Look Who’s Playing Saturn Now!

Princess Sparkle Pony and her Pony Pals are dissing Barack Obama for showing a little bit of gray hair. I think they’re making a mistake.

As an astrologer, here’s what I find interesting. Everybody who was talking about the opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces on Election Day was sure that GOP Presidential candidate John McCain was playing Father Time (Saturn) because of his 72 years and his white hair.

Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, was cast as revolutionary Uranus because of his skin color, his supposedly progressive policies (they look pretty centrist to me), and his Internet mojo.

But guess what’s happened as Election Day has approached? McCain has become more Uranian (read erratic) by nominating “maverick” Sarah Palin as his vice-president and suspending his campaign during the financial bailout vote. Meanwhile, Obama has kept his cool during the stock market meltdown. He’s looking more like Saturnian these days, with the gray hair, the conservative suits, and his steady manner.

Anybody who has looked at the Fall Equinox chart knows that Saturn is at the midheaven. I originally thought this meant that McCain would win because he’s older and more experienced. Now, I’m not so sure who’s Saturn and who’s Uranus.

As I promised I would (“Pluto in Virgo for President”), I cast my vote for Pluto in Virgo. The candidate with that aspect happens to be Barack Obama, and I cast an absentee ballot for him last week in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

But even though I voted for Obama, like his wife Michelle told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, he’s “gotta win me over.”

Election 2008: Trick or Treat?

When I started this blog, I decided to call it Astrology Mundo (world) in the hopes of taking a broad view and attracting readers and commenters from all over the world. Obviously, my mandate is limited by the fact that this is an English-language blog.

As we count down to the U.S. election, a lot of allegations about the candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are spreading like wildfire through the blogosphere, and I don’t want to get burned. I’m interested in truth and transparency, but I’m not going to be the vehicle to spread rumors. Therefore, I’m not approving comments that appear to be motivated purely by political concerns, despite my desire to be broad-minded.

For the record: I don’t know who will win the Presidential election. Because of the aspect between revolutionary Uranus and restrictive Saturn that is exact on Election Day, there could be an “upset” of some kind.

The potential for a grand deception or a perfect storm also exists, as Mars in Scorpio will be squaring a stellium of Neptune, Chiron, and North Node in Aquarius, as Neptune turns direct.

Ray Merriman, the dean of financial astrology, decided to stop talking about the election in recent weekly columns because of the angry e-mails he was getting from folks who disagree with him. He’s got a forecast up this week, though, that reverses his earlier prediction that McCain will win.

His feeling is that Obama has become more Saturnian (responsible, conservative) and McCain more erratic (Uranus) as we’ve moved closer to the election.

As I mentioned earlier this year, I was fascinated by the premise of the underrated Kevin Costner film Swing Vote. In that movie, the Republicans start acting like Democrats and the Democrats espouse policies normally associated with the GOP, all in an effort to win the vote of one man (Costner).

Since the financial crisis erupted on Sept. 9, the Republicans have pushed through a program of government intervention that appears to take a page from the Democrats’ playbook. Although Congress, at the behest of President George Bush and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has spearheaded what I’ve dubbed “welfare for Wall Streeters,” Republican voters continue to rail about possible “socialism” under Democrat Obama. They don’t seem to understand that government control of our financial system is accelerating under a Republican Administration.

As Nancy’s Blog has astutely observed, the culture wars are back in full force as Pluto makes its last pass through Sagittarius before entering Capricorn for good on Nov. 27. So the fur is going to continue to fly.

Rest assured, though, the Saturn/Uranus opposition will be informing politics for the next few years. If McCain and his vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin win the election with their “maverick” persona, the people will react in a Saturnian (conservative) way.

Likewise, if Obama is elected, I predict he will be too conservative for his supporters, who may be disillusioned as Neptune conjuncts the U.S. Moon in Aquarius during the next two years. Indeed, the financial crisis and the amount of money pledged to prop up the fragile banking system may put the kibosh on any plans that Obama had to bolster social welfare. This typically means using government money to improve services for seniors, children, the disabled, and the needy.

A huge problem with both candidates, who are in overdrive trying to woo Main Street with a populist (from populi, Latin for the “voice of the people”) message: The political system in the U.S. and our politicians are beholden to powerful corporations.

Sure, I think it’s great that Joe Biden is from Scranton, my Dad’s gritty hometown. Trouble is, Biden represents Delaware in the Senate and has strong ties to the credit-card companies based in that state that have raped consumers with interest rates of 30%.

