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The vice-presidential candidate on this yearís winning team has a greater chance of having to take over for the president than any vice president in the last 40 years. A strong statement, yesóbut with a strong astrological pattern to back it up. The year 2000 brings the return of the twenty-year Jupiter-Saturn cycle that coincides with U.S. presidents not finishing their final term in office. Sound intriguing? It is.

First, the facts. Since 1840, all U.S. presidents elected in a year ending in zero have not completed their final term in office, with the exception of Ronald Reagan. Since 1840, Jupiter and Saturn have been joining together (conjunct) every twenty years in earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) except in 1980, Reaganís election year, when they joined in Libra, an air sign. (See list below.)

In Ronaldís Reaganís case, it may have been the expertise of his astrologer, Joan Quigley, that contributed to his survival. In her book, What Does Joan Say? My Seven Years as White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan, she states, "During this seven-year period, I read the presidentís horoscope often hourly, for political reasons as well as for safety." Well aware of what she called the "zero-year phenomenon" affecting the U.S. presidents, she said, "an air sign conjunction, while dangerous, was less fatalistic and Reagan had a chance of surviving two terms in office.Ē One approach was to work directly with Nancy, who held great control over the presidentĎs schedule, to prevent him from appearing in public during times when he was most vulnerable to assassination. It is interesting to note, however, that Joan Quigley wasn't working for the Reagans during the time of the assassination attempt in March, 1981. She worked for them during the 1980 campaign, and then was hired again by Nancy Reagan in April of 1981, after the assassination attempt.

The Astrology Behind the Pattern

Jupiter and Saturn, the planets that symbolize rulers and governments, king-making and consequences, take 11.8 and 29.5 years, respectively, to orbit the Sun. Approximately every twenty years, their paths cross and they appear together in the sky in a particular sign of the zodiac. Their conjunction follows a pattern of staying in a particular element for over a century at a time, gradually moving from fire to earth to air to water signs, with some overlap during the transitions.

The twelve signs of the zodiac are divided into four elements: fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) and water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). Fire signs are lively and energetic, concerned with future possibilities. Earth signs have a physical, results-oriented focus, while air signs are about communication, idealism and things being "up in the air." Water signs are emotional, sensitive and responsive to others.

Presidents, Past and Future

So why did this repeating, twenty-year pattern of U.S. presidents not completing their term in office begin in 1840? Thatís when the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction took a firm hold in earth signs. During the presidencies of 1820 and 1780, the conjunction was finishing its cycle in the fire signs (Aries and Sagittarius). However, the conjunction did occur in an earth sign, Virgo, in 1802 and the president elected in 1800, Thomas Jefferson, did finish his term in office. How can that be explained?

In a way, the president elected that year didnít finish his term in office. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr ran for president, each receiving an equal number of votes from the Electoral College. (Remember, itís not the popular vote that counts, itís the Electoral College votes). The House of Representatives was required to break the tie, and Jefferson became president. So we could say that Burr was elected, but didnít finish his term.

Looking ahead to 2020, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction moves out of earthy Capricorn into Aquarius, an air sign, but just barely, by a matter of astronomical minutes, so that will be interesting to watch. The presidents elected after that can breathe easier, since the conjunction moves into air signs for the next hundred-plus years. But what about the year 2000?

The President-Elect: "What, Me Worry?"

The pattern that began 160 years ago (or 200 years ago if we take 1800 as the starting point) continues with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in May 2000 in Taurus, an earth sign. If it holds, the U.S. president elected this year will not finish his final term in office, whether it is his first term, or if re-elected in 2004, his second.

Astrology is not an exact science, and itís interesting to note that in all these instances the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction happened sometime during the term of the presidents elected in a zero-ending year, with some presidents dying before the conjunction occurred, and some after. However, in Ronald Reaganís case, the conjunction occurred after the election but prior to his taking office. Perhaps it was that exception to the pattern, rather than the fact that it occurred in an air sign, that contributed to his recovery. If so, that exception would also apply to this yearís candidate, as the conjunction occurred in May, well before the election. However, it is in an earth sign, which is the strongest link.

Time will tell on this one. Whatever happens, itís worth giving this yearís vice-presidential candidates your serious consideration as potential future presidents, and donít forget to vote!

ďZero YearĒ Presidents

1840: William Henry Harrison gets pneumonia during his inauguration and dies in April 1841. In January of 1842, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn.

1860: Abraham Lincoln is shot in revenge for the defeat of the Confederacy and dies before the end of his second term. In October 1861, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Virgo.

1880: James Garfield is shot by a disgruntled job seeker and dies in July 1881, In April 1881 Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Taurus.

1900: William McKinley is shot by an anarchist in September 1901. In November 1901, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn.

1920: Warren G. Harding falls ill and dies of an apparent brain hemorrhage in August 1923. In September 1921, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Virgo.

1940: Franklin Roosevelt dies of a brain hemorrhage before the end of his fourth term in April 1945. In July 1940, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Taurus.

1960: John F. Kennedy is shot by an assassin for political reasons and dies in November 1963. In February of 1961, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Capricorn.

1980: Ronald Reagan is shot by a mentally-ill assailant in March 1981, but recovers to finish a second term in office. In December of 1980, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Libra.


Mary Ursettie is a professional astrologer, writer, teacher, clairvoyant and MBA. Once part of the mainstream in Silicon Valley, she started a consulting firm, Energy Shift, to use her intuitive methods and non-traditional experience to improve the energy of the workplace. In addition to doing private astrological readings and corporate consulting, she teaches a variety of classes and workshops and writes an irregular astrological newsletter called Fish Tales.

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