Thursday, December 29, 2016

Debbie and Carrie

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

The death of Debbie Reynolds a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher is quite shocking, and yet strangely appropriate. This mother-daughter relationship, so public through Carrie’s books and joint interviews, is a magnified larger than life version which nonetheless provides truths to many mothers and daughters. As an exercise in astrological interpretation, it is priceless as much for the questions it raises as the answers it provides.

On the surface of it, the time of Debbie’s decumbiture is “better” than Carrie’s, simply because it is more common to call 911 in a medical emergency than to have the pilot of an airplane do the equivalent.

We know that Debbie complained of problems breathing, and here is Jupiter in the 6th. Jupiter is generally given as a ruler of the lungs. Mercury ruling the 6th is given as the ruler of lung disease by Partridge and Kirby-Bishop. This already changes the interpretation of the 6th house away from the first blush, in which we were told that she was a victim of a possible stroke. Stroke by its nature is more Mars-Sun, as it involves the brain, which, located in the head, would have an Aries rulership, where Mars is the domicile ruler, and the Sun the exaltation ruler. When a decumbiture chart fully matches the sign and rulership descriptions, it is a hint that the chart is really worth noticing. There were other calls to 911 that afternoon – but not all of them had fatal consequences. It’s the ones that match that tell you they are the ones with the most extreme consequences.

Venus was the Ascendant ruler – and Debbie’s natal Ascendant was in Libra, so Venus had special meaning for her.  The alternate sign (here, Taurus, but natally, Libra), doesn’t seem to matter.  Venus in Aquarius was peregrine: it was weak, which again is descriptive. What else are you going to be the day after your daughter dies? Venus will make no more aspects before leaving Aquarius, although the Moon will conjoin Venus before Venus reaches Pisces.

Again, at first this looks like a good thing. Venus does not aspect Mercury, ruler of the 6th, until Venus moves into Pisces – Venus in fact aspects Mercury in the day of Mercury’s station direct. Venus has separated from the trine to Jupiter, ruler of the 8th, and posited in the 6th; and likewise separated from sextile Saturn, the exaltation ruler of the sign of Libra intercepted in the 6th, and likewise dispositor of Jupiter by exaltation as well.

In fact, we have a chart where  the 6th and 8th are extraordinarily inter-related. The usual reading of cross relations is that the Querent will have the disease unto death, meaning that the disease will never be cured, but not necessarily kill the person. So, when stroke was being floated, it would be reasonable to say that the probability would be that she wouldn’t recover, at least fully. And this would have been a reasonable prediction for an eighty-four year old woman.

However, some of our sources give the interaction of 6th and 8th as an argument of death. So when is it chronic, and when is it death? That’s what needs to be sorted out. In what is surely one of the more unusual astrological events, Jupiter translates the light from Uranus to Saturn! This adds the danger of a sudden event to our description of the circumstances. So we have this translation, we have a perfection between a 6th house planet to an 8th house planet, where the 8th house planet has dignities in the 6th, and the 6th house planet rules the 8th, and Jupiter and Saturn are in mutual reception by sign and exaltation: it is completely over the top!

Then, we have the metaphor of the waning Moon, with Mercury ruling the 6th in a partile conjunction (cazimi!) with the Sun. Planets conjunct are burned up: they are annihilating the old in preparation for the new cycle. But the phase is the death of the Moon.

So this chart has gone from maybe benign to actually quite extreme. But it gets more-so. Now add Carrie’s decumbiture.  The Sun at 2 Capricorn is now replaced by the Moon at 2 Capricorn! The Part of Fortune, being a hylegical point, does represent in part the physical body is posited in a partile trine to that degree. Could this be anything but the moment?

Noting that Debbie had just had her Uranus return, I have come to wonder whether one function of this return isn’t to “loose the bonds”  with earthly existence: not necessarily to die, but to create a space in which it’s easier to let go.

The death of a parent is a pain that rarely leaves. The death of an adult child is even more so because our minds cannot accept that it should happen. Debbie’s life was an exemplar of unsinkability. Until now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Demonstration of Decumbiture: Carrie Fisher 1956-2016

 ©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

The viewing of a life through the death is, to put it mildly, an odd way to operate. Astrologers often engage in ambulance chasing, and yet the ironic piece is that most astrologers get very nervous about the prediction of death within their own practice. Does fame somehow make this acceptable?

I would propose an alternative.  In Traditional Medical Astrology and other references, I have denied the absolute possibility of fixing the time of death in a particular life because there are more factors at work than astrological necessity. The ability of your mother to have access to good prenatal care is probably a bigger factor for you in the first few years of your life than the condition of your Hyleg. The efficacy of antibiotics and the availability of clean water is probably more important before the age of fourteen than the position of your Alchocoden. But, even though that may be true, astrology can identify periods of “death weather” – times when the being’s life comes into proximity with the veil, and when the outcome is open to discussion.

