[Editor’s note: read Alex’s post-election reflections on this prediction here.]
In November 2010, Wisconsin voters went to the polls and elected first-time governor Scott Walker. Walker defeated Democratic challenger Tom Barrett with 52% of the vote, to Barrett’s 47%.
The new Republican governor took office on January 3, 2011, and within six weeks the state had erupted into massive protests against Walker’s draconian budget cuts and attempts to castrate the public workers’ unions by eliminating most collective bargaining rights. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators essentially took over the Capitol building for weeks, and desperate Democratic lawmakers, outgunned in both houses of the legislature, fled the state to prevent a quorum vote on the governor’s policies.
Opposition was so strong that almost immediately, recall attempts were mooted, but Wisconsin state law prevents the recall of any public official who has served less than one year of his or her term. Frustrated in their goal, opposition leaders determined to try to nullify Walker’s power by overturning the Republican majority in the Wisconsin Senate, and in the summer of 2011, six sitting Republican senators faced recall. Only two were defeated, bringing the chamber to parity, but narrowly retaining Republican control.
In November, the gubernatorial recall effort went into full swing. In 2010, Walker had won the race with 1.1 million votes; by January 2012, almost one million signatures were received on recall petitions, nearly twice the 540,000 required to certify a recall election. That tally represents 23% of the totality of registered Wisconsin voters, 46% of the actual votes cast in 2010, and comes within a hair’s breadth of Walker’s 2010 vote total. Walker easily won a recall election primary in May, and once again faces Democrat Tom Barrett, current mayor of Milwaukee, in a replay of the 2010 election. The general recall election is set for June 5.
Walker raised more than $25 million for his recall campaign, much of it from out-of-state donors, and has outspent his Democratic rival 25 to 1. Both parties consider the recall crucial in national efforts to curb or validate GOP efforts to impose fiscal austerity and erode workers’ rights. If Walker loses the recall, he will be only the third US governor to be recalled.
The transit sky for June 5 is a fraught amalgam of deep space and minor planet influences, which seems to point clearly to a Walker defeat. Dominating the day is a remarkable Grand Cross, based in a rare triple conjunction of the Sun, retrograde Venus, and TNO Chaos, all at 15 Gemini, and closely joined by asteroid Barrett (#111558) at 14 Gemini, while aligning like a bullseye opposed Tom Barrett’s (born 8 December 1953) natal Sun at 16 Sagittarius. Lending emphasis are a rare transit by Venus of the Sun that day, and a Lunar Eclipse the day before at 14 Sagittarius, conjoined Barrett’s natal Sun and exactly opposed asteroid Barrett.
Filling in the Grand Cross are oppositions to asteroids Nemesis (divine retribution, avenging agent) at 16 Sagittarius (exact on Barrett’s Sun) and Hidalgo (champion of the oppressed) at 13 Sagittarius, with squares to Mars (conflict, challenge) at 16 Virgo and asteroid Niobe (excessive pride resulting in a fall) at 16 Pisces. Underpinning the Grand Cross is a permanent superstructure of deep space energies, comprised of Black Holes at 13 Gemini, 14 Virgo, 18 Sagittarius and 16 Pisces.
Having so much Black Hole energy active on the day makes astrological prediction hazardous, as these deep space behemoths delight in the unexpected outcome, the sudden, complete reversal of the status quo and its substitution by an alternate reality. With Black Holes, things are also not always as they seem, allowing for behind-the-scenes trickery or manipulation of events. Given the Sun/Venus conjunction with TNO Chaos, there could be an advanced level of confusion or disorder, perhaps affecting voting or tabulation, as voters review their values (Venus retrograde) and determine what is truly important to them.
Nemesis and Hidalgo opposed the Sun certainly argue for a change, a revolution, a karmic comeuppance for prior misdeeds, with these energies of vengeance and championship of the people focused directly on challenger Tom Barrett, both via implication, as conjoined his natal Sun, and specifically, as opposed transit asteroid Barrett. Mars in square indicates a difficult challenge, a no-holds-barred competition, while Niobe here shows the cause of the conflict to be rooted in excessive pride, an arrogant assurance that one’s position is secure and unassailable.
