The last time we looked at Sarah Palin was in 2008, just after she had become the Republican Vice Presidential candidate (see astrological profile of Palin in Daykeeper Journal, October 2008). Much has happened since then, and Palin has claimed a place in the American political landscape out of all proportion to her actual contributions, so let’s take the opportunity to catch up.
As of this writing (July 20) Sarah Palin’s decision whether or not to run for president is still a closely guarded secret, but 2012 could be her year. Barely a week after the election on November 6, a Solar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio sets off a Grand Cross in Palin’s birth chart, exactly conjunct asteroid Karma, exactly squared the Sun at 21 Aquarius and asteroid Washingtonia at 21 Leo, and opposed asteroid Sara at 23 Taurus. All that could spell “Mrs. Palin Goes to Washington”, which evokes images of a Capra-esque dark farce if ever there was one.
Also activated by the eclipse are Mars (the campaign, competition) at 22 Aquarius and Saturn (career, the presidency) at 25 Aquarius, itself atop a success-oriented Quasar, asteroid Sisyphus (representing perseverance or try, try again) at 23 Scorpio, and asteroid Circe (bewitching enchantment) at 25 Taurus. There is a strong focus on competition and victory (Mars) in this combination, aided and abetted by an almost magical ability to captivate others (Circe) and a dogged determination to reach the goal (Sisyphus), to make the most of career potential (Saturn/Quasar) and cash in on what’s coming to one, from a fated point of view (Karma), all directed at Palin personally (Sun/Sara) and her desire to find herself in the seat of power (Washingtonia).
But to win it, she’ll have to get in it, and that is very much in doubt as 2011 rolls on to its conclusion. As of March, four potential GOP presidential contenders held contracts as contributors to Fox News—Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. At that time, and in accordance with FEC regulations, Fox suspended, and later terminated, contracts with two of those, Gingrich and Santorum, who have both since announced their candidacies. They did not suspend Palin or Huckabee, and in May, Huckabee declared himself out of the running, leaving just Palin still on the fence, but presumably with assurances to Fox News that she was leaning toward opting out.
When the curtain rang down on the 2008 election, many thought they’d seen the last of the upstart Alaska governor, but if anything, her national profile has only grown since then. [Author’s note: for a full profile of Palin’s early years, see the astrological profile in the October 2008 Daykeeper Journal.] Palin trudged back to Juneau, but not for long. Elected in 2006, Palin’s term was set to expire in December 2010, but by summer 2009 she’d had enough of the land of the midnight sun, and on July 3 she announced her resignation, effective on July 26. Palin’s official rationale for resigning was that she was unable to perform her job effectively, hampered by a host of “frivolous” lawsuits alleging ethics violations, which took up most of her time.
When Palin announced her resignation the transit sky well reflected her decision; an exact pairing of Jupiter and Neptune at 26 Aquarius astrologically spelled a political (Jupiter) abdication (Neptune), and asteroid Alaska (#19148) close beside at 24 Aquarius shows the venue, while Chiron at 25 Aquarius suggests maverick behaviors.
These are personalized to Palin (born 11 February 1964) by conjunction with her Sun at 21 Aquarius, Mars at 23 Aquarius and Saturn at 25 Aquarius, indicating the embattled (Mars) Palin (Sun) resigning her authority (Saturn), potentially damaging or wounding (Chiron) her future career (also Saturn).
At the time, asteroid Sara (#533) at 1 Taurus was traveling with asteroid Achilles at 25 Aries, indicating a potential weak spot or chink in her armor resulting from this action, and indeed, her inability to complete a full term as Alaska’s governor is one of the factors contributing to a public perception that she is a less than serious contender for future political office. In the birth chart, asteroid Achilles at 7 Gemini opposes asteroid Alaska at 9 Gemini, reiterating the sense that her tenure there could be problematic.
Palin’s stated reason for the resignation was altruistic enough, but in reality, it appeared that she had decided that America’s largest state was not big enough to hold her, and waiting a further two years to cash in on her newfound notoriety was two years too long. In less than four months, she had already produced a best-selling biography, “Going Rogue: An American Life”, which sold 300,000 copies on the day of its release, and topped a million in the first two weeks after publication, spending six weeks at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list (though these numbers may be misleading, as several noted conservative think tanks made mass purchases of her book, which inflated sales).
The subtitle to Palin’s bio is the same as Reagan’s 1990 autobiography, and Palin stands in elite company, as the author of one of only four autobiographies written by politicians to sell more than a million copies. On the date of its publication, 17 November 2009, Palin’s autobiography set another record by being the first to be lampooned with a satirical parody on the same day as its release, when OR Books published “Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare.” The books’ covers are mirror images of each other, Palin’s with her in red, hair down, in front of a blue sky studded with fair weather clouds, the parody also with Palin in red, hair up, backed by a threatening dark sky with lightning.
