2008 Democratic Nomination Race

Barack and HillaryThe End of the Affair

(Updated June 7, 2008) Hillary Clinton ended the race for the Democratic nomination today and forcefully threw her support behind the candidacy of Barack Obama for president. After one of the closest and most intense nomination races in history, Obama has emerged as the presumptive nominee for the Democrats and is due to be formally nominated at the convention at the end of August in Denver.

While I had known that the current period would be difficult for Hillary, I did not foresee her defeat at this time. I underestimated the manifestations of the negative influences that were operating in her chart and believed instead that she would take the race all the way to the convention. So I was wrong. Astrology has never been an exact science, and I certainly make more than my share of mistakes. Moreover, the lack of reliable birth times for any of the candidates adds another layer of potential error to the inherent fragility of all astrological forecasting. Over the past three weeks, a new birth time has surfaced for Obama (7.11 pm) , which complicated matters further. It has not been verified by official documents and it seems unlikely that it ever will be.

That said, my forecast for imminent problems for the Obama campaign still largely stands, although now they will likely result in popularity gains for McCain. While it's still conceivable that some of these embarrassments may cause some Democrats to wonder aloud if Obama is electable, it is fanciful to think that they will somehow resurrect Hillary's chances. I know that the first week of August looks extremely trying for Obama and the Democrats, but it probably won't change the basic fact that Obama will be the nominee.

One interesting development in the coming weeks will be Obama's selection for Vice-President. I believe that he will pick Hillary, as her chart looks quite strong in early July, on either the 5th or the 13th. Transiting Mars and Saturn conjoin on her Midheaven while a grand trine is formed on the 5th between Venus, Uranus and her natal Mercury. On the 13th, the Sun replaces Venus in that alignment. She will be successful in all her endeavours at this time. Assuming that the race would still be on at this time, I had originally predicted that this would be a time when she would turn the tables somewhat on Obama. Now that the race is over, this favourable time will likely manifest as her being chosen for VP.

While I may have been dead wrong about Hillary Clinton winning the nomination, I'm still puzzled by the planetary configurations around the November election. These look stressful for Obama, the Democratic Party and, frankly, the USA as a whole, although they are not bad for Hillary and, in fact, one may even read them as favourable. One possible explanation might be that the Democrats lose the election and that segments of the country are sufficiently upset that protests or civil unrest result. And Obama loss would strengthen Hillary's hand going forward and into the next election cycle. I have to do a lot more work on this time period, including sorting out John McCain's chances. The problem is exacerbated by the appearance of a new birth time for him -- 11.00 am -- to go with the 9.00 am time that is already out there.

I've found a couple of new sources of information that may shed some light on how events may unfold. First is the wedding date of Barack and Michelle Obama on October 18, 1992 in Chicago. While one may wonder what a marriage horoscope has to do with a person's political fortunes, the answer is: quite a bit. When this chart is well aspected, the marriage does well and, by inference, so do the fortunes of both people involved. This marriage chart suggests an intellectually active and publically significant union as the Moon-Mars conjunction in Gemini is closely opposed by Uranus and Pluto. This chart also seems afflicted, however, and generally it's not good to have the Moon influenced by Mars. This chart is under heavy affliction in November with the perfection of a couple of difficult tertiary progressions -- a Mars-Saturn opposition and Sun-Saturn square. Transiting Rahu will also conjoin the natal Saturn which is often unhelpful for stability and happiness. While it's possible that these measurements indicate some private marital strife between the Obamas at a time of great tension, they also add another perspective to the problems that Obama is likely to confront in the election. It does not bode well for a Democratic win in November, but it is not definitive in any way, particularly without a specific time.

Also, I found the chart of the Obama's eldest daughter, Malia - July 4, 1998. There is a 1999 birth year circulating out there for her, but I believe it is mistaken as I came across a media reference to her celebrating her 9th birthday in 2007 in the midst of July 4th festivities. There's no birth time with this chart but using the Libra Moon as the ascendant, we can see Sun and Mars in the 9th house of the father in Gemini. While the Sun is strongly placed indicating a powerful father, the presence of Mars in the 9th is more problematic. Moreover, it is aspected by Ketu within 4 degrees and by Saturn by third house aspect within 3 degrees. That is a very afflicted Mars in the 9th house of the father. It could signify any number of things including having a father who engages in military actions that do not turn out well, to having a father whose life is linked to violence in some way. Although the chart might indicate a good and intellectual father (Gemini), it seems too unremarkable to suggest a father who is president. Of course, one doesn't want to read too much into a chart without a birth time, but it's another fragment of evidence to consider in the overall puzzle.

Finally, I wanted to briefly discuss this new Obama chart for 7.11 pm. We're told it comes from official government documents, but since no astrologer can confirm it personally, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But at the moment, it is the most plausible chart. The problem that I have with this chart is that Mars, the planet of executive power and violence, is placed in the malefic 8th house. By my reckoning, this is not the chart of a president. Having Mars in the 8th can also indicate a sudden or violent death, although it is largely unafflicted, so Obama is likely to avoid that fate. It's worth noting that JFK had Mars in his 8th house as well, but it was in much worse shape, as it formed an 8th harmonic aspect with Pluto and was in square with Uranus.

As I've mentioned several times already, transiting Saturn will station just two degrees from that Mars at election time. Since Mars rules the 11th house of gains in this chart, this does not favour him in the election. Of course, the chart is uncertain, so my observations are contingent on new information that might come in regarding the birth time, or any new campaign developments that might serve to clarify his horoscope. I will be watching the events of early August closely and adjusting my forecast if need be. If Obama is damaged by some revelations or gaffes at that time, it will greatly diminish his chances of winning the presidency. I have always thought that Hillary Clinton's horoscope looked good for November 4th and January 20th for that matter, so I'm not sure how to connect all the dots here. It could be that I'm just not reading his chart right and Obama wins in November and therefore Hillary wins the VP and makes some history of her own. More when I know it.



Trouble looms for the Obama campaign

(Updated May 13, 2008) While Hillary Clinton is poised for a lopsided win in West Virginia tonight, most observers no longer consider the primaries to be relevant any more, now that Barack Obama has moved into an unassailable delegate lead. Obama is now focusing his campaign speeches exclusively on Republican John McCain while wooing superdelegates in Washington. This is clearly his time to bask in the media glow as the de facto presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.

Despite this apparent resolution in this fractious and hard-fought race, I believe that this situation will be thrown into chaos in the weeks ahead as some very malefic alignments form in the Obama campaign chart. (Feb 10 2007 10.13 a.m. Springfield, IL). Given the uncertainty that surrounds Obama's actual birth time (and Hillary's, too, for that matter) , the campaign launch charts have been fairly reliable indicators of the ebb and flow of the race. Although I've made some interpretive mistakes here and there, I can think of no better confirmation of the usefulness of this chart than the Jupiter station that occurred exactly on the Midheaven (unequal 10th house cusp) during last week, when Obama was flying high coming off the convincing win in NC. While I saw him doing well on May 6th, I underestimated the power of this configuration. The Jupiter station has raised him from frontrunner to de facto nominee as most observers agree that his lead cannot be surmounted by Hillary and the race is essentially over.

