On 2 November 2010 the US held a midterm general election with the transit Sun at 9 Scorpio, exactly squared the Black Hole at 9 Leo. The essence of Black Hole interaction is dramatic, sweeping change, the volte face, or about-face reversal which produces conditions diametrically opposed to those which came before. This election is a prime example of those effects. The results are (almost) in, barring a few hotly contested races in the west, and the Black Hole has given us the third major change election in as many cycles.
Although it seemed as if the exact square from the Sun to a Black Hole on Election Day might not produce manifestations as dramatic as those of 2006 and 2008, when the Sun opposed a Black Hole (taking as its model the relatively tame anti-Republican backlash in 1982 at Reagan’s first midterm elections, which had witnessed the same Sun/Black Hole square), when the dust cleared, the Black Hole had decided a throw-back to another historical moment would be a more apt analogy. Republicans gained 61 House seats this November, the largest congressional party shift since 2 November 1948, exactly 62 years before, with the Sun at the same degree, making the same square, when Truman unexpectedly upset challenger Dewey while Republicans wrested 75 House seats from Democrats.
The currently outgoing 111th Congress saw a 257-178 Democrat majority in the House of Representatives; the incoming 112th Congress has flipped that balance, with a 242-193 GOP advantage. Although the House is now firmly in Republican hands, the Senate slipped through their fingers, in large part due to poorly chosen extremist or unqualified candidates drawn from the ranks of the Tea Party. These losses held GOP gains to 7 Senate seats, three shy of the 10 needed to regain control of the upper chamber, which remains in Democratic control. Had Tea Party activists in primary elections not picked as their GOP nominees Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, and Joe Miller in Alaska, these states would have likely gone Republican with ease, bringing the Senate into party parity or outright GOP control.
The Black Hole reversal effect of the Republican tide was also reflected in historic changes at State Houses across the nation. Alabama and North Carolina flipped both chambers to GOP control, for the first time since Reconstruction in the 1870s. Similar shifts in 15 other stale legislatures have given Republicans a firm grasp on local political machines which, coupled with gubernatorial pick-ups in key battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, give the GOP a decided edge in the 2012 presidential election.
As expected [see my election preview article in the October 2010 Daykeeper Journal], Venus’ degree on Election Day prefigured the importance of the women’s vote to the outcome. At 2 Scorpio retrograde, Venus was squared the Black Hole at 3 Leo, and conjunct the Quasar at 5 Scorpio; her contact with the Black Hole indicated a major shift, her retrograde status signaled a reversal from her prior stance, and the Quasar conjunction foretold the impact this voting bloc would have. Women abandoned the Democrats in droves. While they supported Democratic candidates by 12 points in 2008, that advantage completely eroded in 2010, with women split equally between the two major parties. Venus’ retrograde stance also signaled an erosion of women’s influence in Congress. The outgoing body had 93 female members in both chambers, but only 77 will be serving in the next Congress. In part this is due to a plethora of poor choices by GOP primary voters—Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon all went down to defeat in their Senate bids—and many Democratic women elected in swing districts in 2008′s “Blue Tide” were swamped in the Republican electoral tsunami this year.
Independents, too, switched allegiance, flipping from an 18-point Democratic advantage in 2008 to a 15-point GOP preference in 2010, a stunning swing of 33 points. This is reflected by Uranus’ position on Election Day at 27 Pisces, also retrograde, and similarly placed as Venus, with a Black Hole conjunction and a Quasar square, again reflecting the themes of change (Black Hole), reversal (retrograde) and substantive impact (Quasar) relating to Independents (Uranus).
As predicted, Mercury’s relatively somnolent galactic position at 20 Scorpio suppressed voter turnout, particularly among young people, with both voters in general and young persons specifically, Mercury-ruled. So far there have been only limited reports of voting problems, unlike the 2000 and 2004 elections, which were rife with them, and showed Mercury in strong contact to Black Holes.
The night began poorly for the Tea Party, with Senate candidates going down to defeat by Democrats in West Virginia (where Joe Manchin staved off John Raese), Delaware (with Chris Coons trouncing Christine O’Donnell), and a crushing blow dealt to New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who lost to Democrat Andrew Cuomo, 62%-34%. But the tables turned with Senate wins for Rand Paul in Kentucky, followed by Marco Rubio in Florida, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin (who unseated incumbent Russ Feingold) and Pat Toomey, who squeaked out a narrow victory over Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania. On the House side, the numbers were also in the Tea Party’s favor; combined with the Senate, these races netted the GOP majority an additional 118 members, granting the movement a significant heft in the Republican Party.
