Alex Miller's Black Hole Astrology

Galactic Profile: Rick Santorum

by Alex Miller on March 1, 2012

Rick Santorum galactic profile

The latest entrant in the GOP primary’s “anybody but Mitt” category is former US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), who, as the last man standing, may just have some staying power, whatever his actual worth as a candidate. Santorum is a good fit for the Republican primary electorate—blue-collar grandson of a coal miner, Catholic but ultra-conservative and an outspoken opponent of women’s reproductive rights and gay rights, Santorum’s conservative bona fides cannot be questioned, unlike the muddled track record that is Mitt Romney. And when he speaks to middle class economic concerns, Santorum makes an impact; but then the cultural issues emerge, and people remember just how far removed from mainstream values he actually is.

The recent flak over the Obama administration’s decision to drag Catholic institutions kicking and screaming into the 21st century by requiring them to provide preventive contraception services for their employees was an almost literal godsend for Santorum, in whose wheelhouse such issues play very well indeed. Santorum swept three contests the week after the controversy broke, easily winning caucuses in Minnesota (beating Romney 27%-10%) and Colorado (34%-12%), and a primary in Missouri (23%-13%). Santorum had also ultimately won the first contest, the Iowa caucus, on January 3, but was cheated of the momentum of that win by a flawed tabulation process which initially had him 8 votes behind Romney (finally finishing 34 votes ahead).

No actual delegates were awarded in these February 7 contests, the results of all three being non-binding, so Santorum’s steep uphill climb for the GOP nomination hasn’t gotten any easier. But the results show how fatally flawed Romney’s candidacy can appear, and Santorum has used the momentum from these wins to surge well ahead of the former Massachusetts governor in polls, both nationally and even in Romney’s home state of Michigan, with its February 28 primary.

On paper, Santorum reads well for conservatives, and he is undeniably among the most authentic personalities in the race. Born in Winchester, VA and raised in a Pittsburgh, PA suburb, Santorum and his wife Karen Garver have seven children (or eight if you, like the Senator, count Gabriel Michael Santorum, the 20-week old fetus his wife gave birth to prematurely, and whose picture once adorned Santorum’s Senate office). In 2008 Santorum’s youngest daughter Bella was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic defect resulting in a third set of the 18th chromosome, and has just a 1% chance of surviving to adulthood.

Santorum’s political career has shown him as something of a conservative Boy Wonder. Undergraduate and post-graduate work at undistinguished western Pennsylvania academic institutions culminated in a law degree from Dickinson in 1986, and in 1990, at age 32, Santorum was elected to the US House of Representatives. Four years later he defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Harris Wofford in the 1994 GOP landslide which placed Republicans in charge of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Ironically, Wofford’s initial election in 1991 had been an early bellwether of Bush Sr’s growing unpopularity, leading to his electoral defeat in 1992, and in 2006 Santorum, defending that same seat, became a casualty in part of Bush Jr’s political legacy, going down to defeat by 17 points, the largest margin of any Pennsylvania incumbent senator in the state’s history.

In his first Senate term, Santorum kept a fairly low profile on most controversial issues, with the exception of abortion, becoming one of the leaders in the Senate fight to outlaw the “partial birth” abortion procedure. But after re-election in 2000 and the installation of the Bush junta, Santorum’s true colors became more obvious.

In 2001 the “Santorum Amendment” to the No Child Left Behind bill attempted to insert the teaching of Intelligent Design into public curricula by mandating that “a full range of views” on evolutionary science be presented in the classroom. The amendment was defeated, and public reaction led Santorum to realize he had over-stepped. In 2005 he reversed his earlier position in an NPR interview, stating that he was now “not comfortable” with the teaching of ID in public schools. Howls from the right ensued.

Santorum was a sponsor of the thrice-failed Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which would have required employers to accommodate their worker’s religious observances while on the job. In that vein, his opposition to the new HHS regulations regarding coverage of contraception by Catholic institutions is not surprising, but his upping the ante in opposing contraception itself is.

In interviews given during the height of the controversy, Santorum described contraception as “not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage … for purposes that are … procreative.” To be fair, he has also stated that contraception should be available to the general population, only opposing its coverage in health insurance policies provided by institutions who have moral objections to its use.

Santorum’s stance on abortion is less compromising. He opposes abortion in all instances, and even decries prenatal diagnostic methods such as amniocentesis as undesirable due to the abortions that might result if prospective parents are made aware of their children’s genetic defects in advance of the birth. On the issue of termination of pregnancies caused by rape or incest, Santorum has stated “I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created—in the sense of rape—but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you,” counseling rape victims to “make the best of a bad situation.”

