Zip Dobyns
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Part 2

John McCain
by Zip Dobyns

John McCain is providing real rivalry to George W Bush in the contest for the Republican nomination, which chooses the political party’s candidate to run in the 2000 election for the U.S. presidency. I wrote previously about the horoscope of George W Bush in The Mutable Dilemma. My Mutable Dilemma and Asteroid-World articles will eventually be in an archive on this web site, so I will only make limited references here to his chart. I received the birth data for McCain in February 2000, thanks to Lois Rodden’s data bank. The data came from an astrologer who got it from his mother. His office is also giving out the same data. He was reportedly born on August 29, 1936 at 9 AM EST in Panama, Panama. Births reported on even hours are always suspect as possibly rounded off, but his horoscope aspects seem appropriate for his life.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this article on the U.S. presidential inauguration in 2001, George W Bush has a highly harmonious chart while John McCain’s chart is highly conflicted. This could mean that Bush will win the nomination and McCain will lose. But it could also mean that McCain will win the Republican nomination but lose the election to Al Gore. Or, he could win both and have a very difficult term of office – potentially even facing personal threats. Astrology shows states of mind, with many possible life details.

McCain has the one-ten combination, which is common in people identified with power. Mars, the natural key to "identity in action," is in the tenth house, which is a key to the law and those who enforce it. Pluto rules part of his first house since Scorpio is partly in that house, and Pluto is also in his tenth house. An identification with power can range from "my will is law" to "the power is outside of my control, so I might as well give up and not try." The first approach leads to power struggles, which may involve healthy competition or may lead to catastrophe. If the second approach is maintained too long, it usually produces illness. Letter one is a primary key to personal energy and health. It is symbolized by Mars, and by any factors in Aries, or any factors in or ruling the first house. Serious self-blocking, for whatever reason, shuts down the immune system and recuperative capacity. We can’t do everything we want, but we have to do some things we want in order to stay healthy. Between those two extremes, the safe compromise permits wielding some power within the limits of the laws: both natural and those created by society.

McCain’s life demonstrates the power struggle option. I believe that such reactions are habits brought from the past that are present at birth. Most people live on automatic pilot most of the time, controlled by subconscious habits. When the consequences become painful, we learn to change our habits. The Washington Post newspaper ran a series of valuable articles on McCain’s life during February 2000. In the Post series, McCain’s brother Joe, as well as friends who were interviewed, described John as coming right to the edge, but never flunking out of anything. A Naval Academy roommate, Gamboa, said "he’d push the edge, but he never went over the edge." McCain credits his acceptance of essential limits, despite his naturally rebellious disposition, to seeing his father drunk. John said that though he drank and was excessive in other areas, he was always careful not to lose control of himself.

Of course, continually testing the limits, a common tendency when fire conflicts with earth and/or water, the elements seeking security, is likely to lead to periodic failure to get what the fire-driven person wants. Many Bush supporters claim that McCain’s 17 years in government service have produced few accomplishments. McCain supporters counter that this is because the "causes" he has chosen to support have often been uphill battles against heavy odds. In fact, his "causes," like campaign finance reform, have often pitted him against the majority in his own Republican Party. The consequences have been that, though most of his associates respect him, many if not most "establishment" Republicans support Bush for the nomination. McCain’s fight for the Republican presidential nomination may well be just one more "lost cause," like finance reform and closing tax loopholes used by wealthy individuals and companies.

In passing, Bush also has the one-ten mixture in his chart as a repeated theme. His MC is in Aries, the sign of letter one. Venus, ruler of his intercepted Taurus in the tenth house, is in his first house. Even though only a fraction of a degree of Gemini is in the tenth house, using the Placidus house system, Mercury counts as a ruler of the tenth and it is also in the first house. Saturn, the planetary form of letter ten, is widely conjunct the East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant for letter one. Saturn is also on the midpoint of his East Point and his local Ascendant calculated for Washington D.C., where he hopes to gain the power of the presidency. And, even more emphatically, his current (progressed) Saturn is conjunct his Washington Ascendant within the one degree orb allowed for progressions. Added to his many harmony sextiles and trines, Bush clearly feels he is entitled to get what he wants, to be the president of the U.S., and his inner harmony also draws supporters who agree with him.