Coiled snake “Don’t Tread on Me” banners are popular Tea Party rally motifs. The question now becomes, as these winning candidates take their places in Congress, has the GOP nursed a viper in its bosom?
Several individual contests were of particular note, and deserve special focus.
Playing the Angles
The Mother of all Tea Party contests was the Senate race in Nevada, where GOP challenger Sharron Angle threatened to defeat incumbent Harry Reid, current Senate Majority Leader, a battle of immense symbolic importance which garnered much national attention and a huge influx of out-of-state money on both sides (more than $45 million was spent on this one race alone). In the end, Reid managed to gain more votes, and retains both his seat and his Senate leadership.
Angle’s political positions are extreme, to say the least: she considers the US Department of Education to be unconstitutional, and advocates its abolishment; she is against all abortion, even in the cases of rape or incest; she does not believe in the separation of church and state, supports the Federal Marriage Amendment to ban same-sex marriage, as well as the privatization of Medicare, and would phase out Social Security. She is a global warming denier, has called the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill compensation program a “slush fund,” and supports US withdrawal from the United Nations.
For much of the summer of 2010, Angle was polling well ahead or even with Harry Reid, who is cordially loathed by many Nevadans. But her avoidance of the local and national press and refusal to answer questions on her positions until “when I am the Senator,” and the grassroots campaign to support “none of the above” at the ballot box, eventually wrought a 50/45 split in the vote, in Reid’s favor. It’s a safe bet that if the Nevada GOP had fielded a more mainstream candidate instead of the Tea Party-endorsed Angle, Reid would have gone down to defeat.
Asteroid “Sharon” (#3694) at 23 Virgo on Election Day conjoined the US natal Neptune at 22 Virgo, and, as predicted in my midterm preview article, resulted in a huge disappointment (Neptune) for Angle. Born 26 July 1949, Angle sports a Sun/Mercury conjunction at 2 and 3 Leo, conjoined the Black Hole at 2 Leo, which was stressed by transit Venus retrograde in exact square from 2 Scorpio on Election Day. The Black Hole Sun allowed her to emerge from relative obscurity (Angle had been a Nevada state legislator from 1998-2005, where her frequent opposition to widely supported bills in the 42-member Assembly gave rise to the term “41-to-Angle” to describe vote outcomes) to become the GOP standard-bearer in the 2010 Senate race, only to consign her to obscurity once more.
Mercury here with the Black Hole indicates her reluctance to be forthcoming with the press, as well as the harboring of unorthodox opinions, and the transit square from Venus suggests the denial or obstruction (square) of a long-cherished desire (Venus). Transit Venus retrograded over Angle’s natal asteroid Washingtonia (#886) at 6 Scorpio the week before the election, eroding her support and removing the Capitol from her grasp. Transit Mars at 3 Sagittarius was also conjoined Angle’s natal Chiron at 2 Sag, providing a wounding (Chiron) in a political battle (Mars). In the birth chart, asteroid Reid (#3422) at 21 Cancer opposes Angle’s natal Jupiter at 26 Capricorn, thus effectively blocking her political ambitions (Jupiter).
Former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Sharron Angle on August 17, 2010, with asteroid Sara (#533) at 9 Cancer, in exact trine to the future degree of the Election Day Sun at 9 Scorpio; and transit asteroid Sharon at 4 Virgo, exactly conjoined Angle’s natal Saturn and natal asteroid Anglee (#64291), bringing together celestial referents to both Angle’s names in a stunning combination with her career goals (Saturn). Despite the support suggested by the trine from Sara to the Election Day Sun, Angle’s cause did not prosper.
Season of the Witch
A second Sarah Palin endorsee who failed miserably at the ballot box, denying Republicans another all but certain victory, was Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who wrested her party’s nomination from veteran congressman Mike Castle, widely considered a shoo-in for the general election before the early September primary upset. Tea Party activists propelled O’Donnell over the top in Delaware, helping to cost the GOP a Senate majority.
