by Hand Week 41
the end of last week’s article on Senator
John McCain, we were looking at his Venus-Saturn
opposition from the Twelfth House (Venus) to the Sixth House (Saturn). The next thing
that we need to notice is that Venus is moving away from the opposition.
This is an aspect whose influence was passing away at birth and which
should have less influence as time passes, so it is likely that it has
manifested most strongly early in life. But let’s look more at this Saturn.
in the Sixth House. This is not one of most astrologers’ favorite houses.
It has to do with work, illness and in the older forms of astrology is
one of the houses of enemies. Given that McCain was imprisoned by the
North Vietnamese, the enemies of our nation at that time, this old interpretation
of the Sixth seems appropriate in McCain’s case.
there is an exception to the general negativity that astrologers used
to feel about the Sixth House. This exception is embodied in the fact
that even now most astrologers regard the Sixth House as signifying work.
The medieval astrologers stated that if there were some strong connection
between the Sixth House and the Tenth House, then the Sixth House would
have more to do with career and work than with illness or enemies.
chart, Saturn in the Sixth is the planet making the closest aspect to
the Midheaven, the point at the top of the chart, and Saturn will be the
next planet that the Midheaven aspects. Recall that the Midheaven has
the strongest signification for career. The aspect is a trine, usually
regarded as harmonious or favorable, and it is less than four degrees
means is that something or several things about that Saturn and what it
signifies would assist McCain in his career. Well, in fact, his political
career is at least to some extent derived from his war-hero reputation,
which in turn is derived from his experience and behavior as a P.O.W.
And let’s not forget that this Saturn is one of the rulers of the Ascendant,
or rising degree, which describes the way that an individual appears to
Saturn in the Sixth is not a perfect one, even aside from the fact that
it is in the Sixth. It is retrograde, i.e., apparently going backward
in the zodiac, and Saturn has no dignity in its degree of Pisces, a state
known as peregrine. But this is itself interesting. “Peregrine” means
foreign or wandering. McCain was from the North Vietnamese point of view
a foreign enemy, so here we have one Ascendant ruler “peregrine” opposing
Venus, the other Ascendant ruler, in the Twelfth House, signifying imprisonment.
here! Could I or anyone else have forecasted any of this? If we lived
in the Middle Ages the answer would probably be “yes,” because this sort
of thing was not unusual with the noble clientele of the medieval astrologer.
It is much harder to forecast this kind of thing now because the greater
fluidity of our social order makes the outcome of astrological combinations
much less determined. But we can say this: As McCain has already discovered
in connection with the Keating scandals of a few years ago, someone with
a chart like his must live an absolutely squeaky clean existence in order
to make this aspect in his chart work at all well.
Back to Saturn!
It is doing something else that is interesting. Jupiter is approaching
a 90-degree angle, or square, to Saturn. And since Saturn is going backward,
Saturn is also approaching Jupiter. This does not look especially good
at first, but it is much better than it looks.
in Pisces, which is traditionally ruled by Jupiter (I use the old rulers).
Jupiter is in Sagittarius, which means that Jupiter is dignified. Any
planet being in its own rulership is considered good for that planet.
This means Jupiter is strong, and its strength can rub off on Saturn,
making this a much more productive square than average according to medieval
square is, like all squares, an unstable aspect, it is much more likely
than most squares to lead to something useful. So here is yet another
indication that the Saturn in his chart might be more helpful than it
So we have
a pragmatic conservative who has turned a difficult experience to his
advantage. But what makes him buck his party’s establishment the way he
does? Next week we will look at this question, and we will see why this
is happening at this time.