A further consideration is worth some thought, and even if you accept the possibility of free will, we can all be seen as being caught in the Norse god Wotan’s dilemma.  Wotan, or Odin, had a magic spear, but this spear was where he recorded all of his oaths. The problem was, eventually he would swear oaths that would conflict. Those oaths could destroy him. This is our dilemma, too. Each decision that we make opens doors, and closes doors, and as we grow older, our options diminish, because we carry all the ramifications of these past decisions. We can see this process metaphorically, biologically, or astrologically.

On a general astrological clock, we can examine Carrie Fisher’s solar return for 2016 and see Mercury, ruler of the Ascendant of her solar return at her birth location opposite Uranus – showing the possibility of sudden events that could be dangerous to her vitality, further argued by the fact that Uranus was in the 8th house. Mercury was combust in the superior conjunction – the direct one. The combustion itself can be seen as a death and rebirth experience. Mercury natally ruled her 6th house of illness and 8th house of death. Mars ruled her solar return 8th – and Mars was conjunct Pluto, with the Moon coming to oppose the conjunction. There is surely enough to say that 2016-2017 was an exit visa for her: a year where death was a possible outcome, and where if it would happen, it was through a sudden event.

This general reading was confirmed by looking at the solar return of Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds. Mercury, ruling the 5th (daughter) is conjunct Uranus, and the 8th from the 5th has a Moon-Pluto conjunction in it, with the Moon partile square Mercury, ruler of both 5th and 8th. This is a very specific reading for the potential death of a child in this solar year.

What could you (or I, or anyone) have said? This could be a difficult year, don’t stress, etc. Would taking a polar flight of 11+ hours in length constitute a stress? My friends who are former flight attendants say yes, but would the average person agree?

Once the heart attack commenced, we the public got next to no information, other than the confirmation that she did in fact have a cardiac event, that she was taken to the hospital, and that her condition had been “stabilized.” There was one time which was shared: the time that emergency services on the ground in Los Angeles was informed that an ambulance would be necessary: 12:15 pm Friday afternoon, 23 December 2016.

From an astrological perspective, this can count as a decumbiture, although not the preferred one. The best decumbiture, which is the event of an illness, would have been for the time that she experienced the attack in the first place. In the coming weeks, we may discover this time, because doubtless, the airline personnel recorded this in the flight log. However, hospital admissions are recognized decumbiture events, and we could consider the request for an ambulance as at least an extension of that concept.

As a decumbiture, it’s pretty grim. Mars has taken over the chart. Mars rules both 1st and 8th houses, as well as disposing the Moon. The Sun, which rules the heart, is ruler of the 6th and conjunct the 10th – this was a very public heart attack.  The Sun is coming to the sextile of Mars, since the Sun is the faster body. Mars itself has minor dignity by out-of-sect Triplicity, unless you prefer Lilly’s Triplicity table, in which case it is the sole Triplicity ruler. As a minor dignity, we can hope, but it’s not as strong as we would like. The malefic quality of Mars comes through too easily. Mars is in the 12th, applying to the South Node and Neptune – not exactly the dynamic duo that would spell life. Of the two of them, I judge the South Node the more dangerous: I have seen it as a point of destruction in other deaths.

But decumbitures have a second function: they are the basis for Hippocrates’ doctrine of the critical days. This doctrine, which actually predates the use of Hellenistic horoscopic astrology, observes that diseases undergo crises at the points that we would now define as the 8th harmonic lunar returns. At these points, the patient can improve, get worse – or die. And sometimes if they are boring enough, there’s no change.

The four-chart graphic shows the decumbiture event in the upper left, and then the first three critical days. The first one occurred less than two hours before she died, and you can clearly see why I posted the comment on Twitter: “Best wishes #CarrieFisher! Her critical day on Tuesday morning is rough, but things improve after.” This statement also illustrates how I work with people when death is the probable (or a strong possible) outcome: I try to identify a point after which the primary danger has passed. Like breaking a board in martial arts, if you can visualize your fist on the other side of the board, then you have gone past your target and succeeded.

For December 27th, there are a whole series of arguments of death in the decumbiture which have become exact:

  • The Moon has come up to the position where it is applying to the Part of Fortune (a hylegical point), and also Saturn.
  • The Sun has come to the partile sextile with Mars, the planet which was so active in the decumbiture. The Sun is also precisely at sunrise – one might hope a new beginning, but a change of state.
  • Mars has come to the partile conjunction of the South Node, which was the aspect I was focused on in the decumbiture.

