by E. Alan Meece
Concerns are mounting about the upcoming presidential election. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 has put our nation on edge. The current administration has responded to it with a "war on terror." Although at first the country united behind his leadership, now Democrats are increasingly angry. The president decided an attack on Iraq was also needed. He bypassed the United Nations, starting the war premptively without a clear rationale or effective strategy. Now the cost of the war is mounting, with no end in sight. While we fight to create new "liberty" abroad, some fear our own liberties are eroding. Meanwhile, budget deficits soar, endangering the nationsí financial future, although a shaky "recovery" may be happening. Environmental concerns are ignored. The Republicans, however, are well organized and financed. They want deregulation and lower taxes to continue, and "moral" concerns addressed. The 2000 election showed the nation had sharply polarized into "red and blue" zones, and polls show we are still polarized.
Will President Bush win again, or can a Democrat defeat him? If so, which one? To find out, we need to know more than the generalized meanings of some random aspects the planets are making to the candidatesí horoscopes on election day; we need clear indications and solid evidence. This time around I decided to do some thorough research to see just which astrological methods might work. I will cover some of these patterns, and then look at each of the major candidates and judge their chances.
According to my findings, one presidential election indicator
stands out and takes precedence over all others: the Saturn Return. This
pattern was first discovered and reported in 1940 by Grant Lewi in his
book Astrology for the Millions. It generally boils down to this
astrological advice-- if you have never been president, donít run if Saturn
returns to its place in your horoscope this election year, or only in the
next three years, or you will lose. Many candidates seem to cosmically
sense what is happening, and decide to bow out. Donít run if your Saturn
Return is due during the next election year either. Most lose; but a few
win, only to have their presidency end there (if not before) after much
trouble, or to have their lives or their presidency destroyed by events.
And if the Saturn Return is due during a would-be second term, you can
bet that you will be a one-term president, or that you wonít survive the
Those who have been elected president at other times are usually re-elected. Some decide to serve only one term anyway. But a few have fallen to another famous pattern. As we know, from 1840 to 1960, those elected during a 0 year died in office, and the president elected in 1980 escaped the same fate ďby inches.Ē Jupiter and Saturn came into conjunction just after each of these election years, every 20 years.
Also, the Saturn Return did not seem to bother the founding fathers. Of the first 6 presidents of the United States, five were elected just before their Saturn Return. The other, John Adams, lost his re-election bid even though his Saturn Return had already passed. These presidents were all chosen by the electoral college. Once Andrew Jackson introduced modern democracy, American presidents were subject to all its rigors and tribulations, and apparently thus to the Saturn Return too. In the election of 1824, the first during which popular votes were recorded, no candidate won the electoral college, but John Quincy Adams beat Jackson in the House of Representatives. Both faced their Saturn Return two years later, but Jacksonís Return was due one month sooner. Clearly, if both leading candidates face the Return, only one can lose. Here is the pattern from then on, with the Saturn Return year in parentheses:
Jackson (1826) lost in 1824, then won in 1828 and 1832.
Martin Van Buren (1841), elected in 1836, was not re-elected in 1840.
William Henry Harrison (1832) lost in 1836, and won in 1840, but he was the first to die in office after winning in a zero year, just before the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction.
James K. Polk (1853) was elected in 1844, served one term and retired.
Zachary Taylor (1843) won in 1848, but he died in office in 1850. I suggest this was indicated by the Jupiter-Saturn opposition in 1850, which came after the first in the deadly 0-year conjunction series.
Millard Fillmore (1858) served 1850-1852, but when he ran for president on his own in 1856, he lost.
Franklin Pierce (1863) won in 1852, served one term and was not renominated.
James Buchanan (1850) won in 1856, served one term and retired.
Abraham Lincoln (1868) was elected in 1860, re-elected in 1864, and assassinated in 1865.
Andrew Johnson (1868) succeeded Lincoln, was impeached in March 1868 and did not run again.
