John Edwards rocketed to national prominence in 2004 as a first-term, apparently squeaky-clean, golden boy Senator from North Carolina, a phenomenally successful trial lawyer who turned to public service after the tragic death of his eldest son in a car accident in 1996. After giving Democratic frontrunner John Kerry a serious challenge in the primaries, Edwards was chosen as Kerry’s running mate for the 2004 presidential election, an election that was later stolen that November by the Bush-Cheney team via massive e-vote fraud in Ohio and more than a dozen other key battleground states.
The following January Edwards retired from the Senate and retrenched. His wife Elizabeth had been diagnosed with breast cancer the day after the election, and the couple with their two younger children retreated temporarily from public life.
But by 2006, Edwards was ready to make a run for the Oval Office again. Early that year he met Rielle Hunter, a low-budget independent film-maker, in a Manhattan bar during a business meeting. Hunter pitched a concept of a series of “webisodes,” short internet profiles of “the real John Edwards,” which began filming that spring and were posted on YouTube that summer and fall before Edwards officially announced his candidacy on 28 December 2006. The concept was original enough to receive mention by Business Week magazine in their feature on innovative developments in web video for 2006.
In her quest to expose “the real John Edwards,” Hunter was devastatingly more successful than she anticipated.
During her work for the campaign, the pair began an affair which resulted in a child, Frances Quinn Hunter, born 27 February 2008. Rumors of the affair, hotly denied by the Edwards campaign, surfaced in tabloids as early as the summer of 2007, with the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column featuring the blind item: “WHICH political candidate enjoys visiting New York because he has a girlfriend who lives downtown? The pol tells her he’ll marry her when his current wife is out of the picture.”
Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer, which had been in remission, had returned in March 2007, in an incurable form. The National Enquirer gave the topic the full treatment in its October 10 issue, specifying Edwards as the “pol” in question, but without naming his love interest. The next day Edwards himself responded, stating, “The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous. … I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years and as anybody who’s been around us knows, she’s an extraordinary human being, warm, loving, beautiful, sexy and as good a person as I have ever known.”
On December 19, 2007, The National Enquirer published a photo of a visibly pregnant Rielle Hunter, allegedly carrying the candidate’s love child. Hunter immediately responded that the child was the product of an affair with Andrew Young, John Edwards’ Director of Operations for the campaign, a long-time staffer, married with three young children.
Hunter and the Youngs were at that time both resident in the same Chapel Hill, NC condo complex, but shortly after the new year, the bizarre menage a trois moved into a single home in Santa Barbara, CA, where in late February Rielle’s daughter was born. Other staffers were well aware that Young, who had undergone a vasectomy after the birth of his third child, could not possibly be the father, but politics were complicating the issue.
Edwards’ campaign message of ending the “Two Americas,” one for the wealthy and privileged and another for the rest of us, had resonated with working class voters. The former VP candidate was attempting to position himself as the safe, sane choice for Democrats, who were beginning to square off between rivals Hillary Clinton, who would be the first woman president, and Barack Obama, who would be the country’s first black president, both seen as edgy, risk-filled options. In fact, between Hunter’s denial of the affair and Edwards’ paternity of her child, and the child’s actual birth, Edwards had come in a close second to Obama in the January 3, 2008 Iowa caucus, with Hillary trailing in third. It was not at all improbable that Edwards could emerge the victor, or a strong second requiring placement on a national ticket, and with this huge potential scandal poised over their heads, worried junior staffers prepared to sabotage the campaign if necessary, for the greater good of the party, should proof of the affair emerge.
But Edwards quickly faded, placing third in all subsequent January contests, until withdrawing from the race on 30 January 2008. Edwards, still hopeful for a spot as Clinton’s or Obama’s running mate, continued to deny the affair whenever the subject was raised. Finally on August 7, 2008, Edwards admitted the affair to ABC’s Bob Woodruff, stating, “In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough….”
But he continued to deny paternity, stating that the affair was brief and ended in 2006, long before Hunter’s daughter had been conceived, and even offered to take a paternity test to prove he was not the father. It emerged subsequently that Edwards’ self-denial of the body blow this disclosure would deal to his political aspirations was so great, he had calculated that he could ride out the effects of the affair, but not the paternity, and was still angling for a Cabinet position in the Obama administration when he made the partial confession.
It was not until 21 January 2010 that Edwards officially admitted he was Quinn’s father, stating: “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.” Elizabeth Edwards, who does understand, is not forgiving: the couple has separated and Elizabeth is expected to file for divorce shortly.