O’Donnell’s political positions are perhaps not quite as extreme as Angle’s, but she more than makes up for that in her personal life. Like Angle, she opposes abortion in all cases, and has also condemned homosexuality and even masturbation, although she states she does not believe the state has a right to regulate private behavior. She opposes embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and cap and trade legislation; she would vote to repeal the 2010 health care legislation. While she has no government experience, is currently unemployed and has used campaign funds to pay her rent, O’Donnell has run for the Senate twice before—in 2006, when she finished a dismal third in the primary, garnering just 4% of the vote; and in 2008, when she became the Republican nominee by running unopposed in a primary that would pit her against Joe Biden in the general election. At that election, Biden was simultaneously running for Vice President, and O’Donnell finished with 35% of the vote; the 2010 contest is a special election to fill Biden’s former seat.
Shortly after her 6-point win over Castle in the September 14 Delaware primary, comedian Bill Maher released footage of her 1996 guest appearance on his “Politically Incorrect,” where O’Donnell explained an early flirtation with witchcraft (or, as it is more properly termed, based on her description of events, Satanism): ”I dabbled into witchcraft—I never joined a coven … I hung around with people doing these things. … One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it. I mean, there’s a little blood there and stuff like that. We went to a movie and then had a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”
The clip caused an internet sensation, and forced O’Donnell to release what will probably go down as the most bizarre initial campaign ad in US political history, when on October 4 she began her statewide exposure to Delawareans with the bold statement: “I’m not a witch. I’m nothing you’ve heard. I’m you.” The ad was lampooned on “Saturday Night Live” and brought O’Donnell such widespread negative attention that she swore off national interviews, speaking only to local Delaware reporters. O’Donnell’s inexperience, inflated resume (claims that she had studied at Oxford and Princeton were false) unorthodox views (she asserts that evolution is “a myth” and that there is “as much, if not more, evidence supporting [creationism]”) and irregular financial arrangements (a mortgage default, IRS lien for back taxes, and false statements made in her FEC filing) made her a poor fit for Delaware voters, but she still managed to garner 40% of the vote in the general election, losing to Democrat Chris Coons.
Interesting in light of the controversy over her statements on witchcraft, in her birth chart (born 27 August 1969) O’Donnell shows a close conjunction of the Sun at 4 Virgo with asteroid Hekate, goddess of witches, at 0 Virgo, with Hekate further aspected in exact semisextile to natal Mercury (the media) at 0 Libra. When Maher released his video clip of O’Donnell, Hekate and Jupiter were conjunct in the sky, combining witchcraft and politics, with Jupiter (politics) on the Black Hole at 28 Pisces and Hekate conjoined Jupiter’s station degree of 3 Aries, also conjunct a Media-oriented Pulsar. Mercury at 6 Virgo had just conjoined her natal Sun, with Mars in sextile from 1 Scorpio, sparking adverse (Mars) media attention (Mercury).
When Sarah Palin gave O’Donnell her endorsement on 9 September, asteroid Christine (#628) at 22 Leo was conjunct O’Donnell’s natal asteroid Washingtonia at 21 Leo, but also conjoined Nemesis (self-undoing) at 26 Leo, which was opposed by transit Neptune at 26 Aquarius, bringing confusion, disarray and disappointment in its wake. Transit asteroid Sara at 16 Cancer was exactly inconjunct O’Donnell’s natal Mars at 16 Sagittarius, semisquare her natal Sun at 4 Virgo and sextile her natal asteroid Christine at 14 Virgo, but Palin’s endorsement failed to provide the desired boost.
On Election Day transit Christine at 13 Virgo was preparing to return to its natal degree, conjunct one Black Hole (oblivion) at 14 Virgo and squared another at 13 Gemini, semisextile Saturn (loss, restriction) at 11 Libra, and squared asteroid Achilles (fatal flaw) at 11 Gemini.
It’s (Not) Miller Time
One would think that at least on her own home turf, Sarah Palin could promote a winner. Not so. Tea Party-backed and Palin-endorsed radical right GOP nominee Joe Miller went down to defeat in Alaska’s Senate race, overcome by a last-minute write-in campaign mounted by incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, whom Miller had bested in the primary. The unorthodox three-way race caused polling difficulties, as Murkowski could not be named specifically, but was referred to merely as “write-in candidate,” and is a tabulation nightmare, as in cases of misspelling, voter intent must be determined. But when the dust cleared several days after the election, Murkowski emerged victorious, with 41% of the ballots filled for “write-in”, to Miller’s 34%. The validity of that vote is currently being contested by Miller, until the actual name written on the ballots can be verified.
