SEPTEMBER 2008 Black hole case study
by Alex Miller-Mignone
On 4 November 2008, the USA chooses its new president. In the current atmosphere it may seem a ridiculous proposition to suggest that anyone other than the Democratic candidate will win the presidency, given the state of the economy and the severe case of Bush fatigue which has gripped the country, but the astrological indicators are far from decisive for such an outcome.
Both candidates have advantages and challenges for the day, which is set perhaps to produce a repeat of the 2000 debacle, when Al Gore with half a million more votes failed to gain the office. There may even be a metaphysical indicator that such will be the case this November, in the results of the Democratic primary earlier in the year, where, despite the flawed processes in Michigan and Florida, it is undeniable that more voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton, but Obama won the nomination.
Mercury, representing the decision-making process and the vote itself, as well as its tabulation, is at 29 Libra for most of the day, reprising its position from 2000, exactly atop the Black Hole at that degree, evoking surprising, unexpected outcomes and dramatic developments. Mercury on a Black Hole suggests both a huge turnout and a high potential for electoral fraud, a pattern we have seen strongly in evidence in 2000, 2002, and 2004, when Mercury made exact aspects to Black Holes, and to a lesser extent in 2006, when its Black Hole contacts were looser. It also signals the importance of the youth vote to the outcome, but it is impossible to determine in advance whether that will manifest as strong support for Obama from young people, or as their virtual disappearance from the scene, negatively impacting his candidacy. With asteroid America standing close by Mercury at 28 Libra, there could be no more apt image of the nation going to the polls.
The leading aspect of the day is an opposition from Saturn at 18 Virgo to Uranus at 18 Pisces, forming a T-Square with the Black Hole at 18 Sagittarius. This opposition is exact on Election Day, the first such contact in more than 40 years. It perfectly describes the combatants, with Saturn as the Senex, the sage, elder statesman, conservative, calcified McCain; and Uranus as the Puer, the restless, brash, impulsive and youthful Obama. (Ed note: for more on the Saturn-Uranus opposition and the election, see Jessica Murray's America in Transition in this issue.)
It is a contest of experience versus exuberance, and while in and of itself it says nothing specifically about the outcome of that contest, it should be noted that Saturn spends more of its time over the horizon (and thus in our consciousness) for the voting period than does Uranus. The opposition also ties much more strongly to McCain’s chart, with Saturn two degrees past conjunction with the Arizona senator’s natal Neptune at 16 Virgo, and Uranus two degrees shy of his natal Saturn at 20 Pisces. This brings out a natal aspect which could indicate either disappointment (Neptune) in career goals (Saturn), or the attaining of them via fraud (also Neptune).
The opposition also ties to both Obama’s 18 Aquarius/Leo Ascendant/ Descendant and McCain’s 17 Libra/Aries Ascendant/Descendant, but by semisextile and inconjunct, less powerful aspects. The Black Hole in exact square to this polarity is another indicator of volatility and unpredicted, anomalous outcomes.
Transit Venus and Jupiter tie to this pattern as well. Venus at 19 Sagittarius is exactly conjunct a Black Hole, indicating both the importance of the women’s vote and the vast sums of money expended in the contest. It also falls in square to the Saturn/Uranus opposition, with Venus applying slightly toward Uranus: Obama should win women, but perhaps by a lesser margin than expected, with an almost 50/50 split between the candidates. Jupiter at 17 Capricorn is trine Saturn, a forceful support for the Old Guard, and is also conjunct McCain’s Nadir at 16 Capricorn, opposed his Midheaven at 16 Cancer, and exactly squared his Ascendant/Descendant axis at 17 Libra/Aries. Having politically-minded, lucky and expansive Jupiter in contact to all four angles of his chart is incredibly advantageous to McCain... they don’t call Jupiter “the Greater Benefic” for nothing.
The next most prominent feature of the day is probably Neptune, which at 21 Aquarius will have turned into direct motion just two days before the election. Having the planet of illusion, deception and disappointment stationary in the sky, and exactly squared transit Mars at 21 Scorpio, is another indicator that the contest may be flawed or corrupted, or come to a “fuzzy” conclusion. In any event, just five degrees shy of the nation’s Moon at 26 Aquarius, it portrays a confused electorate, one easily led by fear or falsehood (it also embodies the public’s ongoing attraction for the “Hope” and “Change We Can Believe In” messages of the Obama campaign throughout the year, vague, feel-good sentiments promising everything but specifying nothing).
