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The view from above:

...in a volatile political year: who's who, who can win???

By John Townley, March 2016

If there is one problem in trying to analyze presidential candidates, it is that there are too many obvious overlaps that describe what’s going on, but seldom enough to predict who wins. In fact, sometimes you have to step well beyond the charts of the candidates themselves and make logical deductions from other charts (like the USA chart) and from the actual situation on the ground. If, for instance, one candidate looks favorable to the U.S. and is under good transits, but the U.S. chart looks bound for trouble or disaster in the next term, chances are the other contender is going to win. That’s what happened with Bush vs. Gore. Gore was better astrologically, but the country was headed for rocky waters, so the candidate most likely not to prevent that won, even without a majority of the popular vote.

If you are using only traditional means to pick a winner, here are the usual things to check out:

1) Which of the candidates is having the best transits/progressions, both on Election Day (November 8 this year) and subsequent Inauguration Day (January 20 next year). And before the final race, in the primaries, you also look at the party convention final day (candidate-announcement) chart. But experts disagree on what the “best” transits/progressions are – ordinary good ones like trines and sextiles, or signs of struggle and overcoming like squares and oppositions. Some say the latter leads to more winners, historically.

Trump is a master media manipulator and is all the rage, but his appeal to rage could ultimately make him unelectable...

2) Which of the candidates has the most contact with the U.S. (July 4, 1776) chart, with especial attention to the national Moon (candidates with benefics there, around 27 Aquarius, often do better). And, which of America's mixed emotional buttons does each appeal to?

3) Which of the candidates has the overall stronger, more impressive chart to begin with.

The less traditional mode includes a look at the evolution of the national chart over the coming four years. If it’s dire, headed into a time of war or depression, then the weaker or more troublesome candidate is likelier to win, and then shepherd in the troubles to come. If it’s headed for peaceful prosperity, than the more steady and buoyant candidate is the likely one.

Also worth looking at, by themselves, are the dates for the conventions, the election, and the inauguration, because those dates are decision-makers and some pretty weird things can happen then. The most recent example was the incredibly-shaky 2000 Bush-Gore election day featuring a void-of-course Moon and Mercury making its direct station, which led to chaos, the Supreme Court, and a minority president whose leadership (or lack of it) enabled a mistaken and disastrous war and a near-catastrophic world recession. And 2016 election day has some serious quirks as well, one of them directly related to the following inauguration...

Clinton has a long-time, solid following, but her Scorpio side creates distrust from hiding things needlessly...

Here’s a quick look at the candidates, their appeal, their contacts with the U.S. chart, and sky developments:

Donald Trump – his overbearing Gemini-Sagittarius full Moon lies right on top of the U.S. Mars, so he’s a natural for riling up the populous. And the U.S. Mars is afflicted by the square to Neptune, so the country is (and always has been) a sucker for those playing on impotence and security fears. Further, his Mercury is on the country’s unaspected Jupiter/Venus, so his words play directly to its expansive desires without having to actually say anything specific. Add his Jupiter on the U.S. Saturn (which afflicts the U.S. Sun) and he seems like the promise of prosperity and release from all limitation. It’s really little wonder that he has huge appeal, enough to offset his lack of political/government or international experience – but unfortunately it’s mainly directed at the country’s natal afflictions, it’s insecurities, and its adolescent inclinations, more than the nation's strengths or better angels.

Sanders (left) appeals to ideals, Kasich (center) could be a dark horse, Cruz (right) is likely too far right...

Will this be enough to elevate him to the highest office, or even to make the final run for it, in the country’s currently fearful and deprived-feeling state? A couple of odd pivot points are on their way which may tell the story. His progressed Sun is at the last degree of Leo right up through the Rupublican convention. Then, suddenly, it moves to Virgo immediately thereafter. A sudden change of style, heart, position? Hard to say, except it will be a big one. On a very shaky election day November 8, Mars is changing signs from Capricorn to Aquarius after passing over the U.S. Pluto, along with the transiting void Moon over the late Aquarius national Moon then into Pisces, a big turnout and likely dire happenings in the week before. But, come inauguration day, January 20, transiting Saturn has reached Trump’s Moon – a final lock-in or a lock-out? Hard to tell, but final, for sure.

