The Election of Arnold Schwarzenegger: From Mr. Universe to Mr. Governor

[The following article appeared in the September 2003 issue of Express Star Teller.]

On August 7, former body building champion (he won the Mr. Universe title 4 times) and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for Governor of California, the USA's most populous state. The election is the result of a formal recall movement sparked by disgruntled citizens and business people who seek to end the continuing budgetary and energy troubles that have plagued the state under the present governor, Gray Davis. With California's wide open approach to electoral democracy where any citizen with $3500 and 65 signatures can run for governor, the gubernatorial field now stands at 200 and the October 7 ballot promises to be one of the strangest in US history.

Enter Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of the popular "Terminator" films. Although Schwartzenegger (Jul 30 1947 4.10 pm Thal, Austria) was not born in the USA, he became an American citizen in 1984. According to the US constitution, this precludes him from seeking the US presidency, but he is still permitted to run for lower levels of elected office such as state governor.

Right off the bat, we can see he has an awesomely powerful chart for high public profile. The ascendant (26 Gemini) and its ruler Mercury (25 Gemini) are very closely conjunct. Even more amazingly, the other kendra lord Jupiter (25 Libra) exactly aspects both of these points. Clearly, he stands out wherever he goes! One can also wonder if the close Jupiter aspect to both the lagna and lagna lord lies behind his body building career. Jupiter rules expansion and improvement, and when it is involved with 1st house factors, the native may embark on programs of self-improvement, up to and including cosmetic surgery. We may also look to the 3rd house for his enormous strength. The 3rd house is linked to a person's initiative and courage. In Arnold's chart, the 11th lord of gains, Mars (26* Taurus) lies in the sign of Taurus the bull -- definitely a plus if one is trying to build one's physique. More importantly though, this Mars aspects the equal 3rd house cusp at 26* Leo. This gives him his great determination and strength, both necessary attributes in body building competitions and political campaigns.

Another compelling asset for competitions lies in his 6th house. The 6th house represents conflict and competitions generally as well as health and service. Most athletes and politicians require a strong 6th house if they are going to defeat their opponents, electorally or otherwise. Schwarzengger has Ketu placed there in Scorpio. While some astrologers may insist this is Ketu's sign of exaltation, we needn't rely on that explanation to understand its strength. Its dispositor Mars is the 11th lord of gains and victory and it is placed in the 12th house aspecting the 6th. Any negative influence from the 12th house placement is counterbalanced by the fact that Ketu's ruler and the 6th house lord is aspecting its own house. And like the 3rd house, this Mars aspect to the 6th is made more powerful by virtue of its exact aspect to the equal 6th house cusp at 25* Scorpio.

While we can clearly see his inclination towards body building, how can we discern Schwarzenegger's 25-year stint as a successful movie actor? Normally, the 3rd house and Venus are consulted for artistic vocations such as acting. Arnold's Venus is conjunct the 3rd lord Sun in Cancer. This is an excellent signature for an actor. Also, Venus lies in the nakshatra of Punarvasu which is owned by Jupiter. Jupiter is both 10th lord and is in Libra, a Venus-ruled sign, and thereby further promotes a Venusian-type career. Taken together, we can see that there will also be some sort of consideration of art, beauty, and image in Schwarzenegger's career. Interestingly, one can claim that body building, movie acting, and political leadership all contain varying elements of Venus. Politicians, of course, require more than just a strong Venus to succeed, even in image-conscious California! Schwarzenegger has his 10th lord of status Jupiter is the 5th house of counsel and wise deliberation -- a classic politician's signature. While he may concern himself with image, Arnold's considerable communication abilities will help him reach the people. His well-aspected Mercury placed in Gemini in Lagna is an important asset for him in the political realm, especially in this age of mass media. His political career will likely see him develop his communicative abilities beyond simple Hollywood image-making.


Why he will win the election
In the recall election on October 7 2003 in California, I believe Schwarzenegger will win. He is running Rahu-Venus dasha on election day. While Rahu is placed in the 12th house, it is important to recall that it is conjunct 11th lord of gains Mars. Since Rahu is a shadowy, sponge-like planet, it absorbs whatever influences it. Thus, it is stamped with the influence of the 11th house of gains. Rahu's dispositor Venus is well-placed in the 2nd house of status and wealth, conjunct the Sun, karaka of status. While Venus may be considered combust at 9* orb, it is not close and therefore the weakening effect is minimal. Also, Venus is located very close to Mercury and the 1st house, making it potentially stronger than it otherwise would be. Bhuktie lord Venus, as just mentioned, is quite well placed and is in a nakshatra owned by 10th lord Jupiter, very strongly placed in the trikona 5th house.

As the transit chart shows, the planets on October 7 greatly favour Mr, Schwarzenegger. First, dasha lord Rahu (27* Aries) is transiting very near the equal cusp of the 11th house of gains. It is already oriented towards positive achievements in his natal chart, but this transit of Rahu in the 11th house will fulfill more of his wishes since transiting Jupiter will cast its aspect there from Leo. Transit Rahu's dispositor Mars will be in Aquarius, and thus aspecting natal Rahu in Taurus. In fact, the election takes when transit Mars (7*Aquarius) exactly casts its 4th house square aspect to natal Rahu. Since Mars rules the 11th house, this is further evidence of victory for him. And on the day of the election, natal Rahu's dispositor and bhuktie lord Venus will be well placed in Libra.

One may well wonder what the negative effect, if any, will be of Saturn's transit to the Gemini Lagna and its aspect to the 10th house. As I see it, Saturn will be generally helpful to him owing to its favourable natal situation. It rules the 8th and 9th houses, but one ought to give more weight to its moolatrikona rulership by the sign of Aquarius of the 9th house -- the most favourable house in the horoscope. Also, it is well-placed in the 2nd house of status and aspects its own house, the 8th house. This removes some of the possible damaging effects of its rulership of the dussthana 8th house. Also, it is closely conjunct Pluto within one degree, the planet most western astrologers associate with the exercise of power. In a competition, one can never have too much Pluto on your side and Arnold's Pluto is hand in glove with Saturn, the planet of authority. This is a very strong conjunction that can make his will irresistible. Finally, we can see that Saturn will be transiting the nakshatra of Ardra which is ruled by Rahu. As we have seen, Rahu is a favourable influence for Schwarzenegger, and this infuses the Saturn transit with even more favourable energy for his election.

Focusing our microscope a bit further, we can see that on election night, the Moon (27* Aquarius) will be transiting very near the trine aspect of natal Jupiter (25* Libra). This is another marker for a Schwarzenegger win. With the polls normally closing at 8.00 pm, definitive results are often known less than an hour later. I have cast a chart for the transits in Los Angeles at 8.45 pm with a notion that this may be the time that he is officially declared the winner. Note that the transiting ascendant (7* Taurus) will be conjunct natal Rahu at that time, along with the aforementioned favourable Moon position. Another possibility for the moment of victory would be at 10.00 pm when the transiting ascendant (26* Taurus) is conjunct his natal Mars, his 11th lord of gains. While both hits are possible micro signals for his successful election, I favour the earlier time of 8.45 pm.

The only possible fly in the ointment are the ongoing attempts by various California interest groups to delay or stop the special recall election by judicial intervention on procedural concerns. So far, these attempts have failed. It is possible, however, that appeals will be launched and the election will be delayed by some months. If this is the case, then Schwarzenegger's fortunes may be different. However, I don't foresee the success of any of these appeals. This October, California should belong to "Mr Universe". One can only hope he has the grace and humility to accept the demotion to "Mr. Governor".