Prediction with astrology has never been an exact science. Whilst there have been attempts throughout astrological history to build up sets of rules for judging contests and finding outcomes, such rules are unreliable, perhaps because no set of astronomical circumstances ever repeats itself exactly. Furthermore, what may have worked in the 15th century under certain historical conditions is unlikely to work in the same way in the 21st century. Even different cultural conditions during the same period of history can bring quite different outcomes to astrological stimuli.Progressions

One of the most challenging predictive tools is the art of Progressions, which are based on the premise that each day after birth (the complete rotation of the Earth on its axis) is symbolically equivalent to each year of life (the complete orbit of the Earth around the Sun). Many astrologers have given preference to transits for predictive purposes, as these seem far more reliable, at least in terms of psychological change. Yet transits do not reveal personal fate as precisely as progressions do – they show how the individual reacts to collective change, whilst progressions show how the individual character unfolds according to a unique personal time line.


Transits have limitations when used predictively in the political world because it is difficult to know whether a politician will ride the collective wave symbolized by the transit, or be drowned by it. Maybe it is a question of personal character. Certainly Tony Blair swept to overwhelming power when transiting Pluto conjoined his Descendant – a transit which might reasonably have been expected to show implacable and insurmountable opposition. If astrology is a study of subtle effects on humanity, then progressions are even more subtle in their influence.

Mercury progressed in the US chart

See progressed horoscope for USA

Yet occasionally there are effects that correlate so well with a particular progression that you just know it’s being powerfully manifested. One of the more curious influences current right now in the US (Sibley) horoscope is the retrograde progression of Mercury from Pisces into Aquarius. Mercury progressed changed sign in July 2002, and in September 2003 it will make a very rare retrograde conjunction with the US progressed Sun. The last time this happened was, curiously, during the Klondyke Gold Rush in 1897. The rush was Mercury; gold, the Sun.

In Bed

What has been particularly delightful about this aspect was the new practice of “embedding” journalists. With President Bush and his advisors so aware of the influence of the media in this period, they came up with the clever idea of forcing journalists to be integrated with US soldiers during the Iraq war. Firstly this ensured that all the input and output was controlled by US censorship, and secondly it’s fairly difficult to be together with soldiers in a combat unit and not to bond emotionally with them, and thereby report favorably. Embedding showed reporters subsumed by the power they should have been objectively reporting about. Mercury and the Sun – combust. Woe betide any journalists who did not go to bed with the government on this one – as Al Jazeera found out to its dismay. Not only was there website hacked so that it was inoperative during the war, but their TV hotel base in Baghdad was heavily shelled by US forces, even though they had provided coordinates of their exact position to the troops.

Bush and the Press

The current Mercury/Sun inferior conjunction in the US chart is indicative of information and communication being in the total control of US leadership. Even the media themselves are astonished at the slick presentation of Bush by his media advisors and TV experts.. Some may recall the “Top Gun” landing of Bush on the deck of the carrier Abraham Lincoln after the Iraq war – great presidential theater there. For a speech at Mount Rushmore in 2002 Bush was positioned on a platform so that he was filmed with his head in precise profile with all the other great American presidents. This media savvy comes from the hiring of a number of top TV experts and image makers who approach every news event with Bush as if it was a TV set, sparing no expense on lightning, preparation and prior organization. Media people were on the carrier days before to prepare the event.

Democratic opposition

With such skilled manipulation of the media, and riding a huge wave of popularity after the military successes in Iraq it would seem that Bush is in an enviably strong position to contest the next presidential election. With over 70% approval ratings, there is hardly a democratic candidate that dares challenge him. Names like John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry and Howard Dean are mentioned but have yet to declare themselves in the running. Yet there are strong parallels to a previous election, where Democrats left the way open for Bill Clinton because of another President Bush’s even higher popularity after an earlier Gulf War. Perhaps following the current progressions in the US chart will provide a clue to the election outcome.