This, then, is the moment – and it was. She died at 8:55 am. If she had survived, the next critical day chart shows Mars applying to Neptune. While not as severe in scope, this suggests that she would have been unconscious. The prominence of the 12th house in the third critical day, and the Moon’s application to the square of Saturn shows she would still not have been better. She might have been “stable,” but the stability of intensive care can either be a life saver, or an eerie in between state.

So once we get past the shock, and this analysis, perhaps we will be able to get back to the essence of the woman who we are missing so much now. Journey well, Carrie. It is your life that enriched us.

Monday, October 24, 2016

USA Presidential Election Prediction

 ©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

 Even as a young student of astrology, I realized there were certain methodological problems with predicting the outcome of presidential elections. The first and most obvious was our our personal passions as homo publicus can preclude objectivity. The second was that predicting a contest winner between two rivals is simply not something done commonly in astrology as practiced in the 20th, now 21st, century. As a graduate student also studying statistics, I was interested in whether there were objective methods which could be used. I didn't discover any until much later, but when I did, the ultimate source was the rules of warfare from Guido Bonatti.

This year, I was asked to participate in ISAR's presidential prediction panel at their symposium in Costa Mesa, CA on 17 October 2016 Each panelist was given 4 minutes to describe methods and make a prediction. That's not much detail! I have attached a file with what would have been the full presentation. What I propose to do with the rest of this blog is to make some comments, so please download the pdf first, so you can understand my comments.

The first section, beginning on page 4, concerns certain correlations I have seen in candidate's nativities, based originally on sets of elections where we have B data or better for both candidates. Obviously, 2016 was a throw-back to a situation where that isn't true, so methods need to be considered where the time of birth is not necessary. Honestly, there's not enough to make more than some very general observations.

The meat starts after slide 9, because the mundane data doesn't require nativities, being based only on sides defined by which party occupies the White House, and which party is challenging.

Going back to the second presidential election (because in the first, there was no "holder"), I tried a whole series of mundane charts to see whether they were predictive of the outcome. Some were; some weren't. All except the Mars-Jupiter, Mars-Saturn, or prior syzygy type were scored in an Access database design which rigidly assigns points for certain configurations. All these models are completely objective, which was the goal.

The prior Mars-Jupiter and Mars-Saturn conjunctions are actually graded quite simply. There is a Medieval idea that a conjunction or aspect can be analyzed differently according to which of the two bodies has the greater degree of essential dignity. Both of these two conjunctions were used historically for mundane predictions for time periods greater than a single year, and less than the twenty years of the Jupiter-Saturn, or even the quarter cycle of seven years for the Jupiter-Saturn. Thus, for a four year presidential cycle they are ideal, because each subsequent election cycle must fall under a new conjunction, and thus potentially have a different outcome. Mars is a nocturnal planet; Jupiter and Saturn are diurnal planets. Thus, conjunctions in the masculine signs will favor Jupiter or Saturn (unless in Aries, where Mars rules), and conjunctions in feminine signs will favor Mars (except Cancer, where Jupiter is exalted). The greater dignity of domicile or exaltation generally out classes Triplicity.

The only other outlier method is the simple determination of whether the election is immediately preceded by a New or Full Moon, with the somewhat surprising result that a Full Moon doesn't predict anything, but a New Moon before, as in 2016, predicts a victory of the holder.

So the prediction is Clinton - and that point is this model would have predicted the Democrats anythime it was run: it was not dependent on Hillary winning the primaries.

The other not I would make is that I have not the model as consistently for the House and Senate.Since all do not necessarily run in sync, there has to be at least one other factor involved, which I haven't found yet. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Look Past the 2016 Election

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

Imagine, if you will, that we have made it past November without half of the US population annihilating the other half. Imagine that we have elected a president. If the current poll figures hold up, that will be Hillary. I haven't done my own presidential forecast yet (required by the ISAR conference!) because, like many Americans, I am so ambivalent about this election that it is almost depressing.

Ok, so hang with me here. I am not yet (or possibly not) predicting Hillary will win, just sayin...

What would we have, come 20 January 2017? A president with 2 disputed birthtimes, our first uncertain president astrologically since Ronald Reagan. In an earlier blog post, I pointed out that, using Bill Clinton's undisputed data, that he may be having some health problems this year. Hillary's attention is showing as possibly directed toward matters other than the work at hand.

But we now have one other chart in paly: Tim Kaines', which is A data. This gives us an additional portal into the next few years. His nativity is shown below.

