The daily countdown to the Presidential election has started in earnest. It's the season of prediction, so of course astrologers are feeling right at home. Since the Presidential Panel in May at UAC 2012 to the latest commentary in blogs, newsletters and the Huffington post, astrologers have used a wide variety of indicators to determine how the candidates will fare. Below I have highlighted a few of the more interesting columns that present a variety of techniques, from modern to ancient, Western to Vedic. Although most predict President Obama will win, no one thinks it is going to be an easy path.
-- by Joseph Crane.
An examination of the astrology of this Presidential campaign, using many difficult predictive techniques, is a complicated enterprise. Here are some of the things I have surmised from my investigation.
Obama and Romney do not like each other or even respect each other; in fact they drive each other a bit crazy. There’s also sufficient Mars intruding on the first debate that it may be a rhetorical Armageddon. Expect an October surprise of some kind, one that will make Obama look bad, although his campaign will probably survive intact. Romney may wilt sometime before the end of the campaign, a victim of physical stress or exhaustion.
by Enid Newberg
The Professional Astrologers group on Facebook has had a fascinating discussion about whether or not you can identify evil in an astrological chart. The premises of evolutionary astrology bring up a similar question for me. I don't think a chart can tell you that someone is evil or has a propensity for evil, nor do I believe that you can use a chart to measure "the growth of a Soul from life to life."
Carol Hunt responded to this question as follows: I do not think that you can see who is capable of evil acts from a birthchart. People are not born evil. Charts indicate tendencies, and parents can adapt their behaviors based on the response and need of the child that is indicated in the birthchart. If we can't adapt our behavior to prevent poor responses, astrology is a waste of time.
You can look at the assumed birth chart of Adolf Hitler and there is nothing in the chart that indicates mass murder. All anyone would likely assume among other facts, is that he is an artist, a persuasive public speaker, who has a need for control, and possibly he has very pronounced fears. Another example of this inability to tell would be Timothy McVeigh. His Pisces Moon trine Neptune doesn't really strike the mind as the kind of thing that would make a person blow down a building even though the negative of Pisces is the tendency to be paranoid and often have delusions in regard to the government; the absences of his mother in his teenage years was certain difficult for him. Looking in hindsight one might suspect that his shyness and sensitivity contributed to his inability to socialize-- which developed into a very serious problem for him that he masked behind an intellectual front (Gemini rising). I don't see how you can tell the difference between a Taurus that is going to blow down a building and one that is just irritatingly stubborn from the natal chart without knowing more about the person. Once you know the circumstances, the behaviors are more explainable, but truthfully much of it is hindsight.
The better question might be how are going to define evil. It is more likely that these people actually are not evil, but that negative behavior is the result of people being extremely mistaken and misguided. Hilter thought that he was beautifying the world. Ignorance looks like evil and it doesn't have any limitations. It seems more likely that people are capable of the most destructive acts simply because there is some extreme lack in their education, and it is going to be hard to pinpoint that on a birthchart.
Here’s a chart example to demonstrate many of the major themes of the Hellenistic tradition of astrology. In this essay I refrain from outright interpretation and simply discuss how one would see a chart according to the Hellenistic tradition. I choose a person well known to many Americans as both or either a politician and an entertainer.
Rush Limbaugh, according to some (Democrats), was the de facto leader of the Republican Party, yet he has never held elected or appointed office. He is an influential talk-radio host and self-proclaimed spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been a national figure for the past twenty years. He has helped steer many a political cause, his depictions of liberal politicians can be devastating, and he is not particularly beloved by women. Yet even some liberals find him an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Let’s take our time with what we have here. First of all we’re seeing his astrological chart using whole sign houses, the original house (or “place” topos) system. In the next image of his chart, to make the contrast more clear, I have deleted the Midheaven degree, which in the ancient tradition was mostly used for predictive purposes. I have included the Ascendant that always falls somewhere in the first house or place.
The concept of Sect comes to us from Hellenistic times. It is a concept that fell out of use for many years, but is being rediscovered as more and more astrologers are re-examining ancient techniques. Sect can help you determine the the qualities of a planet, whether for good or ill, and its effect in the chart.
Depending on whether it is a daytime or nighttime chart, sect tells you which of the classical planets (Sun and Moon, and the planets Mercury through Saturn) have the upper hand. It also provides clues as to which planets will be more helpful or more problematic in the chart.
