Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States

Obama deals with recession

Mars and Obama's first 100 days

(Posted February 9, 2009)  As the warm glow of his historic inauguration fades into the background, President Barack Obama now faces more familiar political battles over the stimulus and banking proposals. With most Republicans opposing the huge stimulus package, the oft-mentioned new era of bipartisanship and change in Washington seems to have gone missing. While Obama's tasks to rebuild the economy are momentous, it's clear from his horoscope that the acrimony in DC foretells more difficult times ahead for the new president.

According to the Vimshottari dasha system and Krishnamurti ayanamsha, Obama will enter his Mars subperiod or bhukti on or around February 26. As a minor period in the Jupiter major dasha period, the Mars bhukti will run until early February 2010. Of course, Mars is known as the planet of conflict, action, and executive power so it may not be surprising that Obama's efforts are meeting with some significant opposition, even before the full onset of the Mars subperiod. What's perhaps more telling is that Mars (29 Leo) occupies a powerful place in his horoscope, namely, the 8th equal house cusp (24 Leo). It is also just a few degrees away from this cusp in different house systems, and less than one degree away from the Alcabitius 8th house cusp. The 8th is considered a potentially malefic house, and any planet near its most sensitive point, the cusp, is said to be strongly imbued with 8th house energy and can be heavily afflicted. The 8th house represents change and transformation, as well as obstacles, death, and embarrassments. Obama's 8th house Mars is the main reason why so many astrologers have predicted that there will be an attempt on his life during his tenure.

Certainly the emphasis on change is appropriate here and we can expect Obama's efforts to re-invigorate the US economy to initiate structural change that will transform the workings of the economy through greater government involvement in key institutions like banking as well as promoting long term (and long overdue) changes in health care and environmental policy. Since Mars also symbolizes vitality and action in this house, Obama will take on a strong leadership role, and will be seen leading a revolution in American life. But given Mars' natural malefic status, it is reasonable to expect that there will be an increase in the opposition to these initiatives. With the 8th house also representing "other people's money", the Mars period will also feature profligate spending by his administration which will likely generate resentment and conflict. Given the forecast for massive deficits and a ballooning government debt, we don't really need the astrology to warn us about something that it so self-evidently true. It's nonetheless interesting that it is reflected in his chart in a fairly clear way.

Obama's natal Mars is fairly strong, however, given its dispositor Sun is angular in the 7th house and conjunct benefic Mercury. This may mean that we may enjoy significant success in his efforts to transform the American economy. However, it's not without some notable weakness: its placement in the final degree of Leo will reduce its ability to realize ambition and will open the door to some noteworthy negative outcomes during the coming 12 months. With the ongoing opposition of Uranus to his Mars through most of 2009, conflict will predominate and may emerge suddenly and in unusual places. This includes the greater chance for conflict overseas. The economy will likely experience another significant setback in late 2009 and early 2010 as Saturn will station while aspecting Obama's 2nd house Venus. Since the 2nd house represents wealth, we can expect another major contraction of economic activity at that time.

Closer at hand, I'm looking at the time around March 12 as indicating a significant event as Mars conjoins his Ketu and Sun joins Uranus in opposition to his Mars. Even with the helpful effects of the close proximity of slow moving retrograde Venus in trine aspect to his Sun at that time, the presence of these apparently malefic configurations seems to point to some kind of negative event, one that may be violent or rooted in conflict. This could be an incident involving US armed forces, or an outbreak of violence in a strategically important area of the world, such as Israel and the Middle East. I should note that Israel is likely to be an ongoing burden to Barack Obama as Israel's natal Saturn sits on his 7th house cusp indicating a negative energy that prevents happiness, and incurs heavy responsibilities. Obama will likely feel trapped by the US's historical commitment to support Israel which will limit his ability to broker a peace deal. It may also suggest that Obama will not blindly support Israel and his attempt to meet both parties half-way will alienate members of the Israeli lobby.

So for all the promise of change and meaningful bipartisanship, Obama's incoming Mars bhukti suggests that Washington will be as divided as ever, as the economy worsens and his bold, new programs encounter strong resistance from various areas of American society.