It has been said by many that the chart of the president shows the manifestation of the people's will at the time of the election, and so we should not so much look for a presidential signature, than for what makes sense for the nation at the time. We assume that the chart of the vice president does not need to be a match in the same sense that the president should. Looking at Tim Kaine's chart, what is his primary strength that he brings to this ticket, and potentially beyond? The answer has to be exalted Mars in the 10th house. Mars is the most elevated planet, going toward the MC by diurnal motion, while Saturn declines.We have a chart where it is the malefics which have dignity, not the benefics,  We get the sense that there is a bit of the school of hard knocks here: that he isn't handed that much, but that he creates opportunities.

Observe the degree line at the lower right of the figure. Normally, it is my horary training that makes me look at a degree line at all, but in this nativity, it is extraordinary. Those same two malefics stand out on the degree line: everything else is clustered in the lower degrees. The Sun-Mercury in the 12th in a nocturnal sign suggests a bit of an introvert, not the person you pick out for his innate prominence. But exalted Mars in the 10th: he prospers through being an excellent worker bee. He excels at what he does. Give him a job and you shall know him by his works. The three important jobs he has had going into this election are: Governor of Virginia, Chairman of the Democratic National Convention, and currently, Senator from Virginia.

But to understand what is going on, we need to put the chart in motion. The next figure shows his solar returns, starting in 2016.

At first, looking at his 2016 solar return, you would almost be tempted to say: so what? Sun conjunct Neptune might make you think he was going to disappear for the year: but remember that he has Sun trine Neptune natally, so this is a resonance with his nativity, and thus a potential advantage. But two other things stand out. Venus rules the Ascendant in the sign of Aquarius: normally ho-hum peregrine, but here, Venus in Aquarius is his natal placement, and thus strong - and especially so in the 10th. We have the natal pattern of Ascendant ruler in the 10th recreated. But now secondly, Mars, his natal Ascendant ruler, is once again very strong by dignity, and ruling the 7th and in the 7th: an angular placement bearing upon competition and war. The chart is thus not as weak as it seems at first. He's not #1 on the ticket, but he does show some prominence this year, And then, Pluto is transiting his prominent natal Mars.

But if his 2016 shows prominence, consider his extraordinary 2017 solar return, which takes effect just a month after the inauguration. The Sun itself is in the 8th house of death, continuing its multi-year conjunction with Neptune.  But here we have a partile conjunction of Mars and Uranus, just past the 10th house cusp. The 10th house cusp is 29 degrees Aries if his time is accurate, and here we have an indication of a sudden potentially violent event affecting a 10th house person in his life, who looks transitional anyway with the 29 degrees on the cusp, just as he is in the midst of his second Saturn return. The Sun ruling the Ascendant from the 8th is already showing the death theme for the year.

The 2018 solar return shows a very dignified Moon ruling the 10th, but besieged between Saturn and Pluto, showing intrigue and difficulty - and a degree of weakness, with the Moon in the house opposite her joy, and Saturn dignified, but cadent. If he is to have a more prominent year in 2018, it will not be easy.

I leave the reader to draw his or her own conclusions: I know I have!

For more information about this upcoming horary event, click here!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Spousal Solar Return

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

It has been obvious to me for some time that it is possible to get greater detail out of solar returns when a person is part of a solid bonded couple. This is because each person's solar return acts independently, but also, the two solar returns interact through derived houses. In other words, you can examine the spouse's chart through the 7th house of the other party's solar return, and compare that result to that person's solar return.

Normally, when I do this technique, it's to examine how one person's events affect the other. For example, if I see a 6th house issue that could represent a serious medical problem, I will consult the two solar returns that the spouse will have that covers the Native's solar return. Say Partner 1 is an Aries, and Partner 2 is a Scorpio. Partner 1 has a solar return in April. Now that solar return in 2016 is split by Partner 2's 2015 and 2016 solar returns: in this case, the 7th house of the 2015 solar return of Partner 2 is in effect for Partner 1 for the 2016 solar return from April until November. So if Partner 1's 2016 solar return shows a medical problem, and if Partner 2's 2015 shows a medical problem (from the 6th from the 7th, which would be the 12th), but there is no such argument in the 2016 solar return of Partner 2, then you can be reasonably certain that the medical condition manifests and is resolved from April to November.

Once you observe this idea, it becomes a neat way to split the year between the two partners if there is more than a two or three month gap between the two birthdays.

There is one other cool idea associated with this method: it may give some useful information when the birthtime of one of the partners is unknown or in dispute. Consider therefore the chart of Bill Clinton. Hillary's birthtime is in dispute, and while everybody in the astrological community desperately wants A Data for Hillary, we simply don't have it. So the question is: can we do derived houses with Bill's?