While I am reluctant to argue against something as powerful as a Jupiter station on the 10th house cusp, I can't help but see that Obama is going to be sideswiped very soon. One of the distinguishing features of the his campaign chart is a t-square involving Saturn (27 Cancer) , Moon (0 Scorpio), and a conjunction of Neptune (25 Capricorn) and the Sun (27 Capricorn). This is a negative influence as I see it, and suggests the failure or loss (Saturn) of a popular (Moon) dream (Neptune) of a leader (Sun). This potential will be realized through the movements of two key planets -- Rahu/Ketu and Mars. The Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are fast approaching this Sun-Neptune-Saturn configuration. While the nodes have a changeable influence, they are more neutrally associated with breaking down structures and normal patterns. Rahu will soon conjoin the natal Sun-Neptune and produce exaggerated and distorted sense of idealism, overconfidence and entitlement, while Ketu comes to the Saturn and will tend to erase boundaries and structures of power. It's important to note that Hillary Clinton has a similar architecture of planets that will be subjected to this nodal influence in June and July. In her case, however, the Moon and Venus take the place of Obama's Sun. So it's clear that the nodal transit to this point (25-27 Capricorn) will cause great changes to the dynamic of the race. I think the effect of this transiting Rahu will be more damaging to Obama because his natal planets are aligned with that Moon in the first degree of Scorpio.

This is a potentially difficult placement since the Moon is debilitated in Scorpio and is associated with excessive and unpredictable emotions, weakness and sickness (especially with the Neptune influence) and difficulties involving women and sexuality. While this may simply refer to the fact that his main opponent in this race is a woman, I think there is also the possibility that he may be embarrassed by some kind scandal, perhaps one that involves sex. Another possible explanation might be some kind of unethical real estate dealings that come to light, because the debilitated Moon, as 4th lord of home and land is placed in the malefic 8th house. I know there has already been some talk of real estate transactions involving the shady Chicago political mogul Tony Rezko, so it's possible that something like that might come back into the picture. Still another possible scenario involves an exogenous event such as a sudden geopolitical or military development that compels people to rethink their confidence in Obama. In such a event, his perceived softness in foreign policy might be compounded by ill-considered comments. The most obvious time window to watch for these events to unfold is when transiting Mars moves into the first degree of Leo around June 21. This difficult and disturbing situation may in fact manifest earlier, say starting around June 14 when transiting Mars conjoins the transiting Ketu to conjoin the natal Saturn.

While there is likely going to be a single event that changes the race, I am also expecting Hillary's fortunes to improve perhaps as soon as the last week of May. This may not correspond to much improvement in her chances of winning right away, but look for hints of better coverage and small successes. This will be partially due to the retrograding of Mercury then, which occurs on May 26th, which his is often associated with reversals of established trends. The first significant indicator that Hillary's fortunes are looking up should come around June 3rd when transiting Mars conjoins its natal position in Hillary's chart. With Mars in her 10th house of status and leadership, this looks like a bold, assertive, in-your-face sort of move. This corresponds with the date of the last primary, so it likely has something to do with delegate counts and possibly the ongoing dispute over the Michigan and Florida delegates. It seems unlikely that Hillary can reverse this Obama coronation at the convention through purely tactical and legal means, since her aides admitted said that she still trails Obama even when potential delegates from MI and FL are included in the count. I think for the race to be recast, I think the scandal/big event scenario seems more likely. And yet, there is also a sense of a gradual shift in momentum that happens here over the course of June and beyond. I'll see if I can post something else if details become clearer to me.

Two other dates to watch out for are July 28th and August 5th. On July 28th, transiting Mars conjoins the natal Ketu of the Obama campaign chart. Since Hillary's chart has more or less the same placement of the nodes, this looks to be a sudden situation that catches people off guard, perhaps in both camps. What's worse for Obama is that this Mars will oppose his Venus which is often a sign of conflict, anger and loss of happiness. As I've mentioned before, the first week of August, These looks extremely volatile as tr Mars opposes tr Uranus. This will negatively activate the Mars in the Democratic Party chart as well as the Mars in Obama's birth chart. This appears to be the time of the most intense conflict and state of upset and division between the two rival campaigns. This fight may threaten the very existence of the Democratic Party.

In a nutshell, this race is far from over. And I still think Hillary Clinton will somehow emerge as the Democratic nominee.



When a split is really a win

(Updated May 7, 2008) Things are again looking very precarious for Hillary Clinton after Tuesday's primaries. Hillary Clinton did manage to split by winning Indiana but overall the night belonged to Barack Obama as he easily won North Carolina and increased his delegate and popular vote lead. Most pundits are now saying the race is essentially over and even Clinton supporter George McGovern has now suggested that she leave the race. My central focus last night was on how the tr Venus transiting over the Obama campaign chart's ascendant would manifest. Since this was a clear signal for happiness and rewards for Obama, I thought it might have meant a sweep for him. As it turned out, he did basically carry the evening by increasing his delegate and vote lead and stopped whatever momentum Hillary had as a result of the Wright controversy. Clearly, that campaign chart is correct and is a good barometer of how things are going. The Clinton win in IN also gave her reason to fight on and therefore also fulfills my prediction that Howard Dean would be somewhat frustrated by the events of last night (perhaps also by the tardy Lake county results), as he seeks to end the race as soon as possible and avoid a damaging fight at the convention in August.

It's no secret that the coming days are going to be difficult for Hillary. She's had to loan her campaign $6.4 million to keep it going. There will likely be more superdelegates coming out for Obama to further increase the pressure on her to drop out. The astrological signs support this picture of a difficult time for her. A few dates stand out. First, I see that tr Mars and tr Moon will oppose the Sun in her campaign chart on May 10, which suggests conflict and stress from authority figures. This may manifest as a significant endorsement for Obama ahead of the West Virginia primary on May 13. Interestingly, this coincides with tr Mercury aspecting the natal Jupiter which can indicate some major news development. While not necessarily unfavourable, since it coincides with the Mars-Sun aspect, I don't see this as helpful to Hillary. It is conceivable there may be a silver lining here, although I wouldn't bet on it.

The other key date is the primary itself on May 13. There will be a rather close planetary alignment that day which features the Sun in a square to the nodes, Rahu and Ketu. And remember that Neptune is conjunct Rahu so that's essentially a four-planet pattern. The problem for Hillary is that this t-square is configured closely with her 1-7 axis (ascendant-descendant). While this is not inherently bad, the tr Sun will receive the exact aspect of her 10th house natal Saturn that night. While Saturn has some strength to bring fame by virtue of its 10th house placement, this square aspect is often a difficult energy to handle and often indicate loss (Saturn) of ego and vitality (Sun). Moreover, the tr Sun will conjoin Hillary's natal Rahu, which also tends to be problematic and speaks of situations that cause upset or are disruptive. Another potentially unhelpful aspect is formed by tr. 8th lord Mars which squares her natal Sun. While this infuses energy and combativeness, the square aspect is usually too much to deal with and since Mars is her 8th lord of obstacles and anxiety, this is a another clue that the evening will not go well. Of course, in Hillary's chart, Mars is placed in the 10th house of status and fame, so there is some kind of a boost in status here. But collectively, these planets suggest poor results.

Barack Obama campaign chartBarack Obama campaign chartOn Obama's side, the picture is better. In his natal chart, on May 13, tr Sun and tr Jupiter form a grand trine with his natal Mars. This is a powerful and almost always positive pattern that is what one would expect for a victory. It's true that tr Mars is conjunct his Mercury so there will be some rancour and intense competition that day, but this is in keeping with a closely-fought election race. In his campaign chart, he is currently enjoying the fruits of a Jupiter station on his Midheaven (unequal 10th house cusp). This station (reversal of planetary direction) occurs on the 9th and will be trined by tr Sun on the 13th. This is a very significant marker for a successful endeavour. It's hard to see the outcome as anything but an Obama victory in West Virginia.