Immediately after 9/11 the USA’s progressed Sun conjoined its natal Moon at 27.10 Aquarius in the 3rd house, evoking a surge of emotion amongst all the disparate ethnic groups in the US. They united behind the country, and behind Bush, who has his natal Sun exactly on the USA Sun. On this wave of patriotism – factories could not keep up with the demand for US flags – Bush was able to push through a very strong Republican agenda, and, for a while at least, he had the backing of the whole world.

Mercury combust the Sun

As Mercury retrogrades past the Sun, it too will conjoin the Moon at the exact time of the inauguration of the next president. This suggests firstly, that the newly-elected president is familiar with the American people, and that concealed information may be revealed to the public. Whilst Mercury’s current conjunction with the Sun shows news media and the leadership at one, it also shows transference of information of a compromising nature. The combustion of the Sun and Mercury damages them both. (Witness for example the recent New York Times scandal, where a journalist fabricated stories for years.) This information will be transferred to the Moon – the people – around the time of the next election. But also, it suggests a repeat, because Mercury conjoined the US Moon in direct motion 20 years earlier in 1984, at the time of the re-election of Reagan… heartening perhaps for Bush… and the indictment of government officials in the Iran/Contra affair… not so heartening. The point about the Mercury/Moon contact is that the voice of the people will be heard, and the people are very curious.

A Dangerous Anniversay

In the same way, the current inferior progressed Sun/Mercury conjunction in the US chart reflects the past superior conjunction, which took place 48 years earlier in 1956. It’s a complete loop of time connected amongst other things with the media and the president. Eisenhower got re-elected in a landslide victory at this time. The interesting thing about this conjunction was that the US exploded the world’s first hydrogen bomb on May 21st the very day it was exact – there’s the power of the Sun! The retrograde conjunction this year takes place, rather ominously, on September 11th. It’s a strange thing, but transiting Mercury on this date is retrograde and conjoins the Sun an hour before midnight on September 11th too (exactly square Pluto). As Mars retrograde comes to within a degree of Uranus at this time, and opposes Jupiter, September 2003 will prove to be an extremely volatile month.

The US Progressed Sun

It does seem that progressed sun in the US chart reflects the fate of US presidents; you only have to go back to the impeachment and resignation of Nixon in August 1974. The Sun had conjoined the USA radix and progressed Pluto during 1972 and 1973, at the time of the imminent destruction of the presidency. In 1975 progressed Sun moved from Capricorn into Aquarius, and the US people could not wait to elect a new leader after lame duck Ford, and they duly elected Carter in 1976 with the Sun at 1 Capricorn.

A New Sun

And that’s the curious thing about the 2004 election. On the very election date – November 2 – the US Sun moves by progression to 0.00 Pisces. Will the electorate be as tired of the Bush dynasty at this time, as they were of Nixon? There are signs that they will. When the US progressed Sun reaches 29.48 Aquarius on August 20th 2004, it will be sesquisquare the elevated US Saturn in Libra – Congress. This is reinforced by transiting Saturn, which will have conjoined both the US and Bush’s Sun in June 2004. This transit occurred of course 30 years previously – on the very date of Nixon’s resignation on August 8th, 1974. So there is reason to believe that Bush may have squandered his national popularity at this time, just as he has recently done internationally. One cannot help wondering whether the extraordinary parallels in recent US history will continue. Now here’s a nightmare scenario for Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their presidential protegee: Could the next election also be a Bush/Clinton race? Bush no. 2 wins Gulf War 2, and loses an election on the perilous state of the economy as Bush no.1 did.

The Republican Nightmare

Clinton in the White House?! Why not? She’s done a great job as a New York senator in recent years. She has a nice way with words too. Here is a recent Hillary quote in Congress about Bush’s tax cuts:
Churchill once said, “Never in the field of human conflict have so few given so much to so many.” The Bush economic plan turns that saying on its head: “Never in the field of economics have so few been given so much at the expense of so many” .
And she has a point. Bush has turned a large budget surplus into a huge deficit in the space of two years. Whilst he persists with tax cuts, teachers, nurses, policemen, firemen are being laid off, because there are simply not the funds in State treasuries to pay their salaries. Hillary Clinton says she won’t run in 2004, just like Bill said he wouldn’t in 1992. But with progressed Mercury retrograde, perhaps we can expect the past to be revisited.

