The U. S. National Election of Nov. 4, 2008
Prelude to:

Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius

The Master Conjunction of 2009 - 2011
This is the first of the eight pages on this site that are devoted to the master celestial alignment of the years between this writing in early 2008 and the widely anticipated time of planetary transformation coming in 2012.
The Chiron-Neptune conjunction, which dominates the intervening years of 2009 - 2011, is unprecedented in our planetary history, at least in the sense that it's the first such event that we will have experienced since Neptune was discovered in 1846, and Chiron in 1977. That's why this site devotes a page to each act of this grand cosmic drama. They are:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008, on this page
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010
The Election's as Simple as A-B-C . . . for Anything But Compromise
We're about to look at an astrology chart for the U. S. presidential election, cast for New York, NY on the morning of Nov. 4, 2008. The choice of location is plausible enough, as New York City remains America's television center, where much of the 2008 campaign will be fought, and may be decided by media strategies even before the voting begins. At first the choice of 8:20 am may appear strange. Voting has just begun on the east coast, and the Sun is not yet up in California. Why not cast the chart at least twelve hours later, when the balloting is done and the networks are getting ready to call the winner?
Because the crucial feature in this chart is the very abrasive opposition between Saturn and Uranus. These two planets are exactly opposed to each other, at 18° 58 minutes in their respective signs of Virgo and Pisces, for an hour and a half on the morning of Nov. 4. The chart is cast for the moment of exact opposition between the two planets on Tuesday morning, not Tuesday night, when the opposition will be less precise. Casting the chart for 8:20 am draws the picture into still sharper contrast by aligning the Saturn-Uranus opposition with the Midheaven point at the top of the chart, and the Nadir at the bottom. This highlights the additional nuances of what is already an extremely conflictive moment.
Choice Point: The American Election of 2008
Nov. 4, 2008, 8:20am EST in New York, NY (40N43, 74W00)
There are a few soft and cohesive features in this design. The Capricorn Moon in the 2nd house of money is at a 60° sextile to Mars in Scorpio in the 12th house of spirituality, so some people, at least, are making a frank, honest effort to maintain standards of kindness and courtesy. Mercury in Libra in the communal 11th house forms another sextile with Pluto in Sagittarius in the first house, suggesting that this election will feature, amid all the rage, slick propaganda footage and superficial sound bites, the kind of reasoned political discourse that has not been heard in an American national election in decades. It's not the Lincoln-Douglas debates -- the two men at times honored their audience with up to seven hours of respectful listening and high eloquence in a single day -- but it is at least a far cry from the howling emptiness that is likely to disgrace American politics in the bitter summer of 2008. These friendly sextiles may even suggest that this year, serenity, dignity and class will work effects that decibels and bombast can't begin to match.
In addition to his sextile with the Moon, Mars also creates a 120° trine with Uranus in Pisces, in the third house of communications. Certainly one of the positive and persuasive currents in this election is that underneath all the surface issues of war and economic trouble, health care and immigration and other hot button issues, the matter that is at stake now is freedom itself. The questions that will truly matter are: How much freedom has been lost? How much can be regained? Do governments and employers have a right to obtain citizens' financial records, censor their beliefs or spy on their private lives? Is the loss of constitutional liberty a fair price to pay for security? Can America now reclaim its traditional heroic image as the pioneer and keeper of liberty for all the world's people? The survival of American freedom beyond 2008 will depend in great measure on whether these questions are asked in private, and how they are answered in public with the voters' feet, or their voices, or both.
The concord among these planets is pleasant enough, but the dynamics of this chart are far from balmy. There are not one, but two disharmonious T-crosses. One of them, with the Sun in Scorpio square the Moon's Nodes on the Aquarius-Leo axis, is common. The two Nodes are always exactly opposite each other, and other planets often cross the midpoint between them, triggering here in the Sun's case a moment that is likely to be aggressively intolerant and disharmonious at best, and at worst the kind of argument that leads to the breaking of relationships. Does this T-cross among the Sun and the Nodes mean that the election will turn out of power the combination of interest groups, fixers, ideologues and fanatics who have pushed the levers of power hard enough to jam them in recent years? More likely than not. And Chiron's position, conjunct the North Node and square the Sun, contains the chance that healing of old rifts and injuries can come now, though the initial sensation will be sharp and astringent, like the sting of antiseptic in an open wound. The Sun's position is certainly more suggestive of change -- no matter how welcomed by some and cursed by others -- than of business as usual under the same management.