First, if we briefly examine Bill's nativity, we see three very powerful planets: the Sun in Leo, the Moon in Taurus, and Venus in Libra. This is absolutely stunning, especially given that his Ascendant is Libra, and thus ruled by that Venus. I have been told  by people who have met him that they have never experienced such incredible magnetism (some would say sex appeal) from a human being. I think the dignity, combined with  Neptune in the 1st house, explains the magnetism. With the Moon in Taurus ruling the 10th, we see these two cusps critical to worldly success in incredibly strong condition.

But now look at this from Hillary's point of view. The 7th house cusp is ruled by Mars in Libra: Mars very strong, but in its Detriment, but in Bill's house, not hers. Here we can begin to unravel the astrological indicators of  her high negative rating. Hillary was considered too strong and too feminist during his period as Governor of Arkansas, and this continued into his presidency. Now we add the Neptune in a partile conjunction to Mars. This gives someone who may not have the best boundaries about "mine" and "yours" - someone, in other words, who is easily perceived as either glamorous or sleazy, depending upon your point of view. Hillary has been both, from the iconic Secretary of State with Blackberry and shades, to the wife of Slick Willy.

Hillary's 10th house cusp is Bill's 4th by derived houses. And here, the ruler of her 10th is Saturn in Leo: Saturn in Detriment. So from Bill's chart, both of Hillary's important angles are ruled by planets in Detriment! What for him is so very strong shows from her standpoint as equally strong, but also problematic.

Skip forward to 2015 Bill's Sun in his solar return is in the 3rd house: the opposite house to the joy of the Sun. Cadent houses are weak, and here is the description of Bill's solar return for the most crucial period of the Democratic Party campaign! Bill's Ascendant ruler is Mercury, in fabulous essential dignity, and angular.

Hillary is given by Jupiter in Detriment - likewise cadent! Her MC is ruled by Mercury in her 10th house, so that's something. Of course, coming into this year, she was so overwhelmingly favored to win the nomination that it was unbelievable.

But Neptune has a role to play in this solar return - it's conjunct the MC! And through this year, instead of being able to act as Hillary's biggest cheerleader, Bill has been accused of an illegal act in Massachusetts, and has seemingly manifested more foot-in-mouth tendencies than the golden oratory for which he is generally noted. The Moon in Libra is translating the light from Pluto to Uranus, all by hard aspects. This does not look like anything except the incredible slog that this campaign season has been for them, with Hillary's popularity plummeting and conflict within the Party, leading to the question of whether the Bernie supporters will vote for her should she win the nomination.

This solar return will rule the actual Democratic convention. Will there be enough residual name recognition and capital to eke out a win?

The situation actually looks worse with the 2016 solar return. As I pointed out in Classical Solar Returns, the new solar return phases in starting about a month before the new solar return actually occurs. In that work, I showed how Obama seized an opportunity at the Democratic Convention in 2004 to achieve greater national prominence in that transition period. Bill will likewise be in this transitional period during the Convention when both solar returns will apply.

In Bill's case the new solar return has the Sun in the 12th house. Now this is simply difficult to see in any other terms except unraveling. It's a Full Moon solar return, shifting from build-up to letting go. Hillary is again ruled by Jupiter in Virgo: in Detriment - and in Bill's house. Now why, when she is the one running for President, should she be shown in Bill's house rather than the other way around, or at least none of the above?

Now we have Neptune partile conjunct Hillary's Ascendant (the 7th house cusp). Does some scandal finally stick? Further, we have the Part of Fortune and the South Node conjunct in her 1st just two degrees away from the Descendant itself: again, that's hard to reconcile in any positive way. And then we have Mars and Saturn, the two malefics, coming to conjunction at Hillary's 10th house (the radix 4th). Again, I just cannot see this in a positive outcome.

There's also a curious configuration in this chart that is not at first obvious. Consider the disposition in this chart. The Sun in Leo (Bill) stands alone. There are no other planets in Leo. Everything else hangs off of Mercury in Virgo. In the classical treatment of disposition, Jupiter in Virgo is received by Mercury, which means Mercury is going to try to help Jupiter. Now, Mercury is highly dignified in Virgo, but Mercury is an inferior planet: having to carry Jupiter in Detriment on its back is rather like the image of an ant trying to carry a corn kernel. That worker ant is under stress to say the least! Now add all the other planets to Mercury's back, and Mercury is simply going to go splat! Too much stress, especially when the two immediate dispositions, Venus and Jupiter, are both in debility. But that Mars-Saturn conjunction is received by Jupiter, which is received by Mercury - and the Moon is received by Saturn. You get the idea! Poor Mercury is going to feel like a ton of boulders has descended! In this chart Mercury is Bill himself, because Mercury rules both 1st and 10th. Everyone and everything, including his wife, devolves to him.