Since this is supposed to be a Hillary-friendly state, this may be part of an endgame that will play itself out in the coming days. It's worth noting that the grand trine that Obama's chart has with the Sun-Jupiter aspect is also seen in the chart of the Democratic Party since their Mars' are conjunct around 27-29 Leo. This likely reflects the Obama victory and the momentum he will gain when the party begins to rally to him. The grand trine is repeated a few days later on May 18th as Venus takes the place of the Sun. This may be another significant date in the campaign and may represent another boost for Obama and a further sense of resolution and calming in the party.

So is there any way Hillary can win this thing now? There's no question the short term astrological indicators look very challenging for her. Just based on how the campaign is going, I don't know how she could possibly withstand another defeat and stay in the race. So I think there is a very real chance that she will pull out, either on the 13th or perhaps on the 18th. This isn't likely mind you, just a reflection of how difficult the transits at that time will be for her. I realize this makes mincemeat of my prediction that she would win, but given the forces aligned against her, this is going to be a very difficult time for her. Can she pull a rabbit out of her hat? I don't see this happening in the next couple of weeks. And yet I feel that the unresolved issues of Florida and Michigan will somehow continue to haunt this race. Early August appears to be a key moment where events and conflicts may overtake the campaign. Tr Saturn opposes natal Mercury in the Obama campaign chart suggesting obstacles or disappointments while Ketu conjoins the Uranus in the Democratic Party chart indicating possible sudden disruptive events. It's also possible that these patterns reflect Democrat setbacks in the election vs. the Republicans. Regardless, the convention promises to be lively to say the least.

Democratic Party 5/13/1792Democratic Party 5/13/1792 What really makes me think that something hasn't been resolved yet is that the chart of Democratic Party is so troubled. This makes me wonder what sort of new and unpredictable scenario may emerge between here to November. I note that in the spring of 1968, tr Pluto conjoined the natal Mars (27 Leo) of the Democratic Party chart. This coincided with the tumult within the party that arose after President Johnson refused to seek re-election in the wake of the ongoing protests against the Vietnam War. As a result, the race opened up to include anti-war candidates Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. While RFK was assassinated, McCarthy ending up losing to pro-war Hubert Humphrey in a brokered convention where party insiders ruled the day. To cut to the chase: in November, Saturn and Uranus will form an opposition just two degrees from that Mars, with Saturn forming the conjunction. While this is a different energy than Pluto, it is still very disruptive and suggests that struggles and conflict will dog the party for most of the campaign. In fact, this almost looks like the party itself will be in turmoil near election day, and probably not just because of what transpires at the polls. It's hard to imagine what sort of unusual development this may indicate, but several options are possible, including the possibility that the Democrats will not be united. Saturn and Uranus are like opposites -- the rigid structure of tradition coming in contact with an indomitable Promethean energy. Moreover they are trying to find an accommodation through Mars, the planet of aggression and action. It's a tension-filled trinity of planets that will rule the US in November. One thing is for sure: this will not be a routine election from here on in. I will post more updates as time allows.

Obama slipping in polls

(Updated May 2, 2008) Hillary Clinton's campaign appears to be getting a double-barreled boostfrom her Pennsylvania win and the seemingly inexplicable desire of Rev. Jeremiah Wright to destroy Barack Obama's political future. The intense media scrutiny of Wright's comments and Obama's reaction to them has once again raised questions about his electability. Hillary has now moved into a statistical tie in national polls and more importantly ahead in Indiana, which votes on May 6. I had predicted an Obama setback around this time (May 2) and it seems that I was off a few days with the reigniting of the Wright controversy.

Given the current trends, it seems that my previous prediction -- although it was anything but confident -- of an Obama win in Indiana is going to be wrong. Given the current dynamics, it is hard to see how Hillary will lose Indiana. Certainly, this fits in with my larger prediction that she will win the nomination. Losing in Indiana would make that almost impossible, so I'm actually quite pleased that she's ahead there as it gives her a realistic chance. Nonetheless, from an astrological perspective, I still have to address some unanswered questions, specifically why is Venus rising in the Obama campaign chart on May 6th? It's conceivable that this may signal some setback because of Venus' natal conjunction with Rahu, but it's not at all what one would expect. And it's possible that the Venus (happiness) stands for some other favourable development in the campaign other than the Indiana result. Astrology is, above all, a science of inference. The other more unsettling possibility is that the campaign chart isn't actually that reliable. I'm not willing to go that far yet but a big Hillary win in Indiana that further encroaches on Obama's status as front runner will undermine my faith in it.

Given Howard Dean's likely preference for Obama, it's likely that the problems I saw in his chart for May 6th reflect Hillary winning. With her already widening the lead in the most recent Indiana polls, a Clinton win seems to be the most likely manifestation of Dean's annoyance and disappointment rather than my speculation of legal challenges of primary results on election night.

Although I had been predicting a Hillary win in this race for months, I couldn't quite see how she could actually do it in political terms given her deficit in delegate support. The ongoing media appetite for the Wright controversy and the related issue of Obama's inability to appeal to working class Democrats supplies the plausible answer to this puzzle. If she manages to win both IN and NC that would accelerate the questions about Obama. I still don't see her winning NC, but I have to be honest and say I can't see this one very clearly. Perhaps it means the results overall will be ambiguous, or perhaps it's just an artifact of my chart reading limitations.

I'm looking at the Sun-Saturn square near May 22nd as another potentially significant date for the campaign. This appears to favour Hillary because the transiting Sun, the 11th lord of gains, aspects her Jupiter in the 2nd house of status. In Obama's chart, by contrast, this completes the negative feedback look to his natal Taurus Moon. Given the proximity of the Kentucky and Oregon primaries on May 20th, I think this bodes well for Hillary's results there. I'll try to refine the predictions later on.



Democrats 24-7: From Pennsylvania to Indiana

(Updated April 25 2008) Hillary Clinton managed to keep her nomination hopes alive after yet another back-to-the-wall primary victory, this time in Pennsylvania. The margin was a little short of the psychologically important 10%, but it has still managed to achieve the desired aim of forcing the media and party insiders to begin to question Barack Obama's ability to win the centrist Reagan Democrats. I had thought that a big win like this was possible on the basis of the grand trine in Hillary's chart, while Obama was suffering from the various afflictions in his natal and campaign charts. All in all, I'm satisfied that the essence of my forecast has largely come to pass.

The next primaries are set for May 6th in North Carolina and Indiana. With its large population of African American and university graduates, there is no doubt that Obama will win NC handily. The real focus is then on Indiana which arguably represents a more typical cross-section of voters where Hillary can press her case that she is the better candidate to win key swing states in the November election. Polls thus far show they are in a statistical tie.

This one is a tough call as there are good and bad indications for both candidates. At this point, I'm less certain about the outcome than I was for Texas and Ohio. One thing seems likely -- DNC Chair Howard Dean will not be happy with the outcome as the tr Moon-Mercury in the 12th house form a square to his 3rd house natal Saturn. This may be due to either 1) a Hillary win in Indiana which further intensifies the division in the party and draws out this internecine battle or 2) an Obama win that is disputed by the Hillary side on procedural or technical questions. The likelihood of bad blood is perhaps also in evidence in the chart of the Democratic Party where the tr Mars in the 6th from the Moon forms a t-square with the natal Saturn-Neptune opposition. This may simply represent a lot of disappointed Hillary supporters at a loss in a crucial primary, but I believe it signals something more problematic for the party. A more prosaic explanation would be that Hillary might lose but refuse to drop out of the race arguing that Indiana is not a must-win Democratic state, as say Pennsylvania or Ohio are. This would mean the nomination race would continue and Howard Dean would still be stuck in the middle of it all.