Even though T-crosses with the Nodes form a few times each month and are not notably momentous, the other T-cross in this chart is a very different kettle of fire. Saturn in Virgo has come into opposition with Uranus in Pisces, in the first episode of what will be a long-lasting friction between these two planets. Their opposition is exact again in February and August 2009, and continues through August 2010, when Saturn in Libra is still opposite Uranus in Aries. Thus two more players in the Crosses of Summer, 2010 are already aligned against each other by election day 2008, and are moving toward their 90° squares with Pluto, the first planet to hit his mark for 2010.
One well-documented fact that is worth pointing out in passing is that "stressful" alignments of Saturn and Uranus tend to come almost uncannily in years when a prolonged period of control by one political party has generated a strong desire for change among voters -- thus strengthening the Uranus side of the combination, and increasing the probability that the incumbent party will be turned out of office. In the last eight American presidential elections that have been held under a "difficult" Saturn-Uranus combination -- spanning the late 19th century through the end of the 20th, the election has brought about a change of party in the White House.

The middle planet that forms a T-Cross with the Saturn-Uranus opposition on election day 2008 is the rising planet in the chart, Venus in Sagittarius. Her 90° square with Saturn tends to manifest in individual lives as inhibition and dissatisfaction with oneself in matters of love. As Venus is also the planet of art and beauty, a natal square between her and Saturn is also common in the charts of frustrated artists. The nuances that apply here, though, in a chart having national and planetary resonance, are less a matter of Glamour and sex appeal than they are of being dead-set against love by refusing to accommodate others or bend one's opinions for the sake of amity with them, and by maintaining the kinds of hard-hearted, judgmental positions that human beings take when they'd rather be right than happy.

The square between Venus and Uranus can be viewed in the same way. In a person's natal chart, it often means the inconstancy of the love-adventurer, the longing for freedom and independence in a person who does not want to be "tied down" in a relationship, and the Romeo syndrome of falling in love and back out of it much too fast, because one is not after the enduring relationship of a long love union, but the thrilling flash of the passionate affair. In collective terms of mundane astrology, this "difficult" alignment can be read as a strong dissatisfaction with politics as usual, and a desire to follow one's own wishes rather than herd signals sent by pollsters paid to rig a result, and corrupt media who serve corporate agendas. Two caveats here, though: the media, emboldened by a swelling momentum for change, could prove as independent as the voters, and take courageous positions that are unimaginable to us now. And Uranus' position on the Nadir is often the signature of a person who makes a brave individual move not because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the thing that nobody else is doing. The private agendas of voters can thus be far more ego-driven than altruistic.
The Midheaven or MC (for Medium Coeli) is the point in the chart that indicates one's soul desire and may show aspirations in the wider context of what kind of society he wants to live in, and what kind of world she wants to help create. Pisces on the MC, in the mystical and all-embracing ocean of the one heart that enfolds all humanity, may evidence a wish to support those who are sincerely interested in healing bitter divisiveness and bringing about something that is as close to consensus and unity as a proudly fractious country can get. The planets' positions do not make this easy, however. Uranus at the bottom looks to be different, not necessarily relevant; and Saturn at the top, only minutes away from the MC, is in the spot that astrologers often associate with illness, specifically the depression of one who has dropped so deep into despondency that his courage, his resolve to strive for his goals, is all but gone.
Please note, however, that these conditions related to the MC's position apply only if the U. S. election chart is cast for this precise time in New York, or an equivalent time in other U. S. time zones. If the chart is cast up to 8:05am or after 8:35 in New York -- thus 15 minutes before or after this chart, but still in the window of exact opposition between Saturn and Uranus -- then Saturn and Uranus do not align with the MC and the Nadir, and the possibilities we've just covered may not be in effect at all. But likely they will. By November, more and more voters will believe that their nation has lost the genius for compromise that once made American democracy workable. Many will feel disgusted with a country in which 91% of the people believe in the Devil (more than actually believe in God!), but never agree on anything else, and seem addicted to fruitless argument.
