It’s More than an Election: The US Chart, the Saturn-Uranus Opposition, & the Start of a New Era


As the average world citizen warily waits for Election Day, another event is taking place under the radar for most of them. That is the opposition of Saturn and Uranus, which occurs at 8:33 AM on November 4 in Washington DC. (See the chart at left.)

Saturn and Uranus represent a strong dynamic of change that pits tradition against revolution, or the status quo against an innovative force. This occurred twice in the 20th century: in 1919-20 (the badly handled end of WWI) and in 1966-67 (the Sixties Revolution, also involving transformative Pluto).

The Current Opposition
Saturn and Uranus make five oppositions in a series beginning November 4 and ending July 26, 2010. These oppositions will occur at degrees between 18:58 Virgo-Pisces and 0:25 Libra-Aries. These degrees contact the positions of the US Mars and Neptune, which are square each other (90̊ apart) in the US chart. In the chart I use for the US, cast for a time found in recently uncovered historical records, the oppositions fall across the 1st and 7th houses of the US chart.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes for the United States
This indicates a major change in the character and identity of the US in three ways that are intrinsic to the US Mars square Neptune. This square carries many meanings, but in the main it stands for the pursuit of the American Dream, and the exploitation of the disadvantaged. These two are in many ways intertwined. Exploitation is perpetrated against those who are already weak or those who are made weak. This includes the working class, recent immigrants, racial “minorities”, and women. It is easier to fulfill an “American Dream” if you take advantage of others, and this has been a pattern throughout US history, but it is not the only pattern of behavior or the only way this configuration in the US chart is used. In particular, the issue of race is tied to the Mars-Neptune square.

As the Saturn-Uranus opposition plays out, Saturn will move over Neptune, and both Saturn and Uranus will square Mars. This suggests a major shift in the consciousness surrounding the American Dream, the way that the disadvantaged are treated, and the issue of race.

We can already see the emergence of all three issues, and this is a good sign. In the coming election, it seems that the public is turning away from market fundamentalism and trickle-down economics (without understanding quite what it is they are rejecting) because they realize its oppressive outcome on all but a favored few at the top of the scale. We can also see the death of the old materialistic form of the American Dream in the failing economy. Finally, the issue of race is being brilliantly turned on its head by one Barack Obama.

Over the next two years, we can expect to see all three of these areas go through a dramatic shift, and all of them will be better for us in the long run. This is not to say that there won’t be pain, even unimaginable pain. What’s more, each nation will experience Saturn-Uranus in its own way and go through its own unique process of re-invention.

A New Day Dawns
When we tie this to the other challenges we face as a planetary citizenry, it is daunting; but it is not impossible. Over the next two years, we will see the people of the United States reveal a deeper side of their nature. There were many people who have always been there, but it will begin to be a visible part of the American identity. Americans will move away from materialism (not willingly) and racism and start reaching out to each other again. Maybe it’s only because we need each other more, but whatever brings it about, it’s not a bad thing.

This is first glimmer of a new era for the US, when the values of the old revolution become the truths of the new revolution.

How Are We Doing? Mercury Sends More Messages About the Economy


When Mercury turned around on the 15th, there were three times I wanted to watch to see how the economy responded. They are actually upon us now: October 24–26, 29, and November 1.

The players are the same: Mercury, Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune. (Lurking in the background for now but creating a long-term trend are Saturn and Uranus.) All four of these planets are especially active right now. Jupiter is pleasantly aspecting Saturn. Chiron and Neptune are ending their retrograde periods, which started at the end of May.

As anticipated, Friday proved to be a rough day for stock exchanges around the world after more bad news on corporate earnings. All indexes were down, and some to their lowest levels in 5 years. According to Scott Fullman of WJB Capital Group, “People have been saying that we’re in a recession. This is the realization.” (AP, reported on, no link available).

Redefining the American Dream
So, what we on the streets have known since February (and years earlier in some areas) is that we’re in a recession. It’s taken Wall Street a while to recognize it. This fits with the current planetary patterns. When Neptune returns to forward movement, we “discover” something collectively and individually. Chiron plays a part in this too. In my post, “McCain Rubs Salt in the Great American Wound,” I mentioned that Neptune is our representative of the Great American Dream.

As Chiron passes over Neptune 2008-10, Americans will be redefining what this dream is. On Bill Moyers’ Journal, he told us that the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) has just released a report on income distribution and poverty, detailing global gaps between rich and poor. The United States has the fourth highest inequality in incomes between the highest and lowest, after Mexico, Turkey, and Portugal. The report says, “Rich households in America have been leaving both middle and poorer income groups behind. This has happened in many countries, but nowhere has this trend been so stark as in the United States.” Moyers says, “Now there’s some real spreading around of the wealth, in one direction — up.”

The Chimney-Up Economy
The American Dream obviously needs redefinition, when all the wealth gets sucked to the top. This chimney-up economic model, firmly supported by free market fundamentalists since the 1980s, has ruined American society and the dreams of the middle class and poor along with it. I was right in picking out the most insidious remark that McCain made in the last debate, about spreading the wealth around, which the media missed completely.

This remains a robotically repeated cornerstone of his floundering campaign, firing up those fearful (but worthy) “low-information voters”, who do not understand the finer points of economic policy (who does?) and see their dreams slipping away. When a hypothetical Joe the Plumber (or any “low-information voter”) hears “spread the wealth”, he sees himself as having his money taken away even though he doesn’t have it yet. When he hears about $150K spent on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, he doesn’t experience cognitive dissonance at the disparity between her expenditures and his ability to spend that much himself; he anticipates the time when he will have that much to spend on his wife and family, because he can achieve the (old) American Dream if he only votes for McCain-Palin.

Healing the American Dream
This is the old American Dream that Chiron’s transit over Neptune will help us cast aside in favor of a more meaningful one. Chiron in mythology was the wounded healer. He knew how to empathize with others and heal their wounds because he himself had been there. This alludes to the fact that we do our best healing of others from the context of our own painful experiences. They humble us, teach us the way back to health, and help us show the way to others. When we offer healing to others, we also heal ourselves. While this experience is global, in the US the American Dream needs healing. (On the global level, the planet needs healing.)

The American Dream needs to be de-materialized. It needs to go back to its roots as the embodiment of a free life that is full of abundance and prosperity, but not necessarily the material kind: the wealth of good health, happiness with your family and friends, the ability to have and enjoy leisure time, security in your job, and help from the government if you are caught in circumstances beyond your control. It is being de-materialized, and it will be re-formed by every American who carves their future out of the rock of the new economy.

Another Economist with a Clue
In another segment on Bill Moyers’ Journal on 10/24/08, Moyers interviewed James K. Galbraith (son of famed economist Kenneth J. Galbraith) about his new book, The Predator State. Galbraith displayed reassuring clarity in describing what is going on economically and what the US can and should do about it. Although I need a broader understanding before I give his perspective my 100% seal of approval, I am intrigued and encouraged by what he said. I recommend watching this segment rather than me trying to summarize it for you. I am adding Galbraith to my list of the brain trust we should consult to resolve the economic crisis. That list also includes Paul Krugman and George Soros. For insights that we can understand, try Thom Hartmann and Bill Moyers.

