An Embarrassment of Riches: Obama wins Nobel Prize
(Posted October 9, 2009) In a surprising development, US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. With the Nobel Committee citing his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples", the award has generated plenty of controversy as a large number of observers feel Obama hasn't done enough to warrant such a distinguished prize. Last week's SNL comedy skit "What's He Done?" playfully underlined the fact that Obama has accomplished little in his first year in office. The win is an awkward embarrassment of riches for Obama, as it seems to have come in a politically inopportune time with the current stalemate over health reform still very much on his mind.
His Nobel win is a very unusual reflection some simultaneous positive and negative planetary patterns in Obama's horoscope. On the plus side, Jupiter comes to its direct station early next week. This benefic planet therefore sits just one degree away from his natal ascendant and is extra powerful due to its near stationary motion. The Sun is transiting his 9th equal house cusp symbolizing higher ideals (e.g. peace) and comes under the benefic influence of the trinal aspect from Jupiter. Together, this is a favourable placement that can generate greater confidence and recognition and conforms to the positive side of winning one of the world's most celebrated awards.
But we can see the awkwardness of the award also in the Mars-Rahu configuration that occurs with Obama's natal Saturn. Saturn is lord of the first house which is also placed in the first in Capricorn so that provides an important window on the condition of the person as a whole. Mars is a malefic planet suggesting sudden or even violent events. Rahu (North Node) is a planet of unboundedness and exaggeration. The Mars-Rahu influence represents the surprising and unexpected nature of the award, and also some of the difficult political implications of the win. The award is unlikely to help him win over new political support and it seems likely to give further fuel to right wing criticism of him as over-hyped "Messiah" and narcissist, and his program to re-make America. Suspicions that Obama is more talk than action, and more style than substance are likely to increase as a result of this award. No doubt it will provide more fodder for late night comedy shows.
We can also note the Venus-Uranus opposition occurs atop Obama's natal Mars emphasizes the notion of an unexpected and jarring experience. Venus is the 10th house lord of status and it is conjunct Mars, the 11th lord of gains, which occupies the 8th house of unearned income. Although he is donating the prize money, the award is nonetheless valued at $1 million. Venus aspects to Mars can often have a stressful or emotional nature to them, particularly if they coincide with other negative planetary influences. Certainly, the Uranus opposition to Mars is not helpful here, and neither is the transiting Mars aspect to the natal Saturn. As a side note, Obama's failure to secure the 2016 Olympics for his hometown of Chicago earlier this week coincided with Mercury in approximately the same place as Venus now occupies. Mercury is somewhat less benefic than Venus, so that may be one reason why the Olympic outcome was more clearly negative than the Nobel prize. Also, at the time of the Olympic mission to Copenhagen, the Sun had not yet moved into its more favoured position on the 9th equal house cusp.
More serious trouble ahead
While Jupiter on his ascendant is offering Obama a measure of support at the present time, this situation will change over the next few weeks as Jupiter begins to move forward again. Obama enters a more clearly negative period as we enter November since his natal Mars (29 Leo) will come under the twin aspect influences of Uranus (29 Aquarius) and Rahu (29 Gemini). Watch for some very difficult situations emerging around October 20 when the Sun comes under the aspect of his natal Saturn (obstacles) and Mars will conjoin his Mercury (bad news, frustration). This will likely mark a deepening political conundrum for Obama. Since Mars is subperiod lord (i.e. bhukti), its double affliction by Rahu and Uranus highlight this late October to December period as especially volatile and frustrating for him. Mars symbolizes violence and conflict, it is possible there will be some unwelcome military developments at that time.
December also seems like a particular low point for him since Mars will have its retrograde station directly opposite his ascendant on December 19 while Saturn is aspecting his natal Venus. Since Venus is connected to the economy, it is not unreasonable to expect a further deterioration of US economic conditions over the next three months.