Horoscopes: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, The Donald (Note that I’ve set Sanders’ horoscope for midnight; I do not have an accurate time.)

Bernie (Midnight) Sanders

Joe Biden __ Natal




You might not believe this, but sometimes people ask me to give them some insight about the upcoming election. For example, my friend Ballyhoo accosted me in the street yesterday – distantly, though, for he has a fear of the coronavirus, a subject we can look into in the next installment – by saying, “Dude, whaddya think about this upcoming presidential election?”

I, possibly in a fit of pique, said, “Look, Ballyhoo, just read Ambrose Bierce and leave me to my Chinese green tea.”

“Who?” he said.

“Ambrose Bierce, lad: author of The Devil’s Dictionary, a book everyone should keep on his or her bedside table. Bierce referred to elections as, if I recall correctly, ‘auctions of stolen goods’ and to an elector as one who ‘enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man’s choice.’ He referred to a vote as an ‘instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country,’ and he saw politics as ‘a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles; the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.’ What more do you need to know?”

“No, no,” protested the infinitely bothersome Ballyhoo. “Be serious. I mean from an astrological perspective, dude. Like, you know, who’s going to win?”

After telling him in no uncertain terms that, really, no-one would win, that everyone has ended up losing in all elections since who-knows-when, I finally relented, still somewhat upset that he had interrupted my reading of The Condition of Man, and, as he had asked me to “be serious,” responded more-or-less as follows:

Before the 2016 election, I warned some people that Trump looked stronger from an astrological perspective than the media gave him credit for. I had offered a series of reasons:

  1. The Donald had, in 2016, his progressed Sun closely conjunct his Leo ascendant and natal Mars. The progression surely suggested that the fellow would emerge strongly, aggressively, and with a good chance of success from whatever back closets he had recently and not-so-recently spent his time in.
  2. The Donald also had transiting (TR) Saturn moving upward in his horoscope (i.e. moving from the 4th house toward the 10th), while his opponent, a career politician of a somewhat (in my opinion) unpleasant sort,[1] had Saturn moving downward in hers. Usually the candidate with Saturn moving upward defeats the one with Saturn going downward. (Actually, this principle, which I think I got from Grant Lewi, arises from an interesting assumption that may no longer hold up in all cases, but a discussion of that matter would take us rather far afield.)
  3. He had strongly supportive aspects from TR Uranus to his natal (N) Sun-Moon opposition (a sextile to his Sun, a trine to his Moon). Surely this augured well, particularly considering the next item. [2]
  4. That same TR Uranus formed a square to the U.S. Mercury in Cancer. Thus Donald’s (I have adopted Ms. Clinton’s way of referring to him, remembering that the two had at one time surely qualified as “thick as thieves” (a saying I use advisedly). And besides, hadn’t Donald said of Republicans that they were, and presumably remain, ‘so stupid that they’ll vote for anyone?) Uranus transits put him in step (so to speak) with the national zeitgeist).

Let’s note two points about all of that.

First, none of those factors remain in effect in 2020. Thus Donald seems a much weaker candidate this time around, a statement I will support (though not in this installment, as I want to get back to my reading) in at least two ways: he doesn’t have the beneficial transits that he had last time; and he has some major challenges that he didn’t have last time. Hold onto those thoughts.

Second, regarding the national zeitgeist, we should note that the facts I will now discuss have also hurt Bernie Sanders’ candidacy (and that of Ms. Warren, but let’s try to keep things simple for now). With TR Uranus squaring the US Mercury in 2016, the people found themselves in the mood for a change. Uranus symbolizes revolutionary change; it represents what I sometimes call the Jack Kerouac Approach to Existence, a phrase referring to something Dean Moriarity (I think) says in On the Road: we don’t know where we’re going, but we’re going; and we don’t know what it’s like there, but it’s not here; and we’ve been here, and we don’t like it.[3] In other words, people wanted a change, and they wanted it at any cost.

Donald Trump certainly promised radical change. So, of course, did Bernie Sanders, but the hidden powers of the Democratic Machine saw to it that we got an old stand-by instead of someone advocating substantial change. Sanders, after all, had that same TR Uranus conjoining his Mars: he seemed fully capable of riding the wave of radical, or at least across-the-board progressive, change. Thus the strategy of the Democratic Party Power-Brokers made what seemed to me then, as it does now, a colossal blunder, at least if they wanted to get their candidate elected – a questionable assumption, that last, I realize, considering the actions of those power-brokers in recent years. At the time, many polls showed that Sanders had a good chance of defeating Trump; this hardly seems surprising, given the astrological data from the time.

However, TR Uranus no longer squares the US Mercury; TR Uranus has moved into Taurus, while TR Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto have moved to oppose that same Mercury and conjoin the US N. Pluto. I will put off discussion of those oppositions until another installment, merely noting that we no longer find the country in a revolutionary fervor. We find, instead, fear and various assumptions about hierarchy (Saturn and Capricorn respectively).

As we will see next time, those same transiting planets in Capricorn also oppose important planets in Trump’s horoscope; and Mr. Sanders has had more difficulty surfing the radical wave: TR Uranus has moved on from his Mars, and TR Pluto has moved to square it. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

But what of Joltin’ Joe Biden? Like Hillary Clinton, he has TR Saturn going downward in his horoscope. This does not seem like good news for him, and I would see it as enough to count him out if I didn’t see Trump as seriously weakened this time around. The TR planets in Capricorn do make helpful aspects to Joe’s Sun-Venus conjunction, and even to his Mercury; and note long ago, he had TR Uranus conjoining his Moon, so some see him as capable of making a progressive turn – though we should note that TR Uranus in Taurus (now) behaves rather differently than does TR Uranus in Aries (then). We should expect a much more muted progressivism.

Further, and quite problematically, Joltin’ Joe has TR Neptune conjoining his nadir, suggesting that he will have trouble getting a firm footing in any activity in which ego plays a major role. It can also suggest vagueness, dissolving, and confusion. I will not pass judgment on whether Joe has shown signs of dementia, as some writers have suggested; not everyone receiving a challenging transit from Neptune suffers from that condition, after all, though most go through periods of bewilderment. Yet dementia and Neptune have many qualities in common, and at the very least Joe runs the danger of having someone kick the props out from under him, an approach that a certain orange-headed chap often likes to take.

That should suffice for now. Besides, my friend Ballyhoo seems to have disappeared, or at least to have wandered off, no doubt “sniffing drainpipes, or else expecting rain.” It seems I’ve been talking to myself this whole time, alas.

[1] Actually, I have difficulty thinking of any career politicians who strike me as pleasant sorts, but let’s put that aside.

[2] Between April and December 2016, Uranus moved between 20 and 24 degrees of Aries.

[3] Quoted, hopefully with something resembling accuracy, from memory.

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