The Ascendancy of the Feminine

See horoscope of Hillary Clinton

Apart from the symbolic suggestion that there is a presidential change as the progressed Sun after 30 years moves from 29.59 Aquarius to 0.00 Pisces on the election, there is another powerful indication of radical change in America. Using progressions for the Sibley chart – a chart which has gained in validity since 9/11 when the Pluto/Saturn opposition fell on the Ascendant axis – the progressed Descendant moves to conjoin radix Moon (and of course the progressed retrograde Mercury) just two years after the election. This does not seem to indicate a continuation of the macho brigade, cowboy boots and the like. It indicates a woman. Had there been a non-white woman in the race, this could have been a strong indication for the USA’s first black woman president, but maybe that’s going too far. To back up the power of the feminine, the US progressed Venus will be at 13.28 Aries on election night… square the US Sun (and Bush’s Sun), whilst the progressed Moon will be just 1 degree from the US Sun. Bearing in mind how well Hillary is reflected by Venus in Aries – when uppity Hillary moved into the White House in 1993 the US progressed Venus moved from 29.59 Pisces to 0.00 Aries – it could indicate her successful bid for highest office.

Bush/Clinton 2004

See the election horoscope

Looking at a chart for the election, Venus is at 5.22 Libra and Jupiter 8.03 Libra… squaring the US Venus/Jupiter conjunction, and conjoining Bill Clinton’s Mars/Neptune/Ascendant conjunction at 6 Libra and Venus at 11 Libra. However, George Bush ( has progressed Venus conjoining his progressed Jupiter just prior to the election. This may seem favorable, but progressed Venus conjoined radix Jupiter seven years earlier, and this could also symbolize the rounding off of a period of great good fortune. He will also have progressed MC/IC axis exactly on his North/South Node, which could be a moment of destiny, or a move. This is compounded by the fact that transiting Pluto at 20.35 is exactly on Bush’s South Node, supercharging the progressed MC. The man will be ejected, and will leave behind his old associates.

Tecumseh’s curse
It’s worth noting that Bush’s birth time seems very accurate, as when he went to war, his progressed MC conjoined radix Uranus. It is possible that the continued activation of his progressed Uranus around the election period by both the progressed MC and Ascendant gives a period of uncertainty. Some astrologers have pointed to the fact that no president elected in a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction year (every 20 years) survives his term in office, and that Bush could fall victim to the infamous curse of Tecumseh. Whether that be the case or not, it seems that his last years in office will be unsettled.

Hillary Clinton’s birth time is disputed – it’s said to be either at 8 p.m. or 8 a.m. on October 27th 1947. These times give the same MC/IC axis degrees – 5 degrees Virgo/Pisces. With Uranus hovering around this point during election campaign year, it seems certain that she will be on the move, jetting around the country and due for a more permanent change of location. Furthermore her progressed Mars conjoins her MC (or IC) at the same period. If the more accepted 8 p.m. birth time is used, her progressed Ascendant will arrive on her natal Mars/Pluto conjunction at 14 Leo a year before the election – so she will be in fighting mood and ready to emulate superwoman. By the time of the presidential inauguration, her progressed Sun will have moved into 0 Capricorn (trined by progressed Moon at 0 Taurus), which could be a fitting moment to be chief executive.

This scenario is of course speculative, but if Hillary Clinton declares her candidature, then that’s where to put the money. Mercury does like to do things in pairs: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. Bush will lose, despite his glorious landing on the carrier Abraham Lincoln…it’s the economy, stupid!

(C) Adrian Ross Duncan 27th May 2003.