Again, this just doesn't look like Hillary riding high in a campaign that was supposed to be a coronation. In fact, the more I looked at the chart, the more I realized that this chart is, in the description that I gave in Traditional Medical Astrology, an exit visa for Bill. An exit visa is a year where the issues are so severe, that death becomes possible. Here, with that Saturn at the IC being conjoined by Mars and ruling the 6th, illness cannot be ruled out.

If Hillary can somehow pull off a win under these circumstances, the Mars-Saturn looks like a miserable set-up to the beginning the presidency. And Bill at that stage would be absolutely exhausted, if not worse.

If Bill can make it through 2016, his 2017 solar return is much better. Now his Sun is conjunct the 10th from the 9th, a much stronger position, especially as the Sun joys in the 9th. Hillary is Venus in Cancer, where she has Triplicity, and in her 2nd house conjunct the Moon in Cancer. Perhaps once again, she is giving speeches to donors and corporations, and thus fulfilling the promise of her 2nd house.

We shall soon see just how much use a husband's chart with A data can be used to predict a wife without!

Friday, April 08, 2016

And on the Republican side, Part 1

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

I recently wrote about two of the Democratic Party presidential announcements, so now, that leaves the Republicans for examination. And of course, there were a lot more of them! This article takes up a selection. Since most of them are now gone, we can perhaps reflect more fully upon the results. So here they are, largely in alphabetical order.

1. Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz made his announcement electronically, hence the time. So first, we may ask, as an electional proposition, if a midnight time seems appropriate for this endeavor. Since the Sun is a natural ruler of kings, this would seem a fair question, since what we are talking about is really the election of a temporary king. Granted, the Sun is angular, but the midnight angle seems the least associated with the job. Since he is announcing, he is given the 1st house, and Mars in Aries as a ruler looks exactly like he is: a combative man with a penchant for attack, and some skill at it, given the dignity. Actually, this chart has quite a bit of dignity, with the Moon and Venus in strong dignity. Venus rules his competition (the 7th house). Venus, however, is cadent, while Mars is succedent, giving the edge to Mars. In contest charts, however, it is often the debilitated malefics that are ultimately the most successful. It is Mercury which is debilitated, so perhaps this shows the tendency of hsi campaign to release falsehoods about his competitors just before primary votes. Neptune conjunct the IC would seem appropriate for a man who is appealing to the evangelical vote.

 2. Carly Fiorina

Carly seemed to only be able to project a single focus: fabricated delusions of what happens at PLanned Parenthood clinics. A controversial former chief executive of Hewlett Packard, her candidacy briefly appeared to achieve some traction before collapsing early in primary season. It's difficult to envision an electional chart with the Moon in Scorpio as providing success except ina  very narrow range of endeavors, and only then with strong natal support. Double up Moon in Fall with Mars in Detriment, and you have an attack dog, but not a serious candidate. With Mercury ruling the Ascendant, she did really have a message, and Mercury was even dignified. With it in the 12th and opposite Saturn, it was not going to be effective in the long run.

3. Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, evangelical minister, and  Fox commentator, decided to run again for the presidency - he had last attempted it in 2008. Here, we see Leo rising - the ego factor, we might infer, with the Sun in the 10th - a better placement certainly, but peregrine in Taurus. Mars, ruling the 10th, was conjunct the fixed star Algol, hardly a star for success.

 4. Rand Paul

If Huckabee had Algol, then Rand Paul had Scheat, in this case, conjunct the Midheaven, one of the few stars which competes head-to-head with Algol (sorry!) for balefulness. Unlike his past performance, Paul never seemed to get off the ground this time. The Moon, ruling the Ascendant was in Scorpio, a double whammy, and even going to oppose Venus, normally lovely in Taurus, but conjunct Algol. Simply amazing.

5.  Marco Rubio

As we accumulate these charts, one might think that announcing in Aries, with the Sun exalted, might be a very good plan. Often, things do seem rather to look up as Spring rolls around. But here, the Sun is in the house of Rubio's competitors, and either Venus or Saturn rules him, depending upon whether you prefer Libra sign ruler Venus or its Almuten. Venus is peregrine; Saturn has mixed Triplicity and is retrograde; both are cadent.Rubio was thus never master of his own fate. As it happens we have the moment that he went off the rails: when Chris Christie slammed him during one of the Republican debates for being a robot - and he just stood there and acted robotic.

It is interesting that the Sun what in effect was the end of Rubio's run had just passed the Moon of his declaration. This chart also puts the lie to the idea that "nothing can come of" a void of course Moon. Here, the Moon passed into void by separating from Mercury: an interesting observation, since Rubio was undone by words, not deeds. That void Moon had even more recently separated from the Mercury of the declaration chart, and the opposition to the Part of Fortune of the declaration chart.

