The US Senate’s current gadfly-in-chief is Tea Party idol Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, elected just a year ago but already one of the most nationally visible and recognizable senators. Butting heads with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, Cruz’ confrontational, “take no prisoners” style has succeeded in alienating most of the powers that be in Washington, but his intransigence and grandstanding over the issue of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, AKA “Obamacare,” has made him the darling of the Tea Party and a potentially viable contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
With no campaign experience prior to 2012, Cruz has never before held elected public office. He served previously for five years as Texas Solicitor General, an appointed office. Most of Cruz’ career has been spent in private law practice or as advisor to the Bush-Cheney administration, but his resume, which includes degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law, also highlights a brief stint as clerk for US Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to do so.
Although born in Canada, for some reason Cruz’ citizenship and legal right to run for the presidency have not been challenged by his Tea Party cronies, despite being in the exact same position Barack Obama would be in, had he actually been born in Kenya as the Birthers maintain. Cruz derives his US citizenship from his mother (which would have applied equally to Obama wherever he was born). Cruz’ Tea Party popularity spotlights the underlying racism of their objections to Obama’s purported origins. Cruz currently holds dual citizenship in the US and Canada, but announced in August 2013 that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship.
The fact that as of this writing there is no record that he has actually done so may stem from the hectic pace of his schedule this autumn, with fake filibusters and a government shutdown to plan. Cruz’ 21-hour talkathon to an empty Senate floor on September 24-25 appeared heroic to Tea Party conservatives, despite the fact that he followed this up by joining in a unanimous 100-0 vote to take up the spending bill funding Obamacare which he was objecting to. The “filibuster” was nothing of the kind, not being directed at delaying or preventing any particular legislation, merely an exercise in political grandstanding, granted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Even the substance of the speech was muddled, with Cruz devoting a portion of his time to musings on “Star Wars” and a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” In an ironical twist apparently lost on Cruz and his supporters, the book’s hero Sam, despite his initial and vociferous objections (as Cruz objects to Obamacare), finds that after trying them, he actually does like green eggs and ham.
The rest of the month was spent inciting House Republicans to block any and all efforts to pass a clean Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded and running, without attempting to defund or delay the rollout of Obamacare scheduled for October 1. The two sides could not reach accommodation, resulting in a 16-day government shutdown, layoff of over 800,000 employees and an estimated cost to the US economy of $24 billion. Such is the Cruz legacy to date, after just nine short months in the US Senate.
Born 22 December 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz sports a nativity that well describes his character and actions. Although his time of birth is not known, the Sun ingressed Capricorn on that date, just a hair before midnight Calgary time, so we can be fairly certain that his Sun sits at 0 Capricorn, part of the Cardinal or World Axis, where “the political becomes personal.” This is particularly apt for Cruz, whose family inheritance includes violent interactions with successive Cuban regimes before expatriation.
Cruz’ father Rafael was beaten and imprisoned by the Battista government, and initially he fought for Castro’s revolution in its early stages, later claiming he was unaware that Castro was a Communist. When that realization dawned, Rafael Cruz fled Cuba in 1957, landing in Austin, Texas. However his younger sister, Ted’s aunt, stayed to fight in the counter-revolution, and was tortured by the government. So politics is indeed very personal for Ted Cruz, raised on his father’s stories of oppressive regimes, and as is the case with many Cuban exiles, the family politics tended toward the conservative side. (Cruz’ father earned a degree in mathematics, working in the oil industry, but later became a minister, giving the family its roots in big business and religion, both reliably Republican arenas.)
Cruz’ Sun is part of a Galactic Grand Cross, comprised of an opposition to asteroid Eduarda (#340) at 0 Cancer and squares to asteroid Sisyphus at 0 Libra with the supermassive Black Hole at 1 Libra, and to Chiron at 5 Aries. Eduarda so closely opposed the Sun suggests a prime astrological reason why Cruz became identified with his middle name of Edward, and not his given first name of Rafael.
Sisyphus indicates a tenacity of purpose, the ability to repeat actions seemingly endlessly even when they are not producing results (named for a denizen of Hades doomed to forever roll a rock uphill, only to have it roll back down again, thus necessitating endless repetition without accomplishment). The Black Hole here, the largest and most powerful anomaly of its type of which we are aware, indicates an advanced ability to pull others into his orbit, for good or ill. Cruz’s phenomenal success in his first-ever campaign and his meteoric rise to national attention both stem from this connection. The square to Chiron suggests a maverick, one who dances to the beat of a different drummer, and is not concerned with who or what he tramples in the attainment of his personal goals.