Returning to McCain’s chart, his history describes a life of challenging the limits, from his teen years in an Episcopal boarding school, to the Naval Academy, to the Viet Cong prisons where he was beaten repeatedly for his defiance, to his current challenge to the Republican establishment. His Moon opposition to Pluto in the houses and signs of home and parents fits his constant changes of residence as he grew up in a military family subject to constant transfers. The pattern also fits his constant changes as an adult who is in his second marriage, caring for seven children; two from his first wife’s earlier marriage who were adopted by McCain, four of his own, and one born in Bangladesh who was adopted by McCain and his present wife, Cindy. He is a responsible father with his emphasis on Cancer and Capricorn, with a capacity to love as well as to seek power supported by his Mars in Leo. His Mercury, Ascendant, and East Point in Libra and his Pallas and Ceres in Scorpio fit both a need for a mate, but also the potential for competitive relationships, including politics.

In addition to the emphasis on power issues and the importance of relationships, McCain’s chart features the mutable dilemma. An emphasis on the mutables, whether planets, houses, or signs, indicates an active, and usually capable, mind. Conflict aspects between the mutable factors show the potential for some form of the dilemma. The most common form is pretty universal: To list the "sign version," it pits Gemini and Virgo, which try to look at the world "the way it is," against Sagittarius and Pisces, which symbolize our ideals, how we want it to be. McCain’s life illustrates both this conflict between what "is" and what we want, and the willingness to fight for the latter. It is quite possible to feel the conflict but not try to do anything about it, to just live frustrated. Or we can take action to change the world by preaching, teaching, writing, etc., without risking our personal security. McCain’s identification with power led him to risk personal security to make changes.

Bush’s chart is more harmonious. So far in his life, when he has failed to get what he wanted, as in his business failures, relatives and friends have pitched in to get it for him. They are certainly helping currently, and may well be successful in buying the U.S. presidency for him. Our beliefs create our lives. The problem with metaphysics, as it is generally taught, is that it focuses on conscious beliefs. The real power is always in the subconscious faith.

Another common form of the mutable dilemma involves conflict between different beliefs, goals, and values. For example, "head" goals may be at war with "heart" goals: truth versus kindness. McCain’s bluntness can be interpreted as a version of that. To resolve such issues, we need clear priorities and the ability to compromise. Still another form of the dilemma may be a lack of faith in a Higher Power, thinking we have to do it all ourselves. This can lead to depression if we lack faith in our own power as well as in God’s power. Or it can lead to the "Atlas syndrome," feeling that we have to carry the world, especially in individuals identified with power, with an emphasis on fire and earth. The air and water emphasis in Bush’s chart tends to lead to expecting others to do much of it for us. Alternately, we may expect "God" to do it all, relieving us of all responsibility. Some metaphysical writing implies that all we need is conscious faith in God to produce a perfect world and life.

McCain has a wide-orb grand cross in the mutable signs with idealism at all four corners. Chiron, a small body which may be a comet, carries the meaning of Jupiter which can express as either Sagittarius or Pisces. Chiron is in Gemini in the ninth house, which reiterates the idealism since it is the natural house of Jupiter. Neptune is the primary ruler of Pisces in the sign of Virgo. Jupiter is in its own sign of Sagittarius. Saturn is in Pisces, which is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. Aspects which picture the mutable conflict include progressed (current) Saturn, which moved into a long opposition to P Neptune and then to natal (birth) Neptune that has lasted for years and is still in effect. (P Saturn is also in a very long trine to McCain’s MC for work success.) P Jupiter has been activating the mutable cross during much of his life. It squared Neptune for years, then squared P and N Saturn, and finally went through an opposition to Chiron, which is still within a one-degree orb. Clearly, McCain needs to work on effective compromises between his ideals and what is possible in the world. I hope that IF he actually wins he has enough earth to manage that; that he will not become a religious fanatic or precipitate self-destruction, slipping from savior into martyr.

His sense of humor is a definite asset. That is conspicuously lacking in real fanatics. The air element helps, since it shows the capacity for seeing a broad perspective and handling equalitarian relationships, but his drive to make over the world is pretty powerful.