As informed voters know, McCain was caught up in the savings-and-loan scandal of the late 1980s and was one of the Keating Five, a group of Senators punished by their colleagues for improper conduct in connection with Charles Keating, the former head of Lincoln Savings and Loan. The New York Times has also exposed McCain’s ties to lobbyists from the Indian casino gambling industry.

While candidates of all political stripes go out of their way to cast themselves as ordinary guys and gals for fear of being labeled part of the “elite,” the reality is they are dutiful servants of our plutocracy.

With Pluto in Capricorn, the bottom line is: We’re all on our own. Our government will not be able to help us — either because it goes bankrupt trying to honor its overly optimistic financial promises or because it’s dismantled by radicals on the right or the left, or by a fringe coalition.

It’s interesting when you read about home-schooling and private school vouchers, both of which take kids out of public schools, to see that supporters range from conservative Christians to lefty tree-huggers.

Sarah Palin’s fellow travelers in the Alaska Independence Party, who are working for the state’s secession from the Union, are the harbingers of this anti-government sentiment on a federal level. What’s going to be amusing is when the folks who have been preaching that it’s time to “get government off our backs” will be begging for handouts. It’s going to get ugly, no matter who is elected.

Still, the optimist in me says we’ll go back to the spirit of Yankee mutual aid celebrated by Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America. A case in point: When I was recently was cat-sitting for a friend in New York City, I discovered a whole lending library of books that the co-op has in the basement. At least people the people in that building will have something to read after the local library shuts down because of government cutbacks.

So build and cultivate your networks (the U.S. Moon in Aquarius), folks. But that’s what’s going to get you through the next four years, no matter who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Addendum: I was Googling trying to find a de Tocqueville quote about volunteerism and mutual aid and I stumbled upon this one, which is quite apt as the Bush Administration starts talking about the need for another government stimulus package with the election less than a month away:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

McCain and Obama: The Citizenship Follies

Although I have great respect for Gian Paul, who has contributed several posts on politics and economics to Astrology Mundo with the tagline “The View From Brazil,” I don’t necessarily agree with his assessment that John McCain will be the next U.S. President.

When friends ask me what is going to happen on Election Day, I usually reply: “Anything could happen,” and tell them about the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which is exact on Nov. 4.

I don’t come out and say things like McCain could die of heart failure, Barack Obama could be assassinated, or there could be some kind of disruption of the electoral process due to a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. If you say those kinds of things, people think you’re nuts or that you’re trying to scare them.

So I usually leave it at: “Anything could happen.”

As far as I’m concerned, a new “anything” is materializing. Because details about where and when McCain was born have surfaced as Mercury is changing directions and moving forward, I think this issue is one to watch.

Until McCain’s official birth certificate surfaced on the Web over the weekend, it was assumed he was born in Cocosolo, Panama at either 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.

Now, it is definitively known that McCain was born in Colon, Panama at 6:25 p.m. on Aug. 29, 1936.

One lawsuit challenging McCain’s ability to run for President because he wasn’t born in the U.S. has been dismissed in California, but another one is moving forward in Nashua, N.H. The Senate has passed a resolution that paves the way for McCain to be President, but some of the legal experts quoted in articles I’ve read say this resolution may not withstand a legal challenge.

Here’s a good article explaining some of the legal arguments involved. Here’s what I think is interesting: The court could rule against McCain after he’s been elected President.

Gian Paul in his post on McCain says Uranus conjuncting McCain’s Saturn could free the candidate from the sense of restriction that has held him back. I would argue that Uranus to Saturn, especially being opposed by transiting Saturn, could blow McCain’s Saturnine ambitions to smithereens with some wild-card scenario.

So keep your eye on this relatively obscure court case concerning McCain’s citizenship. It’s widely viewed as a tempest in a teapot, but it could turn into something much bigger.

Lest conservatives think I’m picking on McCain, citizenship questions are dogging his opponent as well. Despite the fact that Barack Obama’s campaign has produced a “certificate of live birth” showing he was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961 at 7:24 p.m, speculation persists that he is a native of Kenya.

As this week’s Time magazine points out, the “foreign” brush that critics are trying to tar Obama with is a socially acceptable veneer for racism.

