As we congratulate ourselves on the positive mood that is currently sweeping the country – and it is with a well-deserved sense of optimism that we greet this vibrant new leader and his lofty new vision for America – we are also aware that several astrological factors are more problematic. For one thing, as we all know, Mercury is retrograde. Since Mercury was retrograde and the Moon was void of course when Mr. Obama took the oath of office, that moment presages a certain degree of difficulty is seeing that lofty vision through. The Moon was famously void of course when Nixon was sworn in after being elected in 1972, shortly before the Watergate scandal came to light and he was forced to resign. And Mercury was retrograde when Nixon took the oath for his first term of office in 1969. He had campaigned on a rapid end to the war in Vietnam that turned instead to an escalation. Twenty years later, in 1989, George H. W. Bush took the oath with Mercury retrograde, and the economy hit recession, and a new war began. During the campaign, the senior Bush had stated "read my lips: no new taxes" but his 1990 decision to renege may have cost him a second term. Since this inauguration chart has both, with Mercury retrograde conjunct the Sun as well, we may well have some reason to worry.
It needn't be all that grim. At least the concept is good: that America needs to turn it around. It's just that turning it around may prove in the final analysis just a wee bit more difficult than we all would like to think. A comical example of the effect of Mercury retrograde was revealed in the very taking of the oath itself. Although the constitution requires a word-for-word recital, Chief Justice Roberts misspoke one line, then waited for the President-elect's response. Mr. Obama, aware that the line was incorrect, waited also. At this point Mr. Roberts re-stated the line correctly, but Mr. Obama repeated it as originally and incorrectly stated. The oath was re-administered successfully the next evening.
As the presidency of Barack Obama begins, we and the rest of the world face two eclipses, one that begins the Chinese New Year on January 26th, and the Lunar Eclipse of February 9th. These eclipses trigger the on-going Saturn - Uranus opposition that will become exact in February. Change is in the air, and resistance to change is also very present with us right now. How do these two eclipses hit the chart of the president? It's a question that yields some very important information.
On January 26th with Mercury still retrograde, the eclipse in Aquarius, President Obama's rising sign, is close to his Jupiter degree (). Actually, Jupiter in the sky is only a few degrees past his, and conjuncted as well by this potent New Moon. There is ample evidence for the president's Jupiter return in the amazing level of popularity that he currently enjoys, over 82% approval, contrasted with the outgoing administration's 23. And his decision to reverse many of the Bush policies is welcome news in most quarters. Even the conservatives are in support of his transition. The eclipse Sun and Moon degree, 6 + Aquarius, also hits his Mars and Neptune. There is an important Sabian Symbol that accompanies this degree: A child born of an eggshell. Does this symbol speak to the fragile nature of these times? It is also a symbol of self-creation. For this degree symbol, Marc Edmond Jones has "A highly individual and completely unlimited resourcefulness," while Dane Rudhyar says it indicates a rebirth "free from the inertia of the past." And it's true that in some sense the past has ceased to exist.
The eclipse powerfully hits the US chart as well. Barack Obama's Mars degree, the same degree as US Neptune, is hit with a sesquiquadrate aspect, indicating tension. Also the president's Neptune degree is hit, by square. Mars and Neptune in the US chart, which are square each other, are hit by the eclipse degree of the Sun and Moon which is sesquiquadrate to them both. All this Mars and Neptune reminds us of the various meanings that can take, including deception and the military, including action involving oil. Since both of these planetary archetypes are powerfully configured in the charts of both the president and the country, we had better pay careful attention to these aspects. As far as the US chart, difficulties in the Neptune department are hardly new. See my recent Zodiactivism blog entries for some ideas there. As far as the president's chart goes, we might suppose that ideals, perhaps bordering on illusion, maybe even confusion, could come up. This would apply to the entire thirty days of this lunation cycle until the next New Moon. It might be a good time to cut him some slack. Or it might be a time when deception on the part of others will come to play an important role. Since President Obama's Neptune is located in the 9th house of his chart, his high idealism with regard to matters of higher mind could well be shown and tested in some way. For this placement – true also but in a different sense for the US chart, the TimePassages software has in part: "Your challenge lies in relying on your considerable inner vision to unfold your own unique pathway, to make concrete and real your flights of consciousness to other realms, and bring this vision back with you into society at large."
The January 26th eclipse Sun and Moon degree also aspect President Obama's Mars degree, a sesquiquadrate. This is a testing time for him and for the entire country, as the nation's new leadership must comport itself as best as it can in a time of war. Altogether, at the time of this eclipse, the president's Mars degree is being conjuncted by Saturn, opposed by Uranus and Venus, and trined by Mars and retrograde Mercury, all fairly exact aspects. Retrograde Mercury, in Capricorn, also conjuncted the president's natal Saturn on the day before.
Now, there is another eclipse on the horizon in these last days of January, the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse of Monday, February 9th. This eclipse, in the 22nd degree of Aquarius and Leo, lies directly across within a few degrees of the president's Ascendant – Descendant axis (). The Sabian symbols are: "A rug placed on the floor for children to play on" and "A carrier pigeon." Marc Edmond Jones speaks of "Service of life at large to the special requirements of individual understanding," and of "the deepening of every potential of self-hood [in service]." The Moon also conjuncts his natal Uranus, located in late Leo near his Descendant.
All in all this monthly period leading up to February 24th represents a testing and an amazing time for the country and for the president, when his powers of competition and taking care of business will be highlighted, perhaps with more frustrations and setbacks than we would have hoped. This will also be a time of personal challenge for him when his need to nurture his family in spite of these circumstances will be brought into prominence. We wish him well.
The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.
The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.
Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.
Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.
Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.
Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.
Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.
As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.
The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.
The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.
In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.
While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.
The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.
Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.
Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.
Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.
Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.
Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.
Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.
Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.
Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.
Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.
Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.
Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.
Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.