I had predicted that Obama would run into some headaches in the days leading up to the primary, say on May 2. While these may be temporarily damaging to him, there are good signs on election day for him such as tr Venus conjoining the ascendant of the campaign chart. While it is no guarantee of happiness and achievement especially given Venus' natal conjunction with Rahu which can sometimes destabilize Venus transits, it is still a generally favourable factor that seems to point to an Indiana victory.

Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton does have some positive influences on May 6th. Transiting Sun, as 11th lord of gains, will oppose her 1st lord Venus, for example. The combination of these two houses is often a sign of a reward or improvement. The difficulty here is that there isn't much else besides that as a signal for a win where one might expect here to be. So it's seems a little thin in the plus column and may only indicate some kind of silver lining to the day's events. Chelsea Clinton's chart also doesn't appear particularly strong on that date (e.g. tr Mars aspects her natal Ketu), so that is another potential sign that a win for Clinton may not happen in Indiana. While I'm less certain of this primary prediction than any other so far, my best guess then is that Obama will narrowly win Indiana and Hillary will somehow find a way to carry on.

One interesting side note is that when the winner is decided in the evening of May 6th, the Moon will conjoin Aldebaran in the middle of Taurus. This is a fixed star that is associated with royalty and popularity, and is associated with political power. On the surface that might represent the frontrunner Obama winning the day, as there may be a sense of crowning in the air. However, as fixed star expert Vivian Robson has written, "[Aldebaran's] benefits seldom prove lasting and there is also danger of violence and sickness." I'm not suggesting one has to take this literally as the violence may only be symbolic, such as Hillary Clinton calling the DNC on ongoing legality issues concerning the vote in MI and FL. Again, I don't want to make too much of this coincidence of the Moon's position on May 6th, but I thought it was worth a mention.

Regardless of what happens in IN and NC, I am still predicting that Hillary will win the nomination. I would currently put my confidence level at 70%, indicating that this is the most likely outcome although not quite in the 'sure thing' category. For comparison's sake, current sentiment on Intrade.com puts her chances at about 17%.



Pennsylvania Debate puts Obama on Defensive

(Updated Apr 17 2008) By most accounts, Hillary Clinton came out of last night's Pennsylvania debate looking better than Barack Obama, who was put on the defensive for much of the evening. This largely confirms my April 2 forecast that Hillary would perform well in the debate while Obama would have problems:

"The April 16th debate looks very good for Hillary. Venus is conjunct her natal part of fortune on that day which usually indicates situations that work in one's favour. Also transiting Sun and Mercury will be aspected by his natal Rahu. This usually signals an awkward and unfavourable situation. He may come off as overly combative or perhaps just a little out of control here and his arguments will not be effective."

While Obama was never "out of control", several journalists have noted how weak some of explanations were for his recent gaffes and miscues.

The PA primary is next on the 22nd and Hillary is poised to win. The question is: by how much? I think she still has a shot at the crucial 10 point margin of victory, although I wonder if some of the strength in Obama's campaign chart might be a signal that the margin is narrower (less than 10%), and hence the victory might only be symbolic, as HRC would only cut into Obama's delegate lead marginally. While this weaker sort of victory is possible, I think a more convincing double-digit win is the most likely scenario. I don't foresee any significant negative news for Hillary in the days leading up to the primary that would reduce her current lead, which has been measured at about 5 points.

After the primary, Hillary may suffer some kind of setback around Apr 28 when tr Mercury conjoins her natal Rahu and comes under the aspect of Saturn. This looks embarrassing but I don't think this will do any lasting damage but it will only be in the news cycle for a couple of days. It may involve leaders or authority figures (esp foreign or hidden ones) whose words jeopardize her integrity and threaten her position. Obama will have to deal with a problem of his own around May 2nd, so that is likely to shift attention away from Hillary's difficulties. This May 2nd situation looks like it may rekindle more realistic hopes that the nomination is actually winnable. That seems improbable now, but it's a date worth watching.



Obama busted for "bitter" comments

(Updated Apr 12, 2008) Barack Obama has provided the most recent gaffe on the campaign trail with his comments on April 11 that small town Pennsylvania voters were bitter, religious, gun-toting xenophobes. Both Hillary and John McCain have suggested that the remarks are a sign that Obama is arrogant, elitist and out of touch with American reality.

This fits with my April 2 prediction that Hillary would experience a small boost from an intensification of the campaign at this time:

"For the next few weeks, I think her campaign will continue to be regarded as a long shot without any real chance of winning. There will be more little points scored along the way on both sides of course. Look for an intensification of the sniping and mud-slinging on both sides around April 11th. I think Hillary will gain a small advantage from that phase."

Although it is debatable if the campaign has actually become dirtier, there's no doubt that Hillary has scored some points over this, and the remarks were made on April 11th, right on schedule. This occurred as transiting Mars fell under the aspect the natal Rahu in both the campaign charts. Since the campaigns were launched just a few weeks from each other, the nodes are less than a degree apart. In Obama's case, the proximity of the Mars to his campaign chart's IC makes it worse for him. Also Sun, Mercury and Venus are transiting through Pisces the Obama campaign's 12th house which is a weakening effect, while they are moving through Hillary's second house which is more positive for communicating since the second house rules speech.

This gaffe gives Hillary some potentially useful talking points against Obama in the upcoming debate on the 16th. I am still predicting that she will peform much better than Obama there. If this 'elitist' label starts to stick to Obama, then it will likely give Hillary the boost her campaign needs to win Pennsylvania by at least 10 points. While the astrology favours Hillary in PA (60-40!), I was still having difficult seeing how it would actually happen in reality. Now with Obama's "bitter" comments, one can see how Hillary can gain the strategic advantage and storm to victory on the 22nd.


Hillary's April showers and The Democratic Convention

(Updated Apr 5 2008) The HRC campaign continues its run of bad luck and bad karma with the release yesterday of the Clinton's tax information showing they had made $109 million since Bill left the White House. This on the same day that Hillary announces that she would establish an anti-poverty czar if elected. [cut to Jon Stewart's deer in the headlights look here]. This was likely the result of transiting Mars square aspect to her natal Neptune in the 12th house which often creates embarrassments or distortions. I think she may have something go her way this weekend (esp on Sunday) as tr. Venus picks up her natal Jupiter's aspect. But Monday and Tuesday look like more conflict and backpedaling for her as that Venus moves into range of the square from natal Mars in her campaign chart.

This campaign is in trouble right now and she runs the risk of the nightmare scenario of losing Pennsylvania on Apr 22. While I still think it's winnable for her, I have previously acknowledged there is a configuration in the Obama campaign chart. that may indicate that he wins on the 22nd. This is the transiting Mars hitting his unequal 4th house cusp while tr Jupiter moves over his unequal 10th house cusp. Mars (action, conflict) and Jupiter (politicians, ideals) oppose each other then, so its an appropriate pattern for this battle royal. It's a very singular and powerful pattern in Obama's chart which could coincide with a win. Hillary's chart still shows strength on the 22nd however the presence of transiting dasha lord Venus on the equal 6th house cusp is cause for some concern. This generically means "conflict" which is appropriate for an election contest, but there is a sense of difficulty here too, as if it may be too much for her to handle. Bottom line, I still expect her to win here, but my confidence level is not what it was for TX and OH. I was more like 80% or more certain she would win there as the astrology of those wins looked far more clear cut. My sense of Pennsylvania is more like 60%.

