2016 and the next US presidential election are almost upon us. OK, not really, but to listen to the chattering classes, you’d think it was.
“Jeb Bush has released his emails as Florida governor—he’s running!”
“Mike Huckabee has quit his Fox News show—he’s running!”
“Mitt Romney has asked donors to take a beat before committing to any unannounced candidates—he’s running!”
“Hillary’s changed her hairstyle—she’s running!”
On and on, ad infinitum, and in many cases, ad nauseam. As astrologers, too, ramp up their predictions for the long, tortuous road to the White House, it might be as well to see what the asteroid Whitehouse has to say about it.
Yes, there is a Whitehouse in the heavens. A Main Belt asteroid with an orbital period just a bit longer than a four-year presidential term, Whitehouse is not actually named for the imposing executive mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Rather, it’s named for David Whitehouse, a BBC science correspondent, but as the cosmos never fails to remind us, these “minor” bodies adapt themselves to a wide range of usages beyond the proper nouns they were named for.
Let’s take a look at how Whitehouse has performed in the history of its brick-and-mortar namesake, in recent presidential birth charts, and also for some of the leading contenders for 2016. And while we’re at it, let’s see what asteroids America, for the US, and Washingtonia, for the nation’s capital, have to say about it as well.
What we now think of as the White House was first occupied in 1800, during the last few months of John Adams’ administration. Originally it was known in common parlance as the “Presidential Palace” or “Presidential Mansion”, and designated in official documents as the “Executive Mansion.” Although the public began referring to it as the White House as early as 1811, it wasn’t until Teddy Roosevelt’s term, 100 years after its first occupancy, that this name became a part of its formal title, incorporated by TR into his official stationery in 1901.
Although George Washington never lived in the residence, he did approve the plan for it, which he selected from a design competition on July 16, 1792. Architecture in its several facets is co-ruled by Mercury (the plans), Venus (the overall appearance and adornments), and Saturn (the structure itself). On that date, asteroid Whitehouse at 4 Pisces was inconjunct Mercury at 1 Leo, sesquiquadrate Venus at 18 Cancer, and sextile Saturn at 1 Taurus. It was also squared Washingtonia, representing both its location and the man who approved the plan, at 7 Sagittarius.
When the cornerstone was laid on October 13 of that year, Whitehouse appears in a very strong position indeed. At 20 Aquarius, it is closely conjunct Pluto at 21 Aquarius, exactly trine the Sun at 20 Libra, and opposed Uranus at 22 Leo. Incredibly, that date was also Whitehouse’s direct station, making it the still point in the heavens upon which all else revolved. To lay the cornerstone, or foundation, of a building on the day its asteroid referent is standing still in the sky is an astounding testament to the efficacy of astrology and the enduring quality of the residence itself, the highest aspiration of generations of politically-minded Americans to come.
When John Adams finally moved in on 1 November 1800, Whitehouse at 9 Sagittarius is exactly conjunct asteroid Johney and broadly within orb of asteroid Adams at 29 Scorpio, as well as Venus at 1 Sagittarius. A square to Pluto at 2 Pisces and a trine to Jupiter at 3 Leo complete its major aspects. Born 30 October 1735, Adams’ residency there was perhaps fated in some sense, for he sports a natal stellium of Whitehouse exactly conjunct Jupiter (ruling politics) at 8 Capricorn, with asteroid Adams in tow from 2 Capricorn, all squared by asteroid America at 11 Libra.
During the War of 1812, the British sacked Washington and burned the White House on August 24, 1814. Asteroid Whitehouse at 12 Scorpio conjoins Washingtonia at 8, is exactly squared Mercury at 12 Leo, and tightly inconjunct asteroid Hephaistos, named for the Greek god ruling fire, at 11 Gemini (interestingly, the White House was in the midst of a “Hephaistos Return” at the time, with its natal Hephaistos at 18 Gemini).
So much for its history. What about its presidential credentials?