Scott Walker gave the game away in a January 2011 conversation with a financial backer, which just surfaced, where he clearly states that the assault on government workers’ unions has nothing to do with budgetary issues as publicized, but rather is based in a carefully crafted long term strategy of “divide and conquer”, with the ultimate goal of breaking private sector unions and transforming Wisconsin into a right-to-work state.
The arrogance of Walker’s statement evokes Niobe’s prideful assertion that her own heritage, position and accomplishments were superior to others’, and her own children were more to be esteemed than Leto’s divine offspring by Zeus. Incensed, Leto prevailed upon Apollo and Artemis to slay all 14 of Niobe’s children, whereupon her husband killed himself out of grief. The myth relates to the hubris of asserting one’s superiority and neglecting or discounting the feelings or value of others, leading to a devastating reversal and loss of everything one prizes.
As appropriate as all that is, it is even more remarkable that this pattern should be influenced by 3 unusual celestial phenomena within 24 hours of the recall—a Lunar Eclipse, a transit of Venus over the Sun, and an occultation of Pluto by the Moon.
The Lunar Eclipse at 14 Sagittarius the day before the recall sets the tone for all three eclipse-like events, and shows the Moon eclipsed in opposition to the recall Sun, energizing the Grand Cross and particularly highlighting Nemesis and Hidalgo by conjunction. As a Lunar Eclipse it is likely to provoke a very emotional response in the electorate, which will be volatile and changeable in its affections (the Black Hole contacts).
On the day of the recall itself, Venus will pass before the face of the Sun, blotting out an incredibly tiny but measurable amount of its light. Venus transits are rare, occurring twice in cycles eight years apart, which repeat roughly every century and a quarter. Values and ethics are highlighted by this conjunction, made all the more potent by the transit. Venus’ retrograde status suggests a review or reappraisal by Wisconsin voters of their priorities and values.
Also that day, the Moon makes its third of 19 successive occultations of Pluto, another rare celestial event, and one which hasn’t occurred since the 1930s. In essence, the Moon eclipses Pluto, blocking out its influence, an image here of the populace (Moon) unseating the Powers That Be (Pluto).
Two additional Grand Cross patterns inform the day, and reflect negatively on Scott Walker’s position. Asteroid Scott (#876) at 4 Aries is exactly conjoined Pallas, strategist-in-chief of the Greek pantheon, evoking Walker’s union-busting agenda, and closely conjunct Uranus, planet of shocks, surprises, upsets, rebellion and revolution.
Scott is opposed TNO Typhon (named for the Greek Titan/storm god from which we derive the word “typhoon”), indicating the storms Walker is facing. It squares Black Holes at 4 Cancer and 5 Capricorn, illustrating the volatility of his situation and the likelihood of dramatic alterations in his fortunes. Scott is also more broadly squared to transit Pluto at 8 Capricorn, which on the night of the recall election receives that occultation from the Moon.
Scott squared Pluto suggests some degree of conflict or challenge (square) focused on Walker’s (Scott) personal power (Pluto), with the Moon lending the emphasis of the public, who are about to decide upon the limits of that power. Scott also squares asteroid Karma at 7 Cancer, suggesting that past actions catch up with Walker, to be punished or rewarded.
But most striking is the Grand Cross composed of asteroid Walker (#6372) at 22 Cancer,
- exactly conjoined TNO Varuna and
- within orb of asteroids Eurydike at 19 Cancer and Sisyphus at 20 Cancer,
- exactly opposed asteroid Sauer at 22 Capricorn,
- exactly squared TNO Eris at 22 Aries conjoined asteroid Kassandra at 20 Aries, and
- further squared TNO Rhadamanthus at 19 Libra and Saturn at 23 Libra.
Varuna is an energy that relates to one’s legacy, which is surely at risk for Walker. Astrologer Linda Berry also describes Varuna as challenging authority. Mythically, Varuna is noted for catching liars in his snares.
Eurydike represents the futile harkening back to what has been irretrievably lost, which may be Walker’s political career. Sisyphus represents the repetition of a task, with no hope of success. Having to repeat the 2010 election with the same opponent is certainly evocative of this energy.
Eris, named for the Greek goddess of strife and discord, indicates the discontent of the voters of Wisconsin for Walker’s policies, and the divisive, fractious atmosphere they have fostered. Kassandra speaks to credibility—do voters believe Walker’s assertions that he is acting for the best, for the common good in difficult fiscal circumstances, or will his own words to the contrary come back to haunt him?