The Planets and Their Positions in the Solar Return
What is the ascendant of the solar return?Where does its ruler lie in the solar return and in the natal?Is it on an angle?If so, then there is more action concerning the year and its activities.When you look at the solar return chart is it primarily angular, succedent, or cadent?What aspects are formed between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets?More challenging aspects, might suggest more challenge, and, actually more that gets done regarding that ruler.If they are supportive aspects, then things flow between the ruler of the solar return and the other planets.
The synodic return is a double outer planet transit measured by the time interval between the successive conjunctions of any two planets. If one outer planet moves to aspect a natal planet, angle or close network of planets, two at once marks a particularly important life period. Synodic returns look at the moving planets, not just their static position in the natal chart.
Now to look at contacts to the natal chart:
Relationship always implies some kind of exchange - minimally an exchange of air and in many cases emotions, fluids, and other substances. Folk traditions and wives' tales abound here, some seemingly well-grounded in reality as we know it. Regardless of the exchange involved, certain issues always merit analysis when we are asked to provide astrological input on comparisons or composites. Generally, people enter relationships because there is promise of some of their needs being met through the interaction. Any analysis must first determine each individual's needs as well as their ability to give in a relationship. To determine needs, look at the natal chart and pay special attention to the 3rd, 7th, and 11th, then the 8th, the Moon and Venus. Next compare what one offers that meets the other's needs - contacts to the Sun, Moon, North Node, ASC and DSC are the strongest indicators.
As we have another eclipse this Sunday, July 11, it seems a good time to consider the Moon's nodes. Astronomically, the nodes are the points where the Moon's orbit around the earth intersects the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun (and planets) around the Earth. Whether it is a north or south node is determined by whether the Moon's orbit is has crossed the ecliptic going toward the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. When this intersection of the Moon's orbit and the apparent path of the Sun and planets occurs during a new or full moon, we have an eclipse.
Astrologically, there are different schools of thought with regard to interpretation of the nodes. In general, traditional astrology treated the South node as malefic and the north node as tentatively benefic. Vedic astrologers in India do not like either one. Here are some early interpretations:
Centiloquium of Hermes Trismegistus (1262):
"The North Node with the infortunes denotes terrible mischiefs, for he increases their malice; but with the fortunes he works good, and augments their benignity. But the significations of the Dragon's tail are to be noted the contrary way."
Guido Bonatti (1296-1300 CE).
“Indeed, the Head of the Dragon is naturally a benefic, and of a masculine nature; but by accident it is sometimes a malefic. For its nature is composed of the nature of Jupiter and of the nature of Venus, and this signifies increase … Indeed its Tail is naturally malefic, and of a feminine nature; but if by accident it sometimes becomes a benefic. And its nature is composed of the nature of Saturn and Mars. And it signifies decrease, namely dejection and a fall and poverty, and the decrease of every good thing and every fortune.”
Later, the concepts of fate, karma and reincarnation became associated with the nodes. In this view, the south node represents the past and the north node represents this life or what the person should be striving toward. On Molly's Astrology Blog is a good example of the karmic interpretation: "In a karmic sense, the Moon’s Nodes represent lessons to be learned in this Earthly incarnation. These lessons almost always have to do with the way we connect with others."
Personally, I seldom use the Nodes in interpretation unless they are within 2 degrees of being conjunct another planet or in a partill aspect. I treat them as a unity, not that you are moving from the South Node to the North node or focusing on one over the other. Always in opposition, they continually present us with the challenge of shining a light on our basic approach to life, our habits and unconscious patterns. How do you use the Nodes? Do you find them useful?
What do have Bill Gates and Kepler, Mahatma Gandhi and Pablo Picasso, Maria Shriver and Descartes, Nelson Mandela and Jim Jones have in common? No, I’m not joking! They all have the same aspect in their birth chart: Jupiter conjunct Pluto. In non-astrological language this says that seen from the earth Jupiter and Pluto are seen in the very same direction in heaven. It is as if they can shake hands. Of course there is, astronomically spoken, still a big distance between the two, but when two planets are seen very close to each other in heaven; astrologers call this ‘conjunct’. A conjunction means power and the astrological meaning of these planets will be strongly interwoven.
Pluto is a (dwarf) planet and has many faces: dark, intense, and confronts us with shadows and problems. Pluto wants power, whether in secret or in the open. But the same Pluto also has the power to bring to the surface what was hidden, has real psychological knowledge and an incredible willpower and persistence.