Let’s begin with Richard Nixon, the only US president to resign his office, in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Born 9 January 1913, Nixon had asteroid Whitehouse natally at 3 Sagittarius, semisquare the Sun at 19 Capricorn, suggesting a core connection to this energy, something he saw as part of his innermost being. Whitehouse is also exactly squared Venus, ruling popularity, at 3 Pisces; sextile Uranus, ruling shocks and surprises, at 2 Aquarius; and in an out-of-Sign opposition to Saturn, ruling career and the presidency itself, at 27 Taurus. Nixon also had natal Washingtonia at 14 Cancer, opposing his 19 Capricorn Sun and establishing his pull toward the capital; and natal America at 25 Cancer, also opposing the Sun but more importantly, conjunct natal Neptune at 24 Cancer, indicating the lies and deception practiced by Nixon against the nation.
When Nixon resigned his office on August 9, 1974, transit Whitehouse at 16 Sagittarius was exactly on his IC, the Nadir, or lowest point of the chart, and exactly trine the transit Sun at 16 Leo, identifying it as critical to the events of the day. Whitehouse is also exactly squared to transit Jupiter, ruling politics, at 16 Pisces, and just pulling out of orb with Neptune at 6 Sagittarius, ruling fraud, deception and espionage, so crucial to the Watergate story, as well as abdication or resignation. Whitehouse is once again stationary, having turned direct at that degree just three days prior, identifying the residence as the focus of attention, and a major turning point, a change of direction at the executive mansion.
Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, holds the dubious distinction of being the only man to sit in the White House who was never elected to national office. Chosen to replace Nixon’s first Vice President, Spiro Agnew, who was also forced to resign in disgrace, Ford was a congressman from Michigan. Appointed VP in 1973 after Nixon’s re-election, Ford served out the final two years of Nixon’s second presidential term but lost his bid for election in his own right to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Despite this, Whitehouse makes an impressive showing in his nativity as well (born 14 July 1913). At 11 Sagittarius, Whitehouse conjoins Ford’s Moon at 3 Sagittarius, implying a domestic connection at some point. Not only that, but with Ford’s Whitehouse broadly conjoined Nixon’s own, and his Moon exactly on it, there is a strong sense of continuity, of finishing the job left undone by his predecessor. Also like Nixon, there is a strong resonance with Venus and Saturn, in this case, an opposition to their pairing at 5 and 13 Gemini. And like Nixon, there is a sextile to Uranus at 6 Aquarius, denoting Ford’s role in the shock and disruption caused by Watergate and Nixon’s resignation. Ford’s natal Washingtonia at 8 Leo and America at 22 Leo both broadly conjoin natal Mercury at 16, with America also squared Mars at 19 Taurus and Washingtonia opposed Uranus.
Jimmy Carter (born 1 October 1924) has Whitehouse at 19 Aries, exactly conjunct asteroid Karma, a strong suggestion that his residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was fated to be. Whitehouse is incredibly well placed, in a Grand Trine with Carter’s Neptune/Venus combination at 21 and 23 Leo, and natal Jupiter at 14 Sagittarius. Whitehouse is also squared natal Pluto at 13 Cancer and inconjunct Mercury at 21 Virgo, which conjoins natal asteroid America at 27 Virgo. Washingtonia conjoins Neptune/Venus, exact on the latter at 23 Leo. Despite this apparent simpatico, Carter, a plain-spoken Georgia peanut farmer, felt like a fish out of water in Washington, failed to make friends or inspire the confidence of the American people, and faced extreme adversity with a flagging economy and the Iran hostage crisis. His difficulties may be seen in Whitehouse’s conjunctions to TNO Sedna, representing his political isolation, at 14 Aries, and asteroid Pelion at 20 Aries, named for a mountain in Greece and representing the “steep uphill climb.”
