[Editor’s note: we are delighted to publish this article by Alex Miller, with thanks to Alex and his website, Alex’s Asteroid Astrology, an incomparable resource for asteroid-related astrology. There you’ll find in-depth astrological analyses of breaking events, as well as the astrological meanings of many mythic named asteroids.]
Beto O’Rourke officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president on March 14, in a taped announcement that was aired online and in several media outlets simultaneously, such as MSNBC. I kinda sorta hate technology at times like these, because it overly complicates matters, astrologically speaking.
Like, where do you cast a chart for an online announcement? I chose El Paso, Texas, since in the 3-plus-minute statement, O’Rourke specifically invites supporters to join him “here in El Paso” for a kick-off rally on March 30. The implication is that, whenever it was actually recorded, the filming was done in El Paso, his home base, though since the release time there was 4:00 AM, and Beto was pressing the flesh in Iowa on the campaign trail a few hours later, I doubt he was in El Paso and awake at the time the statement aired.
So we’re not going to focus on angles too much for this, since we can’t be sure. But amidst the techno-confusion, there’s one thing we can be sure of—Beto doesn’t have an astrologer!
Or does he? There’s one very strong signature in the chart that couldbe professionally endorsed by an astrologer and another that’s pretty powerful, if El Paso is indeed the correct place to cast the chart. But these factors are major planetary energies only, and are somewhat mitigated by the astrological “minor leagues”.
So let’s dig in. First off, Mercury is retrograde! This is never a good time to start anything, much less a presidential run! Whatever else Beto’s hypothetical astrologer may have liked about the date, s/he could be sued for astrologic malpractice for suggesting a rollout under these circs.
The striking planetary picture mentioned above is an exact T-Square, formed of the Sun at 23 Pisces as focal, exactly squaring an exact opposition of the Moon at 23 Gemini and Jupiter at 23 Sagittarius. That looks good on the surface, very energetic, (squares), attention-getting (Sun), involving the public (Moon) and the political sphere (Jupiter), expansive (also Jupiter) but homey (Moon—the announcement appears to have been filmed in Beto’s home).
But the devil, as they say, is in the details. That Moon is also exactly conjunct TNO Chaos, a point which represents exactly what it sounds like: anarchy, confusion, turmoil, disorder and disarray. Linked to a factor representing the public, this is not especially helpful. Linked to the Sun, which here represents O’Rourke (and is endorsed by a conjunction with asteroid Roberts, for Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, at 26 Pisces), and to Jupiter, which rules politics, and we have a rather troubling potential for things to go downhill. Fast.
There is another side to Chaos, but it’s not usually seen in human affairs. Originally, Chaos represented the creative void from which all things emerge. In that light, it’s interesting to note that Beto is seen as a blank slate, more inspirational and aspirational than policy-driven. This may change as his campaign deepens, but in the meantime it allows people to project their hope onto him, much as they did with Obama in 2007.
In addition to the T-Square itself, there are a surprising number of points at 23 degrees of other signs, interacting with it. The cosmos seems particularly focused on that degree at this time. Asteroid Askalaphusat 23 Aquarius and TNO Erisat 23 Aries form bookend semisextiles to the Sun, each sextile and trine the other planets in the T-Square. And asteroid Whitehouse at 23 Taurus is sextile the Sun, semisextile the Moon and inconjunct Jupiter.
Eris suggests disaffection, strife or discord, and represents populations which are disenfranchised, downtrodden, or feel slighted, neglected or injured in some way. It’s a retaliatory energy, and its union with Uranus, opposed Jupiter at the 2016 election, brought us Donald Trump, who effectively harnessed those elements in the electorate that felt bypassed or cheated by the powers that be for so long, in a world which is changing too rapidly to encompass them. Asteroid Whitehouse’s importance to the pattern is self-explanatory; future occupancy of the Oval Office is why we’re here talking about this in the first place.