Obama wins Presidency

With his decisive win on November 4th, Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States.  While I had thought that Obama would likely win the election, I was somewhat surprised that it all came off more or less according to plan.  Like many astrologers, I had believed that the Saturn-Uranus opposition on election day might portend events a little more dramatic and unusual than a simple election victory for the Democratic senator from Illinois. 

As it turned out, Obama's election victory was indeed historic in magnitude for two reasons.  First, he is the first African American to win the highest office in the land.  Second, the Democratic sweep represents the end of neo-conservatism as a political force for the foreseeable future.   The free market philosophy that began under Reagan a generation ago preached de-regulation and smaller government.  This has been largely discredited with the recent economic crisis and will be replaced by a more interventionist economic policy not unlike what predominated in the post-1945 world.   In those important senses, the tension and shock (Uranus) to fixed structures (Saturn) was expressed by the shift away from a Republican winner-take-all approach to the economy to what will likely become a more collectivist and Keynesian orienation.

With the various afflictions in Obama's chart, he is certain to face many important challenges in the months and years ahead.   His Mars bhukti begins in early 2009 and looks particularly troublesome since his Mars is poorly placed in his 8th house.   From the violent symbolism of Mars, this may reflect new military situations for the US or perhaps even threats to his personal safety.  More generally, it may represent the hardship of the ongoing economic downturn for the coming year.  The Mars bhukti lasts for about one year.

Posted by Christopher Kevill at 11/05/2--8 07:47:00 PM EST

The VP Debate

With the much-anticipated Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin tomorrow, here are a few thoughts on the probable outcome as it relates to the general trend in the campaign. As predicted in mid-September, the Obama campaign has pulled into the lead and is now ahead of McCain by an average 5-6 points in recent polls. This trend is likely to continue as the Obama campaign chart is very strong in the coming days while the McCain campaign chart is troubled.

With Moon and Venus transiting the 7th house of the Obama campaign chart today (Oct 1), we can see that his campaign is riding high. A new poll was released today that put him ahead by 9 points, the most in the campaign thus far. His vote tonight in the Senate on the bailout bill will also improve his profile and popularity. The difficulty in the McCain campaign chart is that transiting Mercury is exactly aspected by malefic natal Saturn, so he is likely to look weak and out of favour in the next couple of days. While Mercury is usually a fast moving planet, it is retrograde now and moving quite slowly. This extends the negative influence on McCain.

The debate tomorrow doesn't look like a game changer for either campaign. It is very unlikely to help McCain much since Mercury will still be afflicted by Saturn, especially since transiting Mars conjoins the natal IC. With Venus transiting the 4th house cusp Thursday and Friday, it's possible that McCain may get a small bounce but it will not be significant. Another possible interpretation may simply be the feminine influence (Venus in Libra) that Palin will exert on the campaign at this time. At the time of the debate, the Moon will be in a difficult square aspect to the Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction in her chart, so this will certainly be a high stress moment for her. It also suggests that things may not go as well as she would have liked. By contrast, the Moon will conjoin Biden's natal Mercury and come under the helpful aspect of his natal Jupiter at the time of the debate. This may suggest that Biden is relieved and happy with his performance. At the same time, transiting Venus is close to his natal Mars which is often a problem and transiting Mars opposes his natal Moon over the next few days which is rarely a good thing. There may be some negative post-debate fallout with Biden that could cause some short lived problems for the Obama campaign.

The next significant time to watch out for is October 9-10, when transiting Mars opposes the natal Sun in the McCain campaign chart while transiting Sun comes under the influence of the natal Saturn. This looks like a major setback for the McCain-Palin ticket and will likely increase Obama's lead.

After that, however, Obama still stumble from Oct 13-16. With the involvement of Mars, Sun and Mercury with malefic points in the horoscope, there will likely be some element of conflict with the event. Fortunately for Obama, he will likely be enjoying a lead of more than 5 points at that time, so it's more likely he will be able to withstand this problem and go on to win. The problem will occur right around the time of the last debate on Oct 15 so it may be doubly embarrassing for him if it becomes the focus in the debate. Alternatively, it may simply be a poor debate performance.