The reason I'm revisiting this prediction is because I'm trying to make sense of the her declining fortunes in light of the charts. I've got some things right so far like her winning Texas and Ohio, but I've been wrong too. I have to admit that I could be wrong about Pennsylvania as well, and indeed about her nomination. This election has been unusually challenging for astrologers because of lack of documented birth times for either candidate. This means that birth time-dependent placements like houses and rulerships have to be used with a grain a salt and this increases one's margin of error. And just to state the obvious, no astrologer, especially me, is going to be correct all the time. It's a probabilistic endeavour at best, where one can sometimes see things in the future that fall outside of normal perception. This is rarely a consistent ability of prediction in the conventional scientific sense of the word. And when you throw in personal preferences into the mix (yes, I like Hillary), staying objective is hard to do.

Somehow, Hillary needs to find a way to survive in April while her chart is under pressure. Her subperiod lord Saturn is retrograde in the 11th house of gains making progress slow if not impossible. When this changes direction and goes forward on May 2, her luck should improve. Until then, she is going to have a tough time, which may include losing Pennsylvania. I still think she has enough strength in her chart to win it, but I want to be up front about some second thoughts I'm having. The astrology is by no means clear. But if she does end up losing it, then the campaign is effectively over.

And even if she survives into May, Saturn will then aspect her natal Sun by 3rd house sextile aspect. This places a handicap on her husband (males are represented by the Sun) and her vitality which is also symbolized by the Sun. Therefore, she may be more prone to weakness and illness through May and June. More significantly, the Sun also represents authority so this may be the time when she tangles with the DNC in a more open way. Overall, it's a difficult transit and not necessarily one that will boost her chances. My original prediction for Obama's hard times in May was based on the assumption that the race would end then. Since this won't happen, those negative influences in his chart will likely show setbacks and more intense conflicts that he will have with Hillary and perhaps the party as a whole. A possible indicator of his declining fortunes, however temporary, may be seen in the retrograde station of his dasha lord Jupiter on May 9. Also Uranus is applying to station in a close opposition to his natal Mars (29 Leo) in June suggesting too much energy or conflict that is out of control. I note that June 24 is particularly over-energized for Obama as Uranus stations that day and transiting Mars conjoins his natal Uranus. This signature of action, aggression and suddenness is not going to be helpful to Obama at all, and may extend beyond the realm of political conflict and into some kind of personal threat.

So while I am hedging a bit here in the face of a bleak reality, I still would favour Hillary winning in PA and then winning the nomination although I'm less confident about it than I was before. Another interesting dimension is how a potential fight with the DNC might play out. If Hillary wins PA as I think she might, the prospect of a legal challenge to seat the delegates from MI and FL grows. I think there is good reason to think there will be a very nasty fight in the party possibly right up to the convention as the chart of the Democratic Party (May 13 1792) is very afflicted. For example, the natal Mars (27 Leo) will be opposed by Uranus in the coming months suggesting a time of chaos and uncontrollable developments. The Democratic Party has roughly the same placement of Mars as Obama has hence the Uranus opposition shows up in both charts. A possible clue to what the convention might hold can be seen in the conjunction of transiting Mars to the natal Rahu. This strongly indicates an explosion of anger and actions that fall outside the boundaries of normal behaviour. At the same time, transiting Ketu conjoins the natal Uranus, which again indicates excitement that gets out of control, or perhaps sudden changes or developments.

DNC chair Howard Dean's chart (Nov 17 1948) shows too much activity to suggest smooth sailing all the way to the convention. July and August look particularly stressed. He's running Saturn-Rahu dasha at a time when transiting Saturn conjoins its natal position -- a Saturn return. What's worse, on July 11, tr. Mars and Saturn conjoin on his natal Saturn. This does not sound like a tea party, particularly as the tr Saturn will aspect his natal Ketu simultaneously. This looks like a time when rules are being cast aside and matters are in disarray. To top it off, at the time of the convention in late August, tr Saturn will exactly square Dean's natal 12th house Moon, indicating a time of loss and disappointment. This may reflect a disappointment that his preferred choice has lost, or it may indicate disappointment that has damaged its image. It's not all bad, however, as tr Jupiter is close to his 7th house cusp symbolizing successful encounters with colleagues. So it's possible that the party comes out of the convention intact. I'll post more on this topic later.


Pennsylvania: Hillary's back to the wall -- again

(Updated April 2, 2008) Things haven't been going well for Hillary Clinton lately. After the boost she received in the wake of the Jeremiah Wright revelations in mid-March, she stepped in it all over again with the Bosnian sniper "misremembering", the Richardson endorsement of Obama, and several key Democrats calling for her to pull out of the campaign for the sake of party unity. Her inability to keep the momentum she had in early March has led a growing number of commentators to predict her eventual defeat. I had expected late-March to be better for her so I admit to being a little puzzled. Mostly I was relying on her campaign chart and thought that the Mercury-Venus transit across that chart's ascendant would see gains for her. In fact, the opposite occurred. It's possible that I simply misinterpreted the transit effects due to the presence of the often unpredictable Rahu near the ascendant. Another possibility is the campaign chart is inaccurate.

Whatever the case, it's important to distinguish between types of predictions. Missing a prediction on a relatively minor event or trend on the campaign trail is not the same as missing the outcome of a primary or an election. Since there is far more at stake in an election contest, the manifestations in the horoscope are almost always stronger and easier to read. That's why my inability to foresee Hillary's recent decline in the polls doesn't change by basic assessment of her chances in Pennsylvania and the Democratic nomination. I still see her winning the Pennsylvania primary. And as unlikely as it now seems, I still see her winning the nomination. Astrology aside, I don't know how this will happen. To say it's going to be an uphill road is an understatement. It may require some nasty legal challenges to the DNC over FL and MI delegates, or it may hinge on some improbable Obama scandal.

I've been gratified by the many readers that have requested updates of my forecast of this election campaign. I can't imagine how agonizing it must be for Hillary Clinton supporters to watch the ups and (especially) downs unfold on the news every night in this seemingly interminable campaign. Sorry for being a bit casual in my posting. Aside from being very busy, the truth is I haven't found any new information that has warranted a substantial revision of my original prediction. I did feel bad I missed the recent decline in her fortunes, but as I see it, it's not that big of deal, either for my analysis, or for her campaign. For the next few weeks, I think her campaign will continue to be regarded as a long shot without any real chance of winning. There will be more little points scored along the way on both sides of course. Look for an intensification of the sniping and mud-slinging on both sides around April 11th. I think Hillary will gain a small advantage from that phase. The April 16th debate looks very good for Hillary. Venus is conjunct her natal part of fortune on that day which usually indicates situations that work in one's favour. Also transiting Sun and Mercury will be aspected by his natal Rahu. This usually signals an awkward and unfavourable situation. He may appear come off as overly combative or perhaps just a little out of control here and his arguments will not be effective.

