[Editor's note: this article has been rewritten to reflect the amended, correct, Solar Return chart data, which was not initially available.]
There are many factors to be considered astrologically in the success or failure of a major venture such as running for president of the United States. The sky on the day in question, and how these transits aspect the natal charts of the contenders; the potential of the natal charts and how they interact with one another; the respective progressions and solar returns, which describe the energy of the year—all these play a part in the complex interweaving of the strands of destiny.
There is a wealth of data regarding both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for Election Day 2012, and sifting the wheat from the chaff, refining gold from dross, is no easy task. With the advent of the capacity for massive voting fraud via e-vote manipulation and legalized vote suppression, there is a philosophical question raised as well. Is any perceived astrological advantage or liability set in stone, incontrovertibly predictive of a fated outcome, or can free will in the form of malign human intervention alter the course of destiny? As Shakespeare put it, “aye, there’s the rub.”
All we can do is look at the data and make an informed guess. And in that case, the scenario is none too rosy for the President.
We’ll begin with a brief look at the day itself. The first astrological factor of note is Mercury, which rules the electoral process, from the private decision-making whereby voters make their choice, to the polls and voting machines themselves, to the tabulation and reporting of those votes. On Election Day, November 6, 2012, Mercury in the sky will be making a station, turning retrograde at 5:58 PM EST in Washington DC. Whatever the outcome of the day, that station moment will represent a crucial turning point in the fortunes of one candidate or the other.
Mercury at its station is always very powerful, but in this particular case, its force and influence is greatly enhanced by its position at 4 Sagittarius, exactly atop a reality-warping Black Hole. Black Holes attract energy and represent the volte face, the sudden, dramatic and often totally unexpected reversal of the status quo reality. Black is white, up is down, right is wrong, in the topsy-turvy parallel dimension of the Black Hole, and stability or predictability are meaningless concepts. There has been one other Mercury station exactly conjoined a Black Hole on Election Day in the US within recent memory—that would be the fiasco of 2000. But that was a direct station; with Mercury turning retrograde, this year could conceivably be worse.
To add to the picture, Mercury does not turn retrograde in a vacuum. When it forms its station, Mercury will be squared to Neptune at 0 Pisces, adding confusion and deception, and to wound-maker Chiron at 5 Pisces, stirring the pot with maverick behaviors and outcomes. Mercury will also be trine to Uranus, ruling disruption, upsets, shocks, regime change and revolutions or rebellions, at 5 Aries, and in a very strong, angular position, from the perspective of the nation’s capitol. In Washington DC, Mercury will be just setting, exactly on the 4 Sagittarius Descendant at the moment of its station, highlighting its importance to the outcome.
From that degree this amped-up Mercury makes significant aspects to Obama’s natal and solar return charts. The President will be undergoing his protracted Chiron return during the electoral cycle, and transit Chiron will be back at the same degree as the natal chart, 5 Pisces, squared to Mercury. This reiterates the sense of wounding from the day itself, and brings it home very personally to Obama. On a more positive note, Mercury will also be in trine to its natal degree of 2 Leo in Obama’s birth chart, an aspect denoting benefit or ease, but which does require the native’s active participation to fully manifest.
But this Mercury also closely opposes Obama’s natal Moon, ruling home, at 3 Gemini. This strongly suggests an unplanned move or domestic alteration during the course of the year, which could indicate a return to Chicago for the President (although it could also signal some other domestic change, such as his mother-in-law moving out of the White House).
Transit Mercury on Election Day is also more closely squared Neptune’s 2 Pisces degree in Obama’s solar return chart, another repetition of the transit sky on a personal level, even more forcefully suggesting disappointment or disillusion resulting from a Mercurial arena such as the vote.