Ulysses S. Grant (1881) won in 1868 and served two terms.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1880) was given the presidency in a deal to end Reconstruction, after disputed results in Florida and two other southern states in 1876. Called "his fraudulency," he retired in 1880.
James Garfield (1889) was elected in 1880 in a zero year and was assassinated.
Chester Arthur (1888) succeeded him, but lost his bid for renomination in 1884.
Grover Cleveland (1896) won in 1884, but lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888, although he actually won the popular vote. Elected again in 1892, Cleveland was dumped by his party in 1896.
Benjamin Harrison (1892) was elected in 1888 and defeated in 1892.
William McKinley (1902) was elected in 1896, re-elected in 1900, and assassinated in 1901.
Theodore Roosevelt (1917) succeeded and was re-elected in 1904. After retiring in 1908, he tried to win again in 1912, but lost.
William Howard Taft (1916), elected 1908, was not re-elected in 1912.
Woodrow Wilson (1915-1916) was elected president in 1912. He was re-elected in 1916, only to be felled by a stroke in 1919 under the strains of war.
Warren G. Harding (1924) was elected in 1920. Ruined by scandal, he died in 1923.
Calvin Coolidge (1931) succeeded and won re-election in 1924. He wisely chose "not to run in 1928."
Herbert Hoover (1933), elected in 1928, lost his re-election bid in 1932.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1940) won in 1932, and was re-elected in 1936. He won re-election in 1940 and 1944; only to die under the strains of war early in 1945.
Harry Truman (1943) succeeded Roosevelt, and he won re-election in 1948.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1950) won in 1952 and served two terms.
John F. Kennedy (1975) was elected in a zero year and assassinated in 1963.
Lyndon Johnson (1967-68) succeeded and was re-elected in 1964. On March 28th, 1968, a solar eclipse struck the exact degree of Johnsonís Saturn at 9 Aries, with Saturn having passed its Return there the month before. Three days later he told the nation, "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."
Richard Nixon (1971-72) was elected in 1968, and won re-election in 1972, but the methods he used to win involved him in the Watergate scandal immediately, and he became the first president ever to resign.
Gerald Ford (1973) was appointed Vice-President by Nixon in 1973. By then it was clear that Nixon was appointing his own future successor. Succeeding in 1974, he was not re-elected.
Jimmy Carter (1982) won in 1976, but was not re-elected in 1980.
Ronald Reagan (1969) was elected in a zero year, but his assassin barely missed his target, and he was re-elected in 1984.
George Herbert Walker Bush(1982), elected in 1988, was the only president besides Cleveland not to be re-elected, even though he faced no Saturn Return. But in a way, like Cleveland, he came back.
Bill Clinton (2005) was elected in 1992 and served two terms.
This brings us to the current president, George W. Bush. He was "selected" in a triple-zero year, 2000. His Saturn Return will be nearly exact on election day 2004. His chances do not look good, and he could face death in office, even if he wins in 2004. The hope for him for survival could be that, for the first time, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction happened before the election instead of afterward. But we donít really know yet if the "curse" has been broken. Notice that his election has been called fraudulent, as was the election of Hayes in 1976, and that it involved the same state. Hayes was elected with his Saturn Return due in the following election year, and so was Bush.
We also saw, in John Quincy Adamsí case and others, that if a
presidentís major opponent ALSO faces a Saturn Return, he may still win,
only to lose or face the music later. We should, therefore, look at some
of the candidates who ran and lost, going backwards in time this time.