After the presumed win on April 22, what I'm watching for next is for the race to change its fundamental complexion in May. I think time around May 2 may prove to be a pivotal date as Obama's chart has a number of difficult patterns such as the transiting 12th lord Mercury conjoining his Moon, and transiting Mars opposing his Saturn. While I initially thought Hillary would have been out in front by now, I've also said all along that the May and June were going to be the critically difficult months for Barack Obama. Originally, I saw him dropping out of the race at this time. This now seems impossible given the delegate counts and the larger party dynamics, but the negative energy is still in place for him then so his candidacy will suffer some major setbacks that will make his candidacy no longer appear inevitable. This will be a bit like what the campaign was like in the days following Texas and Ohio, only much more so.

If there are some new or unexpected developments, I will be sure to post something promptly.


The Road to Pennsylvania

After Barack Obama's victories in Wyoming and Mississippi, the Democratic campaign has entered a new, protracted phase of thrust and parry in advance of the next primary in Pennsylvania on April 22. The most recent manifestation came in the form of Geraldine Ferraro's apparent playing of the race card which led to cries of racism from the Obama side and her subsequent resignation from her fund raising post in the Clinton campaign. This conflict can be seen in the Clinton campaign chart (Jan 20 2007 9.30 am) through the transit of Mars opposing the natal Mars earlier this week. No surprise there.

Hillary may get a bit of a boost around March 14-15 (maybe tomorrow afternoon), as the tr. Moon-Mars conjunction forms a grand trine with tr Venus and her natal Sun. At the same time, the transiting Moon-Mars conjunction will sit on his natal Venus suggesting anger or problems involving women while transiting Sun falls under the aspect of his natal Saturn pointing to frustration and thwarting of plans.

More significantly, the end of March looks troublesome for Obama, as Mercury and Venus oppose his natal Mars. It seems he will suffer from some sort of unwanted dispute or conflict from March 26-31. Hillary's chart looks quite good at that time, as those transiting benefics will conjoin her natal Moon, so we can expect to see her hand strengthened. The HRC campaign chart will have tr Mercury and Venus crossing the ascendant then, so that is another clue that her profile and popularity will grow at the end of the month. This will be roughly the beginning of some tougher times for the Obama campaign as we approach April 22. The planets clearly indicate a Clinton win in Pennsylvania. In her natal chart on April 22, there is a grand trine between transiting Uranus (27 Aquarius) and transiting Mars (27 Gemini) and her natal Mercury and Ascendant (28 Libra). This is a powerful pattern for victory. Her dasha lord Venus will be at its maximum degree of exaltation. Given her high profile in the world right now, I think that Hillary best personifies that exalted Venus, notwithstanding Samantha Power's "monster" comments. Venus is transiting Revati, a Mercury-owned nakshatra and Mercury is a very good planet for HRC since it is on her ascendant. Also, when the voting results come in, the transiting Moon will be conjunct her natal Jupiter, which supports a successful outcome.

On the Obama side, things don't look as good. In his campaign chart, the transiting Mars will have just opposed the natal Mars within the previous week, which suggests that some of the Ferraro-type headaches that Clinton has had to deal with this week will be much fresher in the voters minds when the go to the polls. Plus, tr. Mars is just one degree from the IC on the 22nd indicating upset or irritation. While Jupiter is on the MC at the same time, I don't see this as favourable pattern because of the natal Mars weakness that I've mentioned previously, although I can understand if others might regard it more in terms of "activation of leadership", etc. In his natal chart, tr Mercury (communication) will form a t-square with Sun (self) and Neptune (confusion) suggesting that his message won't be well received while tr Sun (self) forms a second t-square with his natal Jupiter (ideas) and Mercury (communication) which will likely produce a negative combination of those keywords in the form of a failed attempt to persuade voters. Or in other words, an overconfidence in ideas that don't catch on or backfire.

Apr 22 looks like it will be a significant defeat for Obama and may well fuel a Clinton momentum that more than makes up for any deficit in delegates. I don't think Hillary's win will be enough to erase the deficit (she would have to win something like 80-20!), this does look like a large Ohio-sized win that fills her campaign with confidence. This is roughly in keeping with current polling which shows her enjoying a double-digit lead. Given that Michigan and Florida primaries will be redone and Hillary is favoured to win in both states, there is good reason that Clinton can substantially close the electibility gap on the delegate count alone. With Obama's sagging popularity going into the the later contests, Hillary will be able to make a stronger case to superdelegates.

At this point, I'm not certain if she wins during the primary season or at the convention. I had thought that Obama's chart looked worst in May and June and that reflected a final defeat for him. This still seems the most likely scenario. Mid-June looks quite important as it is the time of the Mars-Ketu conjunction that is prominent in both candidates campaign charts and suggests a messy, contested result.

March 7, 2008

Samantha Power damage spreads

I see that Samantha Power has now resigned from the Obama campaign.

From a previous BBC interview that has come to the attention of the media and the Clinton campaign, it now seems she expressed doubt about Obama's ability to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months. This undermines his stated anti-war stance of a quick withdrawal. Here's the story which was also cited in the NYT.

This is arguably even more embarrassing to the Obama campaign because it undercuts one of his perceived advantages over HRC.

March 7,2008

Venus against Obama

Barack Obama may be feeling the pinch of that double Venus problem I mentioned previously with the revelation that an aide and close friend, Samantha Power, said that Hillary Clinton was "a monster" in an interview with a Scottish newspaper. She has apologized for the embarrassing comments.

In keeping with the symbolism of Venus, it is noteworthy that the source of Obama's embarrassment was a female aide. Obama's natal Venus is currently opposed by Pluto and conjoined by Mars. Meanwhile, transiting Venus conjoins his natal Ketu (south Node). Ketu is known as the "dragon's tail", which is not that far from a "monster".

I think this is only the beginning of Obama's problems over the next few days. Either this story will evolve and become more damaging to him, or more likely he will experience annoyance and obstacles from new developments.


The Spell is Broken: Hillary wins Texas and Ohio

(Updated March 5, 2008) On the brink of elimination from race for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton came up big last night winning Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island. While she has not substantially reduced Barack Obama's delegate lead, she has managed to break his string of victories and in so doing has shifted the momentum back to her. It was hard to imagine such a scenario a couple weeks ago in the full flower of Obamania, and yet the astrology for her comeback looked too compelling to ignore. I had suggested that things would begin to turn in her favour in March and these wins bear out that prediction. Actually we could trace her changing fortunes back a little earlier perhaps to the first SNL debate skit on February 23 when questions about the media being "in the tank" for Obama seemed to strike a chord with people.

As I've been saying for a while, I think Obama is going to be faced with some unwelcome situations in the coming days, probably this weekend and into next week as a number of transiting take up inauspicious positions in his natal chart. I think the time around March 9th looks the most problematic for him as the transiting Venus punctuates the nodal semi-return while transiting Mars contacts his Venus. While I am not sure what will happen, some possible scenarios include a decision by the Democratic National Committee going against him for the contested Michigan and Florida primaries, some new revelations from the Rezko trial, or some scandal involving women. Given the double involvement of Venus in these troublesome patterns, I think women will figure prominently in some way, although since he is running against Hillary, it may simply be that Hillary is the source of his problems. Note also that at the same time, the transiting Sun joins transiting Uranus at 24 Aquarius exactly conjunct with the ascendant of the Clinton campaign chart. This will likely mean a sudden boost of prominence for Hillary around this time, say from March 7-9. Obama's campaign chart also reflects this difficult time for him since tr. Mercury (27 Capricorn) will activate his unwieldly Sun-Neptune-Saturn complex, just as tr Venus did last night.

