US election – celebrity vs responsibility
In the January Stargazer column, I predicted that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would be chosen as official candidates in the US presidential election, with Clinton going on to lead the country. Nine months later, with the US election just weeks away, what, if anything, has changed?
According to recent Gallup polls, Clinton and Trump are the two most unpopular major party nominees in living memory. Democrat Clinton’s three decades in politics make her a lacklustre choice for an electorate whose chief desire is change, while Republican Trump, who has built a campaign on voter mistrust of establishment politicians, is accused by critics, and indeed by members of his own party, of narcissism, offensive behaviour, racism, dishonesty and a lack of understanding of policy issues. Opinion polls show that just 17 percent of Americans believe Trump (born 14/6/46 at 10.54 am in New York) has the personality and temperament to be president.
Barbara Res, the woman in charge of building the Trump Tower in New York back in the 1980s, believes the emotional core of Donald Trump’s personality is anger. “As far as the anger is concerned, that’s real for sure. He’s not faking it”, she told The Daily Beast in February. “The fact that he gets mad, that’s his personality.” Hardly surprising for a man born with warrior planet Mars rising in dramatic Leo, sign of royalty. Like many with sun in Gemini, Trump has the gift of the gab, and, being born under a lunar eclipse in Sagittarius, we can add foot-in-mouth disease and a love of exaggeration into the mix. Diplomacy is simply not part of Trump’s make-up. For him it’s all about the chase, the game and fun of winning. He is an actor playing a part on stage – from real-estate mogul to billionaire to reality-TV star to president.
By contrast Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton (born 26/10/47 at 8pm in Chicago), has five planets in Scorpio, moon in Pisces and Gemini rising. Scorpios are known for their ability to keep secrets and work strategically behind the scenes. The Pisces moon brings idealism and compassion, while Uranus conjunct Clinton’s Gemini ascendant symbolises her fierce intelligence and original ideas. A lawyer, seasoned politician and wife of former US president Bill Clinton, Hillary also has a Mars-Pluto-Saturn conjunction in regal Leo. The Scorpio-Leo combination makes her ambitious, determined and a force to be reckoned with. Like Trump, she is used to fighting and winning, but with her water-dominant birth chart, Clinton’s battle tactics are far more subtle and secretive. Many voters do not trust her and the recent controversy about her private email server and conflict of interest re the Clinton Foundation have further damaged her reputation.
Astrologer Kevin Burk believes that Clinton will win the election because she’s earned her stripes and really wants the job. Burk goes on to suggest that Trump’s triumph has essentially been to secure the presidential nomination, and that deep down he has never had any real interest in becoming president because of the hard work and sacrifice involved. This is reminiscent of the behaviour of Brexit campaigners Boris Johnston and Nigel Farage, who had no interest in leadership once their Leave Europe campaign had succeeded, leaving the painstaking work of actually extracting Britain from the European Union to others.
The nomination charts
Having ascertained that both presidential candidates are fighters and used to winning, we can look at the horoscope or chart of when each candidate accepted their party’s nomination (symbolising the beginning of their fight to be president) and see which chart is stronger. The simplest way of doing this is to look at the planet ruling the chart (representing the candidate) and combine this with the position of the moon, which shows how the campaign is likely to proceed.
When Trump accepted his party’s nomination (21/7/16 at 10:19pm in Cleveland, Ohio), Pisces was rising with chart ruler Jupiter in Virgo, a weak placement, as Jupiter was ‘in detriment’, meaning ‘without power’. The moon was also very weakly placed in the 12th house of secrets and hidden enemies, and also ‘void of course’, meaning nothing new was likely to eventuate. Trump’s acceptance speech could literally have marked the beginning and end of his campaign.
When Clinton accepted her party’s nomination (28/7/16 at 10.47 pm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Aries was rising with the chart ruler Mars in Scorpio, a strong placement, given that Mars rules Scorpio. The moon in Sagittarius was next door to the Part of Fortune and midway between the ascendant and sun, suggesting a positive outcome to her campaign, albeit with some ups and downs. Potential challenges were represented by three planets in the 12th house (Neptune, south node and Chiron); suggesting Clinton’s hidden enemies will conspire to undermine her, forcing her to defend her reputation throughout the campaign, or perhaps symbolising her recent health scare.
Towards the election
Both Trump and Clinton have been favoured by the stars this year. Clinton’s natal Mars-Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Leo created a fire grand trine (lucky formation) with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries and, on 8th November, election day, the sun will transit Clinton’s natal Venus, an indicator of popularity and fortune.
Donald Trump has three Jupiter returns in 2016-17 (good fortune/growth); the solar arc sun on his ascendant (moving into the limelight) and solar arc Pluto conjuncting his natal Jupiter, a combination astrologers say means: ‘win the lot or lose the lot’. If Kevin Burk is correct in saying Trump craved the glory of the nomination more than the actual hard work of being president, even if Trump loses the election, he could still feel like a winner!
One final note – astrologer Ed Tamplin has been exploring the astrological profile of Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, a senator who successfully passed new gun laws in his home state of Virginia and was once considered as a potential deputy to Barack Obama. Tamplin writes: “On the 20th January 2017, swearing in day, Kaine will be at his second Saturn return. Saturn is his career ruler. There are numerous other supportive aspects coming to roost, all suggesting that sometimes the running mate’s chart should be the one to examine, prior to an election.”