If first-time candidates face a Saturn Return only during the next three years, they lose (if they donít, they still might lose, but they might win). Al Gore (2006) won the popular vote in 2000. He seems attuned to the cosmos in deciding not to run this time. So does Hillary Clinton (2006). Bill Bradley (2002) was Goreís primary opponent in 2000, and lost. John McCain (1995) was Bushís primary opponent, but faced no Return. Bob Dole (1981), faced no Returns during his campaigns in 1988 and 1996 (neither did his opponents), but he also lost in 1980. Michael Dukakis (1992) lost in 1988, and Walter Mondale (1986) lost in 1984. George H.W. Bush (1982) ran against Reagan in 1980 and lost. George McGovern (1980) faced no Return in 1972, losing to Nixon anyway; but Hubert Humphrey (1970) lost in 1968. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater (1967), who had in turn defeated Nelson Rockefeller (1967); both of whom faced their Saturn Return before Johnson himself did. Mario Cuomo (Dec. 1991) and Ed Muskie (Feb. 1972) were famous for losing their nerve and dropping out just as their Saturn Returns hit; imitating Lyndon Johnsonís celebrated bow out without ever being elected in the first place.
The Saturn Return claimed these and other victims. But other candidates have lost even though Saturn was not returning to its place in their horoscope. So we also need to look at a few other factors. The second most important of these also involves Saturn. This pattern was also discussed by Grant Lewi, and involved Saturnís transits through the houses. He proposed that "great men of destiny" reach their peak of power when Saturn is in the 10th house or Midheaven in their horoscope, "emerging" when Saturn rises into the 7th house, and fading when falling into the First. By examining the data, I can verify that Saturn in the 10th house is almost unbeatable, and that Saturn in the 7th house also corresponds to many victories. Though winning candidates are more likely to have Saturn transiting above the horizon than below, I also found that this is at least as true for losing candidates. It stands to reason that they, too, are reaching their own peak of power and influence in the world, though it may not be enough to beat the other guy.
When I compare the houses in another way, however, a significant difference appears. When Saturn is in angular houses, even the 4th or 1st, as well as the 10th and 7th, candidates are most likely to win and least likely to lose. Succeedent houses are next best (but much less good), and cadent houses are the least fortunate. All the victories when Saturn was in the first house, however, happened in the 19th century. Among all the credible candidates whose birth times I know, this is how things shaped up:
Saturn in house victories defeats
1 8 3
2 5 3
3 1 3
4 6 1
5 4 3
6 1 4
7 9 6
8 5 6
9 4 4
10 10 2
11 4 7
12 4 7
upper houses 36
lower houses 25 17
angular 33 12
succeedent 18 19
cadent 10 18
total 61 49
I found four more methods that might be helpful in picking a winner. The first is based on horary astrology, and considers the election as if it were a sporting event. Among other factors, I looked at charts for the times of New Moons before each presidential election since 1848, and found that if the planetary ruler of the sign on the Ascendant is higher in the chart than the ruler of the Descendant, the challenger or party out of power is 3 times more likely to win, and vice versa for the champ or party in power. But if Uranus was sitting at the Nadir during the New Moon before the election, symbolizing the people rising in revolution against their government, the current ruling party was very likely to be toppled from power in the election. For sign rulerships, I used Uranus for Aquarius, Neptune for Pisces and Mars for Scorpio.
Update: I found an interesting pattern involving previous New Moons that are eclipses. In one case, 1892, Benjamin Harrison lost his bid for re-election. The previous New Moon to election day 1892 was an eclipse, and it happened at the Nadir point of Harrison's horoscope. The New Moon prior to election day 2004 is an eclipse, and it happens at George W. Bush's Nadir point! However, there were 6 other eclipses before presidential elections, and none of them changed the indications of the Ascendant and Descendant rulers (although the eclipse of Nov.1, 1948 indicated a "surprising" victory for Truman). None of these eclipses fell at the Nadir points in candidates charts either. Interestingly, both Harrison and Bush had a father or grandfather who was president. Harrison, like Bush, ran for re-election during his Saturn Return.
Astrologers frequently look at how well-connected candidates are to the United States horoscope. Using the Sagittarius rising chart for July 4, 1776, I compared the natal planetary positions of 42 presidents, and 176 other candidates who never served in office, with the US chart. Indeed, I found a significant difference, but only for conjunctions with an orb of one degree or less. Using that arbitrary standard, I found a 1.5 times higher rate for presidents. However, if I extended the orbs to 2 degrees, there was virtually no difference; in fact, there were slightly more conjunctions to the US chart among defeated candidates than presidents. I did not check other aspects. Where no birth times were known, I used a uniform birth time of 6 AM (solar chart) as is customary. The most common US positions with which presidents are connected are Moon, Mercury, Sun, Saturn and the Midheaven.