Santorum is equally dismissive of gay rights and a staunch supporter of traditional marriage. A widely publicized 2003 quote, during the Supreme Court’s examination of Texas sodomy laws outlawing homosexual acts, conflated gay sex with pedophilia and bestiality, and affirmed his stance on the definition of marriage:

”Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that’s what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.“

If traditionally horse-racing was the sport of kings, then politics is the sport of modern king-makers, made possible by the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, which opened the floodgates for unlimited financing in support of candidates by corporations, individuals and unions. Like Gingrich, Santorum has his own pet millionaire, Foster Friess, whose contributions to the pro-Santorum “Red, White & Blue Fund” SuperPAC have largely kept the former Pennsylvania senator in the race. Whatever his perceived qualities, Santorum’s campaign has been run on a shoestring, and he consistently polled well below five percent before the implosion of all the other “anti-Mitt” contenders. Their gradual departure from the field has essentially left Santorum as the only viable alternative to Romney’s candidacy, so anathema to staunch conservatives.

Born 10 May 1958 (no birth time available), Santorum’s natal chart well reflects his character and ambitions. The Sun at 19 Taurus falls within the event horizon, or orb of influence, of one Black Hole at 16 Taurus, and is also exactly aspected to two others, by trine to the anomaly at 19 Capricorn and inconjunct to another at 19 Sagittarius. Black Hole Sun natives can be compelling and magnetic, easily attracting others into their orbits, for good or ill, and Santorum’s early electoral successes can be attributed in part to these links. As a Taurus Sun, he is also tenacious, as evidenced by his ability to struggle back from political oblivion after his devastating 2006 defeat, and reinsert himself onto the national stage.

The Sun conjoins centaur Nessus at 23 Taurus, making issues of sexual impropriety a high priority for Santorum, something self-defining which forms a large part of how others see him. As with all such contacts, what we do not own in ourselves we project onto others, and Santorum’s apparent lack of sexual adventurousness personally has been channeled into condemnation of others not so inhibited.

There is also a conjunction to asteroid Hygiea at 16 Taurus, perhaps the source of his “squeaky clean” persona and the sense that he is somewhat squeamish about the practical mechanics of human sexual expression, preferring to consign such baser urgings to the antiseptic realms of intellectual debate or theoretical solutions for perceived social ills stemming from others’ more overt sexuality.

The Sun forms the apex of a loose Yod, or Finger of Destiny, involving inconjunct aspects to both asteroid Sappho at 14 Sagittarius and TNO Quaoar at 15 Libra. Sappho relates to themes of homosexuality, while Quaoar resonates to issues constellating about reproduction, including abortion and contraception, which together form a very concise picture of the image Santorum presents and the issues upon which he propounds most frequently, which collectively have propelled him into a position of popularity and influence well above the national profile of most US Senators.

The Sun is also involved in a Grand Cross composed of squares to asteroids Richard (#3972, “Rick” Santorum’s given first name) and Isis at 19 Leo and Chiron at 22 Aquarius, and an opposition to asteroid America at 24 Scorpio retrograde. Both the Sun and Richard here connect Santorum very personally to this pattern, and to America, which, significantly, is retrograde, reflecting his backward stance on the country’s future. The Santorum campaign’s basic rationale is an attempt to turn back the clock and restore the nation to the Right’s idealized, 1950s-style hagiographic image of the US, where dad went out to earn a living while mom stayed home to tend the kids, everybody went to church, and minorities knew their place.

Isis here is also significant, as her myth relates in part to the attempt to reunite the sundered bits of her husband Osiris and reconstitute the dead past, much in the way Santorum seeks to revive an America that never really existed. Perhaps even more significantly, the one part of Osiris which Isis cannot find, and thus has to recreate from nothing, is his penis, reflecting Santorum’s apparent desire to remake human sexuality into something more amenable to his notions of it.

These are in great measure determined by Santorum’s Venus and Mars placements. Mars at 9 Pisces is opposed the Black Hole at 9 Virgo and squared both the Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius and the Maser at 7 Gemini. This is the signature of one who is sex-obsessed, and since Santorum’s private life is presumably above reproach, this energy has found its outlet in his prurience and the Puritanism which he attempts to inflict on everyone else. It is also a marker of the rather atypical fecundity of his wife’s eight pregnancies and their seven children.

The Santorum family

The Santorum family

Masers are volatile, highly energized stellar remnants, and its influence over Mars here can be seen in the Senator’s rather uncompromising and controversial stands on sexual issues, particularly homosexuality and abortion. Mars is also exactly semisextile TNO Eris at 9 Aries, noted for her capacity to be disagreeable and sow dissention, discord and strife, certainly a side effect of Santorum’s stance on issues of sexuality.

