Obama on the defensive after US surveillance revelations

(9 June 2013)  President Obama seems to have lost his midas touch recently.  This week's revelations of widespread US government spying on its own citizens was only the latest of a series of scandals and embarrassments that has put Obama on the defensive.  Things have got so bad that even the usually sympathetic liberal media outlets such as The New York Times are criticizing him for his unprincipled acquiescence to this expansion of the security state and the further erosion of civil liberties.  Obama's approval ratings are now under pressure and there is more talk that his agenda has been irretrievably comprised.  Thursday's bombshell report by The Guardian of NSA surveillance through compliant phone and internet companies gives fuel to the suspicions sowed by his right wing foes that Obama is an advocate for Orwellian Big Government.

As is often the case, Obama's current troubles are the result of the placement of several different planets at once.  First, we can see that transiting Rahu (North Lunar Node) is stationary at the top of the chart in the 10th house, just two degrees from his equal house cusp (24 Libra).  Rahu isn't always bad news but it can coincide with challenging new situations when other planets confirm.  The 10th house represents status and profession so it is appropriate that Obama would be experiencing disruptive situations affecting his job at this time.  His status and reputation have taken a hit as more traditional supporters are now openly questioning his commitment to liberal values and principles as well as his presidential legacy.  We also note that Obama's natal Rahu is not well-placed in the 8th house (= obstacles) with Pluto and Uranus.  To some extent, when Rahu moves through his horoscope it will carry that difficult 8th energy with it.  We should also note that Rahu has been stationary at 22 Libra since April -- roughly the time of this string of scandals which have included the IRS audits of the Tea Party, the secret subpoenaing of the Associated Press reporters phone records, and the growing skepticism of official accounts of the Benghazi consulate attack.

But Rahu is only part of the story here.  Saturn's position also figures prominently in Obama's difficulties.  Saturn is retrograde here and is backing into its station in early July at 10 Libra.  It is therefore forming a very close square aspect to Mercury.   Saturn-Mercury aspects are classic indicators of frustration and disappointment and often occur when we make mistakes or are trapped by unfortunate developments.  Interestingly, Mercury rules Obama's 9th house of justice and legal matters and many of Obama's problems are due to perceptions that he is not committed to legal and constitutional notions of personal privacy in the face of excessive government intrusion.  The Saturn influence is arguably worse because it is forming a 150 degree quincunx aspect to the Moon.  While this is not a full strength Vedic aspect, it is close enough to be inflicting some harm on Obama, especially on his popularity which is ruled by the Moon.  Saturn-Moon aspects are often found in situations where we feel isolated and alone.  Many of Obama's usual political allies seem to be deserting him at the moment, as he has adopted the more conventional position of previous presidents in defending the need for greater surveillance and data mining in the service of national security.

Finally, Neptune may also be implicated in Obama's current situation.  Neptune (11 Aquarius) is almost exactly square Obama's Moon (10 Taurus).  Neptune is associated with deception and illusions and when it is in hard aspect to the Moon, it can indicate times when a person loses sight of themselves and what they believe in.  It is important to remember that this planetary combination does not judge people's intentions.  Whether Obama has willfully deceived the public or he has been deceived by others remains a separate and non-astrological question.  Indeed, the Neptune-Moon aspects can describe situations whereby Obama maybe deceiving himself as he has lost touch with his core beliefs -- that is another possible manifestation of this planetary combination.  The net result is often a time of personal confusion where things are not going the way we intend or wish for no matter how diligent our conscious efforts.   It is interesting to note that Neptune turned retrograde on Thursday -- the very day that the relevations about government spying through the NSA's Prism program hit the press.  Planets are at their maximum influence whenever they change direction in this way, either forward or backward.  The likelihood of a negative impact was increased since Mars was square Neptune that day and hence exactly conjunct Obama's Moon.  This would be a time of extreme agitation (Mars) related to deception and spying (Neptune).

If things are bad right now for Obama, when are they likely to improve?  I think June may continue to be difficult for him since Saturn will still be afflicting his Mercury.  Saturn will reverse direction and begin to move away from its aspect with Mercury on July 8.  I would think Obama would feel less pressure after this date, although improvement may be fairly slow in coming.  Rahu will begin to move at its normal speed in July so that broadly confirms the idea that he could face continued hostility and skepticism through most of June.  The transit chart for July 1 shows how these ongoing aspects from Rahu, Saturn and Neptune will still in place.  The Mars-to-Mars square aspect in early July could represent one last awkward or embarrassing scandal or setback but one would think things would begin to improve after that.

Just as last week's Mars-Neptune square appeared to be implicated in this latest Obama embarrassment, it also roughly correlated with a low point in the stock market.  Stocks drifted lower through much of the week on worries of an early end to the Fed's QE3.   The late week rebound on the mildly positive jobs report gave US stocks a positive result for the week as the Dow finished at 15,248.  Indian stocks fell through the week, however, as the Sensex lost 2% finishing at 19,429.  I had thought Friday's exact alignment suggested a more negative outcome although I acknowledged that the complexity and torque of the pattern meant that any outcome was possible. 

This week looks somewhat more positive -- at least in the early going -- on Monday's triple conjunction of the Moon, Mercury and Venus.   The Sun is approaching its conjunction with bullish Jupiter on the 19th so that is another positive factor in the current celestial mix.