This promises to be an interesting finish to the campaign.

The Sarah Palin Factor

We now have a fairly reliable birth time for Sarah Palin -- 4.40 pm. This birth time comes from someone who claims to have seen her birth certificate although it has yet to be confirmed. For the moment, let's go with it. With a timed chart, we can look for additional clues about the outcome of the upcoming election on November 4th. It's a very impressive chart. Cancer rising with first lord Moon closely conjunct benefic Mercury in the 7th house, widely conjunct the Sun. This is a well disposed 7th house indicating she is charming and relates well to other people. Well, no surprise there. And the close aspect of the Sun to the ascendant makes her confident and outgoing. Since it is in a close degree conjunction to Mars and Saturn in the early degrees of Aquarius, this really amps up her assertiveness, initiative and ability to get things done. Jupiter is strong in its own sign of Pisces in the 9th house and aspects the ascendant. Her strong religious faith may partially come from this placement as Jupiter in the 9th inclines a person to follow traditional or conservative spiritual paths. Since Jupiter's aspect is so close to the ascendant, the good fortune of the 9th house is transferred to her whole person.

Perhaps more important is that this chart is running the Jupiter-Venus dasha, which will be in effect until late November. The Jupiter dasha began in 1998 and will run until 2014. As we've seen, Jupiter is very well placed so that is broadly in keeping with her rise in status and power as mayor of Wasilla, then governor of Alaska and now as the VP nominee. As subperiod lord, Venus is very well placed in the 9th house in Pisces, its sign of exaltation and rules the 4th house of happiness and 11th house of gains. This is certainly an excellent combination of planets and generally bodes well for all matters. By itself, however, these planets do not confer victory in the election since they may describe the increase in status that Palin has enjoyed in this race so far. She could still lose the election and look forward to a bright future as a possible presidential candidate in the future. In that sense, the positive karma endowed in the Jupiter-Venus period may only represent her bursting onto the national stage, to say nothing of the collection of action figure dolls.

We also have to look at the situation of the dasha lords in context of the prevailing transits from now until the election. Transiting Jupiter is placed in the 6th house of competition. While this is not a great placement, it may not be that negative either since it may merely reflect the fact that she is engaged in a situation of ongoing conflict. It should also be noted that transiting Jupiter squares its natal position, which is another less than favourable pattern but not a deal breaker. On November 4th, transiting Venus is well placed on the 5th house cusp in late Scorpio and trines the ascendant. There will definitely be some sense of happiness and ease on election day, whatever the result. Transiting Mars squares her Sun on election day, and this suggests an infusion of energy that might be interpreted in various ways. Given Mars' rulership over the 10th house of status, it may be conferring status that goes with an election victory. It may also simply describe the tension and excitement on election day, particularly if the outcome is not known until late.

From that brief analysis, I would say the Palin chart allows for the possibility of a Republican win. However, the absence of any progressed planetary stations in Palin's chart is one important reason why I have nagging doubts that she and McCain can win. While politicians on both winning and losing sides can have supposedly "good" transits at the time of the election, they do not always translate into victory. Very often, the losing candidate's good transits may simply indicate the great public attention they are getting and the culmination of a long, exhausting campaign. Even losing can provide a semblance of relief.

Following the work of astrologer Richard Houck, one of the most important signals of a political win is the presence of a progressed station in a politicians' chart near the time of the election. Just as planetary stations are more powerful indicators of an event for either good or ill, progressed stations are often more emphatic expressions of planetary energy. Mars and Saturn stations are often negative and can indicate losses generally, depending on the larger configuration they are involved in. Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter stations are more commonly associated with successful endeavours, although they, too, can 'go the other way' if they are connected with negative planets and houses.

Of course, the presence or absence of a progressed station is not sufficient to predict the outcome of an election. There may be occasions when no station is necessary for victory, but in my experience these are quite rare. In this case, I note that both Saturn and Uranus are stationing by transit in the month following the election. Because both of these planets are slow moving, their transit stations may have comparable power to the minor progressed station of a fast moving planet that is otherwise not well connected to the rest of the chart. But here again, neither transiting Saturn nor Uranus energize a key point in the natal and relocated Palin charts. This is therefore another potential weakness in her chart that does not seal the deal of the Republican win in November.