Edwards disclosure came barely in advance of a tell-all book by now former staffer Andrew Young, whose disclosure of Quinn’s true paternity and Edwards’ attempts to cover it up make for harrowing reading. At one point, apparently unsure of Hunter’s fidelity (he once described her as a “weird slut and a freak”), Young alleges that Edwards approached him with a request to steal one of Quinn’s soiled diapers so a DNA test could be performed. Young also claims to be in possession of a sex tape depicting Edwards and a heavily pregnant Rielle Hunter making love, which she carelessly left behind in a shoe box of mementoes when she moved out of the Youngs’ Santa Barbara home.
When I last profiled John Edwards in the June 2007 Daykeeper Journal, I touched upon the potential latent within his deep space contacts for the seemingly squeaky-clean Edwards to be less than what he appeared to be:
Born 10 June 1953, John Edwards’ birth chart has several significant galactic contacts. The Sun at 19 Gemini closely opposes the Black Hole at 18 Sagittarius, indicating one who attracts others into his orbit almost effortlessly, for good or for ill. Magnetic and compelling, Black Hole Sun natives can also be mysterious and secretive, difficult to truly know….
Venus at 4 Taurus is exactly conjoined one Quasar and opposed another, as well as square the Black Hole at 2 Leo. The financially acquisitive tendencies of Venus/Quasar are strongly in evidence, both in the amassing of his personal fortune and his ability to attract financial support for his campaign. The combination also speaks to his relationship with Elizabeth, which appears to be a love match based on a solid foundation of affection and mutual respect. This is as well, for the contrary tendencies of Venus linked to Black Hole energies, allied with Mars [at 27 Gemini] also on a Quasar and opposed the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, provide a powerful incentive to stray. Edwards’ boyish good looks and striking attractiveness surely hold an appeal for potential partners, but there has never been a whiff of scandal, and with the Mars contact to the high profile Galactic Center, any extramarital affairs would likely become public knowledge. [See the full profile here.]
It was less than two months later that the first “whiff” of what would become one of the country’s most high-profile political sex scandals would emerge, but it would take another 30 months before the matter would be fully resolved. And many of those others he attracted into his orbit, supporters of his candidacy and believers in his star, would react in anger and disillusionment. Edwards topped a December 2009 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll citing Americans’ choice for the “most disappointing” public figure of 2009, even beating out serial adulterer Tiger Woods. And that was before he admitted paternity!
With these new facts in evidence, I took another look at Edwards’ chart, including several asteroids which now seem to form a significant part of his story. As stated above, John Edwards’ 19 Gemini Sun tightly opposes a Black Hole at 18 Sagittarius, which has transited to an exact opposition since his birth. Black Hole Sun individuals can rise to the tops of their chosen professions, but there is always the danger of having the rug pulled out from under them without warning, bringing down the house of cards which seemed so substantial, built upon a facade of solid rock that conceals the Black Hole’s all-consuming quicksand beneath.
Others’ opinions of them are likely to change on a dime, once the previously hidden facts are exposed and the reality which underlays the carefully crafted public image is revealed. These individuals are adept at portraying themselves as something other than what they authentically are, and the deception can yield huge benefits, but this makes the fall all the harder when the Black Hole withdraws its support for the fantasy, and reality comes crashing down.
Edwards might have successfully concealed his sexual escapades, were it not for the Quasars which conjoin both Venus and Mars, and which promote high visibility, shining a bright spotlight upon whatever they touch. Although both these points are also contacted to Black Holes, enabling a high degree of manipulation of reality and secretiveness or invisibility, the Black Hole’s functioning is erratic and unpredictable, making its protection uncertain or short-term, while the Quasar’s quest for truth and full disclosure, exposing the essence of the thing, inevitably wins out in the end. More often than not, Venus or Mars tied to Black Holes indicates a “repeat offender” in romantic or sexual matters, and it would not be in the least surprising if a pattern emerges of additional affairs throughout the course of his marriage.
Minor points concur in Edwards’ fall and fill in the gaps in our astrologic knowledge. Centaur Nessus, noted for inappropriate sexual activity, is exactly conjunct asteroid Lie at 17 Taurus, both conjoined the Black Hole at 16 Taurus, and these square natal Pluto at 21 Leo. The potential for attempted deception (Lie) of a sexually-based (Nessus) scandal and cover-up (both Pluto) which devastates the native and turns his world upside down (both Black Hole) is palpable with this placement.