The Sun at 12 Scorpio is exactly squared a Black Hole at 12 Aquarius, again suggestive of a dramatic turn of events or an unexpected outcome, and the likelihood of the reality of things not being as they seem on the surface. The Sun is exactly square to both Obama’s Sun and McCain’s Mars at 12 Leo (the synastric conjunction of these two being at the root of the nastiness in the campaign). This highlights Obama’s personality, but also McCain’s fighting spirit and will to win. The transit Sun is also squared the Nodal Axis at 13 Aquarius and Leo, and with the South Node on his natal Sun this may be more of a hindrance to Obama. There is something about Obama himself, at his core, which holds him back, whereas for McCain, the issue is more about what he projects in combativeness and temperament that voters find objectionable. The Sun also opposes asteroid “Hispania” at 11 Taurus, indicating the importance of the Hispanic vote in the outcome.
Additional asteroids play their part as well. There are no asteroids “Barack” or “Obama,” but there is a “Barry,” which is what the young Obama was called. On Election Day it appears at 8 Scorpio, moderately close to the day’s Sun, a positive indicator, but also exactly conjunct Obama’s natal Neptune, which could signify disappointment or disillusion and isolation. Asteroid “Washingtonia,” here representative of the nation’s capital, is more favorable; at 13 Leo it closely conjoins Obama’s natal Sun (and McCain’s Mars, providing a mixed message). Asteroid “Potomac” may lend peripheral support from 26 Pisces, where it lies in a tight sextile to Obama’s 25 Capricorn Saturn, ruling career and the office of the chief executive.
Similarly, there are no asteroids named “John” or “McCain,” but there is a “Johnny,” and also a “Johannes,” a German form of John, and a “Johanna,” the feminine version. Astoundingly, Johanna is exactly conjunct luck-and-politics-ruling Jupiter at 17 Capricorn, with Johnny nearby at 12 Capricorn, in exact sextile to the Sun. Asteroid Johannes is also significantly placed; at 17 Virgo it is exactly trine Jupiter and closely conjunct Saturn at 18 Virgo, representative of the presidency. There is also an asteroid “McCann,” a quite close match to “McCain.” At 29 Aquarius it conjoins the reality-twisting Black Hole at 28 Aquarius, and is exactly sextile transformative, power-gravitating Pluto at 29 Sagittarius and exactly trine decision-maker and vote-counter Mercury at 29 Libra.
A cluster of asteroids around the 13 Aquarius North Node is troubling. The North Node itself is exactly conjunct a Black Hole, implying that our future is impenetrable and undetermined, susceptible of wildly disparate outcomes. Its closest contact is asteroid Nemesis at 12 Aquarius, which suggests that a period of karmic comeuppance is at hand, and asteroid Damocles is there as well, at 15 Aquarius—our future is hanging by a thread. Chiron joins in the mix from 16 Aquarius, exactly conjunct a media-sensitive and news-evoking Pulsar, and Chiron as the maverick and wounded healer best describes McCain’s carefully cultivated image as an abused POW and someone who refuses to toe the party line. What could possibly be a more newsworthy, Pulsar-attractive story than underdog McCain pulling a cosmic rabbit from the Black Hole hat, and winning the presidency? Asteroids Ohio and Indiana are present as well, at 12 and 14 Aquarius respectively, possible indicators of the importance of these states in deciding the election.
The scenario whereby Obama wins the popular vote but loses the election seems plausible. Among the contributing factors would be the high incidence of e-vote fraud in battleground states, the so-called “Bradley effect,” and the dynamics of the Obama campaign itself.
Electoral irregularities such as newfangled black box voting technologies and old-fashioned voter disenfranchisement led directly to the Florida recount debacle in 2000, and there is strong evidence of e-vote tampering in Georgia and other states in 2002, and Ohio and up to 20 other swing states in 2004, all benefiting the GOP. With an established pattern of electoral fraud that has not been called to account, there is little reason to believe that 2008 will be different. With an electoral map that hasn’t changed much in decades, e-vote fraud in just a few key battleground states would be sufficient to retain the White House in Republican hands.