As I've said all along, there are some obviously stressful and downright negative characteristics of the Obama chart in November. Like many astrologers, I've wondered aloud if these afflictions might indicate that some harm may come to him, or if he will just lose the election. The chart of the Democratic Party similarly appears to show some kind of conflict or sudden affliction that represents something other than a simple loss at the polls. The Biden chart seems more clearly powerful and positive to me, most obviously because the stationing Saturn-Uranus opposition is so close to his MC-IC.

John McCain's chart has the Saturn-Uranus opposition sitting on his relocated Asc-Dsc for Phoenix. While this may be seen to be roughly equivalent to Biden's situation, I see the involvement with the MC-IC as pertaining more directly to career and status, whereas the ascendant is more about the person himself. McCain also presents an interesting puzzle as far as the progressed stations go. He has a minor progressed Saturn station just a few days after the election. Saturn is often negative, but it's important not to make a snap judgement here. Saturn's progressed station occurs at 28 Aries, in close trine aspect to his natal Venus. Any soft aspect contact with malefics can be an indicator of success. Moreover, McCain's natal Saturn is very strong natally by virtue of it being in its own sign of Aquarius and being in close opposition aspect with Venus. If those were the only influences on McCain's progressed Saturn, then I would think he would win. However, things are murkier because the Saturn is also in a very tight square with minor progressed Mercury. Squares are very rarely good, and Mercury-Saturn squares are almost never indicators of positive events. Also, Saturn is sitting very close to the 8th house cusp of the natal chart. This is an unhelpful influence and reinforces the possibility of obstacles, sudden changes, and disappointments.

Confused yet? So am I! It's a complex picture to be sure, far more than the last presidential election in 2004 or the California election of Schwarzenegger in 2003. I was very confident of both of those successful predictions because the charts seemed unequivocal to me. Here that is not the case. While I still favour the Democrats to win, I'm not at all sure of this prediction. If I was betting, I wouldn't want to put much more than $10 on this outcome.

The other way to look at this election is to get a sense of the prevailing trends. Since the selection of Sarah Palin, the Republicans have gone up in the polls as she has captured much of the media attention once reserved for Barack Obama. McCain is now slightly ahead in the polls, reversing the long-held Obama advantage. I think the pendulum is about to swing back to Obama in the next week. This may probably be helped along by a deteriorating financial situation in the US as I am forecasting stock markets to fall further in the coming weeks. The most difficult time for McCain may be in the last week of September as transiting Saturn conjoins the natal Ketu in his campaign chart. At the same time, transiting Mars will oppose the natal Mercury. I believe that Obama and the Democrats will once again move into the lead in the polls by early October.

But at that point, Obama's campaign will stumble, perhaps fatally, on or around October 15-16 as Mercury stations on the 6th house of the campaign chart at the same time that Mars conjoins the descendant. This is really a very negative pattern that speaks to conflict, misunderstandings, and stress. Since this occurs near the time of the last debate on foreign policy, it may reflect a poor performance by Obama. Since this is the last debate, a bad showing there could be difficult to come back from. Obama will have to be in the lead before this debate in order to have any chance of winning on election day. He is almost certain to lose some popularity as a result of events of Oct. 15th. If he goes on to win, it likely won't be by a wide margin.

The exact Saturn-Uranus opposition on election day promises an election unlike any other. We already know it will be historically significant in some way depending on if Obama or Palin are elected. But I think the extent of the energy and tension of that day will exceed the symbolic nature of the outcome. It promises to be one very wild ride.

Biden nominated as Obama's VP; Sarah Palin tapped by McCain

(Updated August 29, 2008)  With the selection of the Vice-Presidential nominees this week, we gathered more pieces of the election puzzle upon which to base a prediction of the outcome.   Both horoscopes of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin strongly indicate a Democratic win in November.  Joe Biden won the Veepstakes this week as the 65-year old Senator from Delaware was seen to bring experience and foreign policy credibility to the Obama ticket. Biden's horoscope is yet another window on the November election and its probable outcome. Based on the data we have, Biden was born Nov 20 1942 at 8.30 am in Scranton, PA. I have rectified this time back a few minutes to 8.27 but it's likely a fairly accurate time of birth.