The cut-throat nature especially of this year's completion reminds us that this contest is very much more of the nature of the Sun than the Moon. As such, I thought to consider the Part of Spirit, which is really the Part of the Sun, for this chart. It was at 7 Sagittarius, butting it square to Neptune. Now, I don't think I would elect that! Curiously, when Rubio was taken down, Neptune had made a return to the degree of Neptune for the declaration, again highlighting the conflict with Spirit.

Of the Republican charts we have examined so far, Cruz's looks the best, which matches with the results that we have observed. What we have not been able to do is to correlate these charts with the candidates' nativities, an essential point when we consider these as being of the nature of electionals, because connection to the nativity can have a radical impact on the ability of the time to operate to the benefit of the participant.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Declaration Chart

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

Astrologers have many tools for examining the outcome of elections, but many astrologers find it difficult to get past some sort of comparison of the nativities of the candidates.  Unfortunately, this year's US presidential race is awash with candidates where the birthtime is murky. Thus, we find ourselves more dependent on mundane methods.

It is a sure bet that a number of astrologers will attempt to use horary, but it's really not the right tool - except, perhaps, for the people most directly involved with the campaigns. The rest of us are just not personally involved enough (although partisanship makes it feel otherwise) to have standing to ask the question.

I have written on presidential elections previously (Click here for a blog entry from 2012) - but this time, I decided to run an experiment. In order to run, all candidates have to announce that they are running, and form their apparatus. This time, I collected the data for those declarations, to see whether they are predictive, at least to the stage of successful nomination by a political party.

Here I present two: that of Hillary Clinton, and the one for Bernie Sanders. What is especially interesting with this pair is that when they declared, Bernie was considered a complete long shot: the odds of him even being a serious enough candidate to make Hillary break out into a mild sweat were considered outrageous. At the moment, we have close to a dead heat, at least in the first two primaries. Do these declaration charts reflect this?

First, let's examine Hillary's.

So we start with the fact that this election was supposed to be a cakewalk. Does the chart reflect this? As the initiator of this event, Hillary is the 1st house, and her opponents are the 7th. The "prize" is the 10th house, and in Hillary's case, at least in the Democratic Party nominating process, the 4th is the "castle" of a castle besiegement model. The relevancy here is that castle besiegement in an election would be most appropriate in a case where there's a huge discrepancy between the relative strength of the candidates. Hillary had amassed a significant financial advantage, and she had the support of the mainstream party apparatus, with significant posts held by former campaign staffers of hers. In other words, the playing field was not level. We shall have to consider all these factors in our judgment.

Mercury, ruling Clinton, is peregrine, cadent, and combust. Already, this is a surprise! She does not look at all strong in this chart. In past work with games prediction, I have discussed the fact that Mercury and Jupiter as a fighting pair is not as consistently competitive as other combinations. Perhaps we are seeing here a marker for how the Democratic race has not been as vicious as the Republican one - but we may also be looking at a certain absence of resolve: as if, assembling all the pieces in advance was enough, and then you just say your lines, and wait to be nominated. If this truly was what she was thinking, then the presence of Saturn in the castle (the 4th) immediately challenges this assumption. Saturn in the 4th is a bad thing for the castleholder. Those advantages become an albatross, instead of operating as an advantage.

Next, we consider Neptune in the 7th, and the ruler of the 7th in the 12th. Remember: this is her opponents from her point of view. With the ruler of the 7th in the 12th, she can't "see" them for what they are: and there is a danger of self undoing, or a secret enemy issue. Combined with the fogginess of Neptune in the 7th, she cannot see her opponents clearly, and as a result, they are more dangerous. Ruled by a Jupiter in Leo, with out-of-sect Triplicity, they have some strength: and specifically some luck. This does not look like a cakewalk.

The Moon cannot help her here. Peregrine in Aquarius, its immediate aspect is a trine to Venus in the 10th. Ok, obvious interpretation: she is counting on women to bring her over the top, because a lot of women (presumably) would like to see the first woman president. But both the Moon and Venus are peregrine, so this strategy doesn't look as compelling as the analysts assumed. The voters would be ruled by the Moon, and, with the Moon in Saturn's sign, do we have the signature for her comparative popularity with older voters?

There are also two fixed stars which seem important. The big one is Algol conjunct the MC. Now, here is the prize, and here is the Head of the Medusa, a terrible image for success in this case. The second one isn't nearly so poignant, but the North Node was conjunct Vindemiatrix, the widow's star, which Diana K. Rosenberg described as a woman alone. That symbolism is also completely counter to the idea of a successful candidate surrounded by aides, admirers, and staff.

