Picking a Winner

The great American saga is about to begin again, as the United States gears up to the vast 4-yearly soap opera that is the American election.

During the next months, experts and pollsters – astrologers too – will attempt to do the impossible… predict the winner. Nobody knows who this will be. As every candidate is well aware of, the smallest misdemeanour buried in the past can turn out to be the candidate’s nemesis and avoiding telling the whole truth becomes something of an art form. Witness George W. Bush’s evasions regarding drug-taking. But then perhaps bad publicity is better than none at all, and having nothing to hide is equally a sin… squeaky-clean Gore is accused of being flat and boring, and that could make him lose.

The Infamous Saturn/Jupiter conjunction

So anything can happen up to November 2000, and even though prediction when there are only two strong candidates should be a simple matter – there is after all a 50/50 chance of getting it right – it is an unenviable task for the astrologer. It’s always an incredibly close-run race, and as neither candidate knows whether he or she will win or lose until the last moment, their horoscopes will surely both reflect the sense of rising on a mighty wave towards greatness. One will slip back into that wave, the other will surf to glory.This election is interesting from another point of view, too: it’s an election that takes place at the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction, as every fifth one does, and it is a fact that no president elected at this time has fulfilled his term as president. Ill-health, death or assassination has removed them from office. The one exception to this is Reagan, who was elected when the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction took place in the Air sign Libra. Curiously he was nearly killed by an oddball who was trying to impress Jodie Foster I believe. Shot in the lung (Air?), Reagan survived to fulfil two terms in office. However in the year 2000 the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction takes place in the Earth sign Taurus, which leaves some astrologers wondering whether the pattern will continue.

Seven Planets in Taurus

See graph overt the movements of major planets in 2000 In the presidential campaign, the kind of issues that will arise and be fought over will be reflected in the movement of the planets in the year 2000. It is a dramatic year, not least because of the 20-year Jupiter/Saturn conjunction which takes place in Taurus in May 2000, to be joined by 5 other planets during the course of the month making a seven-planet stellium in that sign for a short period. The last 7-planet stellium was in February 1962 in Aquarius, and this heralded a period of terrifying international tension (with the Cuban missile crisis), the assassination of JFK, and, indeed, a sense of the dawning of Aquarius. An explosive time. The coming stellium in Taurus is likely to highlight issues connected with the economy and the environment – especially in contrast to technology, science, and the polarisation between developed and undeveloped countries. In other words the issues so vividly highlighted in Seattle in 1999.

Al Gore

As the influences for the early part of the year are so strongly Taurean, it is likely that things will go in Gore’s favour. On the one side he can point to eight years of economic growth which he at least vice-presided over with Clinton. On the other he is a committed ecologist, and the author of EARTH IN THE BALANCE: Ecology and the Human Spirit which is quite an unusual testimony for a politician.Looking at his chart, it is easy to see that ecological ideals are close to his heart. With his Ascendant ruler strong and exalted in the 9th house of ideals, and opposition to Neptune in the third, he clearly wants to express a vision of the future, and with Mercury emphasising the Neptunian theme in Pisces, he did well to get it out in print.

Features of Gore’s Horoscope

This is a strong chart, even a winner’s chart, but Mercury is weak, partly through being in the sign of its fall, and in the 8th, and partly because it is so closely quincunx Saturn (and Mars) in the first. It is hardly fair to ask Gore to be chirpy and spontaneous with this combination. Likewise the Pluto/Saturn/Mars stellium in the first house is very heavy indeed… especially when so cruelly compared to Clinton’s first house Venus/Mars/Jupiter.Furthermore, the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction falls at 22 Taurus and during the month of June both planets conjoin Gore’s very well-placed Venus in Taurus in the 10th (but on the cusp of the 11th) which is going to put him in the limelight in early summer. Probably there will be a lot of emphasis on the economic interests behind Gore at this time, and no doubt the ‘Usual Suspects’ will be found in the form of the various corporations which in reality pull most of the strings in American politics.

Being well-placed Venus and Gore will pull through OK.