Events over the next two weeks will be seminal in shaping our economic future, and among them October 24–November 1 will stand out. The planets show us the energies we will have most available but do not determine how we will respond to their support.

Who’s Gonna Win? A Lazy Way to Predict the Outcome of the Presidential Election

By now we can see the widening poll numbers in the presidential race, and it seems like Obama will win. It would be easy to predict then that he will, whether or not I used planetary cycles and configurations to see what is going on from that inner perspective.

But, I predicted that he would win even while McCain was ahead in the polls in early September, and I found it possible to note that “something unfortunate” would happen to McCain between September 8 and 14. The latter date was the one where he said that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” This reiterated what his advisor Phil Gramm said about the economic downturn being in people’s heads. (There is a mental aspect to the financial markets, but no one is imagining it when their job is shipped overseas.)

So, how do you see who’s gonna win? Most people look at the candidates’ charts on Election Day. However, as was pointed out to me by Maria Kay Simms, both candidates are strong on Election Day. Their birth charts will be lit up like a Christmas tree. To find out which one is lit up more is a lot more work and carries more chance of error or bias than it needs to. Besides that, what chart do you use? Elections begin days, even weeks, before actual Election Day. If we use the beginning point of an event, what data do we use?

As she points out, why not use the inaugural chart? It has a predictable, set time. And the differences between the contacts to the candidate charts will be greater. One person will be on the dais taking the oath of office, while the other will be no more prominent than a member of the audience. This will be reflected in the number and quality of interconnections between the winner’s chart and the inaugural chart.

The Inaugural Perspective
The inaugural charts are found here.
Here are my findings. I used planetary picture formulae from Rules for Planetary Pictures by Witte-Lefeldt as the foundation for my interpretations. (I = inauguration; N = natal)

Obama’s “Hits”
• rejection, denial, destruction, infection [Mars(SA) conj. Neptune(N)]
• public eye on him, “the whole world’s watching” [Moon(I) conj. MC(N)]
• acclaim [Merc Rx/Sun/Jupiter(I) conj. Jupiter(N)]
• to feel a burden, to take over a duty [MC(I) conj. Saturn(N)] - same every inauguration
• increased workload and effort [Saturn(I) conj. Mars(N)]
• change in relationships, social circle, life with kids [Pluto(I) opp. Venus(N)]
• happy family life disrupted for unrelated and understandable reasons [Pluto(I) yod to Moon & Merc(N)]
• abrupt change [Uranus(I) opp. Mars(N)]
• karmic/destined role of leadership [S-Node(I) conj. Sun(N)]/triggered by eclipse 8/1
• many angular planets in return charts for the year; planets on 3 angles in year-long return

McCain’s “Hits”
• deep emotions, feelings of powerlessness [IC(I) conj. Pluto] - same every inauguration
• transformation of destiny [Pluto(I) conj. N-Node(N)]
• sudden separation [Uranus(I) conj. Saturn(N)], chronic illness [Saturn(I) conj. Neptune(N)]; hindered inclinations, love’s sorrow [Saturn(I) conj. Venus(N)]
• destined focus on effort/workload [S-Node(I) conj. Mars(N)] exact ~11/20
• no contact to his MC/IC
• no contact to his Sun
• Return charts:
• solar return (8/29): Moon in Leo on Asc opp. S-Node/Chiron/Neptune on Dsc [choice of wounded or debilitating running mate]
• 1st quarti-return (11/28, under which inauguration takes place): Pluto conj. IC [dramatic transformation in status, buried underground]

Biden’s “Hits”
• to feel a burden, to take over a duty [Saturn(I) conj. MC(N)]
• journeying, social gatherings at home [IC(I) conj. Jupiter(N)]
• destiny bringing a great (personal) transformation [S-Node(I) conj. Pluto(N)]
• public eye on him [Moon(I) conj. Sun-Venus(N)]
• activation of his career & acclaim [Mars(I) trine MC(N)]
• help from unusual women [Venus-Uranus(I) trine Merc trine Jupiter - grand trine]

Palin’s “Hits”
• focus on her “colorful” family, in the public eye [Merc-Sun-Jupiter(I) conj. Merc/Moon(N)] - same every inauguration
• wounded, overlooked, rejected, denial [Chiron-Neptune(I) conj. Sun-Mars-Saturn(N)]
• partnership in obscurity, rejected, denied [DSC(I) conj. Neptune(N)]

I did not examine the return charts for the VP candidates. As you can see, there are much better key phrases for Obama’s contacts at the inauguration, and this tells me that he will be the winner.

There is one more thing to mention. There is a First Quarter Moon on the evening after the election (11/5). The chart for this lunar event, cast for Washington DC, has (very nearly) the degree of Obama’s Sun rising in the chart. The vice-presidential chart results support this finding.

There are many obstacles to Obama being declared the winner, the greatest of which is the concerted effort by Republicans of many stripes to institutionalize ways to disenfranchise Democratic voters. In some swing states, enough may have been disenfranchised through various means to change the electoral result. For more on this and what to do about it, see Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Greg Palast’s article, “Block the Vote”, posted today (although it says October 30, 2008 on the article). I had more to say about this in my post, “Will Election Fraud Change the Vote Again?”, and I will keep you updated in future posts.

This is another reason to use the inauguration chart. If we can’t rely on the person actually winning the election to be inaugurated, we are more assured of a correct prediction when looking at this chart.

Steal Back Your Vote: How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts


With the Saturn-Uranus opposition becoming exact on Election Day, I have long been predicting that election fraud would be a threat, perhaps a big threat, to the validity of our election.

A new article covering the problems in detail can be found at Rolling Stone. “Block the Vote”, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast, defines the problem but doesn’t give us the remedies (one of my pet peeves about modern journalism). However, on their website,, they give the remedies — if you dig deeply enough. They have a print or pdf comic book and a movie. I got bored with the movie before I got the information I wanted, but in the back of the comic book, the following information is given. Here’s what to do to make sure your vote counts. Websites and phone numbers to other vote protection groups and initiatives are given below. PASS THIS AROUND TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. This information should go viral so everyone knows about it and makes sure they get a chance to vote.

****************** From **********************

1. Don’t Don’t DON’T Mail In Your Ballot
For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that officially, three-fourths of a million absentee ballots were never counted last time, on the weakest of technical excuses. And you won’t even know it. Furthermore, tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them—in which case you’re out of luck. In most states, new voters must now include a photocopy of your ID. Which is, like, nuts. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal” myself.

2. Vote Early...very early
Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” or you’re on a challenge list. By Election Day, there’s little to do but hold up the line.

3. Register and Register and Register
Think you’re registered to vote? Think again. With all this purg’n going on, you could be x’d out and you won’t know it. Check online at Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Rock the Vote, and your local party organization, and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially in minority neighborhoods or at social service agency offices. And if you’ve served the time, you can sign: in almost every state, ex-cons can vote.