The contrast well illustrates Palin’s Sun, conjunct one Black Hole at 17 Aquarius and squared another at 24 Taurus; she has two sides, seemingly from alternate universes, and polarizes others with an image that some find compelling, and others repulsive. This basic dichotomy is a central feature of Palin’s political impact, embodying as she does the right/left split in the country, and the hyper-partisanship which threatens to destroy it. When “Going Rogue” was released, the Sun at 25 Scorpio reiterated the mirror image effect, with its opposition to the 24 Taurus Black Hole and a square to Palin’s Sun/Mars/Saturn stellium, squaring Saturn exactly, an indication of the change in career represented by moving into publication.
Publishing itself is also represented by transit Jupiter, which rules the process, at 19 Aquarius coming to conjoin the Sun. Transit Chiron at 21 Aquarius is exactly conjunct the Sun, a perfect moment for Palin to self-identify (Sun) as a maverick or rogue (Chiron). Transit Neptune at 23 Aquarius also conjoins the natal Sun, squares the transit Sun and is exactly squared natal asteroid Sara at 23 Taurus, providing a triple whammy of whitewashing apotheosis for Palin.
The book’s sales also highlight a prominent feature of Palin’s 0 Aries Venus, ruling finances and the ability to attract one’s desires. Tightly opposed the supermassive Black Hole at 1 Libra, the largest anomaly of its kind of which we are aware, there is a strong potential for amassing huge resources, and Palin received a reported $1.25 million advance for “Going Rogue”, which garnered an estimated $10 million in additional royalties.
Obama’s Venus at 1 Cancer squares this same point, and its effectiveness can be clearly seen in his 2008 campaign fundraising, which neared $750 million and set a new record, with projections for more than a billion to be raised in 2012; if Palin decides to compete, her Venus will give Obama’s a run for (our) money. With self-obsessed asteroid Narcissus exactly conjunct Venus and exactly sextile Mercury at 0 Aquarius, it’s only natural that one primary source of income (Venus) would be an autobiography (Narcissus/Mercury).
Palin wasted no time capitalizing on her fame, becoming a paid contributor at Fox News in January 2010, and that February appearing as a keynote speaker at the newly constituted Tea Party’s first convention, a conservative movement with which she has become closely identified. Already in January 2009, while still Alaska’s governor, Palin had established SarahPAC, a political action committee dedicated to the support of conservative candidates across the country. But Palin’s endorsement is a two-edged sword, granting ultra-conservatives such as Nevada’s Sharron Angle and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell an edge in GOP primaries, but weakening them in the general election, where they are seen as too extreme.
In March 2010, Palin began filming on “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” an 8-part PR-blitz-disguised-as-documentary shown that November on TLC. In May 2010 she combined her interests in politics and the outdoors when she coined the term “mama grizzly”, referring to conservative female voters, and cemented this connection that summer and fall as she helped to launch the “Pink Elephant” movement, fielding female GOP candidates in state and national races.
Speculation that Palin will run for president in 2012 began almost before the confetti was cleared from the 2008 election night celebrations. Each twist and turn in her subsequent career has been dissected and analyzed ad nauseam ever since, all with a view to determining the inscrutable workings of the Palin mind.
For an astrological view of that mind, we can look to natal Mercury’s placement. At 0 Aquarius, natal Mercury is conjoined by asteroids Agita at 3 Aquarius, Panacea at 29 Capricorn, and Icarus at 25 Capricorn, as well as the Pulsar at 29 Capricorn, and is part of a T-Square involving an opposition to asteroid America at 1 Leo conjoined the Black Hole at 2 Leo, and an exact square to asteroid Lie at 0 Taurus.
Mercury with a Pulsar indicates an interconnected, entwined, almost codependent relationship with the press; much as she decries what she terms “the lamestream media,” Palin owes her public place to it. Without them, she is nothing, a blip on the radar; even their open antagonism feeds her mythos, and without them as foil and bogey man, Palin would have no populist windmills to tilt at.
Icarus with Mercury suggests a certain verbal rashness, and an inability to heed good advice. Certainly Palin’s rhetorical stumbles are legion, and her handlers as Vice Presidential nominee despaired of ever gaining her cooperation, as she careered from one deadly interview to the next, foot wedged solidly in mouth. At this stage of the 2012 game, it’s impossible to determine whether Palin is setting herself up for a truly innovative approach to winning her party’s nomination, or is simply milking the publicity of a potential run for what she can make from it in increased book sales and speaking fees.
Agita and Panacea here have a reciprocal relationship, where Agita focuses on the stress and agitation of modern life, that almost sickly, queasy certainty in the pit of the stomach that says “all is not well”, without really having anything concrete to point to as the cause. Panacea sees and acknowledges this undercurrent of discontent, but coos, “that’s OK, I have the universal cure for your ills, I can set things to rights.”
With these conjunct Mercury and opposed America, we see her audience, and the square from both to Lie indicates some degree of conscious deception in her utterances, while America with a Black Hole allows Palin to paint her alternate view of reality in terms which numbers of her fellow citizens are drawn to. Aquarian Mercury can have a somewhat elitist mentality, while able to easily identify with the common man; Palin likely sees herself as intelligent, where she is merely clever, able to manipulate others with her rhetoric while playing fast and loose with her facts.
