voters would elect a Socialist. Besides that, he had no money and no campaign infrastructure, and he was running against a candidate with near universal name recognition and a political machine to match. (1)

Nine months later, with millions of dollars in small campaign contributions and a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders is finally being taken seriously. Most major media outlets continue to predict that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, but Sanders has changed the race, and likely the political landscape, for years to come.

The pundits may be falling all over themselves trying to explain why they didn’t see this coming, but for astrologers, the charts tell the story. Before we take a look, though, let’s review his bio.

Bernard Sanders, known to his constituents simply as “Bernie,” was born on September 8, 1941, in Brooklyn, NY, to lower-class Jewish parents. His father immigrated to the United States from Poland when he was 17, barely escaping the Holocaust, during which most of his family was killed. In high school, Sanders was a long-distance runner and captain of his track team. He also made his first venture into politics, running for student body president. In a three-way race, he came in third. (2)

After graduating from high school, Sanders spent a year at Brooklyn College and then transferred to the University of Chicago. It was 1960, when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing and the campus radicalism that helped define the sixties was just beginning. Sanders joined several activist groups, at one point getting arrested for protesting segregation in off-campus housing. In 1963, he made his first trip to Washington, D.C., where he and other members of his activist groups joined Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March for Jobs and Freedom. He also joined the student affiliate of the Socialist Party of America, and he applied for conscientious objector status as a protest to the war in Vietnam.

As the counterculture movement of the sixties gathered steam, Sanders and his older brother Larry went to live on a kibbutz in Israel. The egalitarian, collectivist way of life on the kibbutz made a lasting impression on both brothers, but it was Bernie who saw it as proof that socialism could work. (Larry Sanders now lives in England and ran last year as a Green Party candidate for Parliament. He lost.) Virgo Bernie Sanders had another epiphany while living on the kibbutz: he loved growing vegetables. When he returned from Israel, he moved to rural Vermont and bought 85 acres of undeveloped land for $2,500. For the next decade, he became more involved in grassroots politics, while managing to scrape together a living by working odd jobs. He also fathered a son, Levi, with a live-in partner. (3)

Throughout the 1970s, Sanders ran in several statewide elections as a candidate of the anti-war Liberty Union Party. He started out with 2% of the vote, gaining a little more each time but never winning a race. He finally gave up, but was then persuaded to run against the long-time conservative mayor of Burlington in 1981. In a stunning upset, he won by 22 votes, which was reduced to ten votes on a recount. The victory gained him national recognition as the “Socialist Mayor of Vermont.” The city council, however, was not amused and tried to block him at every turn. His first year in office was essentially a war, but then things started to change, and by the time he’d finished his fourth and final term in 1989, Burlington was being hailed as one of the most livable cities, and Sanders as one of the nation’s 20 best mayors. (4)

Sanders lost his first run for the House of Representatives in 1988, but he ran again two years later and won. He was re-elected by wide margins and, in 2007, made a successful bid for the Senate. He is the longest-serving Independent in Congress and, despite campaign rhetoric as an extremist who refuses to compromise, his colleagues have called him a pragmatist, realist, and result-oriented — just what we would expect of a Virgo. (5)

To date, we have no birth time for Sanders. A chart began circulating last fall with a time of 12:27 p.m., attributed to an unnamed former Sanders campaign worker. Until last week, AstroDatabank was using it, with an inexplicable “A” rating that gave the chart credibility among astrologers. Fortunately, high standards prevailed, and the entry was reverted to “time unknown” with a note: “There exists no reliable source, it is all hearsay and speculation. The time has to be considered unknown, until substantial evidence comes forward.” The chart is out there, though, and I suspect there will be those who continue to work with it, in the absence of a verified birth time; in other words, it’s “better than nothing.” Really, it’s not. Better to go with a noon or sunrise chart (I prefer noon). (6)

Bernie Sanders, natal noon

Although we don’t have the advantage of a birth time, we can detect planetary patterns in Bernie’s chart that reflect his temperament, political ideology, and drive. Aside from his Sun in pragmatic, hardworking Virgo, the first thing that jumps out at me is the Moon-Mars conjunction in Aries. This aspect alone can account for his enormous energy. His age is often mentioned as a liability, but this aspect indicates he’ll stay quick on his feet (he has more energy than I had at 25). Of course, it also accounts for his temper and the loud, angry tirades. Many see him as an “angry old man,” but age has little to do with it. In 1985, novelist Russell Banks followed Sanders around Burlington as research for a profile in The Atlantic. He describes a scene in a restaurant bar, where Sanders comes to have a beer with voters to explain how they can get a rebate on their property taxes.

“It’s more a private than a public occasion, but Sanders’ intensity, heating up as he speaks, is unmodulated and is almost inappropriate. He’s on a roll now and moves to a rapid-fire discussion of the Burlington Airport and how he wants the city to get a part of the money the airport is making and that now goes instead to the state.”