Much more will be said of the solar return chart later, but to return to the Election Day sky, the next factor of note is the Sun’s position. At 14 Scorpio, the Sun is quite appropriately conjoined with asteroid America at 17 Scorpio, describing the country’s importance to the day. But also here are asteroids Pandora at 11 Scorpio representing the unleashing of unexpected consequences, and Tantalus at 12 Scorpio, the thing eagerly sought after which remains just out of reach, unattainable and frustrating (our word “tantalize,” to tempt or tease with something unavailable, is derived from the myth this asteroid is named for).
That 12th degree is extremely significant, in that it exactly squares Obama’s natal Sun degree of 12 Leo, again personalizing these energies to him. This brings out two important natal factors, including a conjunction with asteroid Panacea at 10 Leo, which allowed voters to see Obama as a sort of political cure-all in 2008. But the medicine hasn’t gone down too well, and has left a bitter taste behind for many. Even more deadly, Tantalus (as well as the Election Day Sun and all its companions, to a lesser extent) highlights the natal opposition from the Sun to centaur Pholus at 13 Aquarius, a point of toxicity that has been very active in generating the venom spewed at the President from the Right over the past four years.
Anything that further triggers this natal opposition is bad news for Barack, and there is a fairly full plate of cosmic activators to contend with. An exact opposition between asteroids Karma and Panacea from 14 Virgo to Pisces feeds into this polarity, albeit with a minor semisextile/inconjunct aspect. But having Panacea active here again, as in the birth chart, and now linked with a point representing the results of our actions, is not encouraging. More, that Panacea is closely conjoined Obama’s 12 Pisces Moon in his 2012 solar return, once again making a strong personal statement.
As if this were not enough, in the solar return asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead and representing endings, falls exactly on that transit Tantalus, the point of frustrated ambitions, and in exact square to the natal Sun. Also, transit Panacea and the solar return Moon form a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with an extremely rare exact triple conjunction of asteroids Barry, Icarus and Ophelia, all at 12 Capricorn, with Obama’s natal Sun at the Apex, or focal point, of that Yod. Something is stirring here, something fated and karmic, and directly involving the President. Barry is the name by which Barack Obama was known in youth, and it tracks well as a descriptor of his life journey; Icarus is a point noted for rash, reckless behaviors, heedless of advice, which lead to disaster; and Ophelia is another image of endings and failure resulting from rejection.
Last of those points appearing at the 12th degree in the Election Day sky and activating that lethal Sun/Pholus opposition is asteroid Askalaphus, which at 12 Leo is exactly conjoined Obama’s natal Sun, strongly reinforcing the Tantalus square. Askalaphus is named for the gardener of Hades, who informed on Persephone’s ingestion of pomegranate seeds during her enforced sojourn in the Underworld, thus condemning her to return annually for a portion of the year. For his tale-bearing, Persephone’s distraught mother Demeter changed Askalaphus into an owl; the metaphoric image is of a truth-teller who is punished, not rewarded, for his truthful but damaging testimony.
The third point to consider in the Election Day chart is transit Saturn, which represents both the office of the presidency being vied for, and its current occupant. Saturn at 3 Scorpio is exactly squared a Black Hole at 3 Leo, suggesting a change in occupancy of the office. Saturn is also exactly squared transit asteroid Washingtonia, representing the nation’s capitol, at 3 Aquarius, creating a T-Square and reiterating the theme of change or alteration (Black Hole) on the political landscape (Washingtonia). By its trine to the Election Day Neptune at 0 Pisces, Saturn’s position implies both a disappointment for the current holder, and deception or fraud perpetrated in attaining the office, as well as strong support (trine) from religious fundamentalists or zealots (Neptune) for conservative (Saturn) candidates.