Turning to McCain’s current progressions, I was especially impressed to see P Vesta on his MC. I read Vesta as the ultimate Virgo, symbolizing the need to do a good job for the sake of doing a good job, something worth doing that we can do well. It can show a devotion or dedication to what is considered one's duty, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. A strong Vesta can be highly successful if we feel good about our job, though it can lead to problems with relationships, which may be neglected and alienated by the focus on the job. Alternately, if we feel our job is not worthy of our skills, we may be searching for a more satisfying job, or we may become ill. The subconscious runs the body, and if we are sufficiently frustrated by our work, it can produce illness to get us out of the job without feeling guilty. The chart MC carries the same meaning as Saturn, so this aspect of Vesta is like a conjunction with Saturn, which also has a trine to P Saturn in 16 Pisces. McCain’s midpoint of the Sun and Moon, which is read as carrying the same meaning as a conjunction of the two lights in that spot, is in 16 Scorpio to complete a grand trine with P Vesta and P Saturn!

A grand trine involving the primary keys to work (Vesta and Saturn), connected to the Sun (ego, self-esteem, creativity, the urge to do more) and the Moon (home, and by extension, the homeland and public) points to an intense drive to accomplish something outstanding in the life. Additional support for McCain’s powerful commitment to his work is shown by his combination of P Juno (equivalent to Pluto), P Mars (personal identity in action), and P MC in Washington D.C., which are clustered on his natal (birth) Venus (pleasure) in Virgo. Though the clustered factors are potential keys to personal and career success, they are also square Chiron, which indicates problems. Conflict aspects to a factor which symbolizes ultimate values and goals may mean we can’t attain our goals. OR we may get to them and have major problems in handling what we have acquired.

My repeated message is that astrology shows psychological issues, and a variety of life details are possible with a given mental state. I am reminded of the mother of a spoiled child who, on hearing the child scream, called to the maid to give the 5-year old what she wanted. At which point, there was a louder scream. Little daughter had gotten what she wanted, and it was a wasp.

From about May 1998 to May 2000, McCain’s P MC from his birthplace was also in Virgo, the work sign, conjunct P Neptune. During this interval, he decided to run for the presidency, and the most important primaries are being conducted while the aspect is still in place. Neptune symbolizes our subconscious faith, values, and goals, suggesting that McCain does have faith in an exalted destiny.

Many other current aspects could be mentioned, including some strong conflict patterns. P Mercury in the first house squares Pluto in the tenth house, showing the conflict between McCain’s personal desire and power versus the limits of his personal power. During the fall campaign leading up to the election, P Moon will hold conflict aspects, octile and trioctile, to the Pluto-Mercury square. At the nominating convention, P Moon will oppose P Venus, while it will reach an opposition to Jupiter by the election on November 7. Oppositions can be manifested as partnership cooperation, or competition and separation. Obviously, a separation by McCain could be the public votes separating him from his role as Senator to reach his heart’s desire to be the next U.S. president, or the votes could separate him from success in attaining his ambition to become president.

The theme of separation is also shown by McCain’s P Sun opposite his Uranus. The latter planet is often associated with unexpected outcomes. McCain’s P MC will also be opposite his Saturn, reinforcing his potential to change his career and power. This could mean leaving the Senate to become president, or feeling frustrated as he works to learn his Saturn lesson on the limits of personal power, and perhaps becomes more realistic in his ambitions. His P local East Point in Washington D.C. also opposes Chiron, and, by March in 2001, his birthplace P East Point will move into the opposition to Chiron. The horoscope angles are so sensitive to birth time, if McCain was born just one minute later than 9 AM, the latter aspect would be within orb by late 2000, fitting a change in his aspirations and actions this year. But the change of birth time is not needed, since the local East Point is already holding the aspect. There are others, but I will just mention one more aspect that points to this being a time of change. McCain’s P Ceres is quincunx his MC, square his P Saturn, and sextile his local natal Ascendant. Such mixed pictures of harmony and conflict reinforce the open-endedness of life with their multiple potentials.

At the first official primary on February 1, 2000, McCain’s P Moon was in 3 Gemini, quincunx Pallas and octile his natal Ascendant. The quincunx typically heralds a separation, and Pallas is the asteroid most associated with politics. The results of the New Hampshire vote produced a major change in McCain’s political prospects. South Carolina was a setback, but Michigan and Arizona gave him a new boost, only to be followed by losses in Washington and other areas.