By contrast, here's Bernie's.

This was the season for announcements, and Sanders' was only a few weeks after Clinton's. The ingress of the Sun into Taurus represents a step down in dignity from the Sun in Aries: but is it really? In Hillary's chart, the Sun only ruled the 12th house, so it was more a favor to her enemies than anyone else. In Bernie's, it rules the Ascendant, and it's angular in the 10th. This is actually one of the biggest contrasts between the charts: Bernie's has angularity he can use, whereas Hillary's has what we might call the wrong kind of angularity: associated with the 7th, and a nasty opposition between 10th and 4th. All that Taurus associated with the 10th house in Bernie's suggests that hard work may pay off. The Sun applies by square to 1st house benefic Jupiter, dignified by out-of-sect Triplicity. Now that's not perfect, but the squares to the benefics are generally much easier than the oppositions to malefics.

Mars is both in and ruling the 10th - a very powerful statement. Both charts have Mars in Taurus, but Mars is more central to Bernie's announcement. At first, one might be rather put off by Mars in its Detriment, but in contest charts, the malefics in debility are actually to be preferred. In any case, it's one of the hardest working Mars position, and one of its principle qualities is perseverance. Mars in Taurus is effectively in overdrive, taking all the time it needs to do its job, and being relentless about doing things its own way.

Bernie doesn't rate the castle considerations, because he doesn't have the institutional advantage. Here it may be telling that a peregrine Venus rules the 4th - perhaps a description of the circumstances surrounding Hillary.

In both cases, the Moon is at zero degrees - with a lot of room for change. On the one hand, the trine between them at least gives the possibility of one eventually supporting the other. On the other hand, there is lots flux that is intrinsic to the charts. That fact alone argued strongly against Hillary simply maintaining her lead from start to finish. In Hillary's case, change could only be down. A zero degree Moon simply is incompatible with what was expected to be a gentle tune-up for the general election. In Bernie's case, change could initially only be up, but with the two now in a dead heat, change could now go either way for either one of them.

In sum, Sanders's candidacy chart is the better chart. The question is: is it enough to overcome Hillary's astounding initial advantages?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Middle of Pluto in Capricorn

©2016 J. Lee Lehman, PhD

In Astrology of Sustainability, I discussed the orbital resonance between Neptune and Pluto. The two of them have a 3:2 orbital resonance, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory gives the orbital period of Neptune as 164.79132 years. They give the orbital  period of  Pluto as 247.92065 years. So: multiply the Neptune  period by 3, and you get  494.37396 years. Multiply the Pluto period by 2 and you get 495.8413 years. Almost identical. What this means is that, roughly every 500 years, you get the same positions og Neptune and Pluto by sign and approximate degree, and at the "midpoint" of just less than 250 years, Neptune is in the opposite sign, while Pluto is in the same sign. In 1522, Pluto and Neptune were in the same positions as they again occupied in 2015. In 1768, Pluto was in Capricorn, and Neptune was in Pisces. This is shown in the graphic below, from my book.

This diagram is copyright J. Lee Lehman and may not be reproduced without permission.

When you talk about processes that last 500 years, you are way over the top of what an individual human being can experience: these can mark human cycles, but only on a collective basis. There were two outstanding events for 1522. Suleiman the Magnificent, the Caliph of his day, scored a major victory at Rhodes over the European Christians, in one of the remnant mop-ups from the Crusades. And secondly, Martin Luther's translation of the Bible into German was published, a year after he was excommunicated by the Pope.

In trying to grasp societal changes on this time scale, the obvious question is, what themes are we seeing now that correspond to those then? There is still a clash going on between Christians and Muslims, sad to say. That one is very clear and requires no translation at all. However, are we to see the rise of Protestantism in the 16th century as a purely religious phenomenon - such that we should be looking for a new schismatic now? I think perhaps not. In 1522, the Catholic Church was easily the largest, richest institution of the time. Viewed on this more secular basis, the struggle that Luther pushed forward broke up the wealth of the Church, not merely its salvation monopoly. The Church truly was the Plutocrat of the time. Pluto has now reached the halfway point of its time in Capricorn - just as it had for Luther's rebellion. What was clear at the time were such measures of greed as indulgences, and the selling of Church offices.

If this interpretation is correct, then this little history lesson also reminds us of how long a power shift takes to accomplish.No one US presidential election will determine this, and, along the same line as the Catholic Church as being a universal church, it cannot be accomplished in one country alone. Are we to then consider that, with the passage of Pluto in Capricorn, wealth has become as concentrated in one monopoly - church or oligarchs - as it will be, and then the fissures appear? We shall see.