Ideals versus Materialism

There is an interesting quincunx from this strong Venus to an equally strong Jupiter in Sagittarius, and this seems to indicate a somewhat irreconcilable conflict between very strong visions and ideals for the future (Jupiter), and well-placed friends with lots of money. Venus is actually conjunct the fixed star Algol, which often brings some form of ruin, so he could conceivably get unlucky here, though on balance I think the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction will help him.Despite the many fine influences in Gore’s chart, he would make an autocratic president, and be something of a control freak. The first-house stellium will want to run the show, and will be very unreceptive to advice. Though dogged and courageous, he may not have the mental cool to tie together the disparate threads of government. His communication weaknesses are already well-known, and will be exploited ruthlessly by his opponents. Finally the Moon in Capricorn on the sixth cusp could show him mired in work, and demanding too much of those who work for him. So the atmosphere in the Gore camp is likely to be rather heavy and without joy.

Bill Bradley

Of course, there is the possibility that Gore will lose out to senator Bill Bradley in the primaries. At the time of writing – January 2000 – Bradley (born 28th July 1943 at 11.37 EDT Saint Louis, Missouri 38N37 90W12) has been doing rather well, and the Gore camp has been rather alarmed at his success in raising money. Interestingly, Bradley also has a stellium in Leo (as does George W. Bush), and his Sun is exactly on Gore’s Ascendant. However, with 29 Virgo rising, conjoining Neptune and square a Moon/Saturn conjunction close to the MC, it would be an odd chart to win the US election. The effects of this powerful square seems rather unhappy and depressive, and it would be hard to imagine the country prospering. Actually, this influence does show a genuine concern for the underprivileged, and probably as a top-pro basketball player, Bradley was more aware than most about the situation for blacks in America. He was one of the very few whites in the team. In his own words: “The great player is one who makes the worst player on his team good. And he does that by the way he moulds the team together. For me, team play was the peak of the game”. Hardly the correct hard-core sentiments to win in the dirty game of American politics! Interestingly, Bradley’s progressed Sun conjoins his Neptune/Ascendant in the months up to the election, as transiting Neptune opposes his Sun. I imagine this may have something to do with rumours concerning his health, and he is sure to be weakened. He may make it as Gore’s running mate.

Election Day

As the election approaches transits and progressions to the candidates’ charts will make themselves felt. Uranus at 16+ Aquarius is likely to create last minute problems for Gore, who already labours under a Mercury/Uranus square and has the tendency to say unpredictable things. With Uranus activating Gore’s Mercury quincunx to Saturn/Mars, sudden news around the election date could create a shock result. Indeed, the main aspect on election day is an almost exact square to Uranus from the Sun in Scorpio, and as the election closes (at 18.00 in Hawaii) this Sun is on the Descendant… quite a strong indication of upset as the result is announced.

The Death Penalty

There can hardly be any doubt that this deadly square relates to the use of capital punishment in the USA. And here’s the thing: two thirds of Americans support the death penalty. This will be the issue on the day, and as George W Bush can’t seem to execute enough people in his native Texas, even those who are mentally insane or underage when murder is committed, he will come out well. Most of those executed are black of course. Gore will probably find himself insincerely mouthing platitudes about getting tough with criminals, and even advocate the death penalty – you can’t ignore public opinion – but the voters won’t believe him.These murky issues are supported by Mercury transits in October/November which – unsurprisingly show the usual recipe: deceit and lies.


Looking at the graphic ephemeris for this period we can see that Mercury enters Scorpio and goes retrograde, conjoining Neptune in Aquarius three times in the process. One can almost hear the frantic digging for dirt. Be prepared: at this stage of the campaign there will be some terrible mud-slinging. Innuendoes and aspersions will be cast in the desperate hope that something will stick… and of course it will. With Neptune precisely on Gore’s Descendant during this period, there will be many factors undermining him … probably not least the influence of Clinton. Quite extraordinarily Mercury will turn stationary direct on the exact date of the election at 29.56 Libra. In other words for a few hours Mercury gets to feel the cool breeze of Libra after the fog and chaos of its sojourn in Scorpio square Neptune. It is as if the fog clears on that day, and justice is after all seen to be done. Or, perhaps, a sudden piece of news about an old relationship suddenly casts light on the rumours and lies that have been circulated.Gore is a fighter, but he’s not dirty.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush has far better qualifications for handling this Mercury in Scorpio, because he is born with a Mercury/Pluto conjunction on his Ascendant. Naturally Bush has his fair share of secrets, but it is questionable whether they will ever be extracted from him. Everything that Bush says is carefully measured. This is a man who has learned a lot from his father, who was also a man of many secrets. Actually Bush senior and junior have the Moon in exactly the same place, and this is significantly placed in the 10th house of the USA horoscope, conjoining USA Saturn (which relates strongly to Congress). Of course Bush is already Governor of Texas, so he’s doing fine in Congress, as well he might with the beautiful influence of Venus in Leo in the first sextile Moon/Jupiter in Libra in the third.

