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by Zipporah Dobyns

The following six paragraphs are a very brief introduction to the complicated tools used in astrology, and can be skipped by advanced students and professionals.

Through astrology, the cosmos shows the state of the Cosmic Mind. The next U.S. president is scheduled to take the oath of office at noon on January 20, 2001 in Washington D.C. Can a horoscope drawn for that date, time, and place tell us something about our next executive, and/or about the quality of his term of office?

Laws, natural and cultural, and the people who execute them, are symbolized in astrology by the planet Saturn, the sign Capricorn, and all factors in or ruling the signs in the tenth house of the horoscope. In addition to planets, signs, and houses, astrology’s twelve basic drives/desires can also be symbolized by the nodes of the moon and the planets, and by divisions of the zodiac signs which are called dwads, and which describe a whole zodiac in each sign. With many ways to represent the same twelve principles, obviously every chart has all of the principles, but each chart provides its own unique emphasis.

The complexity of astrology has also been increased by the discovery of thousands of minor planets called asteroids. Since the discovery of Ceres in 1801, astronomers have spotted many thousands, numbered about 14,000, and named over 7,000 minor planets, and more are being discovered almost daily. For the astrologers who work with them, the asteroids discredit the theory of materialism. The asteroids are named by the people who discover them, and most astronomers believe that their choice of name is random and meaningless. But when astrologers put the asteroids into horoscopes, they FIT the meaning of their names. A few examples are given in my article called "The Amazing Asteroids." Many more examples will be included in all of my future articles, and in the previous articles from The Mutable Dilemma and Asteroid-World, which will eventually be in an archive on this web site.

In addition to the three major tools of astrology, planets and other objects in the sky, and two ways to divide space called zodiac signs and horoscope houses, the fourth major tool in western astrology finds meaning in the angular distances between the planets. Some of these distances, called "aspects," are complementary, so the desires they symbolize tend to reinforce each other. Some of the aspects show conflict between different drives/desires.

The aspects between the traditional planets do not have to be exact to the degree in order to convey their meaning, but in light of the huge number of asteroids, I only mention their aspects when they are within one degree of exact. For example, an exact square, a conflict aspect, is present when two factors are 90 degrees apart. I will only mention squares involving the "new" asteroids when the two factors are between 89 and 91 degrees apart in the sky. The first four asteroids to be discovered were Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. I have been working with them since 1972, am confident of their meanings, and treat them like the major planets, using wider orbs on their aspects. Chiron is also being used by many astrologers, so I include it with the major planets. The meanings of the rest of the thousands of asteroids are more tentative, but so far in my experience, they continue to fit the names assigned to them by astronomers.

One more basic tool uses the intersections of "great circles" in the sky; that is, circles which go through the center of the earth. These are called chart "angles," not to be confused with the aspects, which are angular distances between factors. These "angles" are like the planets, a specific degree and minute of a zodiac sign, rather than a section of space, but they change more rapidly than the planets, which are moving in front of the zodiac signs at different speeds. The "angles," along with additional lines which mark the boundaries of the twelve horoscope houses, are moving in front of the signs at about one degree in four minutes as the earth rotates on its axis. They include the intersections of the ecliptic (earth’s path around the Sun projected against infinity) with the horizon, the equator, the prime vertical, and the meridian of the birthplace. The angles produced by these intersections are, respectively, the Ascendant-Descendant of the chart, the East Point-West Point (Equatorial Ascendant-Equatorial Descendant), the Antivertex-Vertex, and the MC-IC.

The first three carry the same meaning, though the Ascendant axis is the most important. The Ascendant, East Point, and Antivertex are like Mars, representing personal identity in action – what we do naturally. Opposite them, the Descendant, West Point, and Vertex represent our capacity to handle long-term peer relationships, which may be cooperative or competitive. The MC is equivalent to Saturn, while the IC opposite it carries the meaning of the Moon. Aspects involving these angles are just as important as aspects between the planets. They are major keys to events in the life.