But I think the citizenship controversy surrounding both candidates is a harbinger of the anti-immigrant sentiment that is bound to increase when Pluto moves into Capricorn and opposes the stellium of Cancer planets in the U.S. independence chart.

On a symbolic level, the court cases against McCain and the questions surrounding Obama’s heritage are forcing us to ask: Who is an American?

McCain’s ‘New’ Chart: The View From Brazil

Here’s Gian Paul’s analysis of the natal horoscope of GOP Presidential candidate John McCain, using the new birth time of 6:25 p.m. on Aug. 29, 1936 in Colon, Panama. The data comes from a State Dept. document that has suddenly surfaced on the Internet as Mercury is preparing to go direct.

You may recall that in his first post for Astrology Mundo, Gian Paul predicted that McCain will be the next President. (See “Why McCain Will Win: The View From Brazil”). He’s not backing away from that theory. Here’s why:

I gave McCain’s “new” chart a test run using three events in the man’s life. I will even speculate on the next one, which will take place on Nov. 4.

1) McCain escaped a serious explosion on the aircraft carrier Forrestal on July 29, 1967. Although there were several casualties, he escaped with his life. The North Node/Moon was then transiting his Uranus. Jupiter was conjunct his natal Mars in the sixth house of health in the latest chart. Nice protection health-wise!

2) McCain was shot down on Oct. 26 1967, and captured by the North Vietnamese, as he recently reminded us by addressing voters as “my fellow prisoners.” What’s striking to me is that McCain has Saturn retrograde at 20 degrees of Pisces in his first house.

Because this house represents the physical body, it is not unexpected that he would become a prisoner of some sort at one or seven several times in his life. The question now: Has he become a “prisoner” of Sarah Palin, his vice-presidential nominee?

The transits of when McCain was grounded and was captured also provide support for the new chart. The Moon (change) was transiting his Pluto in Cancer and the fifth house. I interpret this as “an end to creativity and play.” As a prisoner of war, McCain could hardly think of having children!

Venus, being exactly conjunct his natal Neptune in in the seventh house of relationships an marriage, indicates that at some time Venusian “aspirations” would have to be relegated to the realm of fantasy.

3) On Mar. 14, 1973, McCain was released by the North Vietnamese. The Sun was then transiting his troublesome retrograde Saturn in the first. The Moon, again over his Pluto in the fifth house, was this time accompanied by a strong and favorable transit of Jupiter to his natal Moon in the 12th house of forced confinements.

From my point of view, these three events amply confirm that this time we have the correct birth time for McCain.

Concerning Nov. 4, Election Day: I prefer using 0 hours of Nov. 5, for practical reasons. By then, the entire U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, will have had its say.

I will restrict my interpretation exclusively to McCain and his current chart, using transits of zero hour of the day after.

The man is in for trouble, first with women, than with an enormous load of responsibilities. I believe that McCain will be your next President in an extremely trying world.

Let me explain: Saturn is exactly opposite his natal Saturn. A new half-cycle (Saturn) is starting. As Saturn is also closing in to conjunct his Venus in Virgo (not a comfortable aspect), I presume that some “feminine stresses” are to be expected.
.
Confirming this is a square of transiting Venus to his natal Saturn/Venus opposition, forming a T-square. If he gets elected with Palin, he will have to deal with two women, at least — his wife and his vice-president. We’ll see how that will work out.

But transiting Venus is in McCain’s 10th house. On Nov. 5, it will have just completed a conjunction with his Jupiter in Sagittarius, the ruler of his natal chart. (According to my style of astrological interpretation, a planet in its ruling sign becomes the chart’s “governor.”)

Another salient transit on Nov. 4-5: The Moon is exactly over his natal Moon, in
Aquarius, and Sarah Palin is an Aquarius.

One last point: Uranus, which turns direct on Nov. 27, will exactly conjunct McCain’s Saturn in the first house around Jan. 20, 2009, Inauguration Day. He may finally feel free from the restrictions of Saturn. Being the boss can do that for you.

Or he may feel imprisoned by the media circus (Uranus) that surrounds his new jail at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

John McCain’s 2008 Solar Return Using a 6:25 P.M. Birth Time

I may have been the only astrologer in America who believed John McCain’s Mom. The 96-year-old revealed in a Mother’s Day campaign ad this year that the Republican Presidential contender was born at 11 a.m.

Most stargazers have been relying on a 9 a.m. time that was provided earlier by a McCain staffer to AstroDataBank after talking to the candidate’s mother.