Like Angle and O’Donnell, Miller’s views are extreme: he would abolish the Department of Education, and opposes federal aid programs such as farm subsidies, the minimum wage, and unemployment benefits (despite the fact that Miller’s wife was at one time a recipient of the latter). He supports privatization of Social Security and Medicare, calls the scientific evidence for global warming “dubious at best,” and would vote to repeal both the 2010 health care legislation and the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which would abolish popular election of US Senators and return that decision-making process to state legislatures (which, ironically, would prevent his re-election had he won). He opposes abortion in all cases, but supports the death penalty.
Miller eked out a slim margin of victory in the 31 August Alaska primary, beating Murkowski by just 1600+ votes. Murkowski conceded the same day, despite the existence of some 8600 uncounted absentee ballots, but on September 17th had a change of heart, and determined to fight on as a write-in candidate. As is typical of primary elections, the most energized, extreme elements dominate the selection process, and once the choice has been made, party stalwarts generally coalesce around the nominee. But when Alaskans were given a second, less extreme conservative alternative in Murkowski, Miller’s support eroded rapidly.
There are no asteroids named “Joseph,” but there are two feminine variants of the name, Josefa and Josephina. When Sarah Palin endorsed Joe Miller in his primary fight on 2 June 2010, asteroid Sara at 12 Gemini was exactly trine Miller’s natal (born 5 May 1967) asteroid Josefa (#649) at 12 Libra, with transit asteroid Miller (#1826) at 18 Libra conjoined Miller’s natal Mars at 17 Libra, depicting Palin’s (Sara) support (trine) for Miller’s (Josefa) struggle (Mars/Miller). At the time, asteroid Josephina (#303) was roughly opposing Mars/Miller from 14 Aries, sextile Sara.
At the actual primary election on 31 August, asteroid Josefa at 12 Leo was squared Miller’s natal Sun/Mercury conjunction at 14 and 7 Taurus, and conjoined an energizing Maser at 14 Leo, giving Miller the burst of enthusiasm and excitement which propelled him over the top. Asteroid Josephina at 1 Taurus opposed asteroid Miller at 3 Scorpio, forming a T-Square with the Black Hole at 3 Leo, with both transit Jupiter and Pluto tying to this pattern from 1 Aries and 2 Capricorn respectively, indicating a powerful (Pluto) reversal (Black Hole) of the entrenched, status quo (Capricorn) politics (Jupiter), favoring Joe Miller (Josepha/Miller).
On Election Day, however, asteroid Josefa at 1 Virgo was tightly squared Mars at 3 Sagittarius, denoting a difficult, combative struggle, while also in an out-of-sign opposition to transit Neptune at 25 Aquarius and transit Chiron at 26 Aquarius, suggesting disappointment (Neptune) and a serious wounding (Chiron). Asteroids Miller and Lise (#3976, for Lisa Murkowski) both conjoin the 20 Scorpio Mercury. Lise was a bit closer; at 17 Scorpio it was still approaching conjunction with the planet ruling votes, voters, write-ins and counting, whereas Miller at 24 Scorpio had shot its bolt and was retreating from the Mercury conjunction—Miller’s timing was off, his candidacy had peaked too early, and he was left out in the (literal) cold. Asteroid Josephina at 22 Aries was now exactly opposed asteroid Lise’s degree at 22 Libra for the earlier primary battle, and Lise’s current degree of 17 Scorpio opposed Miller’s natal Sun at 14 Taurus, putting paid to his dream of a Senate career.
And what of Sarah Palin? On Election Day, asteroid Sara sat complacently exactly atop the energy-sucking, reality-twisting, reversal-prompting Black Hole at 28 Cancer, from where it conjoined Joe Miller’s natal Jupiter at 27 Cancer, Christine O’Donnell’s natal Venus at 28 Cancer, and Sharron Angle’s Mercury/Sun conjunction at 2/3 Leo, also opposing Angle’s 26 Capricorn Jupiter. So much for Palin’s influence; she and the Tea Party cost the Republicans control of the Senate in a wave election almost unequaled in American political history.
But is Palin done wreaking havoc with Washington? Asteroid Sara’s tight square to asteroid Washingtonia at 25 Libra on Election Day says, “probably not.”