A third factor is whether the candidate is connected to the zeitgeist, or spirit of the times. This is represented by wherever in the zodiac Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are found. If at least one of them is visiting over a candidateís personal significator (Sun, Moon, Ascendant or its ruler), in the same sign, within 4 years, (s)he is in touch with the times and being called to serve; otherwise (s)he is not. In the 20th century, 14 of 18 presidents during their terms, and 18 out of 26 of their successful campaigns, were connected by transiting conjunction to Uranus, Neptune and/or Pluto. Among 43 other defeated campaigns, by 32 presidents and other candidates whose birthtimes I know, only 10 showed this connection within 4 years of a campaign; a 3-fold difference. Noteable among the latter was the Scorpio Robert Kennedy. No one can doubt that he embodied the spirit of the times of the late 1960s under Neptune in Scorpio. But it is the sign of death as well as transformation. By the way, JFK had a posthumous connection, as Uranus and Pluto conjoined over his Moon 2 years after his death. Whatís amazing, though, is that three of the four presidents who were out of touch with the times, were the most recent three, including the current incumbent. This indicates what we all know; that our leadership has utterly failed to lead us toward the high potential that lies within the spirit of these times. But some of the current candidates have connections that could help get us back on board the boat to beatitude, if elected.
Finally, since character is destiny, we canít only look at the tides of planetary fortune, but also at the aspects in the natal horoscope. In general, solar aspects to charismatic Uranus (especially harmonious ones) are most common among presidents, along with aspects by the Sun, Moon and Mercury to generous Jupiter. Aspects between Venus and Saturn were surprisingly helpful, as if following in George Washingtonís footsteps (his powerful Venus-Saturn conjunction symbolized rock-solid integrity). Aspects by Sun and Jupiter to Saturn, representing practical ability and foresight, are often found among my list of "best" presidents, but not so often in the charts of those who win presidential elections. Americans usually prefer leaders who are upbeat and reassuring, no matter how careless or prodigal, to those who tackle and solve tough problems. Harmonious aspects by Mars to Sun and Saturn are good omens, but squares and oppositions by Mars to Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus are too volatile and unsteady, and hurt a candidateís chances. An active 10th house shows executive ability, but not necessarily presidential stature.
My list of "best" presidents is Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy. To determine "presidential" aspects, I compiled all the aspects of the presidents and candidates, and found the most common and least common aspects and aspect combinations in several categories, including presidents, which presidents never lost elections, and which candidates never served as president. I also compiled aspects to Ascendant and MidHeaven and 10th house placements. In comparing presidents and candidates, however, I did not compare the positions of Moon, Ascendant and Midheaven, since many of these are unknown for non-presidents.
With all these factors in mind, letís look at the charts of the
candidates, starting with the incumbent. George W. Bush (July 6, 1946,
7:26 AM New Haven CT) has the advantages of a strong solar connection to
the US Sun, and a reasonably presidential horoscope. His Sun square Jupiter
aspect, like Reaganís, allows him to "carry on his responsibilities in the
spirit of a schoolboy," as Charles Carter puts it. His Moon-Jupiter
conjunction is common among successful politicians. However, not only is
he out of touch with the times, all three outer planets are now opposing
planets in his chart. His Saturn Return is due on election day, and he
was elected in a zero year; both of which suggest he may not survive in
office, even if re-elected. The war he has started may be his undoing.
Saturn transiting his 12th house is not a good victory omen either. Still,
with incumbency and strong financial backing, as well as the natural advantages
of his horoscope, he will be tough to beat.