By November, Saturn will belong on America's MC because there will be much to feel sick about. Economic troubles will continue, and worsen. Millions may lose their homes. Millions more will have no choice but to accept simpler lifestyles, and will suffer the gloom that comes of seeing that the high times are over, and may not come again. And millions of others may undergo that painful spiritual crisis that often comes when Saturn crosses one's MC. Just as the body suffers a healing emergency when toxins that it has held for years are released into the bloodstream, and the body feels everything from a runny nose to flat-out lethargy as it struggles to expel the poison, so the ego may release old illusions and blindnesses that it has held for a very long time, and that may even be the foundation of its entire structure of belief in its own specialness. When this happens, one can suffer everything from a runny soul to the severe self-loathing that comes from feeling that not just the soul waste I'm releasing now, but all my thoughts and choices, are equally empty, selfish and unloving. One may, usually does, rebuild his self-esteem after such a crisis -- but with structural materials of finer, more durable quality.
There is no sugar pill for this condition when it comes in one's life, or comes collectively for a country as it likely will for the USA this year. Uranus and Saturn are so antipathetic this time that one can well believe their famously horrific mythic bond. Their opposition is a furious struggle for reform, freedom and change against limiting, frustrating forces that refuse to go quietly. It is predictable enough that many hot-tempered persons will feel this tension keenly. What is less predictable, and may prove disturbing, is that many who’d thought themselves more serene may also be knocked off balance now, and find themselves less loving and kind than they'd believed themselves to be. That kind of gloomy discovery comes when Saturn sits at the top of a person's chart, or a country's.
There are two more "stressful" 90° angles in this chart. One is a wide square between the Capricorn Moon and Mercury in Libra, which could well signify changeable feelings and negative opinions at a time when more voters than ever are disgusted with the arrogance of one political party, the spinelessness of the other and the lying of both, and define themselves as independents rather than party loyalists. The other square, more acute and powerful, links Mars in Scorpio, in the spiritual 12th house, with Neptune in Aquarius in the third house of communications. This square is a harmonic to other aspects we've noted above, as it usually manifests in narrow-minded determination not to listen to another point of view, or a moody, Hamlet-like inability to marshal one's energies toward action.
So what to conclude about this chart, in which "stressful," "difficult," "negative" elements far outweigh the "easy" and "positive" ones? Is America somehow "fated" to undergo an excruciating rite of passage in which it has no choice but to get through tough conditions of discord, even outright conflict, as best it can? Not at all. The outcome for a country, as for an individual, is determined not by some iron law of cosmic influence, but by the water law of human feeling. We are responsible for what we get, as Americans will be responsible for a year that they do not suffer as passive victims, but create as the actors who write the outcome of their own play. A 90° square always offers the opportunity for growth through greater awareness and redoubled effort. A 180° opposition, however conflictive, always happens in complementary signs. The basis for concord is always present and available to those who seek the love in the scene in the outcome of unity, rather than the prolonged agony of habitual, fearful struggle. Even in a year as extremely disputatious as this one, with the Ku Klux Klan so bent on blocking Hillary Clinton that it has actually endorsed Barack Obama -- thus even stone racists have flirted with deserting the nearly all-white Republican party -- common ground is still there.
So -- speaking of candidates now, who wins the election?
Who Wins?
For an astrology-based estimate on how Barack Obama and John McCain will fare on Nov. 4, see And the Winner Is . . . .
The general answer to the question of Who Wins? -- all personalities, predictions and birth charts aside -- is . . . the financial backers and other supporters of whoever is declared the winner in the end. This is no merely cynical or satiric answer, and millions of Americans now know it. There are two main reasons why many more people are now seeing that money, not the will of the citizenry, controls the government. One reason is practical, rooted in the very long history of democracies, the other reason a spiritual one embodied in the opportunity that is before us now at the dawn of the Aquarian age.
