So long, Santorum? No, not so long…

Headlines are now asking about Rick Santorum’s future.  The NYT effectively describes some serious obstacles to a senate seat or the Pennsylvania governorship, so what is up for Frothy’s future?   Born May 10, 1958 in Winchester, VA his birth time is unknown so I’m using a solar chart set at noon.

Jupiter’s been in Rick’s 12th house, not a great place to run a campaign, but Jupiter conjoins his Sun at the end of April and his fortunes are sure to pick up then.  Had he stayed in the race he’d be in a much better position then to negotiate some kind of buy-out.  May 8-13 the transiting Sun will catch up with Jupiter very close to his natal Sun.  He’ll probably be in some kind of headlines then.  From this May to next with Jupiter in his first house Santorum is having a good year, probably hitting the stumps and building himself up as a leader for the theocratic right. In May 2013 Jupiter moves into his second house improving his ability to raise funds.   Despite the obstacles he just might build up a formidable war chest for a 2014 run, or just make himself a money/power broker.  With Saturn opposing his Sun in October of 2014 he’s likely to lose, but make some very influential connections in the campaign.

In the fall of 2016 Neptune is conjunct his natal Mars in the 10th house, a real dream killer!  With that kind of conjunction he could get elected head of some Christo-fascist militant organization, but not of the United States.  Well, yes, there still is a difference.  In September of 2016 Mars will conjoin his natal Saturn in the 8th house, and for most of the year Uranus and Eris will be conjoined with his natal Mercury.   Expect him to be very noisy through that election, but not getting elected.

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Uranus and Pluto in Bangladesh

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution a square between Pluto and Uranus has always come with workers organizing for better rights and pay.  A lot has been said about Greece and the Arab spring as the beginnings of the 4 year period in which this square will be taking place, but another side of it is the growth of an international labor movement.

Workers in Bangladesh are now organizing for basic workplace safety standards and we can support them in a small way by signing this petition at the International Labor Rights Forum website.

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A Santorum Surge

I have to admit to underestimating Rick Santorum. (May 10, 1958, Winchester VA time unknown.  I’m using a solar chart for noon)  I still doubt that he’s going much of anywhere in the long run.  Aspects to his chart on Super Tuesday, at the GOP convention, the November election, and Inauguration day are all pretty lackluster.

For the Iowa primaries he got a boost from the moon approaching his Sun, Venus at his 10th house cusp, and Mars trining his Sun.  Mars trine sun is good for building momentum, but Mars turns retrograde on Jan. 23 and that could fall apart quickly.  Of course Mars will be retrograde for everyone, but it seems so prominent in yesterday’s transits to Santorum’s chart that I wouldn’t trust that boost to last for long.    Super Tuesday doesn’t look very strong for him, but with transiting Mercury conjunct his Venus and Jupiter sextile his Mars (in the 10th house – fame and reputation) he should get a decent boost then.  At the end of April Jupiter crosses his Sun into his solar 1st house and that will boost his campaign for the duration.

 Bachmann bows out? 

I was hoping and expecting for Michele Bachmann to stay in the race longer, if only for comic value and to keep the right-wing crazies at each other’s throats, but if she can’t score delegates in Iowa…  It seems she’s more aware of reality than most people had guessed and can see the writing on the wall.   Awww…  Michele, dumbbell, sont deux mots qui vont très bien ensemble, très bien ensemble… Oh, well, every girl needs a gay best friend to console her when the chips are down.  She’s lucky to have Marcus at least.

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The recent paroxysm of violence in Nigeria was “right on time” with the Sun opposing the national natal Mars.  Sadly it doesn’t look like it will let up in the next few days and the current aspects suggest much worse down the road.

Nigeria’s birth chart – set for independence at October 1, 1960 midnight in Lagos, Nigeria – features a grand cross with Mars at 4˚  Cancer in the 1st house, Sun at 7 ˚ Libra in the 4th, Eris at 9 ˚ Aries in the 10th and Saturn at 12 ˚ Capricorn in the 7th.   This is a built in set up for interethnic struggles easily tipping into violence.  That the “Boko Haram” group of Muslim extremists has gone on a killing spree just when the Sun is opposing Mars suggests that the violence will escalate over the next week.

To make it worse these degrees will be getting hit hard by the Uranus-Pluto square through 2012.  Every three months the Sun will hit one of those four quarters as it has since Nigeria’s independence.  These are trigger dates.  The influence of Pluto which had been opposing Nigeria’s Mars, is now square to her Sun, and will start mid-January to square her Eris points, along with Uranus, to mounting violence through the year or two ahead.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been enjoying the benefits of Jupiter in the 10th house, always a boon for the national executive, but Jupiter moves to the 11th house on January 10, giving the advantage to the National Assembly.