Venus at 5 Aries falls on the open leg of a Galactic T-Square of energies comprised of the Black Holes at 4 Cancer and Capricorn, and a Quasar at 5 Libra, which Venus exactly opposes. Black Hole Venus can have very odd ideas about relating and intimacy, and Santorum’s image of women in general is likely skewed by this contact. The Quasar linked with Venus puts Santorum’s values very prominently on display, as Quasars, among the brightest objects in the universe, shine a brilliant spotlight upon whatever they touch, like setting a beacon on a hilltop. Whatever you may think of his moral stance, one is never in doubt as to what that is.

Santorum likes to portray himself as an almost penniless servant of the people, but Venus/Quasar is highly acquisitive and largely successful financially; in conjunction with the stealth attributes of the Black Hole and its desire for acquisition, it seems unlikely that his financial picture is quite as bleak as the one he paints. And indeed, although he may have been a borderline pauper by Senate standards while in office, since his defeat in 2006, Santorum’s financial prospects have soared. He has made millions as a contributor to Fox News and in consulting and lobbying work for corporations and advocacy groups.

Mercury is exactly conjunct a Black Hole at 24 Aries, and opposes natal Jupiter at 23 Libra. Forthright and unambiguous in true Aries style, Santorum often verbally rushes in where others fear to tread, frequently tripping over his own tongue in the process. He cannot seem to prevent himself from rhetorical over-reach, a common manifestation of Mercury/Jupiter contacts.

Again, his speech can be compelling and persuasive, both Black Hole Mercury hallmarks, but there is a darker side to his pronouncements, one in which a more totalitarian agenda of intolerance and bigotry can be apprehended (and as signaled by the Black Hole’s need for control); through his utterances, Santorum is his own worst enemy.

Mercury is also conjunct asteroid Niobe at 23 Aries, noted for excessive pride, and squares asteroid Hybris at 18 Capricorn, representing arrogance. Many of Santorum’s utterances have a somewhat condescending, almost sneering attitude, as if he is scornful of the very need to explain his views to others, who are too uninformed or unenlightened to understand them. An exact trine from Mercury to natal Saturn at 24 Sagittarius indicates the ease (trine) with which he adopts conservative (Saturn) precepts and policy positions (Mercury).

Jupiter and Neptune make an interesting pair in this nativity, governing as they do between them the twin aspects of religious affiliation or dogma and deeper spiritual ethic. Just barely conjunct at 23 Libra and 2 Scorpio, their Sign dissonance makes them uncomfortable bedfellows. While Jupiter in Libra might ordinarily seem inclined to tolerance, or at least an ability to see opposing views, in Santorum’s case this seems to have been perverted into a rather Old Testament view of justice and condemnation, his caveats regarding homosexual persons as opposed to their acts aside (he affects to endorse the stereotypical fundamentalist “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach, a dodge to avoid owning their homophobia). This may be due to Neptune’s rather more strident placement in Scorpio, coloring his spiritual views with a highly sexualized overlay. For Santorum’s true religious ethic has much more to do with genitalia than generosity, it is more about carnality than charity.

As noted above, Jupiter opposes one Black Hole but is also conjoined another, at 22 Libra, and it further trines a Quasar at 25 Aquarius, while Neptune conjoins one Quasar at 4 Scorpio, opposes another at 4 Taurus, is sandwiched between two Black Holes (at 28 Libra and 6 Scorpio), and is square to a third Black Hole at 2 Leo. Quasar/Black Hole combinations can be very powerful, allowing the native not only to develop his own unique vision of reality (Black Hole) in the areas governed by the affected planet, but also to successfully put that vision into effect in this world (Quasar).

Jupiter is also squared to an intriguing exact triple conjunction of asteroids Washingtonia, Atropos and Ceres at 29 Cancer, which combines Santorum’s politics (Jupiter) with the nation’s capital (Washingtonia) and the issues of family generally and motherhood specifically (both Ceres) and end-of-life or termination-of-life concerns (Atropos, named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death), all in the traditionalist, hearth-and-home-oriented sign of Cancer. All of this is yet another indicator of what most strongly motivates Santorum philosophically and politically (both Jupiter concerns).

Saturn at 24 Sagittarius is exactly conjunct a Pulsar and just two degrees away from the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center. This denotes a very significant role to play in public affairs, quite possibly with global import. The Saturn/Pulsar connection also speaks to a somewhat adversarial relationship with the press, for whom he acts as a lightning rod on conservative (Saturn) issues. Its conjunction with a Black Hole is indicative of the rapid career advancement and upset victories which marked his earlier races, as well as the anomaly of his comparative youth at the time. Its hand can also be seen in the severe loss which returned him to the private sector in 2006, as reversal of fortune is a major theme when Black Holes are active.

