On April 27, 2011, US President Barack Obama released the much-anticipated long form of his birth certificate, perhaps laying to rest persistent rumors that he was in fact not born in America, and thus not a US citizen, and ineligible for the presidency. At one point in recent months, up to 51% of likely Republican primary voters definitely believed Obama was born elsewhere, with only 38% of the general population willing to credit his avowed birthplace beyond a shadow of a doubt. The controversy stems in part from the “certificate of live birth” which is the standard birth record released by Hawaii, where Obama was born on 4 August 1961. Not as detailed as a typical birth certificate, the form was backed up by official records which had not been released earlier, due to Hawaiian state privacy laws, but which now appear on the long form.
Obama initially released the short form of his birth record in June 2008, right after locking up the Democratic nomination, when rumors first began to circulate that the Illinois Senator was born abroad, and could not legally hold the office to which he had just been nominated. The first legal challenges to his presidency emerged barely a week after his November election victory, and the drumbeat of disbelief has grown apace with conservative discontent, often focused in elements of the so-called Tea Party. The whisper campaign grew into a shouting match, culminating in a month-long series of broadsides from GOP 2012 presidential hopeful Donald Trump, which made the story a seemingly endless one on mainstream media outlets throughout late March and April 2011. The distraction had finally grown so great that it prompted the White House to petition for a copy of the original, which the President disclosed at a Wednesday morning press conference.
A recently discovered minor planet may shed some light on the controversy. Haumea is a TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) from the Kuiper Belt, in Pluto’s neighborhood, found in 2005 but only named in September 2008, as the birther controversy developed. Haumea’s mythic roots lie in the story of the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth, progenitress of the Hawaiian race and mother of several deities. Haumea is a creative energy which can represent the figurative “birth” of anything new (as seen in her recent conjunction with Egypt’s natal Saturn, which helped to bring down the Mubarak regime and birthed a new form of government), but she also has a very straightforward application, and the fact of Obama’s Hawaiian birth seems to underscore this more prosaic side of the Hawaiian goddess’ nature. For Haumea’s celestial fingerprints are all over the most celebrated birth data dispute of our day, almost as if she wants to beat us over the head with it.
Now confirmed as born at 7:24 PM AHST in Honolulu, Hawaii on 4 August 1961, Barack Obama’s birth chart has a very apt Haumea placement for the birther drama in which he has become embroiled. At 0 Virgo, Haumea is part of a string of points including Uranus at 25 Leo, Kassandra at 26 Leo, the North Node at 27 Leo, a Black Hole at 28 Leo, a Pulsar at 2 Virgo, and Pluto atop a second Black Hole at 6 Virgo. These appear in the Seventh House of relationships, representing how we interact with others and how they see us based on that interaction. Uranus’ conjunction with the 18 Leo Descendant pulls the entire pattern into an angular affinity, making it all the stronger. The conjunction of Haumea with Uranus is a clear signature of “alien-ness”—the other, the stranger, the foreign element—in short, exactly what Obama has been accused of, birth in a foreign land. Pluto here suggests a power play of some sort, likely involving manipulation or secretive action, bent on control and having connections with biological processes, DNA and reproduction.
Kassandra’s involvement in the pattern is particularly apt, representing as she does the speaking of truth without being believed, which is exactly the position Obama found himself in regarding his place of birth. The North Node represents something which drives our destiny, something inherently positive, but which we often don’t want to face or deal with. In fact, the birther controversy was probably helping Obama, making his opponents seem ridiculous, but not confronting the issue head-on also had its cost, and eventually the President was forced to tackle the issue directly. The galactic points, too, well describe the situation—the Pulsar close by Haumea identifies this as a media magnet, a circumstance rightly or wrongly judged newsworthy and garnering huge public attention. The Black Holes speak to the establishment of an alternate reality many will buy into: without a shred of evidence to support it, literally millions of Americans accepted the idea that their President was a foreigner with no right to his office.