Also note that transiting Venus and Mercury are now in the nakshatra of Dhanistha which is ruled by Mars. In the Obama campaign chart, Mars is closely aspected by Ketu suggesting sudden actions that lead to unpredictable outcomes, neagtive criticism, and irritation. Transiting Venus will be in Dhanistha until March 12th and transiting Mercury until March 15th. In the Clinton campaign chart, this Venus-Mercury transit through Dhanistha will bring rewards and gains since Mars is well-placed in the 11th whole sign house with Pluto, the planet par excellence of political power. Venus moved into Dhanistha March 2, while Mercury followed yesterday morning just in time for the voting in the key primaries. Thanks to Dhanistha, more people are banging the drum for Hillary. :-)

This immediate period of Obama troubles will likely continue until March 15th when these transiting planets move out of Dhanista. After this, I think the balance will have shifted decidedly towards Hillary that will propel her to victory in Pennsylvania and perhaps to the primaries in smaller states in the meantime. I'm sticking to my original prediction that Obama will have to bow out in May or June. I'm not quite sure how this will happen since his lead in delegates at least assures him going all the way to the convention in August. Nonetheless, I think he will be forced out for some reason that lies outside the simple delegate math.


Barack ObamaBarack Obama (Updated Feb 23, 2008) As the March 4th pivotal primaries in Ohio and Texas loom ever-larger for Hillary Clinton, her campaign for the Democratic nomination is now entering the realm of the long shot. The political betting site intrade.com now lists her chances as just 17% of winning the nomination against Barack Obama's 83%. Pundits are attempting to sketch out her few remaining paths to victory and unanimously concede that things are looking grim against the seemingly unstoppable momentum of the charismatic Obama.

While I had not foreseen the extent of her February troubles, I still believe that a reversal in fortunes is in the cards. (or is that stars?) Aside from the birth chart, the campaign launch charts of candidates can provide another source of information of the possible outcome of their endeavours. Hillary's immediate concern is March 4th because if she loses either one, her run will be over. And yet a quick look at the respective campaign horoscopes of the two candidates shows that March 4th is very favourable to Hillary Clinton as tr.Venus will conjoin the Venus-Moon conjunction in late Capricorn. The transiting Venus in Barack Obama's campaign chart is also putatively good news in so far as it conjoins the natal Sun. However, the complicating factor here is that the Obama campaign chart features a tight Sun-Saturn opposition, so that Venus is setting off that complex of energy. The results stirke me as being more ambivalent. Moreover, the transiting Mercury contacts the Sun-Saturn opposition on March 8th, a date which we have isolated as being potentially damaging to Obama by virtue of affliction in his natal chart.

Obama has the momentum

(Updated Feb 17, 2008) The momentum has clearly shifted towards Obama in the last couple of weeks. Some are already writing off Hillary Clinton's chances as the charismatic and younger Barack Obama has won 8 consecutive primaries and stands poised to win Wisconsin on Feb 19th. No astrology needed to predict that outcome! As I see it, however, the astrological picture is rapidly dimming on Obama. This week upcoming will represent the high point of his popularity, and look for the days around the 22nd to be especially good. After that, things will begin to slide. As mentioned previously, the March 4 Texas and Ohio primaries will probably go to Hillary and Obama's chart shows significant stress and unhappiness in the period of March 8-12. This configuration involves a major affliction of Venus and strongly suggests that his difficulties will stem from issues beyond simply bad vote results. This seems like it may be a stressful distraction involving women in some way, and with the influence of P4 Mars station on March 8th (!), we cannot rule out some kind of injury, coercion, threat or other expression of martian symbolism. It is very possible these configurations may be pointing to fallout from his ongoing financial relationship with corrupt Democrat operator Tony Rezko as Rezko's trial for fraud and extortion gets underway on March 3. I think the events of these first two weeks of March will change the whole complexion of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Hillary's campaign will get a huge boost from the P3 Venus station that occurs March 6th, just in time to give Hillary wins in Texas and Ohio. What gives these progressions stations extra strength is that she is running the Venus dasha. That kind of parallelism across astrological systems enhances the power of both and our confidence in predicting what will flow from this pattern. I am expecting that Obama will concede defeat in May or by mid-June at the latest when Saturn stations square to his Moon. It's worth noting that his wife, Michelle Obama, has her Venus at 7 Aq and she was also feel the full force of that Saturn station by opposition aspect. This is another sign that Obama will lose this historic political battle at that time.

February 15, 2008

Hillary wins New Mexico

A small ray of hope fell upon the Clinton campaign yesterday when it was
announced that Hillary had won the Feb 5 New Mexico primary after a
lengthy recount. While this only gives her two more delegates than
Obama for her victory, it was a much-needed bit of good news in her
beleaguered campaign.

Polls released yesterday also showed her leading Obama by a wide margin
in Ohio and Pennsylvania. While these are seen as pro-Clinton states,
there was some question whether Obama's momentum might be eroding her
base. These positive poll numbers show that she may be able to not only
win these states, but also pick up the delegates needed to close Obama's
lead. All in all, yesterday was a mostly good news day for Hillary --
although a prominent member of the Black caucus John Lewis did come out
in support of Obama.

This up day for Hillary seems to confirm what I had forecast back on Feb
10th that Hillary would lose the Potomac primaries but would have some
gain shortly thereafter. Here's what I wrote then:

"More problematic for Obama is the 13th and 14th when the Venus conjunct
comes exact to Saturn and Sun lines up with the Ketu. Mercury is coming
to station in a square against his natal Neptune. Due to the time lag,
I don't see this difficult pattern being related to primary results but
it will be a noteworthy problem. Hopefully, it will have a public
manifestation so we can check our progress. Will HRC benefit from
this? It's very likely. Sun Venus and Mars all sync up around 2 degree
of their respective signs and set off her Uranus. By itself, the tr
Mars station to the natal Uranus has not done her any favours, but the
presence of these other planets may bring her an unexpected benefit that
helps her campaign."


February 10, 2008

Potomac Primaries

Obama trounced HRC in all three contests last night by huge margins,
despite my prediction to the contrary. In retrospect, I did not take
into full account the negative effect of Tr Sun that opposed Hillary's
Saturn. It formed a t-square with her natal Mercury as well and with tr
Neptune there in the mix as well, she is at her weakest right now,
flailing helplessly, unable to stop Obama's momentum. Astrology 101
really -- I just missed seeing it in the chart, plain and simple. I
have to admit I am biased towards Mrs Clinton in the long term because I am predicting her to win the contest eventually. Her more favourable
time really doesn't get going until March, however. On March 4, Texas
and Ohio will vote and likely go Clinton's way since Latinos and working
class voters tend to favour her. As it happens, the corruption trial of
a major Obama backer Tony Rezko begins the day before on March 3 so this may be a source of embarrassment for him.

On Tuesday Feb 12, the so-called Potomac primaries take place in
Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Like Washington, Nebraska, and Louisiana,
these are must-win states for Obama since the demographics favour him,
as these states have an over-representation of black and educated
voters. And with pro-Clinton states looming next in the nomination
calendar in early March, any losses here would put his campaign in
jeopardy. Expectations are that he will win all three although again
there is some room for interpretation depending on the margin of victory.

While the Sun will have past exact opposition to her Saturn by Tuesday,
it's still pretty close. And there is an absence of any offsetting
favourable influences. Meanwhile, Obama will have tr Venus approaching
his natal Saturn which can be a disappointing combination. However, it
will still be two degress short of conjunction, so there isn't enough of
an affliction to get us to think of huge losses on Tuesday. So Obama
should win these primaries, as advertised. His margin may be smaller
than Saturday's, but that's not saying much. He won Washington by 35
pts. I don't foresee much good news here for Clinton.

