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Many astrologers, using the traditional tools of their trade, make it seem fairly easy to predict the outcome of the coming presidential election. Most of the forecasts I’ve seen say Senator John F. Kerry will be the victor, given the fact that George W. Bush has Saturn transiting his Twelfth House and Kerry has Jupiter near his Midheaven at the time of the election.

But if predictions were that easy to make, there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the power of astrology, and astrologers would be rich and famous.

The problem in making predictions—especially political predictions—is that usually the astrologer’s political philosophy affects what he sees. A liberal Democrat astrologer can only see victory for Kerry and a conservative Republican stargazer has trouble seeing anything but a win for Bush. And what’s really at stake in most articles predicting an election, is the ego of the astrologer, anxious to prove that his or her point of view is right.

Most liberal Democrat astrologers see the Saturn return in Bush’s Twelfth House as sure proof that the president is about to be undone, since “self-undoing” is one of the traditional meanings of this house. But couldn’t the Saturn return also mean that the president will grow in wisdom, become aware of his limitations and take charge of his destiny? Similarly, couldn’t Kerry’s coming Jupiter transits to his Midheaven lead to overconfidence and unrealistic expectations resulting in dashed hopes?

Open-Ended Symbolism

The problem with astrological symbolism is its open-ended nature. Every symbol in astrology has both a positive and a negative meaning. How can an astrologer tell which way current symbolic indications will play out? The simple truth is you can’t. All you can do is study the charts of the two candidates and look at their past history and discuss probabilities.

George W. Bush, for instance, in his first four years in office had to deal with an unprecedented situation—the first attack against the United States mainland. His administration was immediately thrust into a defensive position with his main concern protecting the security of the nation. Bush has the Sun and Saturn in Cancer in his Twelfth House, indicating a natural propensity to be cautious, concerned with security, and possibly have a tendency to withdraw.

As transiting Saturn moves toward the return to its natal Twelfth House position in Bush’s horoscope, his opponents charge that his efforts to fight terrorism and protect national security have resulted in the isolation of the United States from former friends and allies. The Democrats say that by going it alone and failing to create an international coalition, the president made a mistake in the way he conducted the war in Iraq.

Similarly, John Kerry’s tendency to jump from one philosophical or political position to another reflects the changeableness of his mutable fire Sagittarian Sun sign, that have resulted in his opponents calling him “Senator Flip-Flop.” This trait indicates the lack of a deep commitment to a belief, which should be the hallmark of Sun in Sagittarius.

Astrologically speaking, it is no coincidence that the main issues facing the candidates center around matters directly related to their Sun signs. But in practical terms, the character flaws in both candidates will matter very little. Bush’s supporters continue to believe the war in Iraq was totally justified. Similarly, Kerry supporters dismiss accusations that he can’t take a firm position on issues and accuse Bush of misleading the public. The plain truth is both sides in this election, for the first time in U.S. history, are motivated not just by political and ideological differences. Both sides seem to literally hate each other.

The Gemini Rising U.S. Chart

A glance at the U.S. chart shows the current situation clearly. Using the Gemini rising chart, we see transiting Saturn currently in the Third House of communication and day to day pragmatic thinking, opposing Pluto in the Ninth House of ideology and thought systems. This transit becomes near exact during the election. We can interpret the Ninth House Pluto as powerful, almost fanatical ideology. On one hand this transit of Saturn indicates the U.S.’s struggle with foreign fanatics (Al Qaeda), but in terms of the election, it also shows that a powerful ideology here at home is being challenged by more pragmatic thinkers. Pluto in the Ninth is sure it has all the answers and that they come directly from a Higher Source. Saturn in the Third doesn’t agree. The opposition indicates a head on clash between ideologues and those whose ideas are not necessarily set in stone.

At the same time, transiting Pluto in the Seventh House opposes natal Mars. These planets both represent anger, rage, and resentment. When they team up in a face-off aspect like the opposition, the results can be intense. By the time of the election the passions of the electorate could be over the top.

Both the transiting Saturn and transiting Pluto aspects also indicate the problems with terrorism. Fears of a terror attack may increase at the same time the nation is becoming more and more polarized politically. The terror threat level could be raised just before the election, with everyone remembering the bombings in Madrid that resulted in a change of government.

Neptune is the Key

Aggravating these factors is the presence of transiting Neptune at the nation’s Midheaven. Neptune brings confusion, deception, and illusion, indicating that the nation may be at a loss to figure out what is actually going on. If the terror threat level is raised just before the election, administration opponents will accuse Bush of manipulating the public’s fears to stay in office. There has even been some discussion within the administration of delaying the election if terror threats warrant it. You can imagine the howls of Democrats if that is actually proposed.

What are we to make of all this? The key is Neptune. With Neptune at the highest point in the U.S. chart, we need to remember the real meaning of this planet. While negatively it can cause confusion and delusion, Neptune’s real goal for us is to realize the illusory nature of all things.

We all see the same thing differently. We perceive the world through the distorted lens of our own particular illusions and prejudices. We each create the world in accordance with these individual viewpoints and we want to believe our view is the only correct one. In fact, we’re so sure, we’re willing to fight and die for our viewpoint. As a result, throughout the ages, mankind has waged war and wrought immense destruction for the sake of his beliefs.

Neptune , the planet of universal love, is here to remind us that in this world of illusion, we need compassion and forbearance, not anger and hate, in dealing with each other here at home and with people in other nations.

During the Vietnam era, John Lennon's song Imagine pictured a world with no religion, no country, no possessions—nothing to live or die for, a Brotherhood of Man, living life in peace. It's a far out concept, and one that realistically, is never going to happen. But maybe what Neptune will bring will be a period where we can all at least imagine and hope for a time when "the world will live as one." Until then, until we have leaders who can envision that possibility, will it really matter who wins on Nov. 2?


John M. Whalen is freelance writer, astrologer, and editor of a business publication based in Washington, D.C. He writes about film, TV, music and travel for various magazines and newspapers. He contributed a chapter on the life and films of director Sam Peckinpah to the new book, The Astrology of Film: The Interface of Movies, Myth, and Archetype.

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For more information about John Whalen, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by John Whalen:

  • Astro-Zen   3/10/2012
  • Astro-Zen   9/10/2004
  • Saturn and the Vanquishing of Illusion   11/3/2003
  • The Grand Illusion   1/9/2003
  • Two Degrees of Scorpio   10/10/2002
  • Venus Elements   2/14/2002
  • Timothy McVeigh: The Day of Judgment   5/9/2001
  • Kevin Spacey: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma   4/9/2001
  • Keanu Reeves' Excellent Adventure   3/8/2001
  • Steven Soderbergh: Putting the Cuffs on Oscar   3/5/2001
  • The Christmas Eclipse: Bringing Your Heart's Desire   12/25/2000
  • Robert DeNiro: Master of Form and Essence   11/18/2000
  • Sylvester Stallone: A Fallen Star, Rising Again?   10/28/2000
  • Yasser, Ehud, Can We Talk?   8/31/2000
  • Alec Guinness: Reluctant Jedi   8/19/2000
  • Human Genetics: O Brave New World!   8/16/2000
  • Survivor: Candid Camera Runs Amok   7/8/2000
  • Samuel L. Jackson: Shaft for the New Millennium   7/1/2000
  • Jackie Chan: Fearless Aries with the Comic Touch   6/23/2000

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