Hillary Clinton – She’s a bit of an astrological enigma, as her true birth time isn’t certain. She once said it was 8, but didn’t say AM or PM, and some astrologers claim other times entirely. From the looks of her, and her often-unnecessary Scorpio secrets, we’re betting on 8AM, doubling the Scorpio aspect. But that’s not what counts. She hits the same U.S. Mars-Neptune square as Trump, but with her Moon-Uranus square, her Uranus on the national Mars, her Moon opposite its Neptune. So, despite lots of political/government and international experience, she tends to grate on the country and raise suspicion, while still activating the same set of national insecurities.  And, her Vertex is right on the national Venus-Jupiter, like Trump’s Mercury.  Finally, again like Trump, she touches the national Saturn, but with her Neptune (hope, illusion) instead of Jupiter (ambition).  Oddly, both candidates are pushing the same national buttons, but in completely different, and not entirely satisfactory, ways.  Election day sees Sun on her Venus, Jupiter on her Neptune, Mercury on her Ascendant/Mercury, while the inauguration has Mars and Venus on her Moon.

Trump tweaks America's chart at some of its shakiest points, but he meets with some puzzling twists, above and below, both at the time of the Republican convention (center), election day (U.S. progressions, right), and all the way to inauguration day.

Other prospects – so how about the others? Cruz’s chart looks as abrasive as his reputation, Pluto out-of-sign conjunct the Ascendant, Moon-Uranus square Mercury. Only that Moon-Uranus contacts the U.S., to the national Saturn.  Modest transits on election day, nothing to mention on inauguration day. By himself, not likely to win, even at the convention, much less the election. Kasich (noon solar chart here) with perhaps transiting Pluto on his Moon (no birth time), is seeing a new rebirth (or will when it’s over), but not much else. Bernie Sanders? With Jupiter on the national Mars and virtually sharing its Neptune, he raises high hopes and ideals, but the transits don’t look likely.

Disturbing possibilities – this might look like a likely race between Trump and Clinton, with Clinton favored by experience, Trump by the fear factor. But that’s only if it goes according to what we’re used to: regular nomination, regular election. That didn’t exactly happen in 2000, and it might not now. If the Republican attempts to stop Trump at the convention should succeed, there would be another candidate (likely Kasich, possibly best to beat Clinton, or even someone else entirely) and Trump might become a third independent candidate. Or, if Trump gets the nomination, disgruntled Republicans could separate to run a third-party candidate. Then, if no one got over 50% in the election, it would be thrown into the Republican House of Representatives to perhaps choose a total minority (like never before) candidate from among those running.

Clinton has excellent aspects on election day, more than the remaining known competition, except possibly Trump...

And, regardless of who wins, election day sees transiting Saturn right on the national Ascendant, and still in the first house on inauguration and the year or so after. Continuing gridlock, whoever wins? Highly likely, until the next census and the U.S. Pluto return brings the big populus shift to the polls, changing the game for everyone. Further, the U.S. progressed Sun is now being chased by transiting Neptune (one of many recent Neptune problems), so the fog surrounding the political battlefield and America’s self-image has been and will remain thick for a while. This election may or may not avoid disaster, but it won’t likely bring defining victory, regardless. 

So all in all, the political skies this year, in the U.S. and worldwide, are very dicey, indeed. With a continuing runaway train Jupiter each season bringing as much havoc as benefit lately, things are really up for grabs, as never before. You can bet on the conflicting astrological odds, but it’s how folks are fielding the chaotic sky waves right here on the ground that is going to call the final shots, moment to critical moment.

A political cartoon by Thomas Naste from just after the Civil War presages this year's craziness. It's caption, from Aesop's Fables,  reads: "An ass, having put on the Lion’s skin, roamed about in the forest and amused himself by frightening all the foolish animals he met in his wanderings. At last coming upon a Fox, he tried to frighten him also, but the Fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice than he exclaimed, “I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray.” 

And finally, if you want to know just how involved both the nomination and and final election process can become if there's no immediate winner right off:

The Nominating Process, Both Parties

Getting Elected in the House of Representatives

And that doesn't even include the state conventions where they stack the delegates ahead of time, try to alter the popular vote...all very Byzantine, indeed...

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