Obama's address seeks to reassure Americans after ISIS attack on US

(8 December 2015) President Obama delivered a rare address to the nation from the Oval Office yesterday as he tried to reassure nervous Americans that he had a viable plan for combating ISIS.  The speech came just days after two ISIS-inspired terrorists shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.   Some pundits felt that he came up short in the address as he offered no new plans to fight ISIS in Syria and protect US citizens at home. 

Although Obama seems to have finally publicly acknowledged the seriousness of the threat that ISIS poses, many Americans are wondering if he has the necessary leadership skills for the task at hand.   Given Obama's apparent caution and tentativeness, it is perhaps not surprising that GOP candidate Donald Trump and his more belligerent, straight talk approach continues to ride high in the polls despite his sometimes outrageous utterances and casual approach to the truth.  There is an interesting yin-yang type relationship forming between Obama and Trump.    Just as Obama's election was partially a reaction to the errors of George Bush, now Trump's popularity may be seen as a reaction to Obama's subtle, more diplomatic approach.

The themes of war and violence are front and center now in Obama's horoscope.  We can see that Obama's natal Mars, the planet of war, is becoming highly activated here through the double conjunction of Jupiter and Rahu (North Lunar Node).   Jupiter will exactly conjoin Mars (29 Leo) in January and will remain within close range until March due to the retrograde cycle of Jupiter.  This Jupiter influence should be seen as initiating and hastening Mars-like actions as we see through his de facto declaration of war on ISIS in yesterday's address. 

It seems clear that the US will ramp up its war footing in the coming months as it will likely send more troops to Iraq and Syria to shore up its allies there in the fight against ISIS.  Obama may have argued cogently against US boots on the ground in the Middle East, but this double conjunction to his Mars looks like intensifying war-related actions.  Perhaps the new troops they will be labeled "advisors", as they have so many times in the past.

Mars' placement in the 8th house provides a clue that Obama may be uncomfortable exercising his powers as Commander-in-chief of the armed forces.  The 8th house is set back from any prominence as we might find in a more forceful chart where it is placed the angular houses -- 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th.   His Sun-Neptune square is angular (7th-10th) and that is perhaps his default position -- leadership through inspiration and idealism rather than harsh or forceful action.  By contrast, the always blunt and combative Donald Trump has his Mars placed in the 1st house.  

But not even the former law professor can resist the twin influences of Jupiter and Rahu on his Mars.  Circumstances have forced his reluctant hand to take the fight more directly to ISIS.  And as ISIS and terrorism becomes more of a focus on the Presidential 2016 election, Obama has another reason not to be caught flat-footed again.  If his Democratic party is going to win the White House in 2016, he needs to be sufficiently tough in order to prevent the GOP from gaining political advantage on this issue. 

If Jupiter's conjunction with Mars is a key astrological reason for Obama's desire to ratchet up his commitment to defeating ISIS, the approach of Rahu to its own conjunction with Mars is more worrisome.  Rahu-to-Mars aspects are often indications of uncontrollable conflict and violence.  While Jupiter may prevent some of the worst consequences of these actions, I would expect Obama and the US to become increasingly anxious about how the war on ISIS as we move into early 2016.   I think the war in Syria and Iraq will continue to be an uphill battle for the US and we could see more domestic terror attacks. 

Actually, I can see that the upcoming Mars-Uranus opposition (along with the Pluto alignment) will square up against the Sun in the US chart.   The San Bernardino terrorist attack was the partial result of the approach of this pattern.  But there may be more events that will manifest from this Mars-Uranus-Pluto-Sun alignment.  Another violent incident, this time involving the US government or military which could happen later this week, as Mars conjoins the natal Saturn in the USA horoscope.

Obama's problems with the Middle East likely stem from the fact that his weak 8th house Mars rises in Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and even Russia.  Following the principles of relocational astrology, when Obama's chart is relocated to the Middle East, his weak Mars is more prominent and hence, more exposed.  This means that war-like situations, especially those that go against him, are more likely to occur in this region during his presidency.  This has clearly been the case thus far.  To be sure, hopes were high when he came into office in 2008 as he took a more conciliatory tone with the region after the misadventures of George W. Bush.  But the Arab Spring came and went and most of those countries have fallen back into instability, chaos and in the case of Syria, civil war. 

Obama's reluctance to repeat Bush's mistakes and remove US troops was understandable and laudable, of course, but it has proven to have its own shortcomings.  The power vacuum left by the retreating US forces in Iraq helped give rise to ISIS and his red line bluff to Assad in Syria was revealed as empty posturing.  The US imperial reach now appears weaker in the region under the Obama administration and this is an appropriate reflection of his somewhat reticent 8th house Mars.

The Mars Ascendant line also goes very close to Moscow and it is a good reason why Putin usually gets the better of Obama in these various regional conflicts.  Obama's weak Mars and strong Neptune shows him as a president that is awkward wielding military power.  The fact that this Mars line goes through the Middle East and Russia is the reason why conflicts in that part of the world have been the focus of the military during his administration. 

While Obama's popularity will likely suffer further due these Mars-related problems with ISIS and the Middle East for the rest of his term, the damage may be fairly limited.  I expect his successor to have bigger problems in that regard as the USA's Mars (0 Gemini) will come under the double aspect of Saturn and Ketu during most of 2017.