Obama narrowly leading in polls but Mercury may have the final say

(4 November 2012)  The election is just two days away and Barack Obama is poised to be re-elected President of the United States.  Polls have showed a small but significant move towards him in the past week in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  Obama clearly had a good week just as I suggested he would last week in this space. He appeared presidential in his handling of the Sandy disaster and received plaudits for his efforts from most corners, including from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican. While the race is still extremely close, polls from key swing states like Ohio clearly show Obama on the verge of victory.  As political polling analyst Nate Silver has shown, the fact that Obama had led in 19 out of 20 recent Ohio polls is clear evidence that he will very likely win on Tuesday.  Without Ohio, it is very difficult to see how Romney can put together the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House.  Silver currently puts the odds of Obama winning at 83% while at Intrade.com, the online betting site, Obama's advantage stands at 66%.  

Even with Obama with a clear advantage, the prospect remains for some kind of unexpected developments on election day due to Mercury turning retrograde on Tuesday.  Just what these might be is more speculative, although it is not difficult to come up with some possible scenarios.  Recounts due to tight races are the most likely development, although I wonder if a simple recount would be sufficiently strange to reflect this unusual planetary pattern.  Perhaps not.  Many Democrats fear the Republicans stealing the election, as the Romney family indirectly owns part of Hart InterCivic, a company that manufactures most of the voting machines in Ohio, along with several other states.  Certainly, if Romney were to actually win Ohio where he has not led in a single poll, there would be an outcry of protest from suspicious Democrats.  This would certainly fulfill the uncertain and strange promise contained in this particular Mercury retrograde cycle.  I don't think this is likely but certainly the planetary picture is sufficiently weird that this kind of scenario is more likely than it otherwise might be.  Perhaps there will be some other kind of snafu on voting day that will serve to confuse or delay the final outcome.




One more look at the USA chart reminds us of the potential for problems.  The natal Mercury (3 Cancer) is getting a full-on aspect from transiting Rahu (North Lunar Node), although this is now past exact.  Mercury can be considered the planet elections so its affliction here by Rahu is suggestive of problems.  In a way, the closeness of the election and uncertainty regarding the outcome can be seen as a manifestation of this ongoing Rahu influence.  Rahu symbolizes disruption of the status quo, deceptions, and instability.  Rahu has stationed at 2 Scorpio and thus has been aspecting the natal Mercury for several weeks already. 

Mercury was also afflicted in the 2000 election that famously gave us the "hanging chad" and ultimately the Supreme Court decision. At that time, Mercury was under a very close 3rd house (sextile) aspect from transiting Saturn.  Actually, we can see that the USA horoscope was somewhat more afflicted in 2000 as transiting Rahu was conjunct the Sun.   The Sun represents government and leaders, so this Rahu conjunction was one reason for the interruption in the smooth transfer of power -- Rahu was interrupting or suspending the normal status of government.  We can also see that transiting Jupiter (15 Taurus) was exactly in aspect with natal Ketu (South Lunar Node).  This reflected a situation of changing or uncertain (Ketu) legal principles (Jupiter) in the legal battle surrounding the vote.   Transiting Mercury went direct at 6 Capricorn, thus forming an exact square with Pluto, the planet of power and manipulation.  Mars was also involved as it formed a close square aspect to the ascendant.  Mars-Ascendant contacts are often found in situations where there is a concentration of energy and action. 




This time the Mercury retrograde station at 10 Scorpio does not form any close aspects with any planets in the USA chart.  If the 6.30 pm chart is correct (a big "if" to be sure), then this Mercury station falls on the exact 12th house cusp, a very vulnerable spot in the chart as it suggests loss of communication, perhaps through hidden or nefarious means.  Mars is also in play here, as transiting Mars opposes its natal position.  There will likely be quite a bit of energy (to put it politely) and this should produce a significant amount of animosity around the results. 

But the good news is that neither Jupiter (law) nor the Sun (government) are closely involved in any obviously negative patterns.  This suggests the amount of legal wrangling will likely be less significant this time around in the event we have some recounts or legal challenges.   Since the extent of affliction appears to be somewhat less, there is good reason to think we won't have the same level of intensity and uncertainty that we had in 2000.  And of course, it is still possible that nothing much out of the ordinary will happen at all.  This would be disappointing from an astrological point of view as it would reveal more weaknesses (i.e. errors) in astrological theory.  But I am of the school that mistakes are the best teachers.  Francis Bacon, the founder of the scientific method, also recognized the indispensability of mistakes when he said:  "Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion."   




Finally, I noticed an intriguing alignment in the Obama campaign chart (April 3, 2011) for Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013.  This chart looks quite strong now due to the aspect from transiting Jupiter to natal Saturn.  It also indirectly picks up the Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Pisces.  But look at what happens to malefics Saturn and Mars on January 20.  Saturn moves exactly to the ascendant while Mars has moved right atop the IC (unequal 4th house cusp).   In most charts, this would be a terrible sort of event.  Saturn is placed in the 12th house of loss in the natal chart and here it has moved to the ascendant -- not good at all.  Mars on the IC is also rarely good, I think, as it denies health and happiness. 

At first glance, one would be tempted to think this represents Obama being very unhappy on Inauguration Day, as if Romney would be up there taking the oath of office instead of him.  That could happen of course, although it doesn't seem likely given the rest of the charts involved.  But remember that this is a campaign chart and that the Inauguration represents the culmination or "death" of the campaign.   Perhaps like the butterfly that emerges from the caterpillar, this could simply represent the successful end of the campaign and the beginning of his second term.  Nonetheless, this is a somewhat paradoxical chart that doesn't easily fit with the overall notion of an Obama win.  Truth be told, I would have preferred if there had been some more benefic planetary activity here just to be on the safe side.  

In the markets last week, stocks generally held their own.  US stocks were mostly unchanged as Friday's decline offset earlier gains. The Dow finished at 13,093.  Indian stocks were somewhat stronger as they escaped Friday's negativity.  The Sensex rose by less than 1% closing at 18,755.  The week unfolded largely according to last week's forecast as we saw some early week declines around the Venus-Saturn aspect followed by a rebound into Thursday's Venus-Uranus aspect.

This week's Mercury retrograde station (on Tuesday at 6 pm EST) looks like a negative influence mostly due to its close aspect with Saturn.  Declines from this extended aspect could happen at any time.  Venus forms a more encouraging aspect with Jupiter on Thursday, however, so there is at least some possibility for gains.  But then bearish Mars enters sidereal Sagittarius on Friday.




Transits for Tuesday 6 November 2012 8.00 p.m. EST



 


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