Cruz’ conservative bona fides are all in order. He is against abortion in all cases (except when the mother’s life is at risk), opposes marriage equality, is pro-gun (he was one of three senators to threaten a filibuster of the amendment closing the gun show loophole on background checks), and is of course one of the more strident opponents of Obamacare.
Cruz’ emphasis on the personal aspect of politics, learned at his father’s knee, continues with his faux-populist, Tea Party connections, but that there is a secret agenda revolving around personal power and prestige seems likely, given a triple conjunction of Mars (power, ambition), Venus (personal image, values) and Jupiter (politics, social status, renown) in scheming, power-driven Scorpio.
At 16, 17 and 25 Scorpio respectively, this mini-stellium opposes Saturn at 16 Taurus, itself exactly conjunct a Black Hole. This conveys a strongly conservative vibe to Cruz’ value system (Venus) and political outlook (Jupiter), and a drive for personal power (Mars) via a career in government (both Saturn). It also defines Cruz as a political (Jupiter) fighter (Mars), one whom others see as a champion (Mars) of their values (Venus), but one who may prefer to act behind the scenes and pull strings at times (both Saturn/Black Hole and Jupiter in Scorpio), something evinced during the negotiations for the government shutdown, when Cruz attempted to put steel into the spines of the House Tea Party caucus for his own ends.
With Saturn exactly on a Black Hole, the sky is the limit for Cruz, who is seemingly able to pull a rabbit from a hat in career matters, though this pairing can also lead to a devastating and unexpected implosion or loss. This combination also suggests a desire to completely remake government, to enact a parallel reality in regards to the country’s power structure which is radically different from what has gone before. The particular level of federal employment he aspires to can be seen in a tight trine from Saturn to asteroid Senator at 17 Capricorn, lending support for a career move in that direction.
Another crucial factor is Mercury, which at 12 Capricorn is exactly conjoined by asteroid Icarus, with Achilles close by at 13 Capricorn and a tight square from Uranus on another Black Hole at 13 Libra. Mercury in Capricorn is a natural fit for one of conservative bent, often with a stoic attitude and very little empathy for others. The combination of Icarus conjunct and Uranus squared is a recipe for volatile rhetoric, words spoken in heat, rash, reckless utterances with little sense of the possible consequences or the risks involved, lacking the ability to accept and incorporate good advice.
Cruz has certainly made a name for himself with his words, and not just that 21-hour speech. He has garnered a reputation for having little respect for his colleagues, even those with whom he is ostensibly allied. His goading of the House Tea Party caucus into rejecting any compromise or meeting the Democrats and the administration halfway is another window into his no-holds-barred communication style. Like a verbal bull in a rhetorical china shop, Cruz blusters and steps on toes, erodes comity and eschews bipartisanship, all hallmarks of the volatility and lack of concern for conventional custom which Uranus delights in when paired with Mercury.
But Achilles here warns that this approach may be his undoing, a weak spot in an otherwise impressive resume. Noted for intelligence and being an intellectual powerhouse when at school, his brash presentation has congress-watchers checking the “needs improvement” box next to “plays well with others.” Cruz may have valid points to make, but his sneering, condescending attitude doesn’t cut any ice with his seniors, or the opposition, though it clearly fans the flames of his Tea Party cohorts, elevating him quickly into a leader of their movement.
Asteroid Senator at 17 Capricorn is still within orb of Mercury, making it perhaps appropriate that his Senate career is so focused on his words, from the pinpricks given to colleagues, to inflammatory rhetoric and that “filibuster.” Senator is also more closely aspected to asteroid Texas (#35352), in trine from 19 Virgo, and identifying the state Cruz represents as senator (and thus forming a Grand Trine with Saturn).
A T-Square is created with the addition of asteroid Raphaela (#708, for Rafael, Cruz’ actual first name) at 16 Aries, opposed Uranus and squared Mercury/Icarus. This further personalizes these issues to Cruz, making him a sort of standard-bearer for blunt, controversial or provocative commentary and interpersonal communications. Raphaela also conjoins TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Chaos at 20 Aries which, as its name implies, relates to disruption, disorder and sowing chaotic conditions which skew or violate the accepted order or status quo.