Ronald Reagan (born 6 February 1911) brought his own particular style to the presidency. While nostalgia is at the core of many conservative movements and personalities, Reagan turned this harking back to “the good old days that never were” into a political art. This may be explained in part by natal asteroid Whitehouse’s close conjunction with asteroid Eurydike, which represents a yearning for what has been lost, an attempt to retrieve the irretrievable. At 27 and 29 Aries respectively, both points also conjoin Reagan’s natal Saturn at 0 Taurus, symbol of his career personally, and the presidency generally. Reagan cleverly took advantage of the mood of exhaustion in the country, then wracked by civil rights, the Vietnam War, the oil and gas crisis, and the humiliation of the Iranian takeover of the American embassy, to promise a return to normalcy and the cultural values of our grandparents. His re-election campaign in 1984, with its theme of “Morning in America”, focused on this nostalgic theme in particular, and was dubbed “the Rose Garden campaign” for Reagan’s reluctance to leave the White House grounds.
In addition to Saturn, Whitehouse is tapped very strongly both into transpersonal energies, by a square to Uranus at 26 Capricorn and sextile to Pluto at 26 Gemini, and intimately personal energies, by square to Mercury at 21 Capricorn, which is also conjunct asteroid Washingtonia at 22 Capricorn. Whitehouse/Pluto, in particular, is reflective of Reagan’s desire to project power on the world stage. Whitehouse is also exactly sesquiquadrate asteroid America at 12 Sagittarius, itself exactly on the US Sibly Ascendant.
Just as Ford and Nixon’s presidencies were linked by similar Whitehouse placements, so too, were Reagan’s and his successor’s, his former vice president, George H. W. Bush. Born 12 June 1924, Bush senior sports a natal asteroid Whitehouse at 13 Aries which, like Jimmy Carter’s, is also conjunct TNO Sedna. Like Carter, Bush had difficulty connecting with the American people. His 1988 election was largely a response to the perceived economic boom under Reagan, with people voting essentially not so much for Bush, as for a third term of Reagan. Nevertheless, Whitehouse figures prominently in Bush’s chart, leaving little doubt as to the validity of his tenancy there.
Bush’s Whitehouse sits at the Apex of a kite pattern formed by a Grand Trine with Jupiter at 14 Sagittarius and Neptune at 18 Leo, opposing the Moon at 17 Libra, at the string of the Kite. Once again, as with Ford, we’re seeing a Moon/Whitehouse linkage that could suggest the executive mansion as a home at some point in the life. Whitehouse also squares natal Pluto at 11 Cancer, reflective of the expression of American power in the First Gulf War. Pluto conjoins Washingtonia at 18 Cancer, also in square to Whitehouse, while asteroid America at 16 Leo conjoins Neptune and trines Whitehouse, becoming part of the kite pattern.
Bill Clinton’s Whitehouse chart connections (born 19 August 1946) well reflect his presidency. At 25 Sagittarius, Whitehouse sextiles Jupiter, ruling politics, at 23 Libra, and is also trine and sesquiquadrate respectively to Clinton’s natal Sun at 26 Leo and Pluto at 11 Leo. One criticism of the Clinton administration was the way in which it “rented out” spare White House bedroom space to political supporters and major campaign contributors, possibly a manifestation of the linkage between asteroid Whitehouse and Jupiter, the planet ruling politics, excess and hospitality. The Sun contact indicates that attaining the White House was a central part of Clinton’s self-identity. The connection to Pluto is again about expression of power, as in the US intervention in Bosnia and Serbia, but also relates to scandal, which is Pluto-ruled. There is also a broad inconjunct to Clinton’s natal Moon at 20 Taurus, again suggesting a domestic connection to the residence.
But the kicker here is Whitehouse’s close conjunction with TNO Salacia at 23 Sagittarius, and the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius. Salacia is named for a Roman goddess from whom we derive our word “salacious”, meaning to convey undue sexual interest, lust or lasciviousness. The GC is a point which, when activated, virtually guarantees global attention or notice, and Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, publicized internationally, certainly fit the bill for that celestial energy, to a “T”.