Neptune will be entering the 9th house, retrograding into the 8th, then forward again into the 9th in 2012.  This signals a rise in religious studies and faith.  This seems a dangerous thing for a country already divided violently between Christians and Muslims, but might prove a blessing.  The last 14 years Neptune (religious, spiritual beliefs) was in the 8th house (struggles and death – among other things).  Now moving into the 9th people may look to religious teachings for respite from religious violence.   Certainly there are Christians and Muslims who want peace and co-operation and any reading of the Qur’an should point out that Boko Haram is in fact beaucoup haram.   House changes with outer planets often start out on the wrong foot, stumbling to deal with a new energy.  This could feed into a surge in carnage in the next year or two with people finally getting fed up and turning to the religious message of peace. It can’t come too soon.  Alas, it won’t.

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Through the coming year I will be commenting on the American campaigns for the Presidency .  Let’s start with just a little info on the candidates:

Barak Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu Hawai`i at 7:24 p.m. It’s on one of the most publicized and best documented birth certificates in human history.  Let. It. Go!

As an incumbent unopposed in his party he will hold back and be presidential hoping the Republicans savage each other.  While Obama has strong negatives and seems to have an uphill struggle he is a better campaigner than an executive and will be in his milieu when he does come out swinging.  His faults are well known.  His opponents’ will become much more obvious.  The playing field between the two parties will even out through 2012.

Michele Bachmann was born on April 6, 1956 in Waterloo, Iowa she told a reporter she was born at 12:08 but neglected to say AM or PM.  Astrological consensus is AM.  She’s a fierce campaigner and as the only woman stands out in a crowd.  Being such an intellectual lightweight may not be a handicap in the party of GWB, but with her hypocrisy on government subsidies and the gayest husband in the world….  I mean, if Bachmann can marry her homosexual boyfriend why can’t I marry mine?   Standing next to her even Herman Cain commands a bit more gravitas.

Herman Cain was born on December 13, 1945 in Memphis, Tennessee.  The time is unknown, but do we care any more?

Newt Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, PA, supposedly  at 11:45 PM but although this is the best information available it is considered “Dirty Data” – not reliable.   Hmm… dirty and unreliable… kind of like his track record on marriage.  Can the “family values” people really get behind this serial adulterer?   Oh, well, if Rudi Giuliani, who had gay roommates and liked to go in drag, could get an endorsement from Pat Robertson….

Jon Huntsman was born on March 26, 1960 at 11:58 a.m. in Redwood City, California.  Info from his birth certificate.    He’s Mitt Romney without the backing, bucks, or charisma.   Why is he running?

Ron Paul was born on August 20, 1935 in Pittsburgh, PA, time unknown.

Rick Perry was born on March 4, 1950 at 10:40 a.m. in Haskell Texas.  The time is reportedly given over the phone from a county clerk to astrologer Raul Davila.  Despite some missteps during the last Mercury retrograde he’s looking strong enough to recover and build a strong campaign.

Mitt Romney:  March 12, 1947 9:51 a.m. in Detroit MI.  Astrologer Frances McAvoy got the time directly from Mr. Romney himself.   Note that Perry and Romney have birthdays and times rather close to each other.  We’ll see some important similarities in their charts.

Last, and probably least, Rick Santorum was born on May 10, 1958 in Winchester VA, time unknown.   His name has been turned into a very nasty joke, he looks like Alfalfa from “Our Gang” having joined a Nazi jungbund, and even the radical right doesn’t take him seriously as a contender.

With eight candidates it is very likely that nobody will clinch the nomination before the convention.  Along with 2 or 3 strong front-runners the lesser candidates will probably try to make themselves kingmakers hoping to get a good deal for the votes they can offer to get the big guys over the top.  With this dynamic even Santorum and Huntsman may have a role to play at the convention.  Unlike most of the others, though, Huntsman is more principled and pragmatic than ideologically driven.  It seems a foregone conclusion that at some point he’ll drop out and give his votes to Romney.   Still, it’s never over until it’s over.  Jon could surprise us.

At the outset it seems pretty obvious that Romney will go into the convention as “the Moderate” who can grab Democratic votes, Paul as the Libertarian, and Perry and/or Gingrich holding the banner for “traditional” conservatives.  Trailing behind will be Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman (and Cain?)  working hard to pull whatever strings they can.

But watching them get there, setting the stage for the big battle will be the fun for the next few months.   Stay tuned.

