I’m not sure why we pay so much attention to Iowa. It’s not a reliable indicator of electoral success. In 14 caucuses over the past 40 years, both Democratic and Republican, only eight Iowa winners have gone on to gain their party’s nomination, and of those, only three have ever sat in the Oval Office. Nor is it a state representative of the country—too white, too rural, too evangelical.
But Iowa retains its “first in the nation” status, even if, as in this case, it has to schedule the caucus for the first business day of the new year to do so. And every four years, the media plays it for all it’s worth; this year, with the crazy rollercoaster ride that has been the GOP pre-primary season, they’ve had a field day, with much grist for the mill.
As it turns out, however, we could have spared ourselves all that hoopla by a cogent, careful examination of the sky for January 3, 2012. There are asteroid referents for each of the GOP field competing in Iowa, and the story their interactions described on the big day, pretty much sums up what actually unfolded.
Topping the charts were Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. In the case of Romney and Paul, who garnered 25% and 21% of the votes respectively, this is unsurprising, as we find asteroid Paul (#3525) at 5 Capricorn and asteroid Willaert (#7620, representing Willard “Mitt” Romney) at 20 Capricorn, both conjoined the 12 Capricorn Sun.
The Sun illumines and highlights whatever it touches, bringing focus and clarity, so finding candidates Romney and Paul in the limelight when their asteroid selves are traveling with good old Sol is hardly a shock. The transit Sun is also squared to asteroid America at 13 Libra, itself conjunct the USA natal Saturn at 14 Libra, surely an apt moment for the first contest (square) in the nation’s (America) quest for a chief executive (Saturn).
Asteroid Paul is also conjunct transit Pluto at 7 Capricorn, an indicator of the deeply entrenched power base (Pluto) Ron Paul taps into (his supporters are self-described as among the most unmoveable in their affections), as well as trined to asteroids Phaeton and Karma at 4 and 5 Taurus. This last is not a helpful contact, with Karma focusing on Paul’s prior history (and some very disturbing statements in Paul’s newsletters from the ‘90s), and Phaeton, named for a mythic figure who tried to shoulder too much responsibility and was taken out in a literal blaze of glory, destroyed by one of Zeus’ thunderbolts before he could wreak any further havoc. Paul’s future is likely a “flash in the pan” moment similar to Phaeton’s, as there really isn’t anywhere to go for the contrarian Texas representative after Iowa.
Much more promising is Romney’s celestial path. With Willaert exactly conjoined asteroid Hilaritas, named for the Roman goddess of rejoicing, there seems good cause for celebration at Romney HQ. This sense of jubilation was reflected early on caucus day by the reporting of Politico’s Mike Allen, who described the mood in the Romney campaign in the closing days before voting began as “not just confident, but giddy.” Although the candidate finished with 25%, the same overall percentage of votes that only netted him second place in 2008 (in actual fact, he got 6 votes less in 2012, an astoundingly static performance), the anti-Romney vote in 2012 was spread out over a half-dozen competitors, making essentially the same showing a winning tally this time around.
In addition to its conjunction with the Sun, asteroid Willaert made a strong astrological impact, with an exact trine to pugilist Mars at 20 Virgo, indicating victory in the fight. This is further enhanced by a second trine, to centaur Asbolus at 21 Taurus, named for a mythic diviner who predicted events by observing the patterns of birds in flight, thus representing one who has his finger on the pulse of the times.
These aspects together form a Grand Trine, a configuration fraught with powerful latent potential in astrology, but Willaert doesn’t stop there, also occupying the focal point of a T-square formed by squares to TNOs Eris at 21 Aries and Rhadamanthus at 21 Libra. Rhadamanthus, named for a mythic Greek judge of the dead, suggests that Romney has been judged and found worthy, but Eris, named for the goddess of strife, division and discord, represents the strong showing of the currently split anti-Romney sentiment, which at 74% in toto, vastly eclipses his support. If these forces ever come together under a single alternate candidate, Romney could find himself in very deep trouble.
The cautionary tales continue with Willaert’s fellow travelers, asteroids Niobe at 18 Capricorn and Panacea at 23 Capricorn. Niobe counsels against excessive pride, which can bring Romney to disaster, undoing all he has worked for; Panacea suggests that the governor beware political “cure-alls”, glossing over what truly ails his candidacy and pretending that problems don’t exist.
Rick Santorum was the wild card of this contest. Creeping along from month to month with low single digit support showing in the polls, in late December the former US Senator’s support began to swell, jumping up to the mid-teens in a matter of days. Finishing now in second place with 25% of the vote, Santorum’s final performance was impressive (he lost to Romney by just 8 votes statewide), but, like Paul, he may not have much room for expansion post-Iowa (barring ultra-conservative South Carolina, where he is likely to be a strong contender).
Asteroid Richard (#3972) at 20 Leo retrograde is exactly inconjunct Willaert, and thus taps into the same astrological energies. So Richard also forms an exact aspect to ultra-competitor Mars at 20 Virgo, but in this case it’s a rather somnolent semisextile, not the vigorous trine sported by Romney in the guise of asteroid Willaert. Though Richard is similarly well-connected otherwise, there are no major configurations within the pattern, something which spelled Romney’s slim ascendancy.
A trine to Eris showcases this TNO’s propensity to upset the apple cart (as seen in Santorum’s unexpected eleventh-hour surge), sowing dissension and rancor, while a sextile to Rhadamanthus evokes this mythic judge’s reputation for scrupulous honesty and integrity—of all the potential candidates, Santorum most commonly received the critique that he appeared authentic, genuine and honest. A square to Asbolus reiterates the sense that Santorum has got his finger to the wind, and that, in Iowa at least, it blows favorably his way, albeit belatedly.
Newt Gingrich, who seemed to be giving Romney a real run for his money in December, saw his poll numbers take a nose dive after millions of dollars had been spent by Romney-friendly Super-PACs in anti-Gingrich ads that flooded Iowa airwaves the last three weeks of the old year. As befits his gargantuan ego, Gingrich has two asteroids which represent him astrologically—Newtonia (#662, for Newton, his full first name) and Gingerich (#2658), but both tell a similar tale. At 23 Aries, Newtonia is closely conjunct TNO Eris at 21 Aries, that fractious, divisive energy which delights in spoiling a good time; while Gingerich at 19 Cancer is within orb of asteroid Achilles at 25 Cancer, representing those congenital weaknesses which doom us to failure in the end.
Gingrich finished with 13% of the Iowa votes, a disappointing showing from the man who at one point in early December had a nearly 20 point lead on Romney. But Gingrich has vowed to fight on, taking the battle directly to Romney in the upcoming months.
For Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, it was also a disappointing night, garnering only 10% and 5% respectively. Again, this is prefigured in the stars, with both asteroids Perry (#5529) at 6 Pisces and Michelle (#1376) at 0 Pisces within orb of wound-maker Chiron at 2 Pisces, perhaps fatally afflicting their candidacies. Certainly Perry appears to be ready to bow out of the race, returning to Texas the night of the caucuses to “reassess” his campaign.
For Bachmann, low on funds and coming off her August Iowa Straw Poll victory to finish devastatingly in last place, this may also be a mortal blow, something reflected in asteroid Michelle’s exact square to asteroid Nemesis, the karmic comeuppance and divine retribution, at 0 Sagittarius.
No, Iowa may no longer be the bellwether it once was, but in examining the celestial candidates of this earliest primary season contest, there is one thing we can say with certainty can still be relied upon—As Above, So Below!