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.