4. Vote Unconditionally, Not Provisionally
In 2008, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, especially to Hispanic voters. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that will likely not get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication from poll judges on the spot; demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if possible. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. Run into trouble— you’ve been caged or purged or challenged—call Election Protection at 1-(866) OURVOTE. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.

5. Occupy Ohio, Invade Nevada
The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door—to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union (if you’re not in a union, why not?) or to the troublemakers I’ve already listed here and on our site. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that has seized the White House.

6. Date a Voter
Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, says, make a date to ‘Arrive with Five.’ And keep this comic book in your holster - with our 800 numbers and your photo ID in your hand. And Bobby, make sure your ID says, “Robert Kennedy JUNIOR” or your vote is toast.

7. Make the Democracy Demand: No Vote Left Behind!
I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink. Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That’s when you check in at one more time.



Find out when you can vote, how late you can register, and other critical information from the National Association of Secretaries of State: (Click on the link or cut and paste this URL.)

Usually you must check with your local registrar of voters to see if you are registered to vote. You can learn more about it at:

The largest vote protection group:

Common Cause: Holding Power Accountable

This is a vote protection and documentation project mentioned by Bill Moyers on Bill Moyers’ Journal on Friday (10/17/08):

Election Protection: 1-(866) OURVOTE - call if you may be prevented from voting before or on Election Day (caging, purging, or challenge).

Other numbers:
Bill Moyers' voter information and protection page.

Info from the Center for American Progress's Campus Progress Blog.

For the latest on voter issues, see the videos on VideotheVote and YouTube. Watch the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and Bill Moyers’ Journal. Read Loser Take All by Mark Crispin Miller (ed.) or see the interview with him on Bill Moyers' Journal 10/17/08. Let me know about other links and groups, and I’ll post them on Astro-Pol.

McCain Rubs Salt in the Great American Wound

One of the poison pills that McCain planted in the final debate was, “Obama wants to spread the wealth around.” This is like mainlining meth directly into the veins of the paranoid right-wing Republican base, code for “communist” or “socialist”, which are conflated to mean the same thing in their spurious propaganda campaign against the health and unity of our nation. He also mentioned class warfare, another way to divide people into factions. This concept, ironically, is a major component in communist theory.

This is the most insidious of assaults. It implies that the president can, if s/he has the will, take money away from you and give it to someone else — a Robin Hood effect. This is meant to drive a wedge between people and teach them to fear each other.

Obama’s Response
I was disappointed by Obama’s response to this, but in the heat of a debate it’s not surprising that he wouldn’t have the clarity to address it directly from the assumptions it makes, or perhaps to have the time to bring it to the forefront. His answer was adequate, but it failed to uproot the question, which lies at the heart of America’s current divide and underlies every problem we face. Getting to this core issue is one of Obama’s primary interests, if not THE primary interest he has because it is so central to all that ails us. He has repeatedly addressed this matter from the time he gave his first speech to a national audience at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

A Rising Tide Raises All Boats.
The best response would have been to talk about separation versus unity. A rising tide raises all boats. If the middle class (and the working poor) are given a chance — given a job producing something or providing a real service in the real economy (not the fake one built on the casino stock market and the “nothing but air” financial industry) — they will lift the fortunes of all of us. The stock market will be robust; the dollar will flourish; savings rates will rise; credit rates will drop. The US will be an engine in the new real economy.

What Canadians Know
Canadians know this. They have an ethic of “supporting my neighbor is supporting myself”. (That’s not to say that their current conservative government feels the same way.) This was brought out quite eloquently in Michael Moore’s movie, “Bowling for Columbine” as a way of contrasting Canadians’ attitude toward guns and gun ownership and their subsequent relationship with violence.

We could take a lesson from Michael Moore in this (and many other) regard(s), and from the Canadians. If Obama can articulate this repeatedly in his stump speeches and ads between now and the election, he will find that this is the message that Americans are hungry for. They don’t know it, but they don’t believe that “government is the problem”. They are starting to realize the value of — to be desperate for — the intervention of government through regulation and an approach to the economy and the wealth of our nation that lies in the people, our natural resources, and our ingenuity that will reinvest in nurturing that wealth instead of denuding it of all it has.

The Death of Reaganomics
This is the death of reaganomics, the corrupt system that was put into place in the early 80s. It’s taken a long time for the population to understand the insidious seductiveness of the “trickle-down theory”. Instead what it creates is a huge sucking sound as the money gets pulled up to those who are already rich and powerful, who then hold it and create more wealth for themselves off the backs of the people at the bottom. It next pushes the people at the middle to the bottom as through their labor the energy is pulled out of them without just compensation. It results in a greedy rush to be on top, a natural separation of people from each other as competitors for that prize. It results in higher crime rates or a greater reliance on social services as the burgeoning bottom class struggle to find a way to simply survive. It results in greater reliance on credit as people at the middle and bottom of the scale struggle to maintain their lifestyle. Finally, it has resulted in the impoverishment of American society at all levels, including state and local government as the local tax base dries up.

Now the culture is tapped out. First they relied on savings. When those were sucked dry, they relied on credit cards. When those were sucked dry, they relied on equity in their home. Those who did not have this resource struggled to get it and were seduced into buying homes in an over-valued real estate market with deceitful loans. This was the final resource of (supposed) stored wealth. All this resulted from the climate of deregulation that was a grand experiment that Republicans, Libertarians, and corporate Democrats engaged in. They have contributed to a nation run as a corporatocracy.

Even though this was supposed to make government smaller, it has become bloated and engorged in a direction set by big business’s lobbies. In a world where lobbyists are now writing the laws introduced in Congress, the people have had little say in what happens at the highest levels that affects them the most. To get elected, you have to pander to these interests.

The ultimate and more destructive result is the catastrophic effect that this model has had on the environment. This is what is forcing change in an unavoidable and undeniable direction away from reaganomics. To stick our heads in the sand about this is to truly destroy ourselves, and most people are finally waking up from this bad dream.

If the problems seem vast, the solution begins with a simple change in understanding and attitude. When we truly realize that a rising tide lifts all boats — that we rise or sink together — a tsunami of change will result, is already resulting. This is especially true when we consider the environmental issues, and this is why we can’t wait. We still have a chance to pull ourselves out of the deep water.

Where there’s a need, there’s a market. The need for a green economy is screaming at us, and that will be the source of wealth in the 21st century. Any economy that can adapt in this direction, create technology and return to simpler means of existence, will thrive.

If Obama can capture the “we’re in this all together” energy of this moment; if he can speak this truth in an inspiring way, he will be speaking to the deep need of the American people and begin the healing process of the greatest wound in the American psyche.

This, in planetary terms, has to do with the great conjunction of Chiron and Neptune, which occurs over the next two years and has been triggered profoundly during the Mercury retrograde period August 28 – October 30. This represents archetypally the healing of the great wound. The great wound is the separation that we perceive between us and the need to find what unites us in order to thrive.

