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  Home   |   Articles   |   Book Reviews   |   Star Gazing   |   Astro*Weather   |   Everyday Astrology    


Astrology Articles
Article Title: A New Presidential Paradigm?
Date Published: 2/22/2008
This has been a year when pundits and predictors have fallen on their faces every time they try to predict the next event in the presidential race, to the point that nobody trusts the latest poll projections — and the problem includes astrologers. Writing originally in October, we looked at the whole menu of likely candidates (Composites and the Candidates), and using the paradigm that has effectively applied to most winning candidates over the last century, we speculated that the most likely charts to be in the fall election were those of Clinton and Romney. Five months after our first look, Romney has dropped out in favor of McCain and Hillary is under serious financial and political pressure from Obama as the contest continues, with the ominous possibility of a tie and a brokered Democratic convention in July.
What was the astrological paradigm for forecasting elections and how may it be failing us? Traditionally, the candidate who wins has a lot of transiting Saturn aspects to the natal chart during the final campaign, reflecting the intense battering that a hard campaign delivers. It’s sort of a last-man-standing affair, in which the one who can take the most attacks and still hang in there triumphs. The original contenders (last fall) expecting the most of that were Clinton and Romney, both in their natals and their composites with the U.S.A. chart. McCain gets his share, but Obama doesn’t get much grief at all. Now that the possibilities have narrowed somewhat contrary to our projections, should we be looking at another approach to analysis, based on a new celestial paradigm for elections that may not be the same pattern as the last century? Perhaps Jupiter will be telling the story more than Saturn?

A Close Contest, or a Landslide?

The story isn’t in yet. You could resolve all issues with a landslide for youthful Obama, which would let Saturn off that hook and hang it on the aging Mr. McCain instead, which would almost seem like an unfair fight. After all, Obama does get Jupiter freeing his Saturn by direct transit and a Jupiter return to boot by Inauguration Day — the advantage of having the very natal Jupiter-Saturn conjunction under which JFK was elected. And, landslides are the one place where the most-Saturn-transits rule doesn’t apply (LBJ over Goldwater in 1964, for example).

That’s a possibility, but one which few imagined even last fall. There are also the planetary patterns over pivotal coming events before the election which may help throw it one way or another, regardless of the candidates’ charts. Those might be the horrendous skies over the Democratic convention itself, with a grand cross and a Mars-Pluto square that echo the combination above the Chicago convention and riots of 1968, which completely threw the subsequent election. They might also include the July Mars-Saturn conjunction and the possibility of another war breaking out (as did in Lebanon under that aspect just two years ago) or some national disaster which might skew the attitude and fears of the voters. And, what about the U.S.A. chart — is it in a phase that changes the way we pick our leaders? Is Election Day itself going to be another chaotic event astrologically as it so famously was in 2000? Finally, is the much-vaunted Pluto change to Capricorn just simply restructuring the way we do things like this?

National Full Moon

Looking at the national chart first, it’s got some changes that haven’t happened before. Progressed Mars is retrograde for the first time in U.S. history. The mood is to pull back from aggression, wherever reasonable, having made our
American Election
American Election
View Chart

2008 Convention
2008 Convention
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1968 Convention
1968 Convention
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The Candidates

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton
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Barack Obama
Barack Obama
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John McCain
John McCain
View Natal Chart
farthest forward push and perhaps outreached our grasp. That trend is exacerbated by a progressed full Moon (last seen in 1978, 1949, 1919, 1890, 1861, 1831, 1802), signaling that we’ve stepped out enough, are getting a little crazy about it, and would rather turn inward for better or worse than lay further bets outside our borders. It also historically coincides with the transition of Saturn from Leo into Virgo (the cycle is almost identical), which also has an internalizing effect. If we’re going to fight about something, it’s going to be over here, not over there, and over specifics, not generalities. The national progressed Moon by the election will just have moved into Virgo, giving further emphasis there for half the first term of the presidency. The likelihood of choosing to follow a stalwart warrior into more external conflict is probably small. The only time these combinations led us back to war was just before the Korean War, which led to a stalemate and has bled us ever since.

Convention and Election Skies

There will be blood, however, if the Democrats don’t gracefully settle on their nominee by convention time. The skies then will be sufficiently similar to those over the 1968 Chicago convention and riots that it could derail the whole operation. If all is resolved by that time, there will be a lot less to argue about, in Denver at least.

Election Day itself sees its first half with a Void-of-Course Moon and Mercury changing signs from Libra to Scorpio right in the heat of it, all on top of a Venus-Saturn-Uranus T-square, so it’s bound to be contentious and very likely contested if the results are close. It’s not quite as chaotic a sky as the 2000 debacle, but comes a close second. Both Pluto and Jupiter will have changed signs again by the time of an Inauguration Day with Mercury retrograde. Will there be voter regret, or an actual mid-term change? Likely…

The final factor in who gets to run (not to mention who wins) may simply be Pluto changing sign, exiting Sagittarius where it has brought havoc with truth and idealism (core Sagittarius concepts) both in the media and in politics. Perhaps the grass is already greener under our feet as that god of the underworld turns his attention to Capricorn, beginning a deconstruction of business and government worldwide, after which a new set of structures will begin to arise when it leaves in 2024. Since Pluto is only just dipping its toe into Capricorn this year, before a last hop back into Sagittarius (June-December) during the campaign and election itself, perhaps the hope for a recovery of more positive Sagittarian principles may be premature, bringing on a last fit of horrific mudslinging and lies apparent to all. That remains to be seen, so stay tuned…

Copyright: John Townley

Bio: John  Townley

Early in his astrological career, John Townley introduced the composite chart technique for analyzing relationships in his book The Composite Chart, and 20 years later wrote the definitive work on the subject, Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships. He has pioneered techniques for astrological cycle analysis and proposed a new, physical basis for astrology. He is also the author of Planets in Love, Dynamic Astrology, and Lunar Returns, has been the president of the Astrologers' Guild of America, was the editor of The Astrological Review, and is a contributor to professional and popular astrological magazines. His books have been translated into seven languages.
John is also a well-known journalist, elected member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, historian, preservationist, performer, and record producer. He can be regularly found, camera and microphone in hand, covering cultural and technological events ranging from the Consumer Electronics Show to the Toy Fair, from international music festivals to ocean sailing races. When he's not behind the camera and microphone, he's in front of them, performing at maritime concerts in the U.S. and across Europe.

Visit Townley's homepage at

Other articles by John Townley:

2008 Primaries & Beyond: Composites and the Candidates   1/7/2008
Above Us, The Waves -- The Post-Election Weather Observer   11/6/2008
Aspects and Orbs   6/8/2007
Dark Days: The End of the Beginning   5/25/2007
Darning Your Threads … Rectification by Association   7/18/2007
Gift Signs for the Holidays: Thoughts that Count   12/10/2007
Mars-Uranus, Redux   4/19/2007
Of Time and Tide, and the Flowering at the Flood   8/1/2007
Planetary Order I: ... rising ahead of the Sun   8/15/2007
Planetary Order II: … all your ducks in a row   9/5/2007
Planetary Order III: Islands in the Sky   10/1/2007
Ringing the Changes   2/8/2008
Stars Over Lebanon: An Interview With Carmen Chammas   5/11/2007
The (Not So) VOC Moon   7/25/2007
The Battle Finally Joined: Obama vs. McCain   7/8/2008
The Personal Void-of-Course Moon   4/26/2007
Threads of Destiny   7/6/2007
Tips for the Tempests of 2007!   4/13/2007
Which Side Are You On?   5/4/2007

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