It's a very strong chart with Sun and Venus rising in Scorpio closely aspected by exalted Jupiter in the 9th house. This may reflect Biden's early legal career and perhaps his overriding concern for social justice issues and sticking up for the little guy. The opposition aspect from Uranus and Saturn to these first house planets, however, may make him overbearing and unpredictable at times. The rising Sun can create an inflated ego while a rising Venus makes for charm and affability and an appreciation of the fairer sex. Perhaps that is par for the course with politicians. Biden's Moon in Aries aspected by Rahu is one potential source of his 'loose cannon' label since Rahu can create a instability of mind when it combines with the Moon.

Biden is currently running Jupiter-Jupiter dasha. Jupiter is wonderfully placed in the 9th house and points to success in all sorts of matters. However, it needs to be noted that the Saturn subperiod beings October 18th according to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha. Saturn is quite active in his chart as it receives an aspect from 1st and 6th house lord Mars. This is not necessarily negative, but it does suggest that competitions, conflict, and violence may be featured during this subperiod that runs until 2011. It should be noted that the death of Biden's first wife in 1972 is related to this Mars aspect to the 7th house retrograde Saturn. Perhaps more interesting is that at the time of the election on November 4th, transiting Saturn will conjoin the MC (the unequal 10th house cusp) in his chart while transiting Uranus will be close to this IC (the unequal 4th house cusp). This is a very powerful pattern that suggests to monumental changes in the native's life. They indicate a very stressful and chaotic time. Transiting Rahu will also aspect the natal Saturn and this suggests the possibility of new patterns of status since Rahu is placed in the 10th house in Biden's natal chart.

In addition to the close transits of Sun and Mars that occur election day, this is clearly a very energized chart. His tertiary progressed Pluto station in November is a classic indicator of political victory. Overall, there are many signs in this horoscope that point to an Obama-Biden win in November. And yet, there are an unusual number of negative or disruptive factors here that do not easily square with a victory. With the various negative indicators I've seen in the various relevant charts, I've wondered for months what the extenuating circumstances might be here. I do not think this will be a simple Obama victory on Nov 4th. The Saturn-Uranus opposition perfects on the very day of the election. Part of this energy of revolution and change (Saturn' structures upset by Uranus' radicalism) may simply be the historic significance of an Obama win, the first black man to win the highest office of the USA. But Biden's chart seems like it contains another layer of disruption of the status quo that goes beyond this.

So at this point, I would say Biden's chart very much points to an Obama win, but at the same time it reaffirms the notion of some kind of unforeseen development that complicates the election, either in terms of its outcome or in terms of a major event that proves distracting from it.

Sarah Palin is Republican VP

In a daring political gamble, John McCain has picked little known Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. No doubt hoping to make their own case for change and appealing to disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters, the GOP rolled the dice today by tapping the 44-year old Palin.

Although her birth time is unknown, we do have her date of birth: February 11, 1964. Palin is all Saturn as her Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunction in late Capricorn and early Aquarius shows a non-nonsense, tough as nails fighter. Unfortunately for McCain, there isn't much significant planetary activity going on in her chart around election day. Without the birth time, one has to be careful about making any definite conclusions, but this is not a chart that shows victory on November 4th. There are no close aspects of any description, and there is very little action in the progressed charts as well.

In comparison with Joe Biden's very active chart, this is another piece of evidence that supports the notion that the Democrats behind Obama and Biden will win the election. Whatever twists and turns that may occur between now and the inauguration on January 20th, I'm even more confident now than the Democrats will win the White House in November.