Attack and Anger Didn’t Work: The Final Presidential Debate

McCain was the attack dog, Obama the imperturbable, magnanimous, rational sage in last night’s debate. Post-debate polls say that Obama won, and even McCain supporters were disappointed in his performance, including Joe the Plumber. Several undecided voters in the various focus groups have decided to vote for Obama after this debate. I expect Obama to get a brief but considerable bump immediately post-debate, but then for the spread to narrow a little after the weekend.

Mercury Was Stronger than I Thought.
My debate analysis was pretty close to the mark, as far as what would happen during the debate is concerned. I was off in one respect. The moderator (Mercury) was, even though unconnected in the chart, very important. Schieffer asked relevant questions that brought out the underlying issues for each candidate. (This is testimony to the power of a stationary planet, even though disconnected from the rest of the chart or the candidates’ charts.) In fact, Schieffer was masterful in getting substantive discussion instead of talking points by asking the most authentic (there’s that lesson of Mercury retrograde in Libra) questions of the four debates. Schieffer was not dazzled by greatness or polite when the B.S. was flowing. He gave each candidate a chance to showcase key issues of their domestic policy, from education to the economy to free trade to women’s privacy rights (aka Roe v. Wade).

John McCain reliably played Saturn. He was called “too serious”, “scowling”, and “negative” — Saturn words. He also portrayed Mars pretty well, attacking Obama with every response. Obama responded by not responding — true to Neptune’s nature, whose energy he fulfilled very well. As I suggested, Obama was not symbolized so much by Jupiter but more by Neptune, called “cautious” and side-stepping contention, such as when he was asked about the qualifications of Sarah Palin to be president.

Obama’s numbers have gone up when the stock market goes down, but let’s hope that as the economy gradually stabilizes people remember what is in their best interests.

The Real McCain Redux


When astrologers interpret charts and make their forecasts of events, all rests on the accuracy of the birth information you have for the event or person in question. For months we lamented the lack of a birth time for Barack Obama. I have never been quite content with a 9 AM birth time for John McCain based on “mother’s memory”.

So when ISAR (the International Society for Astrological Research) reported that they have a birth certificate for McCain with a different birth time, I sat up and took notice! A link to the birth certificate is shown in the post I made late yesterday.

Who’s the Real McCain?
This changes McCain’s chart in dramatic ways, and it makes way more sense. First, it turns the wheel of his chart, from Libra rising to Pisces rising. This is a spectacular shift, moving all the planets to very different locations than we thought before, like spokes on a wheel.

Jupiter Moves to the Top.
It places father-archetype Jupiter in Sagittarius, one of its strongest placements (a sign of its rulership), straight up in the heavens at his birth (the Midheaven, or MC). This strong planet is in the strongest spot in the chart, beaming its importance to him. This speaks eloquently of a military life. The military is all-important to him. His father was staunch military, and his father before him — in fact, one of his ancestors served alongside General Washington. This paternal ancestry has cast a long shadow in his life.

However, Jupiter is not unchallenged in its supremacy. It is caught in the net of a complex configuration that traps its subject planets, creating a feeling of entrapment on the part of any person born with it in their chart. (For the cosmic cognoscenti, it’s a mutable grand cross.) This tells me that he felt boxed in, smothered by the expectations of his father, which were to go to Annapolis and live his life as his fathers did. But he was a bad boy on campus, and has acted out in rebellion against the corner he has felt boxed into all his life.

This configuration was always in his chart, but it takes on new significance, a new twist in its real location. Principally, Saturn falls in his 1st house of identity and selfhood, a placement showing a lack of self-discipline and a need to learn it. Now his womanizing tendencies make sense as well, with his Venus-Neptune placed in his house of relationship (the 7th). This is one place where he has sought release from the trap — in love, sex, and revelry.

The Moon Changes Signs.
We always thought that McCain had Moon, seat of the emotions and instincts, in Capricorn. That made sense in some ways, with his image of altruism and discipline (however untrue that may be in reality). A Moon in Capricorn made sense for someone who survived harsh circumstances in the Hanoi Hilton, who stayed with his fellow prisoners beyond the time when he was offered release.

However, it is undisputed that his Moon is in Aquarius, in very early degrees. This made the brain synapses connect immediately, because this Moon is nearly exactly conjunct the Moon of one Ms. Sarah Heath Palin! This is much more befitting of the maverick image, and they connected on that “mavericky” level. (Go to "Who You Callin' a Maverick?" for the response of the disgruntled, civil libertarian Maverick family to the pilfering of their name.) This was like an instant satori! Now we know wtf he was doing when he chose her — it’s down to plain old lunar instinct.

This also benefits him, in that his Moon is lifted from a difficult contact with Pluto, otherwise a sign of deep distrust of women, especially his mother (which he does not appear to have). However, it moves his Moon into another configuration, highlighting his unpredictable anger (a T-square with Uranus and Mars).

The Ripples in the Pond
This change makes waves in all the prognostications about the debate(s) and the election, but are they enough to show a shift in his fortunes? The short answer is, “No.” It doesn’t really change the key factor in his chart that is under siege right now (the trap configuration), and doesn’t lift anything into more prominence that would produce a win for him.

In tonight’s debate, the changes to his Moon and Ascendant suggest that he will have more trouble masking his emotions than I would have thought previously. He is likely to feel more exposes, frustrated, and angry.

There Is Grace in All Things.
Many people were born with his, and other similar, configurations, and we all have our lessons and flaws. He is learning as each of us is, but in a very visible and public way. With his chart, he has an exceptionally difficult pattern to work with, and I applaud his courage in doing so.

The New McCain

This just in! We have a birth certificate on John McCain, which is vastly better than "mom's memory". He was born 8/29/36, 6:25 PM, Colon, Panama. The birth certificate is on line at:

This gives him 6 degrees Pisces rising, and his Moon moves into Aquarius at 2:25. I will post a more detailed analysis of how this changes the astrological perspective as soon as I can!

For Viewers It’s Economy, Economy, Economy: The Final Presidential Debate

As the economy continues to unwind, the final presidential debate is the candidates' last chance to sway a large audience. By looking at the planetary patterns, we can see what’s in store. Unlike the last two debates, the Moon is active. It is in mid-Taurus (9̊), making connections with Jupiter and Saturn. Each of these planets is in an Earth sign, and they form a grand trine. This is a stable and beneficial pattern. This suggests that the public (the Moon) is engaged and concerned about material things — the economy springs to mind, perhaps?

It’s the Economy, Stupid.
Viewers are desperate to hear about what the candidates’ will do about the economy. They want to know how much each candidate knows and will vote for the one who will reassure them the most convincingly. The chart screams out the importance of this issue, and it implies that the candidates will succeed in meeting their needs.

In this triangular configuration, the Moon represents the public, Saturn McCain (due to age, conservatism, and contacts to his chart), and Jupiter Obama (age and progressiveness). Because of the difficult contacts triggered in McCain’s chart, he has been inconsistent in describing a clear policy on the economy, and this will continue to be the case on Wednesday evening. He will make simple blustery pronouncements that sound like he has yet to convince himself.

Obama, on the other hand, will sound more self-assured and calm. However, his chart does not particularly connect with the Jupiter of the debate chart. Consequently, he may not be able to completely set aside people’s concerns with the resounding clarity that Jupiter can represent.