My money is still on Clinton, but, whatever the result, there’s no doubt that the next few weeks will bring more gripping excitement and suspense as the battle heats up!
Saturn-Neptune square – being the best you can be
The very unusual combination of multiple planets in retrograde over the past few months has stopped many of us in our tracks, forcing us to reassess and process almost everything, including long buried issues we’d hoped or prayed had gone away for good.
Last month not only did we experience two life-changing eclipses, we also had the final hit of the Saturn-Neptune square, the most important planetary combination of 2016. Saturn is all about structure, and Neptune is all about dissolving structure in order to create new and better forms. In this time of flux and change, ask yourselves which structures in your life are ready to dissolve completely and be prepared to let them go for good. Understand that true strength and security always come from within and are based on creating authentic and honest relationships with people around you, rather than on money, possessions, relationships, houses and jobs.
If you are true to yourself, honest about your inner motivations and have the courage to shine in your own special way, any difficulties and frustrations faced this year will pave the way to freedom, spiritual growth and enlightenment.
Sun in Libra – discover your inner partner
This year, the sun will travel through air sign Libra from 23rd September until 24th October. Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac with keywords ‘I balance’ and ‘I seek my other half’. Those born under the sign of the scales promote love and harmony and teach us about the importance of give and take. They adore relationships, are often cultured or artistic, and are experts in charm, diplomacy and negotiation. Negatively, Librans can be superficial, indecisive, manipulative or dependent and, because they hate unpleasantness or disagreement, they often avoid conflict and bury their heads in the sand. In medical astrology, Libra rules the kidneys, lumbar region and skin; so when Librans are out of balance they tend to suffer from lower back pain, kidney problems, urinary tract problems and skin diseases such as eczema. The Libra colours are ivory, pink, turquoise and blue. Libra’s greatest lesson is to learn to develop their ‘inner partner’ and become whole rather than seek an outer partner to feel complete.
October new moon
New moons are all about fresh energy and new beginnings and this month we have two new moons, one on the 1st in Libra and the second on the 31st in Scorpio. The Libra new moon has beautiful, bountiful energy with lucky Jupiter in the mix encouraging us to believe in our own creative power and inner wisdom. The Scorpio new moon brings intuitive messages courtesy of Mercury and Neptune. Seek answers through dreamwork, stillness and contemplation.
October full moon
The October full moon falls on the 16th in fire sign Aries with the moon in Aries opposing the sun in Libra. Expect some surprises with erratic Uranus joining the full moon in the heavens. This is not a good time to make long term, serious decisions, but don’t be afraid to try something new, fun, daring or inspirational.
|Aries||Relationships are blessed this month with a bountiful new moon lighting your house of intimate partnership at the beginning of October. Career prospects also look good with dynamic Mars helping you kick goals.|
|Taurus||October’s a great time for a health kick – spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming. So head out into the fresh air and get the blood pumping. Travel is also favoured, as is any activity that expands your horizons or opens your mind.|
|Gemini||October could be the most fun-filled, pleasurable month of the year if you play your cards right Gemini. Those with an artistic or creative bent will find ideas flowing thick and fast. Spend time with children, make babies or rediscover your inner child.|
|Cancer||A perfect month for making changes on the home front – decorate, renovate, spring clean or simply move the furniture around. Intimate partnerships are also important – spend some quality time with your other half or reflect on what sort of relationship would suit you best.|
|Leo||Ideas will flow thick and fast providing new solutions to old problems and giving you a fresh perspective on just about everything. October is the perfect month to visit friends, discuss, debate and get out and about in your local neighbourhood.|
|Virgo||Money, money, money Virgo – earning it, spending it, saving it, investing it – that’s the main theme this month. October also offers you the chance to explore your creativity and have some fun instead of working so hard!|
|Libra||Happy birthday Libra – may your year be full of delightful surprises! With lucky planet Jupiter now in Libra for a year-long stay, you’re the true star of the zodiac. Dream big and move forward with confidence and high expectations.|
|Scorpio||The Scorpio new moon on the 31st promises clarity, abundance and insight and is a great time to set intentions not only this period, but for the whole year ahead. Intuition and psychic ability are particularly strong; so trust your gut.|
|Sagittarius||Two years of Saturn in your sign has been somewhat exhausting, but you’ll soon be on the home strait. Keep calm, keep working hard and don’t be afraid to call in the favours from your many friends and contacts. Accept all offers of help graciously.|
|Capricorn||With warrior god Mars in Capricorn for the next six weeks, you should have the power, courage and determination to push forward and achieve goals. Career is particularly favoured with lucky Jupiter blessing you until late next year.|
|Aquarius||Start planning your escape Aquarius. Where, when and how doesn’t really matter, but with lucky Jupiter and a new moon pushing you to expand your horizons, you’re allowed and indeed encouraged to think and dream big.|
|Pisces||Last month’s lunar eclipse could have thrown up a few surprises, particularly in the area of relationships. This month the focus is on friendships. Many of us take friends for granted; so be proactive in getting in touch and letting people know how much you care.|
October moon calendar
Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.
|1st – 3rd|
|Libra||Air||New moon 1st|
|15th-17th||Aries||Fire||Full moon 16th|
|30th – 2nd||Scorpio||Water||New moon 31st|
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant.
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