Turning to the chart for the 2001 inauguration of the next president of the United States, what can Saturn, Capricorn, and the tenth house tell us? Saturn is rising in the first house of the chart, in the sign of Taurus and trine the MC. The MC carries the same meaning as Saturn, and is in Capricorn, the natural sign of Saturn. The earth emphasis implies that the next executive will be a practical person, and the one-ten combination suggests a strong-willed person. Like Mars, the first house represents identity, self-will in action. Placing the ruler of the tenth house in the first house suggests an identification with the Law; a feeling that "my will is or should be the law."

Saturn is also closely quincunx (150 degrees) to Ceres and Chiron in Sagittarius in the eighth house of the chart. The quincunx is an aspect associated with change, with letting go and moving in new directions. So the incoming executive will be a change from the past. This is inevitable, since Clinton can’t be elected to a third term, but we might just have a small change with a win by Al Gore, the current vice president who is very associated with Clinton’s policies, or a big change to a Republican. The sign of Sagittarius brings in the area of beliefs, values, and goals; the search for truth, whether we put our faith in science, in a conventional religion, or in our own unique philosophy about life. These chart patterns show that our new president will be involved in religious issues. They probably will have influenced his election and they may play a major role in his term of office. The placement of Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, in the first house of the chart gives us the same message. Since Chiron carries the same meaning as Jupiter, potentially either the Sagittarius or the Pisces side of Jupiter, the message is repeated again. Important themes can be shown is this way, by multiple combinations of different forms of the twelve basic principles.

The importance of faith and the values based on it is also highlighted by the south lunar node in Capricorn in the natural house of Sagittarius. I interpret the south lunar node as an area where the individual is challenged to learn something. Once learned, the individual should be able to give something to the world from the fruits of that lesson. Capricorn, the sign of the executive, in a house of faith, values, and goals, basically repeats the message of the preceding paragraph. The Jupiter-Sagittarius-ninth house drive seeks truth, knowledge, faith, but it is important to realize that they represent a journey toward a goal that we never reach. When we think we have arrived at final, absolute truth, we become rigid, dogmatic, and potentially very destructive. Crusades and inquisitions are born of such convictions.

The importance of the issue of faith for our next president is clearly a repeated theme in this inauguration chart, with Pluto and the Moon also in the sign of Sagittarius, and with Venus and two asteroids in the other Jupiter sign, Pisces. The message comes again from Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces since its discovery following the invention of telescopes. Neptune is in the house of the executive, thus a core key to his nature. The emphasis on faith is also repeated by the presence of our two "auxiliary" Ascendants, the Antivertex and East Point, in the natural house of Pisces, the twelfth house.

An alternate theme in the chart involves the emphasis on air signs, which symbolize the intellect, the conscious side of the mind, including the ability to learn, communicate, and deal with peer relationships. The Sun and three planets are in Aquarius in the tenth house, pointing to an incoming executive who could be very bright, very verbal, and/or very rebellious. Where the different forms of "letter ten" in our astrological alphabet represent the laws, the limits, the "rules of the game," letter eleven marks the urge to reject the limits, to get out of the rut, to go farther. It is associated with modern technology and anything else which goes beyond traditions and conventions.

There is a potential inherent conflict between the drives of the tenth and eleventh sides of life, but they can be successfully integrated by knowing and accepting voluntarily the really necessary rules for survival in the physical world in one’s particular time and culture, and knowing when and how we can transcend what were previously considered limits. Modern technology does this very well, and the next four years should see a continuing expansion in this area. Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, is in the tenth house in its own sign, hence repeating the message associating our next executive and his term of office with expanding knowledge. Mercury is also in Aquarius in the tenth house. Mercury is a ruler of Gemini, another air sign connected to the conscious intellect. Its placement in the tenth house makes it another key to the nature of the incoming executive. Since part of Gemini is in the first house of the chart, Mercury’s placement in the tenth house has the same meaning as Saturn in the first house – a one-ten mixture with the potential for feeling that "my will is or ought to be the law." Jupiter in Gemini repeats the emphasis on intellect and communication while other factors in the natural air houses three, seven, and eleven say it again.