What Obama Will Do
To see what Obama will do, we have to consider the planetary icing to the cake. Connected to the Moon-Saturn-Jupiter grand trine is a very strong Mars in Scorpio. It is the capstone of a new pattern, called a kite. Mars occupies the “top” of the kite and so is the focal point. This is opposite the Moon, and it tells us that the public is angry and wants Something Done. Focal planet Mars is directly on Obama’s Neptune. This suggests that the pressure is most on him. People are looking for answers, and they’re pinning their hopes on him. For the public, it may be as if John McCain is a sideshow that is taking time away from Obama.

This configuration could also indicate a debate where there is more of an attack mentality. However, the main indicator of this, Moon opposing Mars, happens earlier in the day so its energy is dissipating. I think this symbolically indicates the people at McCain rallies who have been on the attack toward Obama; it suggests that this phenomenon might also be dissipating. Will McCain attack Obama directly? It is possible. His campaign may be preparing him to do so, but whether McCain will do it is another thing. McCain’s sense of decency does not square with this type of approach.

Obama has had to learn to deal with Neptune — he has worked long and hard on it over his lifetime. (See my post on his Sun-Neptune contact, “Obama, McCain, and the Great-Man Potential”.) Sun-Neptune is a sticky wicket. It can inspire or it can be vague or confusing. His book, Audacity of Hope, is about Sun-Neptune. Audacity = Sun; Hope = Neptune

It is clear to me that Obama has learned to deal very well with his Sun-Neptune, or he would not be where he is. He has learned to grind and grind the grist-mill of consciousness until he reaches the kernel of truth, but it is an art not a science and one he will be honing all his life. During the final debate, he may be the inspired and idealistic speaker that he can be. Or he could be still working on inner clarity and not shine out the way the audience wants him to. In a debate format, he doesn’t have the opportunity to build passion the way he does in a prepared speech. But if he has inner clarity, he will find a way to speak truthfully, confidently, and inspiringly. The audience will feel it. If he is not there yet, his statements will lack the punch that this clarity gives.

The state of the economy is an evolving situation. It is not possible to be truthful and confident that one has all the answers in this ever-changing scenario. So each candidate must tread the line between confident proclamations and more truthful vagueness if they are to convince the public.

Mercury and the Moderator
Mercury has been retrograde (traveling backward through the zodiac from our perspective) for the previous three debates. It returns to forward motion at 4:06 PM (Eastern Time) before the debate, but it is still barely moving. When a planet is stationary, it bathes us in its energy. We will be very aware of Mercurial processes: Are the candidates on message? What questions are being asked? Can we have some answers, please?

During the Mercury retrograde, a comment I heard frequently was that the questions were boring. Now that Mercury is moving forward, Bob Schieffer could be more direct as well with some direct questions and burning follow-ups. However, Mercury is in the placating sign of Libra and not well connected to the chart, so he may be weak on that score.

Who’s Going to Win the Debate?
There will be a lot of excitement about the debate, and the candidates are well aware of what the public wants to hear about. They will try to work in their economic message as much as possible. In some ways, the debate chart favors McCain. His connections to it suggest that he will finally give a good debate performance with clearer messages than before. However, he continues to have the same triggers that brought out his anger, avoidance of the questions, and lack of attunement to the problems we face. These contacts also suggest that McCain is going to try to throw game-changer comments, but they will not be successful.

Obama’s chart contacts are less problematic and suggest that he will be the winner, and the public will see it that way. He has Midheaven contacts both to his birth chart and in the debate chart. Midheaven connections put the person on top.

So, this debate is not going to be a game-changer, but it may convince many undecided voters to vote for Obama. He'll get a bump after the debate, and then his numbers will settle into a new, slightly higher margin over McCain. This could be a decisive debate for some people in swing states - enough to make the electoral map a little bluer.

Why Do Investors Remain Unconvinced? And Ideas on Who Knows What to Do About It

What’s with those investors anyway? You give them a $700 billion bailout, and they still insist on pulling their money out of the stock market! MAN! How’s that for ungrateful?

So what’s it really about? What can we point to planetarily speaking that could be behind the drop in the stock market?

Let’s start with Mercury retrograde. When Mercury turns around, it focuses energy in a narrow band of the zodiac, this time in Libra. Now, Mercury goes retrograde three times each year for only 3 weeks at a shot. Why hasn’t this type of economic event happened before?

Mercury Is the Messenger.
It’s all in Mercury’s connections. What does it connect to in the heavens while it is retrograde? And for our nation, what does it connect to in the US chart? Here’s where the plot thickens. There are actually four planetary events that to me precipitated the economic crisis. I say “precipitate” because if the economy were sound, this would not be happening. It is human error that has brought it on, not Mercury or any of his compadres.

First Event: Mercury to the US Saturn (and Friends).
In the version of the US chart that I use (the one rectified by KT Boehrer and Zip Dobyns using historical data), Mercury tracks across the US house of the treasury (the 2nd) and triggers the most challenging configuration of the US chart, which covers all the zones of financial stability in the US chart (the fixed houses). Principle among these contacts is the direct hit to Saturn, which falls in the house of the treasury. Its hits to the US chart occur(red) on Sept. 8, 10, 16, 18, 29, 30 and Oct. 5, 7, 15, 23, 25, 29, 30. They are so continuous that they blur into each other, especially when you consider that other planets (principally Sun and Moon) will be in regular contact as well.

Second Event: Saturn Opposing Uranus
I have spoken about this before. It signals a shake-up of the system (any and every) that occurs over two years (through July 2010).

Third Event: Pluto Entering Capricorn
When planets go into Capricorn, they find their natural limits and so do we humans. This is what is occurring now in a big way, because it is Pluto. Woven into the financial situation is the rising cost of fossil fuels and gasoline (petrol), both monetarily and to the planet. Global warming and limitations on supply due to depletion and political instability in key nations add to the complexity. Pluto will be in Capricorn for 16 years, giving us a time frame for working this out.

Fourth Event: Uranus Squaring Pluto
Back in the 60s, Uranus and Pluto started a new cycle when they conjoined in Virgo. This cycle, which lasts approximately either 112 or 142 years, is up for its next big passage in 2010-2015. If the ecological movement was born at the time of the conjunction, it must become fully active now. Only when we have come to terms with how the world will function free of fossil fuels will the economy of any area be truly robust.

When Is It Over?
We can see why the stock market isn’t responding yet: There are too many factors to take in during this adjustment period; it’s too much too soon. But what’s the future prognosis? Since Mercury is involved, there will be a shift on and after October 15. My best forecast at this time is that the stock market will level off then and stay at a relative plateau for at least a few days. This could be the bottom. There will be tests of its resilience on the 23rd, 25th, 29th, and 30th. If we make it through those days without a drop in the averages, we’ll remain at that plateau for at least a few more days. Another critical period is November 4 (even if the election weren’t on that day). Obviously, the election will affect it. What the stock market will most fear is no outcome at all, so officials at all levels of government will be straining to produce a swift outcome. This could be undermined by election (NOT voter) fraud such as caging and threatening voters.