Several additional minor planets cast an interesting light on the details of Cruz’ political performance. In particular, a T-Square of Neptune at 1 Sagittarius opposed asteroid Cruz (#21502) at 0 Gemini and squared asteroid Tea (#453) at 2 Virgo shows the almost religious fervor (Neptune) of the ideologue (Sagittarius), which Cruz embodies very personally and emphatically (asteroid Cruz), albeit not without obfuscation or pretense (Neptune) as to his motivation. Tea here reinforces the connection to extreme conservative views, currently espoused by the Tea Party; these are not properly termed “conservative” at all, but tend more toward anarchy than any type of productive governance.
A combination of asteroids Washingtonia and Hybris at 25 and 26 Libra well depicts Cruz’ arrogant attitude in the nation’s capital (Hybris, from which we derive our word “hubris”, is named for the Greek goddess of insolence, reckless pride, arrogance and outrageous behavior in general). This is in tight trine to asteroid America at 25 Gemini, reinforcing the national stage Cruz has set for himself, and with America also opposed the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, a point noted for conveying global prominence, notice or import: his actions will tend to come to the attention of a worldwide audience.
Asteroid Edoardo (#27917) at 26 Virgo forms a T-Square with the America/GC opposition, and also incorporates Pluto at 29 Virgo, suggesting that manipulation and control issues are part and parcel of Cruz’ personality, and also likely to be inherently vital in his plans and stratagems for the nation.
As the acknowledged architect of the government shutdown which began October 1, Cruz’ most notable “accomplishment” to date, an examination of PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for that date proves instructive.
The Sun at 8 Libra is closely conjoined by asteroid Rafaelta (#18664, another variant of “Rafael”) at 9 Libra, identifying Cruz as pivotal to the day’s events. Both points are also bound up in the Uranus/Pluto square, with Uranus at 10 Aries and Pluto at 9 Capricorn, incorporating all the drama and volatility of which that pair is capable. It’s worth noting at this point that this all unfolds as Cruz is undergoing his mid-life crisis transit of Uranus opposed Uranus, and with Pluto moving to encompass natal Mercury. This ratchets up the pressure considerably, and gives his actions an obsessive, unavoidable quality.
A grouping of asteroids Texas and Cruz at 19 and 22 Leo combine with Mars at 21 Leo, showing Cruz as the combatant and leader, while in opposing Raphaela at 19 Aquarius we see a double reinforcement of the nomenclature which identifies him. This is all very personal for Cruz, who is the most visible mover and shaker in the shutdown.
Senator paired with Hybris at 10 and 16 Virgo square Chaos at 18 Gemini, an image of the freshman Senator’s attitude and its consequences. Saturn is exactly aligned with asteroid Tea at 10 Scorpio, with Eduarda close by at 12 Scorpio, once again pointing to Cruz as the prime catalyst in the Tea Party revolt within the government itself. Mercury at 2 Scorpio is closing in on Saturn/Tea/Eduarda, showing Cruz in a planning or organizing role.
Contacts to the natal chart are also illuminating. Transit America at 17 Capricorn is exactly conjunct Cruz’ natal Senator, appropriate for a moment which brings him most forcibly to the nation’s attention. Transit Neptune at 3 Pisces is temporarily filling in the missing sign of that natal early Mutable T-Square involving Neptune, Cruz and Tea, reinforcing the zealotry energy that so characterizes Cruz’ actions and creating a Grand Cross. Further, transit Icarus at 0 Capricorn is exactly conjunct the natal Sun and setting off that natal Grand Cross as well, encouraging rash, reckless responses and poorly conceived actions with no hope of success, despite repeated advice to the contrary.
Lastly, transit Edoardo at 13 Cancer creates another temporary Grand Cross of the natal T-Square involving Mercury/Icarus, Raphaela, and Uranus, as well as sitting exactly atop the USA natal Sun, once again making Cruz the living symbol of the moment and tying him intimately to the country’s fate. Perhaps defining that role is transit asteroid Nemesis, named for the Greek goddess of undoing, ruin and downfall, which at 12 Aries also ties to the natal pattern and squares the US Sun tightly, while in the company of disruptive, volatile Uranus.
This is a man to watch carefully, and marginalize quickly.