Consider also asteroid Lust at 21 Capricorn retrograde, conjunct Chiron exactly on the Black Hole at 19 Capricorn and asteroid Nemesis close by at 18 Capricorn, and we find the same story told in different form—a devastating and transformative (Black Hole) wounding (Chiron) wrought by yielding to animal instincts (Lust), which leads to self-destruction and karmic comeuppance (Nemesis). These points tightly square the Saturn/Neptune conjunction at 20 and 21 Libra, which itself trines the natal Sun and speaks volumes for both Edwards’ ability to empathize and seemingly identify with others crucial to his career path, and the inherent deceptiveness of that career.
Asteroids Aphrodite and Askalaphus also conjoin, at 9 and 11 Leo respectively, and once again we find a Black Hole influence in conjunction at 9 Leo. Aphrodite indicates casual amours, affairs or flirtations rather than long-term commitments, and with Askalaphus here there is strong potential for these coming to light, as this asteroid is named for the tale-bearing denizen of Hades who ratted out Persephone’s ingestion of six pomegranate seeds during her enforced sojourn there, which compelled her to return annually to the land of the dead. The Black Hole again signals that these revealed indiscretions will result in epochal consequences of a destructive or humiliating nature.
Asteroids Tantalus and Eros conjoin at 22 and 28 Aries respectively, with Black Holes intervening at both 24 and 27 Aries, suggesting a tantalizing, hard-to-satisfy (Tantalus) attraction for romantic, erotic passion (Eros), yielding to which wreaks havoc in the life (Black Hole). Asteroid Pecker at 16 Pisces squares the natal Sun at 19 Gemini, indicating that zipper issues (Pecker) have a strong impact on the native’s self-identity (Sun) and may cause conflict (square). Pecker’s conjunction with asteroid Photographica at 19 Pisces reveals the potential of the sex tape now known to exist.
I also took at look at the placement of asteroid Hunt, for Rielle Hunter, which at 8 Aries conjoins asteroid Karma exactly on the illuminating Quasar at 10 Aries. The pairing of Hunt and Karma in trine to Aphrodite/Askalaphus strongly suggests that the affair with Hunter was not an isolated incident, just the one which finally exposed a pattern of illicit liaisons. TNO Eris exactly conjunct Hunt at 8 Aries points up Rielle Hunter as the fractious, friction-creating, fly-in-the-ointment irritation of the Edwards’ marriage. Karma and the Quasar were also set off by an exact square to the Lunar Eclipse at 10 Cancer/Capricorn just three weeks before Edwards’ final disclosure of his paternity of Hunter’s daughter.
Rielle Hunter’s chart is not without its points of interest as well. Born 20 March 1964, she sports an exact conjunction of Venus and Lie at 14 Taurus, with Tantalus close by at 15 Taurus, all points conjunct the Black Hole at 16 Taurus and Edwards’ natal Nessus/Lie conjunction at 17 Taurus. Venus/Tantalus depicts an irresistible temptress, and its position conjunct Edwards’ Nessus virtually compels inappropriate sexual advances, while the union of both partners’ Lies suggests the creation of a bubble of deception which ensnares the principals as much as those they attempt to deceive.
A pairing of Eros and Jupiter at 22 and 24 Aries, conjunct the 24 Aries Black Hole, prefigures a passionate encounter (Eros) with a politician (Jupiter) which creates turmoil, disruption and reversal (Black Hole). An exact conjunction of asteroids Photographica, Edoardo and a Maser at 7 Taurus spells dramatic, excited controversy (Maser) involving a video (Photographica) with Edwards (Edoardo). These points are on the precise midpoint, exactly semisextile to each, of Hunter’s Mercury at 7 Aries and Edwards’ Jupiter at 7 Gemini, itself conjunct another volatile Maser, with Mercury representing the Media and Jupiter ruling politicians.
Just as Edwards’ chart shows us Hunt allied to Karma, in Rielle’s chart, asteroid Karma at 25 Scorpio retrograde is conjunct asteroid Johnny at 22 Scorpio, both opposed the Black Hole at 24 Taurus, indicating a perhaps fated entanglement on both sides of this affair. And the icing on the cake would be a triple conjunction of asteroids Lust, Eduarda and Child at 11, 14 and 15 Capricorn, indicating the intense physical attraction (Lust) for Edwards (Eduarda) and its ultimate manifestation (Child), these points also highlighted by the 10 Cancer/Capricorn Lunar Eclipse of 31 December 2009.
This scandal evokes a tragic, almost pathetic demise to a political career of outstanding promise and apparent integrity. With just one Senate term to his political resume, John Edwards was able to harness the power and force of Deep Space to come within a stone’s throw of the White House, not once, but twice, only to be brought to ignominy by a fatal character flaw of almost mythic proportions. One had hoped for so much more.