Because so many other factors are involved, we know that this won’t be over then. The powers that be are only beginning to understand the tangled mess they’ve created over the past 30 years. There’ll be another test December 5-15. If those in charge have taken the right actions by then, this may prove to be anti-climactic. No matter what, the situation will take careful handling and determined vigilance while a new economic policy, if not a new theory, is developed over the next two years and implemented over the following 14 years.

By the Way . . .
This event shows up in the chart of New York City (consolidation of the 5 boroughs, 1/1/1898, 0:01 AM). This chart has Mars conjunct Venus at 29 degrees Sagittarius, which Pluto has been transiting since late December last year. The “toxic explosion of greed” has led to the transformation of this financial capital. I joke that Sagittarius’s mantra is, “Only too much is enough”. It surely applies here. As new regulations are put in place, as a new economic system is built from the ground up, New York will surely also be transformed in yet another way.

There IS a Way Out.
There is a way out, and there are people who know what to do. When so many people do not, these people will be sought out and heard eventually. It is good to know that Obama has several of these people on his transition team already. It helps if we are better informed so that we can add our opinions as the vox populi. Listen to Paul Krugman (he also appears regularly on MSNBC), George Soros, and Thom Hartmann for wisdom on what we need to do to recover.

Obama, McCain, and the Great-Man Potential

There is an idealism, enthusiasm, and trust felt by many people toward Obama that is matched only by the fear, hatred, and dread felt by others. Never mind the myriad of lies and propaganda spread to undermine his reputation — what’s real?

Obama's Sun Square Neptune and the Missing Father Archetype
Some people who know about astrology have been troubled by the fact that Neptune is in a challenging connection (a square) to Obama’s Sun. This can have many manifestations. The fact is, squares indicate that events have happened in a person’s life that undermined their ability to use their solar force — their confidence, wholeness, and ability to shine. It may prevent them from stepping forward into the realms of experience where they encounter challenge, conflict, and unknown experiences. It can engender fear. Tied in with this are the ways he and others deal with his racial background. In his environment, he has often been the “only one” like him. As he grew up this remained true, even after he was able to become more a part of the black community. Still he spoke differently, had a different background, was educated differently. This is one of his trademark characteristics — that he doesn’t fit stereotypes. This is both his strength and, in a man who is trying to get elected, a weakness.

The primary experience of the Sun square Neptune was just prior to his birth (about three days) and then over the first two years of his life, as Neptune wandered over the degree of his Sun five times. The Sun is a father archetype. The father, ideally, is a shining example of how to succeed in life. Well, Obama’s father wasn’t there. ‘Abandonment’ is a word that can be associated with Neptune. This gave him the chance over the years to idealize his father and to imagine less wonderful things about him. He had to construct his own masculine side without the benefit of a father’s influence. The chart indicates that his mother did her best to fill the gap by telling him about his father, doing some of the things that fathers do, and remarrying. However, she was not his father.

His maternal grandfather helped fill the gap. The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn suggest the role that this man played in Obama’s life. His Indonesian stepfather also would have fulfilled the Jupiter-Saturn archetype for him, which is particularly complex in his chart (and will be the subject of another post).

But this doesn’t take away the Neptune. No one can replace the early influence of the father. The Sun square Neptune is about a feeling of loss over what can never be and what we cannot change. Barack Obama has had to deal with this all his life. It has been a big deal to him, sliding to the background only to threaten to weaken him in times when he most needs confidence.

Obama's Sun-Neptune During the Campaign
So how has he dealt with it? I have watched him over the course of his campaign, and he deals with this part of his nature by stepping back from it and plunging ahead anyway. It tempers the ebullience of his Leo Sun, but not enough that he doesn’t fill the room when he enters it, as all Leos do. He seems to manage this energy fairly well.

He remains idealistic and imaginative, qualities honed in the early period of his life when he had to imagine what his father was like to fill the gap. As for negatives, Sun-Neptune can indicate a tendency to avoid what is unpleasant, including one’s own flaws. He is sensitive to abandonment because he experienced it early in life (as have many people). A square also indicates what others will (try to) do to you. He may have to deal with others trying to undermine him, whether because of his race or whatever other projections they want to place on him.

The Mars Triple Threat
He has been attacked during the campaign on several occasions when this part of his chart was contacted. In addition, he has an additional key planetary contact to this part of his chart (solar-arc directed Mars is currently on his Neptune) that lasts several months. This indicates “attacks from outside”. It is worth noting that McCain’s attack planet, Mars, is exactly on Obama’s Sun, feeding into this part of his birth chart. As the War God Mars himself transits over Obama’s Neptune in the coming days, it peaks in exactitude on October 16. This is in essence a “triple threat” — the three Mars contacts of solar arc, transit, and McCain. (Note that McCain’s Mars will receive the transit as well, and McCain feels the contact with Obama’s Sun-Neptune.)

Is it any wonder that the McCain campaign has gone negative? And of course it’s not to his face: Neptune is about whispers, not an out-in-the-open fight. This negativity reached a recent peak on Thursday as the Moon triggered this Mars complex, but yesterday McCain made palliative remarks to try to calm the angry mob he had collected at his rally. It is also worth noting that Obama's campaign have issued attack ads that lack verity, though fewer than McCain.

What happens next is a test of both Obama and McCain. It is possible that McCain will step back and decide that he has no taste for blatantly false character assassination. Obama could decide to cower inwardly and accept these slurs. He could also choose to stand up for himself, and to tell his campaign to be more honest in their content.

The Great-Man Potential in Our Candidates
It all hinges on the Great-Man potential in each of them. The Great-Man (or Superior Man) potential is an I Ching concept about the ability that each of us has to at any time listen to the angels of our better nature and act in response to them. (Here “man” is meant in the generic sense.) McCain’s Great-Man potential is what pulled him through his POW experience and has made him a good senator. It is the basis for his popularity.

When we fulfill our Great-Man potential, we do not respond to the goadings of the inferior voices inside our head (called by the I Ching the Inferior Man or “the inferiors”, telling us to protect ourselves or behave in a meaner fashion. How the Great-Man potential is accessed and expressed is complex and the subject of the entire I Ching philosophy; it is the goal of the I Ching to teach us how to do this in all areas of our life.

The question with any part of our astrological chart is — will we use this configuration in a superior or inferior way? If we can access our Great-Man potential, we will use it well and embody a more conscious and enlightened expression of its energy.

I have observed the Great-Man potential being accessed and expressed in both our presidential candidates, but in McCain I have seen it less frequently. With Obama, I have been constantly and pleasantly surprised to the Great-Man potential win out time after time. Now, this is not to say that there is not internal struggle for Obama; that there are not times when the inferiors win; that he does not have moments of weakness and feel like giving in to fear; that he will always express the Great Man. Rather, I think that he has learned about the two sides and has found ways to challenge himself in his private life to trigger the expression of the Great Man over and over again. I think his wife plays a major role in this. Her piercing clear-sightedness makes her the perfect devil’s advocate for when he indulges in weakness (Neptune) or grandiosity (Sun).