Bush’s Talents

Here is a popular man, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, charming and gifted in expression. A debate between him and Gore will be almost embarrassing. As Gore will never outcharm him, he could only win by showing Bush as superficial on the outside, and harbouring dirty secrets on the inside.Bush professes Republicanism with a human face, and I am sure he can deliver this. With the Ascendant ruler Sun, in Cancer and the 12th, he is undoubtedly a caring person. The sextile from the Sun to Mars in Virgo in the second indicates that he would support spending to relieve suffering. The Uranus/Node trine Moon/Jupiter, sextiled by Venus in Leo, indicates he could bring happiness and prosperity, and encourage great growth in education and technology. Still, there seems to be a lot of personality, and not a whole lot of substance… though when has this been a hindrance in American politics?

Gore and the US chart

To win the hearts and minds of the American people, there has to be a strong activation of the US chart. Bush has this considerably more strongly than Gore.

Interestingly Venus at 26 Taurus in Gore’s chart squares the Moon at 27 Aquarius in the US chart, whilst his Moon at 3 Capricorn opposes the US Venus. It could be that this does not endear him to that most important part of the American electorate… its women. Or perhaps that he does not harmonise with the American taste for sentimentality. (Venus in Cancer conjunction Jupiter in the US chart can’t get any sweeter). Or his concern for the environment does not fit with an American’s concern for comfort. So there is an instinctive antipathy here. However, the Moon Venus square does actually repeat itself on the election day… a fact that could go in Gore’s favour.

Bush and the US chart

Astonishingly Bush has his Sun on the US Sun at 13 Cancer, which would mean that he is a natural choice for President symbolically speaking. With Venus sextile the US Mars, the Moon conjoining Saturn, and Uranus conjoining Mars, Bush is definitely presidential material. Interestingly too, Bush’s Ascendant falls on the US node, and thereby activates the infamous Mars/Neptune square by semisquare, keying him in rather dangerously to the weapons culture (which as a republican he tacitly supports.)

The Jupiter/Pluto opposition

Although there is an emphasis on Taurus early on in the campaign, later on both Saturn and Jupiter enter Gemini, and there is a very powerful Jupiter/Pluto opposition in September/October 2000 at around 10 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius. This will surely be a major theme of the election, and it speaks of religious fundamentalism, education (and school extremism), and foreign policy ideology. As this is happening on the US Ascendant and Uranus, there may be very explosive foreign policy developments at this time. Some form of paranoia may galvanise the American people, possibly connected with terrorism and Islam. Bush has famously revealed a very poor knowledge of foreign affairs, so he will be tested at this time. But actually, he, like Clinton (who also has the Jupiter/Uranus trine) will probably do very well in this department when put to the test. With his Moon/Jupiter in Libra sextile Venus he is, in contrast to his father, a peacemaker. However he is also a Star Wars man, and is sure to encourage high tech development.

The Winning Combination

At the time of the election the progressed Mercury of Bush will be at 21.05 Leo, within 25 minutes of arc from his natal Venus. His progressed Uranus supports this by advancing to 21.26 Gemini making an almost exact sextile to Venus. His progressed Venus is at 21.47 Libra, trining progressed Uranus, and sextiling progressed Mercury, and sextiling natal Venus. A nice pattern, and with the progressed Moon at 12 Libra which will curiously conjoin USA Saturn at the time any oath may be taken in January 2001. Also, if you agree with the birth time of 17.10 for USA giving an Ascendant of 12 Sagittarius (and some astrologers prefer the earlier time of 16.50), then the US progressed Ascendant is 21.47 Leo… somewhat dramatically making George the Man of the Moment.

What will the Future bring?

Still, it is an interesting fact that America’s progressed Sun is at 26 Aquarius at inauguration of the next president, and in the space of one year will go on to conjoin the all-important Sun dispositor in the US chart… the Moon at 27 degrees Aquarius. Had there been a woman in the running for president, this may have been the indication that her time had come. Often it is factors like this that help decide the winner in the US election. For example, when Clinton came to power progressed Venus in the US chart moved in to 0 degrees Aries (conjoining US IC), showing a new style of woman entering the White House. Hillary Clinton was to represent this new Venus in Aries spirit. It would seem that the American people will be galvanised in some extraordinary way in the year 2001/2002.