More problematic for Obama is the 13th and 14th when the Venus conjunct comes exact to Saturn and Sun lines up with the Ketu. Mercury is coming
to station in a square against his natal Neptune. Due to the time lag,
I don't see this difficult pattern being related to primary results but
it will be a noteworthy problem. Hopefully, it will have a public
manifestation so we can check our progress. Will HRC benefit from
this? It's very likely. Sun Venus and Mars all sync up around 2 degree
of their respective signs and set off her Uranus. By itself, the tr
Mars station to the natal Uranus has not done her any favours, but the
presence of these other planets may bring her an unexpected benefit that helps her campaign. Rather than anything good happening to her perhaps she will merely reap the perceived media boost from Obama's troubles.

Politics is a zero sum game where your opponents' headaches are a source of your own happiness.

Nonetheless, I don't think this event will be big enough to change the
basic dynamic of the campaign.

February 9, 2008

Obama setback in the cards?

A few more primaries, or rather caucuses today in Washington, Louisiana, Nebraska for the Dems (Kansas for the GOP) and the Virgin Islands. Maine is tomorrow.

Obama is expected to do well here because he usually does better in caucuses than in secret ballot primaries and because the demographics in Washington and Louisiana favour him. I think the consensus is that he is expected to win Washington and Louisiana handily (by at least 10 pts, maybe 20)and be competitive in Nebraska. Hillary is probably favoured to win Maine. But since these aren't winner-take-all contests, winning a state is more about bragging rights and momentum building than boosting one's delegrate count. It's only if the margin of victory is large that it impacts the race, which up to now is virtually tied.

Obama's chart doesn't look that good for today though. 12th lord Mercury opposes his Sun, and the Moon forms a t-square with with natal Mars and tr Mars. Worse still, tr Moon falls under the 3rd house sextile aspect of his natal Saturn this evening during the counting. Also tr Venus has left a Venus-ruled nakshatra and is now in a Sun-ruled one, Uttarashada. This is a less favourable influence I believe, because the tr Sun is currently in his 4th house with Neptune and as mentioned already, Sun is under the transit of the 12th lord of loss, Mercury.

With these patterns in mind, I would think there will be some disappointment in the Obama camp. It seems that the margins of victory may be fairly small (i.e. less than 10 pts) , and he is likely to lose Nebraska. Maine will certainly go to Hillary. It seems impossible that Obama could lose either Washington or Lousiana. Still, I don't see him getting a huge boost here from the results. After the euphoric rallies in Seattle yesterday attended by 17,000, a slim margin of victory would be seen as a momentum buster so maybe that's the more likely scenario than an out and out loss. But an Obama loss in Washington is possible.

By contrast, Mrs Clinton will probably see a nice boost as Moon moves deeper into Pisces later in the evening forming a trine with her natal Jupiter. Maybe Washington won't be as bad for her as the pundits think. Tr Mercury is past aspecting her natal Mars so it's likely done all the damage it can for now. Venus is in good shape near the equal 3rd house cusp.

It's hard to sure about these lesser elections since the planetary patterns may be reflecting not the results but some other elements going on behind the scences. This is especially true when the contests at hand are not critical and whose results may be well known beforehand through extensive polling.

We'll find out soon enough.


Super Tuesday

(Updated Feb 3 2008) As Super Tuesday approaches and the US primary season reaches its critical peak, a quick look at Barack Obama's chart suggests the end of his time on the national stage may be near. While his charismatic candidancy has struck a chord across the country, he still trails Hillary Clinton in national polls, although the gap has narrowed to single digits in the past week.

The chart looks decidedly mixed for Tuesday with some great placements like tr Venus on his 3rd house cusp (successful efforts, happy communications). But tr Mercury is with Neptune near his IC (unequal 4th cusp) and since Mercury contains some maleficence through its 12th house lordship, there may be a sense of unease in the coming days. His P3 chart shows a t-square with progressed Moon-Mercury- Neptune which also reinforces the notion that things are not quite working out as planned on Feb 5. He is currently in the dasha sequence of Jupiter-Venus-Mercury. Venus is well placed in the 9th disposited by Mercury in the 10th but Venus contains the potential for problems through the aspect from Ketu. Mercury is fairly well esconced in the 10th but the helpful aspect from Jupiter is somewhat compromised by Saturn's aspect. Generally this is a good combination but it could go against him if the transits turn bad.

My sense is Tuesday will go well enough for him but nothing extreme either way. He's both unlikely to take the lead in delegates or the polls and neither will his campaign fizzle. At the end of it, there may still be sense that he faces an uphill battle to win the nomination perhaps because he hasn't done as well as he had hoped.

A potential turning point in his campaign may be the period of March 9-12 when transiting Mercury and Venus conjoin his natal Ketu. This
occurs at the same time that transiting Mars conjoins his Venus while Pluto moves to within one degree of opposition. Also note there is a P4 Mars station exact on March 8 that occurs in a 4 degree square with his natal Venus. This looks very unfavourable to him and possibly his wife as well given the Venus symbolism that suggests some kind of major misfortune. It looks as if there will some kind of aggressive action (Mars) or powerplay (Pluto) against him that distorts and prevents (Ketu) his success (Venus/Mercury). These short term transits take place against a negative backdrop of transiting Saturn backing into a malefic 10th house square aspect to his natal Moon. It comes near exact in May so that would be the most likely time for him to drop out of the campaign.


[Please note that I use whole sign houses and the sidereal zodiac] When I originally wrote this forecast in early 2007, I had thought that Hillary Clinton could only win the nomination and the presidency if Al Gore stayed out of the race, something I wasn't sure would happen. Now it seems too late for Gore (he won his Nobel though) and the real competition is Barack Obama. At the time of writing (Jan 7, 2008), Obama is surging in the polls and has won Iowa and is poised to do the same in New Hampshire. Some observers are suggesting that Hillary Clinton's chances are slim. They don't look good at present, but I am sticking to my original prediction that she will win the nomination and the presidency.

There's some debate about Hillary's correct time of birth (October 26 1947 Chicago, IL) . Both 8.00 am and 8.00 pm have been put forward. On the basis of several key events in her life, it seems clear she is sidereal Libra rising which would make the 8.00 am time closer to the truth. Look at her 7th lord Mars closely conjunct Pluto and Saturn in the 10th house -- her husband was president of the United States. Moreover Rahu/NN close to the 7th house cusp in another clue about her troubled relationship with Bill -- Rahu in association with the 7th house usually destabilized marriages.

Hillary Clinton - Natal Chart with transits for Feb 5 2008Possibly the most important date in the campaign will be February 5, 2008 -- Mega Tuesday, when over a dozen states hold their Democratic primaries. The candidates must do well on this day for them to go on and win the nomination. Hillary's chart for Mega Tuesday seems quite mixed. Lots of oppositions in the transits which is not usually in a chart of someone who is happy with their performance. Perhaps the opposite transits speak to the overall stress levels and some complications and obstacles that may come into ler life at that time. More importantly, she is the proud owner of a tertiary progressed Venus station in February and with it forming a trine to Neptune and opposition to Pluto, it seems to be just what she needs to reverse her fortunes and reassume frontrunner status. Her chart for election day in November is really quite good also. She has an another station, this time it's Neptune, which returns the favour to Venus through a trinal aspect. It is hard to see her coming away as a defeated candidate in November.