Where I might worry about how another person would deal with the triple threat of Mars that will peak over the next week for Obama, I am instead waiting for him to again say, “ENOUGH!” I am waiting for the moving gathering of force that he mustered when he used the Jeremiah Wright situation to make a major policy statement on race. He sublimates the negative over and over again. This is not to say that he has or always will — just that he has the best chance of anyone I know to be able to do so in such circumstances. He is human, but he has been tempered by the fires of life.

Will Election Fraud Change the Vote Again?

It’s important to be aware of the stealth issue of this election: election fraud. This is not the same as “voter fraud”, where people fraudulently cast a vote. (Voter fraud is virtually nonexistent.) Election fraud is where groups or individuals try to prevent eligible voters from voting or from their votes being counted. Although it has always been an issue (with neither major party innocent), this has been a rampant problem beginning in 2000.

There are many sources of information on election fraud tactics that are being used as we speak, but for a sobering and realistic report, listen to yesterday’s Fresh Air episode, where Terry Gross interviewed fired US Attorney David Iglesias, Zach Stahlberg of Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy, and Common Cause’s election fraud expert Tova Wang.

This is the situation I have been most concerned about with the Saturn-Uranus opposition becoming exact on Election Day. The forces of the status quo are pitted against the forces of change, and it could get nasty. Oppositions are aspects of separation, and separation breeds fear. Fear breeds conflict (and greed). These are factors in the behavior we are seeing to prevent the sea change in government that is desired, expected, and should occur. This is what could delay the outcome of the election.

Watch the Senate Races.
In particular, this could significantly alter the outcome of several senate races, enough to prevent a change in the balance of power in the US Senate. With the way that the rules are being played now by the Republicans, the Democrats need a majority of 60 to pass bills there. Unless there is a return to "reaching across the aisle" on the part of the Republicans for the sake of the country, the Democrats must have 60 in their caucus to be able to accomplish the sweeping changes that are needed to bail us all out of the myriad difficulties we now face, from environmental reform to energy independence to regulation of the financial sector.

Reaching the golden number of 60 is a bit iffy anyway. But if the outcome in several close races, say the one between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, were to be tampered with in some way, we could end up with 59. If the election is fair, then so be it. But if the result is stolen, it denies the American people their rights in a profound way. We'll all --- perhaps everywhere on the planet --- lose if this occurs.

To track the senate races, go to They have the most thorough tracking of all the races that I've seen.

Delayed Outcomes?
In a state with a Democratic Secretary of State, an outcome to many races may be delayed until all the votes are counted or taken into account in a fair manner. The focus will be on the battleground or swing states, such as Ohio. Ohio has made massive changes to their voting law, and their Secretary of State is on top of what’s going on. However, in Michigan all sorts of shenanigans are being attempted, such as disenfranchising people who are in foreclosure, even though this is against the law.

It’s clear that the majority of people want a change in government in every area possible. If the election results do not reflect the people’s wishes, there could be turmoil following the election. I’m hoping that the higher angels of our collective nature rule and bring us a fair outcome.

However, this is a “trust in God but tie your camel” type of situation. We all need to be aware of such possibilities and do whatever we can to make sure people know the law and vote. The New York Times is tracking this issue very assiduously. For a recent synopsis of the issues, see their article. There is a follow-up article from AP today refuting the claims in the Times article.

Post-Debate Planetary Pondering

It all hinged on the Moon. It was in late Capricorn during the debate, past any other planets in the heavens when measured by zodiacal degree. In energetic terms, the Moon is a trigger of action through our urges. When it is past the other planets (called void of course), we get down time, or as the I Ching says, “No action furthers.” This means that whatever actions we take during this time (until the Moon enters a new sign) will only work if they are the end of a matter. Activities started during the Moon’s void of course period tend not to develop.

The Town Hall Debate and the Void-of-Course Moon
The Moon was in its void period all during the debate. This says that activities begun during this time will come to nothing. We can extend that interpretation by noting that the Moon is associated with the public. This means that the public will not be changed by whatever happens during this time. The end result? Public opinion will not be changed by the debate; the debate will have no effect on the polls or electoral prospects of the candidates.

More precisely put, whatever trajectory the candidates are on, this debate will not change it. This is exactly what happened. Obama is up in the polls since yesterday, but this is unlikely to be due to the debates, since he is continuing on the rising trajectory he experienced beforehand. There was no bump from the debate itself, at least so far.

Beyond the Polls
This is quite separate from the notion of who won the debate, but the Moon can be used to ascertain who was favored by style and mood. Here the favor goes to Obama. Even though the Moon was past all the planets in their current positions, it was in direct contact with McCain’s Moon and Obama’s Saturn, both in late Capricorn. The Moon magnetizes energy to wherever it’s found in the heavens. Therefore, it drew energy to each of these planets in the candidates’ nature.

This was amply displayed in their demeanor and influenced the debate’s outcome. Whenever the Moon contacts our own Moon, it makes us more sensitive and moody. This was noted in the feisty attitude that came across in McCain’s speech and body language. He tossed the microphone, fidgeted, grimaced (that was not a smile, folks) in anger. When the Moon contacts our Saturn, we may feel more responsible, burdened, or work harder. If we use it well, we will rise to the challenge it presents. Barack Obama uses his Saturn well, as we’ve seen by his sense of responsibility, ability to bear up under hardship, and (nearly) unwavering focus on the good and the true.

This suggests that Obama’s demeanor will trump McCain’s and according to the pundits and analysts, as well as overwhelming public opinion, it did. In addition, we who observe the planets know a secret about Saturn and Moon when they are placed in Capricorn. That’s that Saturn is always going to trump Moon in this sign. This is because Saturn naturally does well here, while the Moon is very uncomfortable with this sign’s energies.

It is no surprise that both candidates were described as aloof or cold, because Capricorn is considered cold, and that’s where all the energy was during the debate.

For the next and final debate, the Moon is active, and Mercury is still and beaming its concentrated energy our way like a spotlight, and the whole world will be watching. Stay tuned to get a forecast of what will happen at the next debate.

What Could be More Unusual?

In my last post, I mentioned longer term planetary cycles at work in the economic crisis. One of these is the Saturn-Uranus opposition. This is a planetary contact that builds over months to a peak on the day when it becomes exact, then dissipates slowly over months. However, since both these planets retrograde (apparently turn backward), they interact five times through July 2010. From now until then, we’ll feel the swinging pendulum of tension and release, tension and release as it changes structures in the world around us.

This is a planetary event that occurs about every 42 years; the last time was in a period that should stand out in the memory of anyone who was over the age of 10 at that time — 1965-67. This signifies a period of rapid and often startling change in the structures of government and society. At this point in the cycle, structures that have not changed through gentler means have become so entrenched that they are stretched like a rubber band. At the opposition the rubber band breaks as society makes a sudden adjustment to a reality that has (often forcibly) revealed itself. In the mid-sixties, we saw such a time of rapid change in society (made more intense then by Pluto’s involvement). This is not a bad thing — it is a necessary thing.