Michael WolfStar at StarIQ rectified McCain’s chart and came up with an 8:38 a.m. time. If you want to read what WolfStar thinks about McCain’s chart, click here.

Well, it turns out everybody was wrong. A birth certificate for McCain, which was brought to my attention on Oct. 12, shows a 6:25 p.m. time of birth on Aug. 29, 1936. That gives McCain an early Pisces rising, an Aquarius Moon, and a Virgo stellium that includes his Sun in the seventh house.

So much for the idea of McCain as a Libra rising because he had dimples. Ditto for the Scorpio rising chart, which gave McCain an angular Mars in Leo at the Midheaven. Here we had the war hero in all his glory. Also, this would have explained the fact that among his Washington colleagues, McCain is known for his temper.

Now that we’ve got what appears to be a real birth time based on a State Dept. document, I’ve rerun McCain’s solar return. I set the chart for Dayton, Ohio, thanks to WolfStar’s excellent research. That’s where the GOP Presidential nominee was when the Sun returned to the exact spot it was when he was born. Here’s McCain’s 2008 solar return.

I’ve since run the solar return for Washington for technical reasons and the chart looks pretty much the same as the one set in Dayton.

It’s got the flamboyant Moon in Leo rising. This chart is basically all about Sarah Palin, whom McCain announced as his vice-presidential nominee on his birthday. That Moon could also explain the media firestorm surrounding the revelation that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant, an announcement that appeared to surprise McCain.

I don’t think Aquarian Sarah Palin is going to be that easy to control on the campaign trail. It’s lucky for the McCain camp that her Democrat counterpart, Biden, is known for exhibiting symptoms of foot-in-mouth disease.

You know what other feisty lady in McCain’s life is an Aquarian? You guessed it: His Mom, who was born Feb. 7, 1912. So maybe Sarah isn’t going away after all.

As an Army brat born in Germany who has had to produce something called the “Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America” numerous times in my life, I long wondered why John McCain hadn’t been asked to come up with a similar document.

Now, someone has produced it for him!

P.S. Comments below may reflect an earlier version of this post, which relied on an 11 a.m. time of birth for McCain.

Mercury Retrograde: John McCain Does the Time Warp

Astrologers know that John McCain is a Virgo and the planetary ruler of his sign, Mercury, is in retrograde phase right now. That means its apparent motion, when viewed from the earth, is backward.

Well, McCain appears to be doing his own version of the Time Warp. The Wall Street Journal reported that the GOP Presidential candidate and former prisoner of war addressed a crowd in Pennsylvania as “my fellow prisoners”.

Perhaps he meant “prisoners of debt.” According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, outstanding public debt as of today is $10.2 trillion, and each American’s share of this is $33,547.65. In fact, our debt is so great that the National Debt Clock in Times Square doesn’t have enough digits to report it, according to the Associated Press.

My fellow astrologers, it gets even better. It turns out the blog item on the WSJ’s Web site has a mistake in it. It calls McCain “the Republican vice-presidential candidate” when, of course, he is running for President. I’m sure they’ll fix it soon, but gaffes abound during Mercury retrograde.

Along similar lines, I was reading a fascinating article in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair about Ingrid Betancourt that is missing a byline. In the text of the story, it talks about a school being named for the author, Maureen Orth, the widow of broadcast journalist Tim Russert. Somebody reading those galleys wasn’t doing his job. Orth’s byline is on the Web version of the story, though.

John McCain, Father of Indian Casino Gambling?

Whether you like a 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. birth time for John McCain, he’s got Jupiter in high-rolling Sagittarius in the second house of resources.

As stern Saturn at 15 degrees of Virgo squares that Jupiter exactly, The New York Times has exposed McCain’s close ties to the Indian gaming industry. Here’s the Times story.

I got my lead from Salon.

Like McCain, I have Jupiter in Sagittarius, but mine is in the third house of communications. So instead of ending up with a lot of money, I’ve ended up with a lot of words, both here and elsewhere. No complaints.

Under Pluto in Sagittarius, gambling has become serious problem for many people in this country, some of whom have run the nation’s financial institutions into the ground. So I don’t want to make light of the issue or of any politician’s close ties to lobbyists.

Still, as someone who likes to buy a lottery ticket or spin a roulette wheel every once in a while, I can relate to being chastised for indulging in games of chance.