Hillary's convention catharsis

(Updated August 19, 2008)  The transit of Mars to the natal Rahu in the Democratic Party horoscope suggests that there will a level of conflict and energy that may be somewhat excessive and perhaps make the Obama camp uncomfortable. I am also interested to see what the effect of the Mercury-Venus transit to the natal Mars in this chart will be. This occurs around Aug 23rd before the convention begins and may represent some minor setback for the Democrats in the election campaign. For the convention itself, the Mars conjunction to Rahu becomes exact on the 27th. This may be the most likely time when things may boil over somewhat.

While Hillary is scheduled to speak on the 26th, her chart does not suggest a major event. Mercury and Venus are squaring her Uranus so that can make for things to be a little out of one's control perhaps. Both benefic transiting planets come under the influence of her natal Rahu so that is another sign matters getting out of hand or things not working out in a favourable way for her. This is certainly not a positive pattern so Hillary may come up with the short end of the stick during the convention.

The 27th has two potential sources of conflict -- the roll call of state delegates to cast their votes for either Obama or Hillary and a speech by Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton's chart looks very animated at this time as the transiting Mars is conjunct his ascendant. Clinton has been widely criticized for his sometimes uncontrollable anger and some questionable statements during the campaign and lacklustre support for Obama. This Mars transit strongly points to another eruption by the former president, either during his speech or perhaps as a result of a roll call vote that ends with Hillary receiving an embarrassingly low number of votes. I think Bill Clinton will emerge as the big loser in the convention as the transiting Sun will be right on the 12th house cusp signifying loss, diminished status, and isolation. I would not be surprised to see him booed during his speech. In some way, Bill and Hillary Clinton will create difficulties for the Democratic Party.

But the overall effect of the convention is likely to be generally positive for Obama and the Party. Transiting Sun closely aspects the natal Moon in the natal chart suggesting high public profile and this is also in trine aspect to the natal Venus indicating convivial feelings. While neither nor the Moon nor Venus cast full strength aspects in Vedic astrology, it is important to remember that the mutual planetary interaction still exists because trine aspects are conjunct in the navamsa chart.

While I will await the selection of the VP candidate before making a definitive prediction on the outcome of this election, the horoscope of the Democratic Party is not in good condition in November. I noted some of these problems several months ago and couldn't quite figure out how the afflictions there could be reconciled with the charts of the key figures in the party. There seemed to be too much affliction to denote a victory. One alternative scenario was a win but under very trying circumstances such as warfare, rioting, or something of that disruptive nature. But looking at this chart again reaffirms just how chaotic the election period will be. While I had thought Obama's new birth time boosted his chances for winning, I wonder now if that might only translate into popularity and enhanced public visibility rather than actually winning office.

Barack Obama Obama runs into turbulence

(posted August 2, 2008)   On the heels of Barack Obama's successful world tour, his campaign has generated more potentially damaging controversy in recent days with the accusations about him playing the race card, the new McCain celeb ad that attempts to depict him in an unflattering light, and now Obama's apparent flip-flop on offshore drilling. Clearly, he is suffering the effects of the transiting Mars to his natal Mars. Several months ago, I had predicted that the first week of August would be a stressful and conflictual time for Obama and that seems to be taking place.

Given that Mars (25 Leo) is currently still a few degrees away from Obama's natal Mars (29 Leo), it's very likely that the upcoming week will mean more headaches and missteps for him. Remember, too, that the effect of this Mars transit to Obama is greatly magnified by the presence of transiting Uranus exactly opposite at 28 Aquarius. This combination can be volatile and is often associated with accidents and sudden actions which cause hardship. I don't think he's in any great danger here, but he's is likely to be on the receiving end of anger and animosity and maybe a rotten egg or tomato. I would expect more protests of the sort that he encountered in Florida when a number of black supporters tried to interrupted his speech. I think it's also possible that polling numbers to perhaps begin to favour McCain next week. Up to now, Obama has been ahead although his lead has shown signs of diminishing in recent weeks Obama's birthday is tomorrow August 4th. Before he blows out the candles, he may be wishing for Mars to get on its merry way.

I will post something on John McCain in the upcoming week. His natal Venus (29 Leo) will be subject to the same Mars-Uranus influence this week so he, too, may have to react to some sudden development that embodies some element of conflict or violence. It's possible there may be some news involving Iran that affects the presidential campaign.