This makes September-October “more than your average __________”, which can be filled with the words “Mercury retrograde”, “election”,“economic crisis”, or “social revolution”. The first culmination comes on Election Day, when I at first thought that we would not be likely to come up with a definitive winner of the US presidential election (or many other races). However, now I’m having second thoughts. (We astrologers learn too.) One of my colleagues, Claire-France Perez, is predicting a landslide election, which she defines as a 22 point spread between the two candidates. This occurred at the last Saturn-Uranus opposition in the election of the incumbent Lyndon Johnson in 1964. While I’m less sure that this will occur with an exact contact between Saturn and Uranus on Election Day, such a landslide will make it possible to give a result more quickly. The word ‘landslide’ was first used by a pundit last week to describe a possible outcome in this election.

The key words here are unusual, sudden, and significant. So that leads me to what I’m pondering. On the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC yesterday, she interviewed New York Times columnist and Princeton Professor of Economics Paul Krugman in her “Talk Me Down” segment. He was worried and suggested boldly that "as soon as the election is over we're going to have to have - we can't wait until January 20th - we may have to have in effect the incoming Obama team move into the Treasury and start coordinating the rescue, because this is going to be a very, very bad transition period if we don't do anything until we actually have a new administration." The implication was, I hasten to add, that this would not be a takeover but an effort to support the country through a hard time with new energy and perspectives.

As an astrologer and observer of planetary cycles, I can assess the likelihood of this. With the dominant energies of the time being “unusual”, “sudden”, and “significant”, I would not rule this out as a beneficial possibility. Unusual steps for unusual times.

Economy Remains Primary Issue in Election

It's the economy, stupid. That's what voters are saying. That's why the electoral map continues to look bluer every day.

If you're into the blame game, you can put it on Mercury retrograde. Mercury is in Libra and moving squarely across the Saturn of the United States. If you use the chart I do, cast for 9:35 AM, a time that makes sense with the historical record, this Saturn is in the house of the domestic economy. This makes enormous sense, as chaos is one possible result of this Mercury transit.

Don't Blame the Messenger.
Mercury is only the messenger, though. He has always brought missives from the other, heavier gods, represented by planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, etc. Mercury has been making quite dramatic contacts with each of these planets, so we're getting a huge number of messages, and they seem to change daily.

When's it going to turn around? If it were just up to Mercury, we would be experiencing a fairly localized problem of short duration and the peak of the economic drama would be today. However, there are a few other factors to consider. First, Mercury continues retrograde through the 15th. Second, it will make another pass over the US Saturn on October 23-24. Third, there is another delicate planetary passage for Mercury on October 26-27. Finally the economic issues we face are based in longer term planetary cycles, indicating that our problems are more deeply seated and of longer duration.

Still, Mercury is a major factor in how we make sense of the problem. While it is sending so many messages, we feel overwhelmed and confused. As it moves through each of its narrow passages over the next two weeks, we'll see the fog gradually clear. Once it is out of Libra, we'll have a new perspective and discover a new approach. That happens, coincidentally, on November 4.

Obama-McCain: Who Will Win the Town Hall Debate?

The next debate is tomorrow night, and millions are waiting with baited breath to see what will happen. Will Obama warm to the crowd? Will McCain continue to show disdain for his opponent? Will either make a game-changing gaffe? Behind in the polls, it’s clearly up to McCain to DO something; he’s going to have to do some fancy footwork to leap ahead. But will he be able to do it?

If he’s hopeful of doing so, the stars tell a different story. Right now we are in the middle of a Mercury retrograde period, when Mercury appears to travel backward through the zodiac. In fact, we could call these the “Mercury retrograde debates”, because all of them occur while Mercury is retrograde. What’s more, the first debate occurred as Mercury turned tail and the last debate happens as it returns to forward motion.

Such planetary periods establish a theme that can be detected in the political arena as well — one that colors events from August 28 through the morning of November 4. The key word for this theme is authenticity. Voters (and the candidates) are learning to recognize the difference between truth and appearances, and with the economy in catharsis it’s a steep learning curve.

The Candidates and Mercury Retrograde
It is possible to see how each candidate will fare during this Mercury period by looking at where it falls in their birth charts. In Obama’s chart, it makes no difficult contacts to his natal chart (trining his Aquarius Ascendant), so it should not be greatly troubling. What’s more, on the last two Mercury retrogrades (February and June), he did very well: He overtook Hillary Clinton in the primaries in February, and in June she conceded.

It’s a different story in McCain’s chart. Mercury is making difficult contacts to points that have to do with his identity (Ascendant) and reputation (Midheaven). While stretching the truth is common in political campaigns (and, sadly, so is outright lying), it is worth noting that McCain seems to be more concerned with saying what he wants voters to believe instead of what is true. While the Obama campaign is not innocent of prevarication, the number of falsehoods coming from McCain, Palin, and their surrogates is unusually high. This seems to be backfiring in the media and among the public. In my presentation "Who's Gonna Win," I was off by one (astrologically insignificant) day when I predicted that a critical day for McCain would be the 14th. The 15th is when he said that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”. These were days when a difficult pattern in his birth chart was being contacted heavily, and he did not handle it well.

Debates #1 and #2
So the context for the debates is the search for authenticity. It is not surprising then that Sarah Palin’s performance was generally viewed with disfavor, since she focused on responses that were high on winks and rehearsed talking points, and low on credibility. The voters are looking desperately for real answers to their real-life problems.

Within the context of authenticity, each debate has its own planetary fingerprint, and its outcome can be discerned by examining it and its connections with the charts of the candidates. In Debate #1, the planets showed favor for both candidates. The Moon represents the public, so its position in early Virgo made contact with both candidates’ birth charts (McCain’s Sun and Obama’s Pluto). This suggested that the focus would initially be on differences in style, but that substantive differences in substance would emerge later. This was in fact the case; McCain was imperious, while Obama’s quiet authority on the facts eventually won the day.

In the vice-presidential debate, the Moon is again important. It was in late Scorpio and void of course, meaning that it was in a “no-man’s land” where it was done making contacts with any planets until it changed signs. However, this Moon made a very harmonious contact with Biden’s birth chart (Sun and Venus) and a difficult contact to Palin’s (Sun-Saturn-Mars). This told me that Biden would win handily, but the polls and public opinion would not be substantially affected. There was a slight up-tick for Obama-Biden after the event, but that could be due to the economy.

The Town Hall Debate
Now, as Debate #3 looms, what can we expect? This time the Moon is in Capricorn, and once again it is void of course। This tells us that the debate will have no affect on the campaign. However, it’s placement in Capricorn does contact the birth chart of each candidate (Obama’s Saturn and McCain’s Moon). In this case, Obama wins again because Saturn is stronger in Capricorn than is the Moon. Obama will present substance, structure, and reassurance. He will show leadership and confidence. McCain may seem defeated, emotional, and pessimistic. With Moon in Capricorn, the mood will be somber and serious. Watch for the media to use these words and their synonyms as they provide post-debate analysis.

The most important debate is the last one on October 15. It has the potential to have the most influence of all the debates. For more on the final debate and other thoughts on the campaign season, stay tuned.