John Kerry (Dec. 11, 1943, 6:20 AM Denver CO) seems to have the best shot at doing it. His Saturn return is just past (April 2003), and Saturn is moving up through his 8th house. He has as many good presidential aspects as Bush, but some of them are weaker. With a stronger Saturn than Bush, he could accomplish much, and Pluto connects him to the times. He has several interesting links to the USA, including a Midheaven aligned with Americaís idealistic Neptune. Other aspects show he would focus on foreign affairs, and have lots of trouble straightening out the messes he would inherit. Update: Kerry won a surprising victory in the Iowa caucus Jan.19th and is now the front runner. I also noticed that Saturn will be conjunct Kerry's Midheaven in Nov.2008, virtually guaranteeing he would be re-elected should he win in 2004. He is now the only candidate in good shape using all the factors mentioned in this article, and the only one except Lieberman not under the shadow of a Saturn Return in a first or second term. But he would be less in touch with the zeitgeist in a second term.
Richard Gephardt (Jan.31, 1941, 5 PM St.Louis MO) doesnít have a lot of presidential aspects, but the ones he does have are outstanding. With both Jupiter and Saturn strong, he may be likeable enough to get elected, and pragmatic and persistent enough to achieve solid and lasting results. His Mercury gives him a solid connection to the US Moon, showing his leadership would benefit the common people. Like other candidates born in the early 1940s (Kerry, Clark, Lieberman), Gephardt has the idealistic Uranus-Neptune trine of the young 60s generation leaders, but he also has Jupiter conjunct Saturn; these two aspects are a combination last seen in FDR. We have been waiting for someone from this elite "John Lennon" group to make its mark in politics, and this could be the year. Neptune is now crossing his Aquarian Sun too, showing he is the candidate most in touch with the needs of the times. However, though now past his Saturn Return, his star is fading, as Saturn falls through his 12th house this year. This gives him an equal advantage with Bush, but Kerry might be stronger both in the primaries and in November.
Update: Kerry defeated Gephardt in Iowa and Gephardt has dropped out.
John Edwards (June 10, 1953, 7:02 AM Seneca SC) is trailing in the polls, but his chart is attractive. Not only does he have the Sun trine to the same Saturn-Neptune conjunction found in the charts of Lincoln, Kennedy and FDR, but also the Moon-Jupiter conjunction common to successful leaders. Aside from a lack of 10th house activity, which may or may not be important, he has few inherent impediments to good performance and electability. But his very inoffensiveness may be why he seems bland and is not catching fire. Maybe heís just too nice to lead America. And in fact, he has no strong connections to the US chart, or to the times we live in. His Saturn Return in October 2011 means he would only be a one-term president if elected, and Saturn is in his 12th house in the Spring and far down in the First in November, meaning his fortunes are descending now. But heís a man to watch in the future. Update: he came in 2nd place in Iowa and will do well in upcoming southern primaries.
Joseph Lieberman (Feb.24, 1942, 2 AM, Stamford CT) has a fortunate Moon-Jupiter line-up trining Mercury, but his Mars-Saturn-Uranus conjunction could be disruptive. His Pisces personality does not inspire confidence. He has no strong USA connections, but Uranus now in Pisces indicates he would respond in some way to the changing times. Democrats canít expect much from him though. As a local talk show host I listen to says, if you vote for him you might as well vote for a real Republican. He is in good shape with Saturn; his Return is past, and Saturn is now rising somewhere around his 7th house.
Howard Dean (Nov 17, 1948, 7:21 PM NY NY) has jumped out to an early lead, as he gained favor by opposing the Iraq war. Young people have flocked to his campaign, and he has raised a lot of money over the internet. His chart shows how his style resonates to the anger among Democrats. His Neptune exactly conjunct US Saturn shows he could put his ideals into law. Some aspects in his chart show powerful and farsighted leadership, but Mars opposite Uranus indicates he may not shake off his image as a firebrand. The bad news for Democrats who see Dean as their hope, is that he faces a Saturn Return in October 2007. This will repeat twice in 2008, so it is possible he could be elected to serve only one term, or be destroyed soon afterwards. In any case, this is a clear disadvantage. Saturn now is falling through his 12th house and will be on the cusp of the 2nd by November, so he has no advantage here either.
