As we head into the final quarter of 2004, the leaders of both the USA and Australia stand for re-election. They will be politically judged for the first time since ignoring the United Nations and (along with Great Britain) leading the invasion of Iraq. To be returned they will need to survive a planetary hoodoo that has spelt disaster for the leaders of this triumvirate since early last century.
John Howard's Influence on Australia
Prime Minister John Howard's influence on Australia can be measured by comparing his own horoscope with that of the country. Australia became a nation united on New Year's Day 1901, in Sydney at 1:35 pm, as their first national government was ceremonially sworn in. John Howard was born July 26, 1939, also in Sydney, sometime between 2 and 4 am. Superimposing John's planets on Australia's horoscope sees controlling Saturn on the Ascendant, with warlike Mars directly overhead on the Midheaven, and extremist Pluto opposing below with his Sun. They form a configuration, which the noted German cosmobiologist Reinhold Ebertin described as “brutality, the rage and fury of destruction…the death of a great many people.” It was this identical pattern that descended on the American horoscope on September 11, 2001,* while Howard was in Washington for meetings with President George Bush. The two have since forged a coalition which has seen Australia follow the US into Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bush warmly endorses Howard as Australia heads for the polls in October of this year.
Unlike Spain, where a terrorist bombing was blamed for swinging an election against the government, Australia is a very conservative (Sun conjunct Saturn) country. So much so, that for 16 years they elected the same Prime Minister, Liberal Robert Menzies, who played upon the fear factor of a communist inspired Asian invasion. This left the opposition socialist Labor Party in the political wilderness. Now, against the backdrop of the Beslan terrorism, and the recent suicide bombing outside of the Australian Embassy in Indonesia, what might be described as the angel of death could instead be a godsend for Howard's election campaign. Many Australians view Howard, like Menzies, as a father figure.
Youthful Mark Latham, (born Feb. 28 1961, Sydney, time unknown) is Howard's political opponent and leader of the Labor Party. Ironically, under Labor Australia enjoyed its friendliest relations with its northern Asian neighbors. Latham has the social conscience of a Piscean Sun with a grandstanding Leo Moon. But with omnipotent Pluto opposing his Sun at birth, he is bound to attract powerful and sometimes ruthless opposition.
Last year, the planet of rapid and surprising turnabouts, Uranus, entered his Sun sign Pisces. Latham found himself propelled to his party's leadership via an upset victory over former leader Kim Beazley. The naturally benefic planets of Venus (popularity) and Jupiter (success) configured with his Sun (by Solar arc direction) occasioned that victory on December 2, 2003. In the early part of 2004 and with the negative repercussions of the Iraq war fresh in mind, Latham also led the Oz popularity polls. But now, as Saturn moves into the picture, the time of reckoning is upon him. It will arrive on the evening of October 9.
The astrological winds of fate can switch direction in the blink of an eye, and the transit of a planet. This is what makes the next few months so interesting—not only for Australia, but also the US and Great Britain. Saturn, the planet so often linked to those fatalistic tempests, in Cancer, has regularly signaled the fall of the leaders of the US, Britain and Australia. The only survivors were US President Woodrow Wilson and Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes, way back in 1916. Wilson looked defeated at the close of polls, until a victory in California secured him a second term by the barest of margins. Billy Hughes was expelled from his own party, and only retained leadership by joining the opposition. Judge the Saturn record for yourself.
Saturn in Cancer - Recent Political Events
1916 - President Woodrow Wilson survives by a mere 1863 votes
1945 - President Franklin Roosevelt dies of brain hemorrhage
1974 - President Richard Nixon resigns
2004/5 George Bush?
1916 - PM Herbert Asquith resigns
1945 - PM Winston Churchill defeated in election landslide
1974 - PM Edward Heath resigns
2004/5 PM Tony Blair?
1916 - PM Billy Hughes ousted from the Labor Party, joins opposition to retain position
1945 - PM John Curtin dies in office
1975 - PM Gough Whitlam dismissed from office
2004/5 PM John Howard?
The Australian election will be the first time that a national leader of the “coalition of the willing” stands for re-election. It also closely precedes the November USA election. The planetary energies that surround these elections are anything but peaceful. They turn the contest into more of a war zone than a domestic showdown.
Prime Minister Howard called the election on the exact day that progressed Mars opposed his birth Sun, which opens him to violent challenges and angry reactions from the electorate. Howard has been accused of being a sycophant to President Bush, as well as riding on the terrorist fear factor and US support to retain his power base. Conservative Australians, however, see him as a bastion of tradition and national stability. Opponent Latham has been earmarked as a rebel without a cause, and he desperately needs one to force a change of power, with Howard back in front in the polls.
The election doesn't look like an ending on October 9, 2004. Howard also has to contend with an eclipse pattern that has repeatedly seen Australian leaders taken from office, along with the fact that his own political career has now traversed a complete Saturn cycle. Even his deputy is biting at his heels. Win or lose, it seems to be the end of the road for John Howard.
*A transiting opposition of Saturn and Pluto was conjunct and opposite the US natal Mars.