Haumea is also at the apex, or focal point, of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to both Jupiter, ruling politics, at 0 Aquarius, and Juno, again representing relatedness but also mutual trust and understanding, betrayal, subtle manipulation and power games, projection, suspicion and jealousy. All these factor into the psychological make-up of the subset of Americans who embraced the myth that Obama is not a US citizen. Embittered by the loss of the 2008 election, unwilling to accept that their voice would no longer be heard, incapable of understanding that the country was moving forward and leaving them behind, these discontented persons grasped at any straw affording them comfort.
Haumea is further in square to the 3 Gemini Moon, ruling the public and reconnecting to the maternal, childhood, birth theme, while opposing Chiron on a Quasar at 5 Pisces, representing a highly public (Quasar) wound or potential incapacity (Chiron). A sextile to Neptune (deception, falsehoods, inability to perceive or accept reality) at 8 Scorpio completes its astrological profile in Obama’s chart.
During the inception period of the controversy, Haumea quite appropriately was transiting the USA’s natal Saturn at 14 Libra, symbol of the chief executive, naturally calling into question the births of its presidential candidates (interestingly, John McCain, Obama’s eventual 2008 opponent, was born abroad, at a US naval base in Panama, which is, however, adjudged American soil). With an orbital period of 285 years, Haumea’s celestial progress is slow, and it reached this degree for the first time in US history (see note below) in the late autumn and early winter of 2006/2007, just as Obama’s campaign began to ratchet up, and was exactly conjunct the USA Saturn when Obama made his candidacy official in February 2007.
The issue first reared its head in early June 2008 (earlier attempts by the Hillary Clinton campaign to throw doubt on Obama’s orientation and mindset due to his Kenyan antecedents and Malaysian early education did not go so far as to question his citizenship), and when Obama released the short form of his birth certificate on 12 June 2008, Haumea had retreated to 13 Libra, exactly atop a reality-warping Black Hole. The bizarre notion had gotten a foothold on American politics that would not be dispelled for three years.
When the short form was made public, transit Saturn (official documentation) at 3 Virgo was conjunct Obama’s natal Haumea (and exactly squared his Moon, the public), with transit Pluto (power plays and manipulation) at 0 Capricorn in exact trine. Transit Mercury (records, the media) at 14 Gemini was trine transit Haumea at 13 Libra, while transit asteroid Barry (for Barack, the name by which he was known in youth) at 7 Virgo was conjoined both Obama’s natal Haumea and Pluto, suggesting a possible chink in his armor from the issue.
It didn’t take long for legal challenges to ensue after Obama’s election. Within barely a week, the first court case was filed in California disputing his right to the office (like all subsequent challenges, this was thrown out of court for lack of evidence). At the time, November 13, 2008, transit Haumea at 15 Libra had moved one degree past the natal USA Saturn to conjoin a spotlighting Quasar, bringing further public notice to the issue. A combination of Barry and Mercury at 13/14 Scorpio lay semisextile to Haumea, spelling media attention (Mercury) about his origins for the President-elect (Barry), and these in turn were sextile transit Saturn (the law) at 19 Virgo and squared Obama’s natal Sun (his self-identity) at 12 Leo. Haumea was also squared transit Jupiter at 18 Capricorn, further cementing the political nature of the charges.
The lawyer who filed this first challenge was Orly Taitz, a leading proponent of the birther movement, who has gone on to file six similar suits. On 2 August 2009, Taitz went so far as to produce a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama, since proved a laughable forgery. Among other inconsistencies, the August 1961 document purports to originate in the “Republic of Kenya”; simple advance fact-checking would have alerted Taitz to the fact that Kenya was not declared a republic until December 1964. When the fake was introduced, transit Haumea had returned to conjoin the USA Saturn exactly, in sextile to the transit Sun at 10 Leo and Obama’s natal Sun at 12 Leo, with transit Mercury at 28 Leo exactly on the alternate reality-producing Black Hole and conjunct Obama’s Uranus(alien)/Kassandra(disbelief).