Clinton’s natal Washingtonia at 25 Cancer is an exact match for TNO Tantalus, from which we derive our word “tantalize”, and together these conjoin the US Mercury, providing the American press (Mercury) with a tantalizing feast of sordid stories, from Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate, to the supposed murder of Vince Foster and the seemingly endless list of infidelities. Washingtonia also squares Jupiter at 23 Libra, providing the aspiration to national politics, while asteroid America at 20 Virgo exactly trines the Moon and squares Uranus.
George W. Bush (6 July 1946), born just a few weeks before Clinton, also has natal Whitehouse in Sagittarius, in the last degree. (What does it say about us as a nation that all our presidents, Carter through Bush junior, have Fire Sign Whitehouses?) Bush’s Whitehouse makes fewer major planetary connections than most presidents, but then, that’s likely natural, since he wasn’t really elected in the first place, but installed in a flawed Supreme Court decision in 2000. “Shrub”, as he is sometimes called to distinguish him from Bush senior, has only an inconjunct to Saturn, ruling career, at 26 Cancer. This is perhaps appropriate, since it was only due to an “adjustment” (inconjunct) in Florida’s vote count by the Supreme Court that Bush gained this pinnacle of his career.
There is one additional aspect to a minor body which is telling, however. Whitehouse is squared TNO Chaos at 24 Pisces, and with a presidential resume including the destruction of the World Trade Centers on 9/11, two failed and endless Middle East wars, doubling the national debt and a collapsed economy, Bush seems to have well fulfilled that natal potential. Asteroid Washingtonia at 10 Cancer conjoins the 13 Cancer Sun and sextiles Mars at 9 Virgo; asteroid America at 4 Virgo conjoins Mars, appropriate for a president who mired us in two wars.
Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961), of course, is the current occupant of the White House, and as in so many ways, he’s somewhat of an anomaly vis-à-vis his Whitehouse placement as well. At 13 Pisces, Obama’s natal Whitehouse breaks us out of the Fire Sign pattern of the prior seven chief executives. Its conjunction with asteroid Karma at 19 Pisces suggests he, too, was fated to reside there, just like Jimmy Carter, a president with whom he is often compared, to neither man’s credit. Whitehouse is also semisquare to natal Saturn at 25 Capricorn, closely inconjunct the 12 Leo Sun, and broadly opposed Pluto at 6 Virgo, binding themes of career (Saturn), self-identity (Sun) and the expression of power (Pluto), which for Obama has manifested less in open wars than in the “soft” struggle against terrorism (also Pluto-ruled) via such means as drone attacks and electronic surveillance.
Obama’s natal Washingtonia at 7 Capricorn is inconjunct the 12 Leo Sun, opposes Venus at 1 Cancer and sextiles Neptune at 8 Scorpio, while being exactly squared natal asteroid America at 7 Libra, itself in broad trine to Jupiter at 0 Aquarius.
So much for what’s come before. Can the placement of Whitehouse in the charts of leading 2016 contenders give us any clues as to who has an edge in the next presidential contest?
Let’s take a look at Mitt Romney first, who has already tried and lost (twice). Born 12 March 1947, natal asteroid Whitehouse at 22 Aquarius makes a good showing, squared an exact Moon/Jupiter conjunction at 27 Scorpio, and exactly squared asteroid America at 22 Scorpio, also conjunct the Moon/Jupiter pairing. You’d think with that sort of contact, it wouldn’t be so hard for Romney to get traction with the American people, especially as Whitehouse conjoins the US Moon at 27 Aquarius. But his 2008 bid failed to gain him the Republican nomination, and in 2012, though he became the GOP candidate, it was a rocky road, leading to defeat in November. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
Romney’s natal asteroid Washingtonia at 3 Leo conjoins Saturn at 2 Leo, a strong indicator of a pull toward the nation’s capital in a professional or career capacity. But Saturn can also deny or frustrate, and its conjunction with the Nadir at 6 Leo could suggest that a DC bid signals a low point in Romney’s fortunes, though it does grant an angular prominence that could serve him well.