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It should seem obvious to everyone (except apparently himself) that Bashir Assad’s term as Syria’s President is drawing towards an end.  Alas that end cannot come soon enough.  Transiting Pluto conjunct Syria’s Sun until August 8 suggests a protracted struggle and that aspect will start up again October 26.  (Syria’s chart is based on its independence at midnight January 1, 1944 in Damascus.)

That conjunction is in Syria’s third house so the neighbors are sure to get drawn in much deeper than they already are.   Actually Syria starts off from the difficult position of being diplomatically isolated.  Despite the American popular imagination the US government enjoys good diplomatic and trade relations will all Arab countries except Syria. You may notice that alongside the well-earned condemnations of Syrian brutality there is little official comment on repression in Yemen, Bahrain, or Saudi Arabia. We often hear about Syrian meddling in Lebanon, but not about how Saudi influence is their main competition.  Taking orders from Damascus is bad enough, but from Riyadh?  No thanks!  The fact that Iran is Syria’s best friend is not endearing to other Arab governments either.

So we already see Turkey being drawn into the mess, and with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Iraqi refugees in Syria, Baghdad will have trouble staying uninvolved.  You should think they have enough to handle at home, but nothing unites a country like an external enemy real or imagined. Lebanon is not a very active player, but so affected by Syrian politics some blowback from Beirut to Damascus is likely.  Israel, of course, is watching warily.  While any overt actions are sure to backfire they are undoubtedly working behind scenes to manipulate what they can.  Jupiter is retrograde in Syria’s seventh house so what allies they do have are likely to backpedal away from them leaving them even more vulnerable to outside pressures.

The current spate of violence should get especially intense at New Years as transiting Sun conjoins its natal position (Happy Birthday?) and transiting Pluto.

In the long run Eris sextile their natal Saturn will continue to make Syria very hard to govern no matter who’s in charge.  Once they’re rid of Assad different factions and communities will struggle for power.  Around January 8th and again on February 8th Mars will join in with those two to create more trouble for the regime.  Expect even more than usual malice from secret police against dissidents and/or  huge defections perhaps from not-so-loyalists appalled at the brutality.

In the birth chart Neptune, Eris, Mars, and Uranus – an extremely volatile quartet – are all in close aspect so transiting planets will aspect all four in quick succession.  Mid-February Jupiter will set these off.  Sensing an advantage due to diplomatic isolation labor unions and Sunni factions (resenting Alawite rule) will rise up in what could become an extremely bloody – and probably disastrous – battle so horrifying it will hasten the end.   Late March through April with Mars retrograde, then turning direct while aspecting this quartet as will be Uranus.  This is when I expect Assad to fall, and then Syria’s problems really begin.

Like Iraq and the other countries defined by the Treaty of San Remo in 1920 the borders of the region were drawn by French and British colonialists with lots of experience in divide-and-conquer. They wanted to keep diverse, competing peoples in the ill-fitting structure of nation-states which might have worked better if they’d been shaped to be more homogenous.  Admittedly that’s a big challenge in that region.   So basically you have a set up very like Iraq where competing populations, long aggravated by inequitable dictatorship are now free to air long-nurtured grievances.  And in the Syrian chart Pluto in the 10th adds harmony to that quartet suggesting that a strongman is needed to pull everyone together.  That volatile quartet – Neptune in Libra in the 12th house, Eris in Aries in the 6th, Mars and Uranus in Gemini in the 8th – incites the different factions, especially the religious groups against each other.   Mars and Uranus are in harmony (trine and sextile) to Eris and Neptune (in opposition) so they could conceivably come up with a brilliantly innovative power-sharing arrangement.  Such structures never come easily or quickly and Mars and Uranus want fast results. Those planets transiting in aspect to the four increase their own natural rash impatience.  On the other hand Jupiter will make favorable aspects at the end of June/early July so that’s when we might see – under outside pressures – positive steps towards a sustainable democracy.  Still they will always need strong leadership and will tend towards authoritarian rule.

So if you want to visit Syria wait until after July and give it a couple of months to cool down, meteorologically and otherwise.    Then in late October it gets a bit dicey with Uranus coming back to that quartet, but if cooler heads prevail that could even be when the genius comes out for that creative power-sharing arrangement.  InshaAllah!

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Staying in Season — the Solstice chart for the world and for America.

At every solstice and equinox, each turn of the season provides a chart for the three months ahead. This is the moment that the Sun enters a Cardinal sign, Aries at the beginning of Spring, Cancer starts the summer, Libra the fall, and Capricorn winter. We call these “Ingress charts” and although there are different kinds of ingress charts, when an astrologer uses that term without a more specific context that’s usually the kind we mean.