I’m reserving further comment on this one other than to say the Lord may work in mysterious ways, but Saturn doesn’t. He kicks your butt, man! Just ask John McCain.

McCain and Mercury Retrograde

For any skeptics out there who don’t believe that things don’t move forward when Mercury’s apparent motion appears to be backwards, here’s my proof:

GOP Presidential candidate John McCain wants to delay the first Presidential debate, scheduled for Friday.

Interesting to note that McCain is a Virgo, a sign that is ruled by Mercury. No wonder he wants to suspend his campaign. He’s taking a lot of heat for it, I know, but from an astrological point of view it makes perfect sense.

Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a health issue that he needs to take care of during this retro period. Just a hunch.

For more on Merc retro, please click on this link.

Astrology and Moving Targets

I was just Googling astrologer Richard Nolle to see what he has to say about the financial crisis, and I happened upon the Web site of an Indian astrologer dedicated to defaming Nolle and exposing his “false predictions,” including that Bill Clinton would be a one-term President.

I won’t dignify the site by linking to it, but the guy had the nerve to sign off by saying “Om, Shanti” (Peace)!

Unlike our Indian counterparts, most Western astrologers do not believe that an outcome is fated. We might look at our charts and say Barack Obama has a good chance of standing on the Capitol steps on Inauguration Day.

But then his GOP opponent John McCain chooses Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential nominee, and Obama makes a stupid comment about putting lipstick on a pig. The next thing you know holding up a tube of lipstick fully extended (sort of phallic-looking to me!) becomes a cool thing to do at McCain rallies.

Was the astrologer who predicted great things for Obama wrong or did the Senator from Illinois jeopardize his chances of being President by impulsively uttering an expression that was taken out of context? As the old Duke Ellington ditty goes, “A slip of the lip can sink a ship.”

I’m not a philosopher or a physicist, but I’ve heard the theory that everything that is going to happen already exists and we’re just walking through a tunnel experiencing all of the exhibits in the museum of our life in linear fashion. That may be true, but I still believe in free will.

As astrologers, we’re only as good as the data we’re given, and our ability to interpret symbols varies from one individual to another. I look at my Fall Equinox chart and see John McCain as Saturn in the 10th. My commenter Cynthia thinks it’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Who’s right? Maybe both of us. Maybe neither!

In terms of the outer planets, even one like Pluto, which has been “demoted” by astronomers: I think we’re imparting a valuable weather forecast to folks who are interested. We’ve just lived through the economy on steroids, under Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008). Now, we’re entering an economic deep freeze with Pluto in Capricorn. Life is going to slow down. We’ll remember how to smell the roses, assuming we do something about pollution pronto.

We’ll get very resourceful, picking up the picnic table that’s in someone’s driveway down the block with a “free” sign on it instead of buying a new one at Home Depot. These more general predictions I can make with confidence. They affect the collective. And even the folks who’ve got a lot of money squirreled away are going to “get back to basics.”

Economists are fond of noting that consumers account for three-fourths of gross domestic product in the U.S. Well, the American consumer is finally tapped out. We’re going to have retool and invest in infrastructure under Pluto in Capricorn. Otherwise, our bridges and highways are going to fall apart.

Right now, politicians in Washington are trying to prop up the structure of the financial system. But that is bound to come tumbling down under Pluto in Capricorn. It must be rebuilt.

To wind up this rant, Richard Nolle is a fabulous astrologer. His Web site does an amazing job of predicting extreme weather and where it’s going to happen. Perhaps when he predicted that Clinton was going to be a one-term President, he was expecting that Clinton’s impeachment was going to result in the President leaving the White House.

Or perhaps those prayers that Clinton offered up paid off. I believe in miracles, the deus ex machina, and Divine Intervention. But I also believe that how much a person can benefit from these forces depends on the aspects in his natal chart.

When the Sun sign column says it’s my lucky day, I usually get a windfall of some kind — a school tax refund that I’d forgotten about, a small royalty check, or a rebate check from buying a small appliance that I’d mailed in months earlier. Do I win the lottery? No, but I’ll keep buying the tickets, just in case.

I don’t think the election is a “done deal,” by any means, but as they say on Wall Street, “don’t fight the tape,” or in our case, the chart. Our Fall Equinox chart has Old Man Saturn in the 10th. Anybody who wants to run the show better let the gray show in his or her hair. Age and authority are back on top, at least in this horoscope.