Dennis Kucinich (Oct.8, 1946, 5:53 PM, Cleveland) is the most idealistic candidate with the highest ethical values. Sun trine Uranus shows his charisma and leadership skill, and Saturn sextile Neptune is the sign of a truly effective visionary leader in the tradition of FDR. Unfortunately his Moon also squares Uranus, brilliant but unpopular, and Mars square Saturn indicates instability. Overall, his chart is not quite up to presidential snuff. Besides Bush, however, he has the best connection to the US horoscope, with two exact connections to Mars and Saturn, and his Moon in Pisces makes him a revolutionary spirit of the times. Saturn is in his 4th house, which puts him in good stead. Again, however, the bad news for those who look to him to save us from Bush, is that he, like Dean, faces a Saturn Return-- in 2005 and 2006. This would seem to preclude his chances this year to be elected president. But he remains an important leader among the people.
Wesley Clark (Dec.23, 1944, 5:43 AM Chicago) has a fascinating horoscope. A Capricorn with a strong Saturn, he is a natural executive who would initiate a wide range of projects, most of which could not be completed in his term. A power-seeker, he is not always easy to work with, and his Neptune angles indicate devious or paranoid scheming. Jupiter square Sun adds good cheer that Americans like, but Jupiter square Mars shows erratic recklessness. He lacks clear connections to the US chart, but Pluto would connect him to the zeitgeist in the next term. The final verdict is rendered by Saturn, however. Though now rising in his 7th house, it is returning to its place in his horoscope just as primary elections are held. It looks like he will stumble and drop out. Already the press is attacking him for his inconsistent statements.
Although Carol Moseley-Brown (who also faces the Saturn Return in 2006) and Al Sharpton should not be taken as serious candidates, in my opinion, and third party and independent choices seem big longshots this year, there is one more name to watch: Richard Cheney (January 30, 1941, 7:30 PM Lincoln NE). If something happens to Bush, as is quite possible, he will be in the driversí seat. As fate would have it, he was born one day before Gephardt, and so has the same few outstanding presidential aspects. Born with Virgo instead of Leo rising makes him less outgoing and connected to the people. But this puts Saturn slightly higher in his chart now than Gephardtís. He would not have the fate of Saturn hanging over him, as Bush does, but I still donít get the impression that he could win on his own. I could be wrong about that, but Kerry, at least, would probably beat him.
If we take a peak at the New Moon prior to election day, the planetary rulers give the advantage to the incumbent. This is bad news for those like myself who believe our nation has been put on a disasterous track. But note my update above; the New Moon is an eclipse on Bush's Nadir, and this spelled defeat for another president who sought re-election during his Saturn Return, Benjamin Harrison, in 1892. There is a chance to beat this fate, since Bush faces his Saturn Return on election day, but the Democrats need to pick the strongest possible candidate to do it. None of them, however, seem obviously destined to win the election. Kerry has the best chance of any in the field, and Gephardt would make the best president if he were chosen. Democrats would do well to heed the astrological indications and choose one of them, and not get starstruck by Howard Dean just because heís the most timely and outspoken about the war. His candidacy is not timely according to Saturn. Looking at the whole picture, Kerry and Gephardt have just as much chance to straighten out the mess as he does, and would do a better job overall. Let us all be sure to vote next year, and vote wisely.
I could not copy footnote references from my article, because Microsoft
Word refuses to do it. Imagine that! Bill Gates, you failed again. So I'll
just add a few remarks on sources here. Data on birthdays was found at
politicalgraveyard.com, and horoscopes from Circle Book of Charts,
American Book of Charts, Welcome to Planet Earth magazine,
and current candidates from astrodatabank.com, wstardesigns.com, llewellynjournal.com.
World Almanac was my main source for historical data, along with
Thomas Bailey's textbook American Pageant. I used the Barry Lynes version of the US horoscope.
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