Saturn’s T-Square pattern is reinforced in Obama’s natal chart by his Mercury/Jupiter opposition from 2 Leo to 0 Aquarius, contrasting opposition) the President’s political (Jupiter) rhetoric (Mercury) in an unfavorable (squares) light with current, harsh realities (Saturn). On a more personal note, Saturn squared Obama’s Jupiter can have a limiting or restrictive (both Saturn) effect on his ambition, lessening his status (both Jupiter). The square to his natal Mercury can bring out a harsher, more critical or carping tone, and undercuts the image of buoyant optimism of the 2008 campaign. Transit Saturn is also in an exact inconjunct to Obama’s natal Moon at 3 Gemini, perhaps foretelling an adjustment (inconjunct) in domestic environments (Moon), but also tending toward emotional states of negativism, depression or gloom, sure to be a factor if the vote goes against him.
That natal Moon was hit in exact square by Neptune’s powerful June 2012 retrograde station at 3 Pisces, and the planet of disappointments and disillusionment will still be squaring the natal Moon on Election Day. We might also mention here the presence in the solar return of asteroid Atropos and centaur Asbolus, both at 0 Gemini, receiving Neptune’s exact square on Election Day. Atropos is named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and is an indicator of termination or endings. Asbolus was a centaur seer, who divined the future by reading auguries in the flights of birds, and as such, is an image of sensing the Zeitgeist and putting oneself in accord with it, willingly or no.
One more transit factor remains, namely the Solar Eclipse which occurs November 13, just one week after the election itself. Solar Eclipses have a window of about two weeks prior during which their effects may begin to manifest, or some symbolic event occurs which sets the tone for the period to follow. This eclipse falls at 21 Scorpio, too far off Obama’s natal 28 Scorpio Midheaven to make an impact one way or the other. Its closest major planetary aspect in the President’s chart is a square to natal Uranus at 25 Leo, though it also squares the horizontal axis at 18 Leo/Aquarius, and is most closely aspected to natal asteroid Pelion at 22 Leo. The square to Uranus suggests disruption, a shock, and something unexpected. The square to the horizontal axis indicates fundamental changes in the way others perceive Obama, and how he relates to them. And the square to Pelion, named for a famed mountain in Greece, suggests a steep uphill climb, an obstacle to be overcome.
At this point we should speak more about Obama’s 2012 solar return. The President spent his birthday quietly in Washington, with a round of golf; the chart is cast for 9:03 AM EDT on August 4, 2012. With the 12 Leo Sun are asteroids Karma, Eurydike and Achilles, at 5, 9 and 15 Leo respectively. Karma suggests a period of reaping what is sown, for good or ill. Eurydike indicates a harking back to something lost which cannot be regained. Achilles represents a point of personal vulnerability, a weak spot which leads to defeat or destruction. Obviously, these are not optimistic indicators, though the level of their influence is in doubt.
As noted above, the solar return Moon at 12 Pisces is exactly inconjunct the Sun, indicating a period of emotional retrenchment and adjustment. Conjoined the solar return Descendant, this could signify an emotionally fickle populace, torn between seeing Obama as a victim of circumstance or an ineffectual leader.
Mars falls at 18 Libra in the solar return Second House, conjunct asteroid America at 13 Libra and Saturn at 24 Libra. Mars/America also conjoin the USA Saturn at 14 Libra, and with solar return Mars’ conjunction with solar return Saturn, this forms an apt image of the battle for the presidency which dominates this year for Obama.
Mars in the Second House is an indicator of the Obama campaign’s apparent success in transforming this election from a referendum on the President’s first term performance into a clash over values (Second House ruled), but Saturn here is the true fly in the ointment, as the Second House also rules finances, and Saturn brings restriction. Obama has been in trouble with fundraising the entire year, and Democratic PACs have struggled to reach the staggering fiscal heights of their conservative counterparts. Barring some eleventh-hour cash influx, it appears Obama will be heftily outspent by interests opposed to his re-election, a direct result of that Second House Saturn in the solar return.