As I write this the winter solstice is due in 12 hours, when the Sun enters Capricorn and win ter starts – December 22, 12:30 AM EST.   Planetary positions on the zodiac and the aspects (angular relationships between planets are the same all over the world.   What they show, with Sun conjunct Pluto, both square Uranus, is a season of continuing uprisings against authority and sever crackdowns.  Every ingress chart for this year will show roughly the same with slow-moving Uranus and Pluto near the cardinal angles. (That is the beginnings of those four signs.)   With Pluto in early Capricorn and Uranus in early Aries all the ingress charts this year have the Sun square to one of those two planets and either conjunct or opposing the other.  Expect trouble!  Is that a bad thing?  Such trouble can start revolutions, clearing out dictators, offering opportunities for greater rights and equality.  Revolutions don’t always end up that way, but although efforts can succeed or fail, there is no success without the initial effort.  These cardinal signs, especially Aries, are all about initiative. And yes, the same pattern marked all four quarters last year, too!   As it continues we can expect uprisings from Cairo to Oakland, California to keep building.

Jupiter in Taurus square to Venus in Aquarius bring novel attempts to build economic stability.  Mars in Virgo is sesquisquare to both, making the economic experts more fractious and critical of each other.  Everyone agrees that cutbacks are necessary, but where?  Jupiter in Taurus favors capital and looks to the beneficence of wealthy “job creators”, but he’s retrograde and with Mars in critical Virgo and Venus in progressive/populist Aquarius we may see more and more people saying “Job creation?  What jobs where?”   Corporate earnings have been going to huge profits for a few, not jobs for the many.  We may see more demands that those profits should be taxed so that if the so-called “job creators” aren’t living up to that title the government can get the money for schools, hospitals, and infrastructure that actually assure that workers are available and capable of helping to create profit.

Those are global trends.  To see how the quarterly ingress charts affect a specific country we set them for the national capital.  The angles and houses, functions of location as much as of time, will show how the global trends play out locally.  In Washington DC the ascendant at the moment of this year’s winter solstice is Libra.  Chart ruler Venus in the 4th house puts a strong focus on the opposition party – the Republicans, of course – square Jupiter in the 7th (wealth being or going abroad) and Mars is in the 12th, pointing to cuts in infrastructure and public services.   But these are all hard aspects and nobody is happy about it. With the Sun in the third house trine Jupiter in the 7th should expect a lot more talk about how our economy is being exported and the Sun is conjunct Pluto right at the bottom of the chart, just inside the 4th house.  The Republican debates and primaries are likely to look more and more like a circular firing squad while the candidates try to outdo each other justifying tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and tax hikes for the middle class.  Does Michele Bachmann hate Muslims?  I don’t see her shaking hands at a mosque or stopping by for tajine dinners.  (Trust me, Honey, after that picture of you eating a corndog grabbing couscous with your fingers has to be an improvement!)

A very interesting bundle of aspects has Sun trine Jupiter, both sextile to Neptune in Aquarius – suggesting wealthy folks promoting demagoguery and astro-turf movements. At the same time Uranus is semi-sextile Jupiter and square Sun while Venus is semi-sextile Sun, square Jupiter, and sextile Uranus.  Uranus is in the 6th house suggesting labor uprisings and Jupiter is retrograde showing Capital losing ground.  Still this complex of aspects shows give and take, but with bargains that will prove disappointing.  And again, that Jupiter-Venus square is getting agitated by Mars in Virgo.   While all this suggests greater polarization in general and divisions among labor, that Sun in the 3rd house square Uranus in the 6th will provoke new discussions and analysis.  Whether the Republicans get to keep selling their kool-aid while they get deeper and deeper into brown-nosing the plutocrats and brown-shirting the rest of us will depend on whether workers and struggling home-owners drink the kool-aid or talk up the fact that de-regulation, privatization, and militarization are what got us into the mess we’re in.

Or to put it all simply, it’s what we already know.  The primaries are going to get nastier and more doctrinaire, creating a deeper split between pragmatists and reactionary idealists.

The 10th house (the president) is ruled by the Moon in this chart which is in the second house semi-sextile Saturn in the first, sextile Venus in the 4th and trine Uranus. Obama can prevail politically by stressing fiscal responsibility for all people, stressing that ALL need to sacrifice and the wealthy are in a better position to “do without” than the poor.   With Uranus in the 6th the big question is who is really creating jobs?  If capital doesn’t the government must tax them so that they can.  There are roads, schools, and hospitals that need improvements and putting Americans to work for America will help put more of America to work.

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