The coming "super Tuesday" primaries on March 7 could be decisive, but if McCain splits the delegates with Bush, the race could keep going up to the convention. On March 7, McCain’s P Moon will be in 4 Gemini 50 with a trioctile to his East Point, a conflict aspect suggesting that Bush may win more delegates. Also, during the spring primaries, McCain’s P Moon will square his natal Sun in Virgo, which does not augur well for him.

However, even if Bush has a majority of delegates from the primaries going into the nominating convention, there are still a sizable number of "special" delegates not subject to popular votes. They are normally members of the "establishment" who are appointed to their positions, so they are likely to be committed to Bush as the establishment choice. There is, however, one chance for McCain in this situation. If the polls show, as seems currently to be the case, that Al Gore is likely to beat Bush while McCain can draw enough support from Democrats and Independents to beat Gore, the special delegates MIGHT decide that having a winner, even a maverick, is better than another Democratic president.

We will take a brief look at some of the personal name asteroids to see whether they throw light on the situation. I was fascinated to note that the asteroid named George is featured in McCain’s chart. The latter’s P Moon will trine N George, which is in 12 Libra, at the nominating convention, and P George in 17 Scorpio is on McCain’s N Sun/Moon midpoint, with the latter in the grand trine of MC, P Vesta, and P Saturn. In light of the strong antagonism between George and John, the harmony aspects are a puzzle. They suggest that either the two men will reconcile and the loser will help the nomination winner in the election, or one or both will take actions which help the other despite continuing negative feelings. Sometimes, helpful action is not intended to be helpful. McCain’s attack on the fundamentalist Christian leaders seems to have helped Bush, though that was not his intention. Life and humans are complex.

The other Bush asteroid was feminized, a former policy of astronomers, as explained in Part 1 of this article. George became Georgia. Its natal position in 25 Gemini puts McCain’s P south lunar node conjunct it, with the north node opposite it. As indicated above, oppositions can be cooperative or competitive. The south lunar node marks a lesson, which may be mutual for George and John. The asteroid signifies George while the chart belongs to John. In Gemini in the house of Sagittarius, the asteroid points to the mutable dilemma, to issues involving faith, values, and ideals. At the election in November, P Georgia will be in 7 Cancer in the ninth house, sextile P Uranus and N Johanna, again suggesting some kind of help involving George and John, whether or not it is intentional.

There are two versions of John from foreign languages: Jakoba and Johanna. There is also an asteroid named Johnny and one named Johnadams for our second president. N Johanna in 6 Taurus sextiles P Georgia, as mentioned above, and it also opposes N Williams for Bill Clinton. P Johanna squares N Pluto from 27 Aries – not a good augury for John’s success, though as usual he might get the power position he wants but have enormous conflict in handling it. N Jakoba is in 2 Cancer, on Vesta, repeating John’s intense commitment to his chosen work. P Jakoba is just 3 minutes of longitude short of reaching McCain’s MC at the election. It might reach it in time for the inauguration. As with a conjunction with Saturn, a personal name asteroid on the MC can point to gaining a power position or to overreaching and failing. Letter ten symbolizes limits. When we try to climb too high with letter ten, we fall. N Johnny in 3 Cancer is within one degree of Jakoba, giving us the same message. P Johnny in 22 Cancer sextiles the cluster in 22 Virgo, aspects for potential success. N Johnadams is on Neptune within one degree, with P Saturn holding a long opposition to it. No matter how many factors we keep adding to astrology, it keeps saying the same thing! John McCain has high aspirations and ideals and he might get the Saturn power he wants, or he might crash. P Johnadams in 9 Libra is quincunx Uranus for a move in a new direction, which might be unexpected.

With the multiplying asteroids, a book could be written about every chart. We have not even touched the asteroids for America, Washington, and appropriate mythological figures, especially the "overreach" ones like Icarus, Phaethon, and Bellerophon. We could also look at the names of McCain’s family; his wife, Cindy, his brother Joe, his sister Sandra, and his mother Roberta. We face the perpetual Saturn problem of limited time. IF McCain wins either the nomination or the presidency, you can be sure we will look at his chart again.

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

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