US Politics: Obama's triumphs and challenges
(Posted May 5, 2010) After suffering an embarrassing rebuke of his policies and proposed health care reform in January with the election of Senator Scott Brown, President Barack Obama has managed to bounce back, even if his approval ratings remain below 50%. Despite crystallizing popular opposition to health reform, the Scott Brown election on January 19 in Ted Kennedy's old seat marked a real low point for the Obama administration. Nonetheless, Obama and the House Democrats gamely fought back and skillfully cobbled together enough votes to pass the historic reform package on March 21. Despite the big political win on health care, Obama did not receive a significant boost in his popularity, no doubt reflecting the fact that most Americans do not like the proposed reform. He has also come under some criticism in the past week over the dangerous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as commentators have suggested that his administration was slow to react to the first news of the accident.
In my last article on US politics, I thought there might be a shift in Obama's "energy" with the start of his Rahu minor period in February. Rahu is conjunct Uranus in his natal chart, so I thought this might make him more autonomous and independent in pursuing his agenda. That was perhaps reflected in the Democrats dogged determination to push ahead with health care regardless of political opposition. Led by the liberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Obama did indeed pursue his goal of health care reform with greater independence. While I did not expect the Democrats to get health care passed so quickly on the heels of the Brown setback, I did note that he would get a boost from a nice Jupiter transit to his Venus in early February when Pelosi urged him to press on without Republican support. I also thought that this Jupiter influence would grow as it moved deeper into his 2nd house which it did in March and April. Obama's equal 2nd house cusp lies at 24 Aquarius and at the time of the successful passage of the bill, Jupiter was transiting 20 degrees of sidereal Aquarius, just four degrees short of the sweet spot of the 2nd house representing wealth, good fortune, and positive announcements.
We can also see that Mars (7 Cancer) and Saturn (7 Virgo) were in very close aspect to his natal Jupiter (7 Capricorn). On the face of it, it might seem counterintuitive to have two malefic planets like Mars and Saturn aspecting a natal planet at a time of success. But it is important to remember that under standard Vedic aspecting rules, that Saturn not a full strength aspect to Jupiter; rather Saturn comes under the influence of Jupiter's full strength aspect. With Jupiter as the more active party in this association, the results are more positive, especially when Jupiter itself is strengthened by its nice transit placement. The Jupiter-Saturn combination symbolizes effective executive power, progress with goals, and respected authority -- all things that Obama enjoyed from being the first administration to finally pass a law requiring mandatory health insurance for all its citizens. This Jupiter-Saturn outcome also tipped towards the positive because 1) Jupiter is placed in the first whole sign house in Capricorn and 2) Saturn rules Capricorn, and therefore it rules Obama's first house of prominence. Therefore, this Jupiter-Saturn contact would likely involve a boost for Obama's profile in March, and more likely for the better.
But now that transiting Jupiter has entered sidereal Pisces, it is placed in Obama's 3rd house. This is a somewhat less positive place in his horoscope, especially since Jupiter (2 Pisces on May 13-16) will soon come under the influence of his natal Saturn (2 Capricorn) by its full strength 3rd house (sextile) aspect. While Jupiter to Saturn may have corresponded with success, the current scenario of Saturn to Jupiter looks decidedly more problematic and will probably generate some real difficulty for Obama. Jupiter rules the 12th and 3rd houses so we perhaps could see him suffer losses (12th) from an errant or misplaced communication (3rd).
More generally, the next few weeks seem quite burdensome for him since Saturn will station at 4 Virgo in close aspect to his minor period lord Rahu at 4 Leo and in a semisquare 45 degree aspect with his Sun (19 Cancer). This double dose of Saturn is likely to mean setbacks for Obama as his agenda will be undermined by circumstances and foes alike. Sun-Saturn contacts often occur in confrontations with authority. Since President Obama IS the authority, this could mean that one of this government departments is found wanting in some way, or perhaps the administration loses a crucial judicial decision. Or maybe this will be a moment when Obama realizes that The People are the real authority. I'm not quite sure that Sun-Saturn contacts work that way, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Given the current unresolved situation with the oil spill in the Gulf, it is possible that he and his government could be blamed in some specific way.
Besides the multiple transit hits to his Saturn on May 15-16, June 2-3 also looks quite difficult for him as transiting Mars (4 Leo) will conjoin his Rahu (4 Leo). This will be just a few days after Saturn has its direct station and begins to move forward once again. A very slow moving Saturn is something that can cause a lot of damage so that period just before and after the station on May 30 could be quite awkward for the administration.
Obama should get some lift from the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction at 5 Pisces around June 9 since it will aspect his Midheaven, or unequal 10th house cusp.
This should be a welcome relief from the preceding Saturnian difficulties. Jupiter to the 10th often corresponds with recognition and goals fulfilled so we can expect some important part of the administration's agenda to come to fruition around this time. I would also note that this Jupiter-Uranus conjunction occurs in close sextile aspect to the Sun-Mercury conjunction (6 Capricorn) in the Inauguration chart, so that increases the likelihood that Obama will be riding high around by the second week of June. This is likely to mark the beginning of a period that is more favorable for him as Jupiter will have its retrograde station at 9 Pisces in July, in exact aspect to his natal Mercury (9 Cancer). Mercury often represents trading and business, so it's possible Obama's financial reform bill could pass at that time. With Mercury as the 9th lord in the 7th house of partners, it's also possible that he could successfully conclude a treaty with a foreign country at that time or participate in some other successful interaction with another country. More generally, the economy may be seen as prospering around the time of his positive Mercury transit.
A few readers have asked me about the Democrats prospects for the midterm elections on November 2. I haven't looked into it yet in detail, but one interpretive problem is that I don't have any timed birth data for key Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Without seeing the planets for the other side, we only have the charts of Barack Obama and perhaps Joe Biden to see which way it could go. Biden's chart looks fairly good for November, but Obama's is more mixed. Hopefully, I will form a clearer opinion over the coming weeks.