Still another theme in this inauguration chart points to power struggles in some form. Mars in Scorpio opposes the Ascendant and squares Mercury exactly and Uranus more widely. With this place, date, and time for our presidential inaugurations, the Sun is always in zero Aquarius square the East Point in zero Taurus. The West Point is always opposite the East Point, and as the Sun carries the meaning of Leo, the U.S. presidential inaugural charts always have a grand cross in fixed signs with a power struggle potential. Our nation is highly individualistic and competitive, born in a rebellion against taxes, which fits the meaning of the fixed sides of life. In addition to the previously listed aspects, Pluto in its own natural house with a close quincunx to the chart Ascendant points to changes in the handling of joint resources, the letter eight area of focus. All the candidates are promising tax reductions, a reduction in the national debt, action regarding the needs of others through "saving" Social Security and Medicare, etc.

Much more could be written about the traditional factors in this chart, but I want to bring in the amazing asteroids. If the oath of office is administered on time, the MC of the chart will be 26 degrees of Capricorn and 6 minutes. Conjunctions to the MC could be in 25 Capricorn 6 to 27 Capricorn 6. Within this two-degree space, we have nine asteroids, including Starr (as in Ken Starr), Siva (the Hindu god of destruction), Kaiser (title of Germany's former ruler [and a major HMO]), Guernica (named for military attacks on non-combatant civilians), Karl Marx (major theoretician for communism), and Brita (Great Britain). Dresden (the same meaning as Guernica) is on the IC opposite the MC. The MC is the executive. The IC, like the Moon, Cancer, and the fourth house in general, symbolizes the home and family, and, by extension, the homeland and the public. When I first calculated this chart some years ago, I commented that the next president could be a military man, or a militant personality, or during his term of office he might have to deal with war, or terrorism, and/or personal violence.

Astrology shows issues, mental states, psychological drives/desires. Many life details are always possible from a given state of mind. I believe that we are born where we "fit," when the habits we have developed in the past are pictured in the map of the sky. Habits function at the subconscious level, which is symbolized in astrology by the element of water. We act on our habits, get the consequences, and, hopefully, learn to change the habits which are producing painful results. Individuals do grow and change, but mundane astrology, which deals with the world and masses of life forms, seems more "fated." Metaphorically, it is like the difference between an unconstrained individual deciding to stop or to turn to the left or right, and just doing it, versus a speeding locomotive trying to stop, or to leave its tracks to turn. Yet, even in mundane astrology, we can see multiple potentials for life details in any given chart configuration. Hence the variety of possibilities listed above with the asteroids conjunct and opposed to the MC. There are trines in the chart in all four elements, fire, earth, air, and water, which do not fit a financial debacle or an "end of the world" scenario, which some psychics and financial forecasters keep predicting. There are also squares involving conflicts over joint resources and beliefs and values. If a Republican wins, the conflicts could involve tax breaks for the rich and abortion rights, school prayer, school vouchers, etc.

In light of the "militant" asteroids on the chart MC axis, we might note that the U.S. likes military leaders. We have had nine presidents who were generals and a tenth was the commander of the force which initiated our war with Mexico. The ten included Washington, our first president, Andrew Jackson, our seventh, William Henry Harrison, our ninth, Zachary Taylor, our twelfth, Franklin Pierce, our fourteenth, Ulysses Grant, our eighteenth, Rutherford Hayes, our nineteenth, James Garfield, our twentieth, Benjamin Harrison, our twenty-third, and Dwight Eisenhower, our thirty-fourth. There are probably others, but recent past presidents who served in the military during our wars included Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush. Jimmy Carter was in the navy, but not involved in fighting.