Mercury’s opposition to the Black Hole at 2 Leo supports this facility with manipulation and self-serving factual inaccuracy, but also argues that much of Palin’s outlook is self-deceptive as well. A recent example of Black Hole Mercury’s tendency to rewrite history, personal or otherwise, can be seen in a historical gaffe made during her post-Memorial Day “One Country” bus tour (which, insisted the publicity-mad Palin with tongue firmly planted in cheek, was just a “private family vacation”).
On June 3, after visiting Revolutionary War sites in Boston, including Paul Revere’s house, Palin was asked what she took away from the experience, and commented, “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
That’s pretty muddled history, especially from someone who presumably had just heard a guide recount the tale minutes before, but the inversion of just who exactly it was that Revere warned, and about what, is typical of Black Hole Mercury’s tenacious grasp on reality as it sees it, not necessarily as it exists. Challenged about her version of events in the coming days, rather than back down and admit error, Palin stuck to her guns, creatively twisting, reworking and embroidering both the original tale and her response until it all made some sort of sense, assuming of course that one had none to begin with.
In a “Fox News Sunday” interview, Palin explained her remarks: “You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. … Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, hey, you’re not gonna succeed, you’re not gonna take American arms. … He did warn the British. … I know my American history.” The story also illustrates Palin’s grip on the American public, as after days of negative press stemming from the incident, Palin supporters rewrote Paul Revere’s Wikipedia page to reflect her skewed views.
For someone who is not yet certain whether she will throw her hat into the 2012 ring, Palin is adept at making sure no one else in the room gets any oxygen. The New Hampshire leg of her “private” family trip included a clambake that just happened to run smack into the Romney campaign’s official rollout that same day, in that same state. Palin called the convergence “coincidental.”
Another coincidence apparently occurred when rival and Palin clone Michele Bachmann [see her profile in the June 2011 Daykeeper Journal] came to her home town of Waterloo, Iowa to announce her candidacy on June 27; the following day Palin attended the Iowa premier of “The Undefeated” (the ironically-titled “documentary” film detailing her rise to political super-stardom), just a hundred miles up the road.
Palin’s natal Sun/Neptune square speaks volumes for this need to be the center of attention, to hold and foster a romantic, idealized image of herself, and the inability to face reality as it is, offering a more personally palatable substitute. There’s more than a bit of the actress in this combination, and Palin is adept both at presenting herself as a martyr (as in her frequently alleged unfair chastisement by the media), and as a potential savior, both Neptunian traits. Her admirers enthuse about her with a fervor that approaches cult status, but others seem bewildered by her and uncertain just what to think, for feeding into Neptune at 17 Scorpio is an exact trine from a pairing of asteroids Kassandra and Pandora at 17 Pisces, which severely undercuts Palin’s leitmotif of the scorned yet perfect redeemer. Kassandra is an image of challenged credibility, while Pandora evokes the freeing of a torrent of ills through ill-considered action.
Kassandra/Pandora is also tightly semisextile to Jupiter, ruling politics, at 16 Aries, and the minor celestials which constellate about that point shed further light upon her impact on the American political psyche. TNOs Eris and Chaos at 10 and 12 Aries suggest that her contribution to the national dialogue is fractious and divisive (Eris, Greek goddess of strife), as well as something new and totally unforseen, trailing disruption to the status quo but potentially initiating a new order (Chaos).
Also here are asteroids Tantalus at 17 Aries, an image of temptation and rebuff with a “can’t look away from the unfolding catastrophe” feel to it; and Phaeton at 19 Aries, named for the youth who foolishly attempted to take the reins of power before he was ready, and nearly destroyed the earth. Phaeton’s epithet of “shining” is also apt, for Palin’s presence on the political stage is nothing if not glaring and attention-grabbing. Allied with Circe/Sara in square to the Sun, Palin presents a captivating image for those susceptible to its allure.
But just who are those so captivated? By June 2011, Palin’s overall favorable rating had dropped to 24%, down from 38% in January; her unfavorable rating stood at 55%. Still popular with the fringe of the Tea Party (crucial to a successful GOP Primary run), and still able to garner instant attention for the slightest action or utterance, Palin bestrides the American political scene like some slang-ridden, smack-talking, “g”-dropping colossus. With a strong focus on fixed elements in her birth chart, Palin is remarkably transit-free for the coming year, with all the celestial heavy-hitters in Cardinal Signs. True, Saturn’s January 2011 station at 17 Libra opposed her Jupiter, and the Solar Eclipse of January 4 squared it, but that’s all yesterday’s news. Uranus’ direct station of December 2011 falls exactly on her Venus at 0 Aries, marking a potential uptick in fiscal matters and a chance to reinvent herself with women, but in general, it’s calm seas on the horizon for Palin.
Can cosmic vapidity work for a primary win? We may well get to see, but only if “The Undefeated” relinquishes her current stance as “the Undecided.”