Between the Worlds: Obama’s Transition Period


Is there life after the election? You betcha! It may have been inconceivable to think of what life would be like after the election, but here we are. It’s like jumping off a cliff — we witnessed history as Barack Obama was transformed into the president-elect.

So what happens now? He selects his staff and cabinet, and puts together an entire administration in 74 days with a little help from his friends. From an astrological point of view, however, there’s more to it than that.

Remember the first “nanny-gate”? This was the one with Zoe Baird, the one where President-Elect Clinton made her his first choice for Attorney General. She was nixed when it was discovered that she had hired illegal immigrants to serve as her nanny and chauffeur and did not pay social security taxes on their wages. “Trouble with women” could have been predicted in the process, because Mars was retrograde in Cancer during most of his transition period. (In fact, a second woman, Kimba Wood, was also withdrawn from nomination for the post for similar reasons.) In short, the planetary events that occur during the transition are not without consequence.

Transition 2008
And never have there been so many perils, or such dramatic planetary patterns to reckon with. Let’s hit the highlights to get an overview of what to expect.

The Star of Our Show: Saturn Opposes Uranus
Expect the unexpected when these planets are in play. We held our breath hoping for a decisive outcome on Election Day, and we got it, but we truly didn’t know whether the Republicans could pull it out at the last minute, whether through their last-gasp get-out-the-vote effort or through election fraud shenanigans. But Obama won, as every indicator suggested he would. (Now, ask the people in Minnesota if there was any unpredictability in their electoral process! They still have yet to get an outcome to the senate race there.)

Saturn and Uranus both change directions during the transition period. Uranus returns to forward motion on November 27 (Thanksgiving Day), while Saturn turns retrograde (on December 31). These are such slow movers that they are virtually stationary for weeks at a time. Saturn is still in motion but slow, while Uranus is nearly still now. This is both momentous and complex, and of such long-standing duration that while it is a constant factor in our lives, it is felt most when it is triggered by a fast-moving planet like the Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, or Mars.

The Moon triggers Saturn-Uranus every week for 2½ days, and these dates are worth watching because they allow us to see what’s in the works. When the other triggers make contact, they result in more significant events. For example, I’m sure you noticed some volatility in the stock market on before, during, and after the election. This cannot be explained away simply as an effect of the election on investors. Venus was in contact with Saturn and Uranus, augmenting feelings of insecurity.

Roughly speaking, the Saturn-Uranus contact portends a sea change in social, political, and economic trends spurred by dramatic problems that cannot be solved by the usual bland measures. They are global in scale and are felt across issue areas, from the economy to the environment to our personal priorities. The best way to see how it is playing out is by watching what occurs on the dates when these planets are highlighted. After November 3–5, it is worth watching November 26–28, December 5–15, and December 29–31. The Moon triggers Saturn and Uranus every Thursday and Friday through mid-December, then every Wednesday-Thursday through mid-January. This will establish a weekly rhythm that you’ll notice of tension and release. One of the easiest places to observe this is the stock market, as the market will be more volatile (up or down) on these days.

Sun and Mercury square Chiron and Neptune
These contacts, which are tightly tied in space and time, are less significant. The first of them (Sun square Chiron) occurred on November 7, coinciding with the selection of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff and with bad employment and retail sales figures. While many feel good about Emanuel’s new role, the Republicans in the House are experiencing some consternation.

The remainder of these contacts will occur through November 17, presumably clearing more of the fog surrounding the economy. We have to know what’s really been going on all these years, with people who have been suffering now being acknowledged so the new Administration can do something about it.

Jupiter Trines Saturn
The breath of fresh air in the mix is the ongoing harmonious contact between Jupiter and Saturn. These rulers of society’s structures (including the economy) suggest that some constructive measures can be taken to dull the sharp edges of the economic downturn. Most auspicious is the fact that the G20 are meeting next weekend to discuss the world economy. Although Obama has been invited, he will send advisors rather than attend himself. Meanwhile, he has been making persistent recommendations for particular actions to take place before he takes office, and it seems to be in the world’s and nation’s best interest if these actions are taken. Whether Congress will be able to pass an economic stimulus package is doubtful. Even when the minority party sees the handwriting on the wall in the form of what’s best for and what is the will of the people, they seem determined to play partisan politics; but there is always hope for anyone to change.

Pluto Enters Capricorn — Again.
When Pluto re-enters Capricorn on November 26, we may see a dolor settle over the culture as it did earlier this year. It may be a glum Christmas for those who associate it with showy gifts and material delights. But the silver lining is the adjustment to a deeper, more charitable set of values, as we rediscover what is really meaningful in our lives — our loved ones and the simple pleasures of being together, or of simply being well in ourselves.

This will be in tune with Obama’s pragmatic, bottom-line approach to governing. He is no ideologue; he will make decisions without reference to what his party wants him to do if he thinks it is right for the country. Politics of course plays into this, but he will first try to educate an attentive public before taking an unpopular decision to help others understand his reasoning and get on board with him.

Jupiter Enters Aquarius.
On January 5, Jupiter enters Aquarius. We will be thrust into a new, egalitarian and more hopeful energy. With Jupiter now rushing headlong toward Chiron and Neptune, we may not have everything we want, but we can dream, can’t we?

This signals a shift in mood and tone in the culture, and there will be a growing excitement about moving into the future, an anticipation of the new world we will enter once Obama takes the oath of office.

Mercury’s Next Retrograde
Mercury turns retrograde on January 11 and will remain so until January 31, after the inauguration. When Mercury is retrograde, we learn something that we never knew before. With Mercury retrograde in the inaugural chart, we can see that a relatively inexperienced leader is thinking outside the box, but with it conjunct the Sun and Jupiter, it works in a beneficial way.

I can’t predict what Obama will do based on what the planets are doing in the heavens, and I wouldn’t want to try. But it is good to note the dates on which he takes decisions, because we will be able to predict their success rate by when he does so. In addition, we could expect “tests” of leadership to arise on the any of the dates mentioned in this post, particularly November 26–28, December 5–15, and December 29–31. I’ll provide updates on what unfolding events mean as these dates occur.

I think we will be amazed at the composure and aplomb that rises up in Obama’s character in response to the tests and challenges that lie ahead. He has spent a lifetime outside the box, and that’s how he’ll be thinking as he prepares to uphold the Constitution on January 20.