On a more positive note, Jupiter and Venus, the two most benefic planets, are well placed in the solar return, with Venus at 27 Gemini firmly in the Tenth House of career, and Jupiter at 10 Gemini within orb of the 13 Gemini Midheaven. This is an extremely positive placement, normally an indicator of increased prestige and opportunity, but its effects are somewhat lessened by having Jupiter in exact opposition to a Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius, increasing instability and the likelihood of dramatic change in the political sphere. The Midheaven is also exactly conjoined another Black Hole, suggesting a major reversal of some sort, which in these circumstances, implies defeat and loss of employment.
Jupiter conjunct the MC from the Ninth House side could also indicate a large publishing contract, something sure to ensue should Obama find himself with lots of time on his hands in 2013. Jupiter is also conjoined by TNO Chaos at 16 Gemini, a point tending toward destabilization, confusion and disorder. Venus in the Tenth is generally considered very favorable for career matters also, but the degree to which these very positive factors can offset those more limiting or negative remains to be seen.
A few minor points remain. Asteroid Washingtonia in the solar return falls at 24 Capricorn, conjunct Obama’s natal Saturn at 25 Capricorn, while the solar return Pluto at 7 Capricorn is an exact match for his natal Washingtonia. Both these are additional indicators of loss, restriction, change or transformation in the President’s relationship with the nation’s capitol and seat of governance. We’ve mentioned that solar return Achilles conjoins the Sun; in the natal chart, Achilles appears at 24 Pisces, and at Obama’s solar return this point is conjoined by asteroid Willaert (#7620) at 22 Pisces, representing Willard “Mitt” Romney. This seems a clear indicator that Romney is capable of acting as Obama’s “Achilles heel,” his point of undoing, in this election year.
Obama’s secondary progressions don’t offer much in the way of encouragement either. The Sun at 2 Libra has just passed the singularity, or center, of the supermassive Black Hole at 1 Libra, the largest anomaly of its type of which we are aware, with a gravitational force that holds more than 130 galaxies in its thrall. Four years ago, Obama’s Sun was just descending into the pit of the singularity, enacting a transformation that had brought him from Illinois state legislator to US president in just four years. But the road out is as steep as the road in, with the added inertia of the uphill climb, and as Obama fights his way back to the Light World he may find conditions have vastly altered during his Underworld sojourn.
The progressed Midheaven at 18 Capricorn is plummeting into another Black Hole at 19 Capricorn, signaling the potential for radical career change and transformation., and the progressed Ascendant at 2 Taurus is squaring a third Black Hole, at 3 Leo, dramatically altering how others see him. Progressed Jupiter and Saturn are both in the Tenth House of career, sending contradictory messages of expansion and contraction, with the progressed Midheaven rapidly moving to conjoin restrictive Saturn at 23 Capricorn. The progressed Moon at 16 Aries is two months past the exact opposition to the USA Saturn (the presidency) at 14 Libra, and falls in the progressed Twelfth House of isolation and endings. None of this sounds like hooplas and ballyhoos anytime soon.
Mitt Romney’s chart has a few things to say about Obama’s re-election potential as well. Romney’s 21 Pisces Sun sits close beside Obama’s natal Achilles at 24 Pisces, another indicator that the GOP nominee could spell his ruin. Romney’s natal Saturn at 2 Leo sits squarely atop Obama’s Mercury, potentially squashing the message, and his 11 Leo Pluto is a close match for Obama’s Sun, a possible overwhelming of the President. Romney’s 6 Pisces Mars exactly opposes Obama’s 6 Virgo Pluto, a direct challenge to his personal power, while also conjoined the President’s natal Chiron at 5 Pisces, strongly activating the wound-maker, and squared his 3 Gemini Moon, threatening to undermine that famed Obama emotional coolness. There is quite a bit of conflict, contrariness, obstruction and blockage in these interactions, though nothing to state definitively that Obama will fall to the challenge posed by Romney.
Stay tuned for the case for the GOP contender in next month’s Daykeeper Journal…
[Editor's note: this article has been rewritten to reflect the amended, correct, Solar Return chart data, which was not initially available.]