The asteroids with personal names have been among the most interesting in my work with them. I look for the names of world leaders as possible keys to their roles in the unfolding drama in the world. The asteroid names seem to "work" for the individuals, even with variations in their spelling, or when they are an equivalent name in a language other than English. An interesting pair of asteroids in this chart includes Williams for Bill Clinton and Monica for Monica Lewinsky. Monica is rising in 16 Taurus 18. Williams is in 16 Scorpio 42, with a conjunction to Mars. Mercury is tightly square both of them. With Mercury symbolizing the media in general, among many other possibilities, we can assume that Clinton’s affair with Monica will not be forgotten, and that it might have a major effect on the choice of our next president. The asteroids named Wisdom and Herberta are also in 16 Taurus, in the configuration. Herbert is one of the middle names of our former president, the father of George W. Bush. Obviously, he is playing a role in the effort of establishment Republicans to elect his son. Though they are more specific than the major planets, the asteroids also point to issues. The presence of an asteroid named Wisdom could mean that wisdom was present or was missing and needed. Obviously, the media will be pointing to the lack of wisdom on the part of Monica and William Clinton. The asteroid Starr on the chart MC can also be read as his work as Special Prosecutor having an influence on the choice of the new executive, or on his actions during his term of office.

We have two asteroids with variations of the names George and John and one for Al. Astronomers used to feminize the name when asteroids with "normal" orbits were named for men. They would add an "a" or an "ia." Asteroids with "unusual" orbits could be named for men. After the rise of feminism, the policy was ended. So we have both a George and a Georgia, the latter actually named for our first president, George Washington. We have two foreign equivalents for John; Johanna and Jakoba. We have Albertina for Al.

In this inauguration chart, Albertina is in 27 Libra 0 conjunct Elba (where Napoleon was exiled), and they are square the MC. George is in 25 Gemini 25, quincunx the MC and opposite Chiron. Georgia is in 16 Virgo 24, conjunct Prudentia (for the presence of or need for prudence), octile the asteroid Virginia, and quincunx Mercury. It is opposite the midpoint of a Juno-Venus conjunction, which can be interpreted as holding an opposition to both. Jakoba in 3 Sagittarius 17 trines Themis (divine justice) in 4 Aries 6 and is just 2 minutes of longitude from a trine to Virginia in 2 Leo 15. Johanna in 23 Aries 47 is on the war goddess Bellona in 23 Aries 13, and trines both Ceres and Chiron in Sagittarius.

If harmony aspects guaranteed success, which some astrologers believe, McCain would get the prize. But when we look at the birth horoscopes of Bush and McCain, the opposite picture emerges. Bush has far more harmonious aspects in his chart, while McCain’s chart is full of conflict aspects. Remember, astrology shows a state of mind. McCain’s whole life has been a power struggle, though he was born to a financially secure family. Bush was born to an elite family and wealthy relatives and family friends provided for him despite repeated business failures. He feels entitled to what he wants, and only started to really fight for the nomination after McCain’s win in New Hampshire.

Most astrologers associate harmonious aspects with luck, but they represent inner agreement between our different desires, and that can lead to over-confidence and a fall. Every chart has some conflict aspects, so the potential for different outcomes is always present. Conflict aspects can be integrated with compromise, by having a place in our lives to satisfy each of the conflicted desires. Many of the most successful people in the world live in a constant state of inner conflict, and the resulting pain drives them to change the world as they look for a resolution of the tension.

There is also something special about the U.S. presidential elections which occur at 20-year intervals when we have conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn. The ancient world, prior to telescopes which permitted the discovery of the planets beyond Saturn, used the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions as primary keys to the following 20 years. The aspects cycle through the four elements, with roughly 200 years in each element: fire, earth, air, and water, to form an 800-year repeating cycle. Following the birth of the United States as an independent country, the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in an earth sign was in 1820, but in each succeeding one, from 1840 on, the president elected in that interval has died in office. Some deaths have been from illness and some have been assassinations. Reagan was elected in 1980 when Jupiter was conjunct Saturn in the first air sign of the new period. He was shot, but was saved by modern medicine. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 2000 will be the last one in an earth sign, with the following ones in air signs. Despite the understanding of issues which we get from astrology, guessing the details of future events is still an educated guess. At this point, a presidential death in office is a possibility. If it occurs, the men who lost the election might be considered the lucky ones.

Copyright © 2000 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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