Rhadamanthus was a mythic Greek judge of the dead, noted for his scrupulous honesty, but also his harsh punishments meted out to offenders. Saturn rules career as well as government workers generally and chief executives such as governors specifically, also penalties and loss, limitations or restrictions.
Asteroid Walker’s opposition to asteroid Sauer is harder to call. Named for a river in Europe, Sauer has no mythic resonance to speak of, but many asteroids resonate to homophones, so Sauer here may be taken as the English word “sour”, implying that the day may leave a bad taste in governor Walker’s mouth. Asteroid Walker is also exactly opposed and exactly squared Black Holes at 22 Capricorn and Libra, ramping up the unpredictability factor and encouraging a transformation in the governor’s circumstances.
We have already seen the pivotal placement of asteroid Barrett in the recall chart; there is also an asteroid Thomas (#2555), which at 6 Virgo conjoins a Black Hole at 7 Virgo and asteroid Industria at 5 Virgo. Black Holes can give as well as take away—their central theme is change and reversal. So given the status quo, it seems likely that Black Hole contacts for asteroids Scott and Walker lead to a fall, and those to asteroids Thomas and Barrett lead to an elevation.
Thomas conjoined Industria could be a signal that all of Barrett’s hard work in the campaign pays off and is rewarded. Thomas is also opposed Neptune at 3 Pisces and Chiron at 9 Pisces. This could signal a disappointment (Neptune) or wounding (Chiron) for Barrett, but Neptune can also represent the savior, and Chiron the maverick who wins through to success by doing it his way.
Scott Walker’s natal chart (born 2 November 1967) is impacted by the day as well. The Scott/Uranus conjunction, which could spell his overthrow, conjoins his natal Saturn at 6 Aries, representative of career matters and the governorship, but also limitation and loss. With Pluto squaring his Saturn since just after his inauguration in 2011, it has not been a smooth road for Walker in the governor’s mansion. This transit has its final exact pass in September of this year, by which point it may be moot as a career indicator, should the recall not go Walker’s way.
Walker’s natal asteroid Barrett at 29 Taurus opposes natal Neptune at 23 Scorpio and was squared by transit Neptune at the height of last year’s mid-winter protests, during last summer’s senate recall elections, and as the petition drive for Walker’s recall shifted into high gear early this year, all possible signs of disappointment (Neptune) coming from that quarter.
Asteroid Barrett will be conjoined closely by transit Jupiter at 28 Taurus on the day of the recall, perhaps reflecting a positive outcome for Tom Barrett. Walker’s natal asteroid Thomas at 19 Leo is conjunct Sisyphus at 16 Leo, eerily repeating that “do over” element from the recall election chart, and assuming the nature of something inevitable from Walker’s birth.
Tom Barrett (born 8 December 1953) also taps into the day’s energies. In addition to the Sun/Venus/Chaos Grand Cross alignment with his natal Sun mentioned above, Barrett sports an exact Mars/Uranus square from 22 Libra to 22 Cancer, and this combines with the recall election’s asteroid Walker precisely, with Barrett’s insurgent Uranus exactly conjoined asteroid Walker.
Barrett’s natal asteroid Thomas activates the asteroid Scott Grand Cross for the recall; at 3 Libra it opposes asteroid Scott and reinforces TNO Typhon’s inundating storms exactly. Tom Barrett is also coming fresh off that energizing Lunar Eclipse the day before the recall, which conjoins his Sun within two degrees.
In sum, it looks like a very positive day for Barrett, and a poor one for Walker. But the potential for vote tampering is a real one. Mercury (the decision-making process, votes generally and tabulation) at 26 Gemini is exactly on a Quasar, and opposed the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center. This likely indicates a high turnout (Quasar), and results from the decision (Mercury) which resonate widely (Galactic Center), far beyond Wisconsin’s borders.
But as all Black Hole contacts do, this GC contact, and a square to two more Black Holes at 28 Pisces and 25 Virgo, can indicate a high degree of instability, confusion and turmoil, some of it legitimate, some contrived.
It is all too easy at these times to substitute an alternate reality and have it believed, made all the simpler by unverifiable e-vote systems. The Sun/Venus/Chaos combination alluded to earlier could also suggest issues with vote-casting and recording, a chaotic situation which makes it difficult to maintain order.