by Phil Reckard

We astrologers could spend way too much time looking at the birth charts of the two candidates to determine who has the best chance of winning but we’d do so at the expense of the larger picture effecting all of us with the transits involved. I’ll leave it alone with Saturn on Obama’s natal Pluto as a signal that he’s moving into his destiny versus McCain living way beyond his second Saturn return, which I see as a problematic detriment.

Of course the ultimate in real-time transits is the first of five exact Saturn/Uranus oppositions, happening precisely on election day. As archetypes that would make even the original Olympians blush, McCain exemplifies Saturn as the cranky old man while Obama personifies Uranus’ overused buzzword of “change.” After two-plus years of the illusion-shattering Saturn/Neptune oppositions with it’s corresponding marginalization of the Religious Right (most of whom aren’t enthusiastic about McCain), Obama’s astrologers have correctly identified the prevailing mood of this November – it’s all about change.

Of perhaps greater significance is the upcoming rare Mercury/Venus/Mars convergence in Venus’ ruling sign Libra – all within five degrees of each other and moving direct – for seventeen straight days from September 3 – 20, concluding less than seven weeks before election day. Very simply put, this mergence of our inner planets will somehow be forcing us all to think (Mercury) about the balancing acts (Libra) of our most essential polarities (Venus/Mars), a 180° contrary mindset to the formerly successful Republican strategies of divisiveness. This almost palpable desire for balance and unity will extend beyond the traditional male/female divide to include old/young, rich/poor, red state/blue state, “us” versus “them,” and especially this year, black versus white.

Mercury slows down to move retrograde on September 24, moving back over the same territory it had been interacting with Venus and Mars the previous weeks, offering subtle (?) opportunities for all of us to reflect on the very nature of polarity itself, where our various halves have split and where they can find unification. Mercury’s retrograde shadow extends to Samhain (Halloween) – just five days before the election – a time when “the veil” is said to be at its thinnest. For folks familiar with “ancient voices,” psychic earplugs may be needed to block out the chorus of “Change and come together!” throughout. Even Muggles won’t be able to ignore this message.

This convergence concludes with Venus leading the parade in Her ruling sign, further evolving into Her role as the evening star. We’ll see if this influences either candidate to choose a woman as a running mate.

The last time Mercury conjoined Venus and Mars in Libra, all within five degrees of each other AND in a Presidential election year was 1976, precisely from September 2 – 11 with the Sun also in Virgo and the elections just eight weeks away. Democrat Jimmy Carter won the White House mostly because voters wanted a change but also because Carter’s message was largely about unity. Won’t we wish we had a dollar for every time Obama will be saying the words “change” and variations of “unity” in the upcoming debates and campaign speeches?

In other recent Presidential election years, Mercury, Venus and Mars came within seven degrees of each other in July 2000, within six degrees of each other in June 1996, and within nineteen degrees of each other in January 1992. Democrat Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1996, and some would (correctly!) argue that the 2000 election was stolen. In 1960, a Kennedy (Democrat) win saw the three inner planets within eighteen degrees in late March and within twenty-seven degrees of each other at midnight New Year’s, the birth chart for the then upcoming year.

Tellingly, Venus and Mars did not at all conjoin each other in 1988, 1984, or 1980 (the Reagan and HW Bush victory years) nor did they in 1956 or 1952, the Eisenhower-winning election years. In 1972 (Nixon) and 2004 (W), Mercury, Venus and Mars got together within twelve and thirteen degrees respectively of each other – both in December – AFTER the elections. We now know that millions of American voters have been thinking to themselves, or even crying out loud, “Oh no! Why did I vote for that bozo?” both times, well after the fact.

Nixon only narrowly won in 1968 despite a Mercury/Venus/Mars confluence in June of that year, mainly because it was the first election happening after the concluded Saturn/Uranus oppositions with Saturn simultaneously opposing Pluto, a very different zeitgeist than now. Nixon’s campaign of “law and order” resonated with voters who had witnessed the inner-city violence occurring in the aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination, the rioting outside the Democratic convention in Chicago and the rise of the “scary” new counter-culture. And there’s a very good chance that Robert Kennedy would have become President if only he had had the security of the Secret Service around him.

Alas and alack, it’s unfortunate that 1987 wasn’t an election year, when the Harmonic Convergence of August 17 saw the beginning of a Mercury/Venus/Mars conjunction – all within five tight degrees of each other – for only eight days as opposed to the upcoming seventeen-day stretch. There probably wouldn’t have been a Bush One Presidency and definitely not the mess we’re in today.

So, in between saying prayers for the Secret Service to do their job, I’ll take a cue from the number of days of the upcoming Mercury/Venus/Mars confluence and predict Obama will win by around seventeen percent in the popular vote with a matching veto-proof Congress.

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