(Author’s Note: On Friday, 30 January 2015, Romney pulled the plug on his tentative White House run, in a conference call with chief supporters and donors. With transit Whitehouse at 8 Leo closely opposing the transit Sun’s exact conjunction with Mercury retrograde at 10 Aquarius, it was a likely time for reappraisal and a change of course. The transit Sun/Mercury conjunction was atop Romney’s natal Venus at 8 Aquarius, prompting a review of his true desires (Venus). With transit asteroid NOT (#2857, a signifier of refusal or rejection of a course of action) at 10 Pisces conjoined Romney’s natal Mercury at 13 Pisces, plus transit Mars also there at 14 Pisces, upon reassessing the facts (Mercury retro), Romney decided (natal Mercury) he just didn’t want to proceed (NOT) with another campaign (Mars). Another factor was transit Eurydike at 25 Capricorn on Romney’s natal NOT at 23 Capricorn—an impetus not to dredge up the dead past, to realize that his time had come and gone.)
Mike Huckabee (born 24 August 1955) is another repeat offender in GOP presidential circles. He won seven states in the 2008 GOP primaries, including the Iowa caucus, but withdrew from the race after Super Tuesday, conceding the primacy to John McCain. Huckabee’s natal asteroid Whitehouse falls at 28 Scorpio, conjunct Washingtonia at 2 Sagittarius and exactly squared asteroid America at 28 Aquarius. This impressive concentration of presidential asteroids is strongly tapped into his core, in an out-of-sign T-Square with the 0 Virgo Sun, with Whitehouse also exactly squared his natal Venus/Mars conjunction at 28 Leo. Whitehouse also squares Pluto at 26 Leo, and trines Uranus at 29 Cancer, making Huckabee a force to be reckoned with, on paper at least.
2016 will be Jeb Bush’s first presidential run, if in fact he throws his hat into the ring as anticipated. Born 11 February 1953, natal asteroid Whitehouse at 16 Aries is a throwback to that string of presidents born with Whitehouse in Aries. With asteroid Busch close beside at 11 Aries, Whitehouse is broadly conjunct natal Venus at 9 Aries, closely squared Uranus at 15 Cancer (itself conjunct asteroid America at 18 Cancer), semisquare Mercury at 0 Pisces, and broadly opposed Neptune at 23 Libra, with Saturn just out of orb at 27 Libra. Asteroid Washingtonia at 3 Virgo is sesquiquadrate Whitehouse, and also exactly trined Mars at 3 Aries.
Hillary Clinton (born 10/26/1947) is in an unusual position vis-à-vis asteroid Whitehouse. Having already resided there, it’s hard to say whether her 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue potential has already been tapped, or there is more in store. At 5 Pisces, natal Whitehouse is trine her 2 Scorpio Sun, squared both Jupiter and asteroid America at 0 and 8 Sagittarius respectively, and broadly inconjunct Neptune at 11 Libra. There is also a very strong contact in the form of an opposition to natal asteroid Hillary at 6 Virgo. Asteroid Washingtonia at 21 Virgo is exactly semisextile Saturn at 21 Leo and exactly sextile Mercury at 21 Scorpio.
Of course, the 2016 field will not be limited to these four. Certainly on the GOP side, there’s likely to be at least half a dozen others, perhaps more, who see an advantage in running, even if they don’t think they have a shot at winning, whether that be building a national profile for a future run, selling a book, or increasing speaking fees. And although self-delusion often seems to be a prerequisite for a politician, asteroid Whitehouse’s placement in the charts profiled above does seem to indicate that a strong showing can lead to the attainment of that highest office the nation has to bestow.