Making this fraud harder to pinpoint this time around is the Bradley effect, named for California gubernatorial candidate Tom Bradley. In 1982, Bradley polled consistently ahead of his Republican contender, George Deukmejian, but lost the election. Bradley was black, Deukmejian white, and pollsters alleged that many white voters misrepresented their intentions for fear of disclosing racial prejudices they harbored. The phenomenon of non-white candidates performing significantly below pre-election polling in races against white candidates has been repeated in several high profile instances, including Douglas Wilder’s 1989 gubernatorial run in Virginia, where Wilder polled nine points ahead of his white Republican challenger, but barely squeaked out a victory by less than half of one percent. In the same year New York City Mayor David Dinkins’ 18 point lead over Rudy Giuliani shrunk to just 2 points in the voting booth; in neither of these instances was the anticipated outcome overturned, but the discrepancy between polling and vote tallies is startling nonetheless. Even if early polling shows a significant Obama lead, an unexpected McCain win can always be justified by the Bradley effect to those unwilling to admit clear signs of electoral fraud.
Finally, the dynamic of the Obama campaign is such that a major popular vote victory could still result in electoral defeat, and this time not just by Gore’s 500,000 vote majority, but by perhaps as much as 4 or 5 percentage points, literally millions of votes. The reason for this is that Obama is mainly increasing support with voter registration drives in liberal strongholds, blue states such as New York, Illinois and California that will inevitably vote Democratic regardless. If he wins New York by 12 points or by 35, he gets the same number of electoral college votes. Likewise, his support among southern black populations is impressive, but in states like Alabama and Mississippi, where GOP candidates routinely win by 25 or 30 point margins, even if increased black turnout means he closes that gap to less than 5 points, he still loses the state, and the electoral college map hasn’t budged an inch. Obama won the primary largely by successfully gaming the Democratic primary structure of proportional distribution of delegates, but in the winner-take-all GOP model of the general election, he has a much tougher row to hoe, in flipping red states blue.
Another level to consider is the ways, if any, in which the transits of Election Day impact the solar returns of the candidates. With the transit Sun squared his natal Sun, Obama of course also has it squared the Sun of his solar return, reiterating the importance of the day to him. Additionally, the Saturn/Uranus opposition that dominates the day lies in exact semisextile and inconjunct to his solar return Mercury at 18 Leo. This combination is not especially favorable, but not especially strong—Saturn semisextile Mercury could indicate deflated vote tallies or votes “lost,” either through legitimate spoilage or fraud; Uranus inconjunct suggests something unusual or unexpected, perhaps a volatile result, and the possibility of issues or problems arising from technology, as in hacked voting machines or mechanical malfunctions.
In contrast, McCain’s solar return is much more active on Election Day. The transit Sun at 12 Scorpio exactly squares the solar return Moon at 12 Leo, and is exactly sextile the solar return Jupiter at 12 Capricorn, also in a tight sextile to the solar return Saturn at 11 Virgo, effectively linking and energizing the populace (Moon), McCain’s political ambitions (Jupiter), and his career goals (Saturn). Transit Mars at 21 Scorpio is exactly trine McCain’s solar return Uranus at 21 Pisces, perhaps indicating an unexpected outcome to the contest. Transit Jupiter at 17 Capricorn is exactly semisextile the solar return Midheaven at 17 Sagittarius, closely conjoined by transit Venus at 19 Sagittarius. But it is the transit Moon which really shines; in late Capricorn, its aspects include a conjunction with its position in McCain’s birth chart (thus a lunar return) which reinforces its exact conjunction with the USA’s natal Pluto, its seat of power, at 27 Capricorn. This occurs mid-day, and is followed with a semisextile to McCain’s solar return Pluto (power) at 28 Sagittarius, and trines (support) both to solar return Venus (women) at 28 Virgo, and solar return Mercury (young people, the vote itself) at 29 Virgo. These last two are also exactly semisextile to the Election Day asteroid America and Mercury at 28 and 29 Libra respectively.
Given all this, despite the strong tailwind favoring Democrats in 2008, it seems likely that McCain will pull this off, legitimately or otherwise, and become the 44th president of the United States. And that’s one prediction I’ll be very happy to get wrong.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.