The article was never published, but editors of The Atlantic dug it out of the archives last October. It is filled with the kind of personal observations astrologers can use to put flesh on the bones of chart interpretations. It’s also a good read, whether or not you’re a Sanders fan. (7)

Indeed, the Moon-Mars conjunction could provide some clues for a rectified birth time. Marcia Starck, in the December 2015 issue of ISAR journal, used some life events to come up with a late afternoon birth time with Aquarius on the Ascendant and a very tight Moon-Mars conjunction. (8)

In the noon chart, Venus is in Libra, in tight opposition to Mars. Mercury is also in Libra. The Venus-Mars opposition speaks to events in his love life, which was very active before he met his second wife, Jane O’Meara, with whom he has been married for 27 years. Sanders doesn’t like to talk about his personal life, but Jane Sanders, in media interviews, has described their marriage as a close, equal partnership. Venus and Mercury in Libra also provide some balance to the Moon-Mars conjunction and convey the ability to compromise mentioned by his colleagues in Congress. Conservative Republican John McCain, with whom Sanders hammered out a bipartisan bill to overhaul the Veterans Administration healthcare system, told a reporter for The Huffington Post that Sanders has “the gumption to drop F-bombs one minute and counteroffers the next.”

“Negotiating with Bernie was not a usual experience, because he is very passionate and he and I are both very strong-willed people and we spend a lot of time banging our fists on the table and having the occasional four-letter word,” McCain said. “But at the end of the day, Bernie was result-oriented.” (9)

The outer planets — particularly the conjunctions of Saturn in late Taurus and Uranus in early Gemini, and Pluto and Chiron in Leo — hint at an ability to transform social structures. I have many thoughts on this, but will have to save them for another day.

And then, of course, there’s his Virgo Sun. Virgo is the quintessential political and social critic who can zero in on problems that others overlook. It’s also the sign of service. In his first appearance on C-SPAN, in January 1988, Sanders was asked why he got into politics. He responded that even as a child, he looked around him and could see so many things that were wrong, and he wanted to do something about it. (10)

Rather than looking at the transit chart for Election Day, which several astrologers and astrology students have already been studying intently, and will continue to explore for the next several weeks, I’d like to focus on Bernie’s transits last week, when a new nationwide poll was released showing him within two percentage points of a tie with Hillary Clinton. Until now, Clinton has maintained a comfortable double-digit lead. This poll, conducted by Quinnipiac, is just one of many and could be an anomaly, but it was picked up by most major news outlets and was seen as significant in light of a last-minute debate last Thursday (February 4) and the upcoming New Hampshire primary on Tuesday (February 9). (11)

Bernie biwheel

The most striking transit supporting positive polling for Sanders has been the conjunction of Jupiter and the North Node, which has been close for the past several weeks and in tight conjunction with Bernie’s natal North Node at 22° Virgo. Jupiter moved into conjunction with his Sun toward the middle of October, then turned retrograde in January. It will pass back over his Sun in late March and early April, then again in mid-June. Meanwhile, the transiting North Node moved into partile conjunction with his natal North Node on January 22, with Jupiter also in partile conjunction.

At the same time, transiting Pluto in Capricorn has been in a trine with Bernie’s Virgo Sun. Last Friday (February 5), when the Quinnipiac poll was released, the Moon, Venus, and Pluto were in triple conjunction. Pluto will remain in a tight trine with his Sun through Election Day.

There are also very difficult transits on the way for Sanders, a couple in particular that are of concern not just in terms of winning or losing an election. But for now, he’s got a fair wind.


(1) Bernie Sanders is running for president

(2) Wikipedia

(3) Straight Outta Brooklyn, by Way of Vermont: The Bernie Sanders Story
Leaving Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders Found Home in Vermont

(4) As Mayor, Bernie Sanders Was More Pragmatist Than Socialist
NY Times

(5) Bernie Sanders, the Wide-Eyed Pragmatist
Huffington Post

(6) September 8, 1941, Brooklyn, NY. Source: AstroDatabank. Rating X, date without birth time. Placidus houses.

(7) Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Mayor, by Russell Banks The Atlantic

(8) Marcia Starck rectification, ISAR journal, December 2015, p. 42

(9) Bernie Sanders, the Wide-Eyed Pragmatist
Huffington Post

(10) First appearance on C-SPAN, January 1988

(11) Sanders nearly tied with Clinton nationwide
The Hill
RealClearPolitics, aggregate polls
RealClear Politics

Bio: Pat Paquette is a writer, editor, and astrologer living on Vashon Island, WA. She has been blogging on astrology since December 2005. Her weekly astrological forecasts appear on the blog of her website,, where you also can find a collection of her past articles.

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