When the Iowa caucuses were initially awarded to Romney on January 3, asteroid Richard at 20 Leo retrograde was exactly semisextile pugilist Mars at 20 Virgo, but asteroid Willaert (for Willard “Mitt” Romney) at 20 Capricorn was in a stronger trine aspect to Mars, and seemed to grant the Massachusetts governor the victory, only to snatch it away again as Mars turned retrograde (going back into matters previously considered settled) late that month. But an astute observer of the heavens could also point to Richard’s tight square to Asbolus at 21 Taurus, named for a mythic centaur who read auguries from the patterns of birds in flight, which represents keeping a finger on the pulse of events and observing trends. It seemed as if the electoral winds might be about to blow Santorum’s way.

It took another month for this latent potential to manifest, but Santorum’s sweep of the February 7 primaries was no fluke either, astrologically speaking. A full Moon that day straddling 18 Leo and Aquarius, with the Sun conjoined by Mercury (votes) also at 18 Aquarius, focused energy very tightly on his 19 Taurus Sun, 19 Leo Richard, and further energized the remaining arms of the natal Grand Cross, Chiron at 22 Aquarius and America at 24 Scorpio, forcibly bringing Santorum to the attention of the nation. Transit Richard at 12 Leo was also hit by the Moon, while Washingtonia and Pluto combined at 5 and 8 Capricorn, perhaps spelling an upcoming transformation in national politics.

Pluto moved to 9 Capricorn to exactly square Santorum’s natal Eris at 9 Aries as of late February 2012, and will remain at that degree for its April station and into late May. This will likely evoke a period of strife or division in the campaign, and certainly highlights the former Senator’s breathtaking ability to ruffle others’ feathers. And it’s a fact that Santorum’s mid- and late-February pronouncements began to stir the pot quite a bit, with his outdated, inflammatory comments on the undesirability of everything from contraception and prenatal diagnostics to college education, in true Eris “rub ‘em the wrong way” style. Excoriated not only by liberals but also members of his own Party concerned by the effect of his statements on the GOP’s image on the much-sought-after Independent vote, by late February Santorum was essentially unable to utter without immediate condemnation and intense scrutiny of every word.

How would Santorum fare in the general election, should he beat the odds and attain his party’s nomination? Like many Republican candidates, Santorum’s nativity is hit strongly by the upcoming Solar Eclipse of 13 November at 21 Scorpio, less than a week after the election. In the Senator’s case, the eclipse falls closely opposed the natal Sun at 19 Taurus and highlights the natal Grand Cross including a conjunction with asteroid America at 24 Scorpio, a potential indicator of support from the country, and a square to natal asteroid Richard at 19 Leo, bringing heightened focus on Santorum personally. The transit Sun is also within orb of opposition to the natal Sun on Election Day itself, and at 14 Scorpio is tightly squared a Black Hole at 13 Aquarius, compelling unexpected outcomes and unforeseen opportunities, while trined to natal Mars at 9 Pisces, perhaps lending support for a win.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, typically attired

Transit asteroid Richard at 23 Libra is an exact match for Santorum’s natal Jupiter, boosting his political prospects; also opposed his natal Mercury, this could signal ballot box success. Transit Mars at 21 Sagittarius conjoins natal Saturn at 24 Sagittarius, another potential indicator of victory in a career matter. Jupiter, the Greater Benefic and ruler of politics, lies at 14 Gemini, squared natal Mars, while Mercury, arbiter of the decision-making process and voting in general, also squares Mars from the Black Hole at 4 Sagittarius.

One major potentially negative factor is transit Saturn, representing the presidency itself, which at 3 Scorpio closely conjoins natal Neptune at 2 Scorpio, a possible signal of career (Saturn) disappointment (Neptune). Alternately, the combination of Saturn and Neptune in this particular case could also spell Santorum being swept into office on a flood of fundamentalist fervor, so the aspect can cut either way.

In the aftermath of his impressive winning streak on February 7, Santorum’s increased access to the press had the predictable effect upon his candidacy—his rhetoric caught up with him, and an impressive lead on Romney in Michigan was squandered in a miasma of irrefutably divisive and nonsensical soundbites. Even at this, Santorum finished a close second in Michigan on February 28, losing 38%-41% to the state’s native son, whose father had been an American Motors chairman and Michigan’s governor in the ‘60s. But the momentum of his campaign was broken, and with a second win in Arizona that same night, Romney seems poised to claim his prize.

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