We go home with the one who brought us to the dance. It's always been that way, and one rude jolt that the winner gets between the thrill of victory on election day and the pomp of inauguration ten weeks later is that the bill to be paid to those who've put him in office is not only higher than he expected it to be, but payable to a lot more people than he ever thought he'd see waiting in line. "There are too many pigs for the teats," as Abraham Lincoln put it. And that was a century and a half before American politics became as helpless a captive of big money as it is now. America has arrived at the point that every other democracy has hit, when its people begin to ask: if our body politic and our financial system are as riddled with corruption as they are, what good will it do us just to replace the head, without addressing the infection that has spread to everything else? There's nothing new in this. Athenians were asking the same thing when they knew that dropping their clay pellets in the voting jar would not help them save Socrates or boot out the 30 Tyrants. Romans asked it too when they wondered -- why get rid of Caesar when Octavian is even scarier, and trade a fiery eagle for one very cold fish?
Other "negative" factors apply, not least the near impossibility of governing an empire as fractious, unstable and unwieldy as America's is now. But the "positive" way ahead, and the spiritual point and promise of the year, is the Aquarian realization that even honest and well-intentioned leaders are useless when citizens are unempowered, communities unengaged. This is why, excitingly, for every glassy-eyed idolater of Barack Obama -- not, let's be clear, all of his supporters -- there's a grassroots activist working quietly outside the glare of media. True believers in John McCain -- i.e., devoted enthusiasts of the kind Eric Hoffer wrote about -- are far outnumbered by humble, practical realists who know that leaders and governments will not address the needs of the planet in time, if they can affect them at all. In time, by 2012 if not this year, the numbers of these responsible workers, in little teams and big communities, will tell the tale. The story is already underway, in brilliant initiatives such as 10 Million Clicks for Peace, which have already begun to tackle world hunger, poverty, conflict and other challenges in ways that are both imaginative and workable, and even, amazingly, fun.
For now, it's best to look on the bright side, which really is there. The good news here, no matter who "wins," is that for all the implacable contrariness of this election year, and an election day on which many people seem determined to do anything but get along with one another, the astral picture does look a lot more optimistic by inauguration day. The spectacular chart that we're about to view shows why.
It's Looking Up by Inauguration Day
Fortunately, January 2009 looks generally a lot happier than November 2008. The intensely disagreeable chart we've explored for the US 2008 election is but one scene in a play that will have many between early 2008 and the end of 2012. The picture changes considerably by the time inauguration day comes on Jan. 20, 2009:
The Next American Presidential Inauguration:
Jan. 20, 2009, 12:30pm EST in Washington, DC (38N54, 77W02)
Behold. If the planets themselves were inclined to create a fireworks display during the inauguration ceremony, they could hardly stage a show much brighter than this one. A triple conjunction of Sun, Mercury and Jupiter at the Aquarius MC anchors a brilliant stellium -- an alignment of five or more planets in the same zodiac sign -- that also includes Neptune, Chiron and the Moon's North Node. The new president, and the country he has just begun to lead, are positioned at a moment of superb confidence. The direction ahead is clear. The country has the opportunity to stand in a rare moment of concord and deeply-shared commitment to worthy goals. There is an optimistic sense that at long last, America has again chosen and empowered a person of outstanding ability and exemplary ethics to chart its course.
We note too that the main stressor in the election chart of 2 1/2 months ago, the opposition between Saturn and Uranus, has moved away, by a distance of a degree and a half, from the exact, implacable faceoff in which these two planets were locked against each other two and a half months ago. The Saturn-Uranus opposition will come to exactitude again twice -- on Feb. 5 and Sept. 15 -- so there will surely be some fresh vitriol in the air within weeks after the inauguration. But the positive change is still evident here. Venus, who formed last November the middle leg of a T-cross with Saturn and Uranus, is now conjunct Uranus in Pisces, where she is "exalted." And the magnificent spread of planets -- all but Saturn -- in the upper half of the chart signifies that at least for this moment, Americans feel they are able to reclaim their power, their honor and their freedom. This moment will be, and will need to be, remembered in the years to come.
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Copyright 2008 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.



The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2012:
Prelude: The American Election of November 4, 2008, on this page
Prelude Supplement: And the Winner Is . . .
Act 1: Conflicts: The Neptune Return of April 11, 2009
Act 2: Complications: The Triple Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter Conjunction of May-August, 2009
Act 3: Turning Point: The Exact Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Feb. 16 - 17, 2010
Act 4: Crisis and Climax: The Crosses of Summer, 2010
Act 5: Denouement: The Near Chiron-Neptune Conjunction of Nov. 2 - 3, 2010