Despite this refutation of the only “evidence” ever brought to bear against Obama’s genuine citizenship, the controversy continued to percolate on the far right, and eventually began to erode Obama’s support in more mainstream audiences. Fueled by discontent over the state of the economy and worry about the rising deficit and national debt, stoked by GOP lies about the Healthcare Reform bill, polls showed a steady rise in Americans’ willingness to believe the unbelievable, that somehow Hawaiian and US State Department officials had conspired over four decades ago to grant citizenship to a mixed race child whose roots were so humble his mother once lived on food stamps, all in hopes of one day establishing a radical Socialist dictatorship via his presidency. By the spring of 2011, at least tacit support for questioning the authenticity of Obama’s birth record had become a virtual article of faith for Republican presidential hopefuls, and a sure route to garnering attention from the fringe elements required to win the nomination.
Enter Donald J. Trump, who on March 23, 2011 sounded the first clarion call of a potential presidential run when he appeared on ABC’s “The View” and publically questioned Obama’s birth certificate, stating he had launched an investigation into the matter in Hawaii. In venue after venue, Trump kept up the pressure, to the virtual exclusion of all other political news in April, while his poll numbers climbed and he eclipsed all comers for the Republican nomination.
Even without reference to Trump’s birth chart, his motivation in prolonging the controversy is clear, but the symbolism of the chart is so elegant, it bears examination. Born 14 June 1946, Trump’s natal Haumea at 16 Leo conjoins his natal Pluto at 10 Leo, and both conjoin Obama’s natal Sun and Descendant. More, Trump’s Haumea sits on the midpoint of his Uranus/Jupiter trine, from 17 Gemini to 17 Libra, thus in sextile to each. Together, this spells an opportunistic (sextile) power play (Pluto) originating in a birth issue (Haumea), based in xenophobic (Uranus) politics (Jupiter), and centered on (conjunction) Obama’s (Sun) relationship (Descendant) with the nation. When Trump first voiced his suspicions, transit Haumea at 17 Libra was exactly conjunct his natal Jupiter (politics), and fresh from its station conjunction with transit Saturn (the presidency) in January, which now lay exactly atop the USA Saturn at 14 Libra, both points opposing transit Jupiter at 13 Aries.
When Obama released the long form of his birth certificate, confirming his US citizenship, on 27 April 2011, transit Haumea still at 17 Libra was involved in a Grand Trine with transit Saturn, now at 12 Libra and exactly sextile Obama’s Sun; asteroid Kassandra on a Black Hole at 13 Aquarius, revisiting the issues of belief in truth and the establishment of a parallel reality; and asteroid Achilles at 16 Gemini, indicating the Achilles heel, or congenital weak spot, that Obama was now attempting to eradicate. Mercury at 13 Aries transforms this Grand Trine into a kite pattern, showing the birth record and the media’s dissemination of it (both Mercury) as the driver of the moment, the activating force in the latent potential of the Grand Trine.
The Sun at 7 Taurus conjunct a controversy-provoking Maser is also exactly trine to transit Pluto at 7 Capricorn, indicating the attempt to regain support (trine) for his personal (Sun) power base (Pluto), while an exact conjunction of Jupiter and TNO Eris, named for the Greek goddess of strife and discord, at 21 Aries aptly describes the political division and dissent that characterized the issue. Transit Neptune at 0 Pisces was exactly opposed Obama’s natal Haumea, exposing (opposition) the deception (Neptune) for what it was, and bringing final clarity (also opposition) to the dispute over his birth (Haumea). Asteroid Barry at 3 Leo was conjunct a Black Hole and had just conjoined Obama’s natal Mercury (the media, press conference, birth record) at 2 Leo when the President (Barry) made this final attempt to yank everyone out of the parallel reality (Black Hole) created by the birthers.
But will this end the controversy? Not if Orly Taitz has anything to say about it. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the embattled attorney, now facing disbarment, an opportunity to challenge the summary dismissal of her first case against Obama. Appearing on May 3, just days after the release on the long form birth certificate, Taitz attempted to refute the document, stating, “Analysis shows it is not a true and correct image of his birth certificate but a creative computer image.”
Some people never give up.
* It is interesting to note that the only other President whose citizenship was ever challenged was Republican Chester A. Arthur, who was alleged during the 1880 campaign to have been born in Canada, his father’s homeland. The possibility continues to be an intriguing historical footnote, though it was discounted at the time. During the 1880 campaign, transit Haumea in late Taurus and early Gemini was in a significant sesquiquadrate (135 degree) aspect to the US Saturn, describing the presidency.