Let’s take Askalaphus by itself, or rather, in discussion about its celestial bedfellows. Askalaphus is immersed in a bundle of points currently traveling together, which comprise one of the more potentially deleterious elements of this announcement chart. In the twelve degrees between 14 and 26 Aquarius we find asteroids Icarus, Betti, Achilles, Photographica, Karma, Askalaphus, Damocles, Texas, and the planet Venus. Whew! That’s a lot of energy focused on one narrow bandwidth.
So to break it down: Icarus represents rash, reckless actions taken heedless of the consequences, often in youth; Betti is our closest celestial referent for “Beto”, personalizing this energy to him; Achilles describes an inherent weakness or vulnerability; its exact conjunction with Photographica suggests this has something to do with visual evidence, an image of some sort; Karma is a fated event, typically based in the consequences of our prior actions; Askalaphus is the tale-bearer or whistleblower, someone who reveals secrets; Damocles is the doom hanging unseen overhead, and its exact conjunction with Texas indicates a possible geographic origin for those at risk. Venus says this could be about a woman, an intimate relationship, finances, or all three. Its inclusion here, as a major planetary energy, considerably bumps up the importance of the grouping over all.
Put that all together, and it’s disturbing indeed. Is there some youthful (Icarus) romantic (Venus) indiscretion (Icarus) waiting in the wings (Damocles) to bite Beto (Betti) in the ass (Karma), something for which there is concrete photographic evidence (Photographica), something which money (Venus) was supposed to cover up, but which is now coming to light (Askalaphus), exposing a flaw (Achilles) and threatening to destroy (Damocles) the candidacy of the former Lone Star state (Texas) Representative (Betti) in a fated comeuppance (Karma)?
If we look to Beto’s natal chart, there is something equally disturbing which could fulfill this potential. Born 26 September 1972 (no time available), Beto has two pairs of points which suggest possible sexual peccadilloes, or a menacing weakness. The first is a conjunction of TNO Salacia at 0 Aquarius with asteroid Hebe at 4 Aquarius. Salacia, the root of our word “salacious”, refers to scandal, typically of a sexual nature, but something titillating, shocking, or sensational, in the worst sense of that word. Hebe is named for the ever-pubescent, nubile daughter of Zeus and Hera; her name is incorporated into the psychologic term “hebephilia”, which refers to sexual attraction for post-pubescent but legally underage individuals (as opposed to the umbrella term pedophilia, correctly applied only to attraction for pre-pubescents).
Both these points are at station and trine Beto’s 3 Libra Sun. This makes them embedded factors in his psyche, still points upon which the rest of the chart revolves, and gives them an outsized importance in his life and biography. As far as we know, there is nothing in Beto’s past to account for this energy, but what we do know suggests there may be. In his twenties Beto played bass for the punk rock group “Foss”; this is not an employment which coaxes those so employed to tread the straight and narrow. One can easily conceive of a host of romantic encounters which might have produced entanglements, possibly with underage fans, possibly resulting in unwanted pregnancies, possibly involving cash payouts for abortions or child support, any of which could yield the scandals Salacia is noted for.
Please note: I am not saying this is the case; I’m saying it’s possible, and the prevailing transits for Beto’s announcement bring that possibility to the fore.
Especially so when we consider the other pair involved here, which are Damocles and Achilles, at 18 and 22 Aquarius respectively. Note that these points are repeated in the transit sky cluster, which revolves around these natal points, which again, represent an inherent flaw or weakness which threatens to destroy the native, and having that doom about to close in. This “double dose” of Achilles/Damocles energy is particularly troubling: I don’t know what it is, or when it will emerge, but there is undoubtedly somethingfrom the candidate’s past yet to be revealed, which could sink him.
There are two other precise pairings which merit mention. Asteroid Washingtonia exactly conjunct Uranus at 0 Taurus suggest an ability to effect a major shake-up in DC and the federal government, while Mars exact with Nike at 18 Taurus could signal a winning campaign, in isolation. An exact trine to Saturn at 18 Capricorn defines what the campaign is for, with Saturn ruling the presidency itself. There is a Grand Trine formed by a trine from Mars/Nike and Saturn to asteroid America at 16 Virgo, establishing which country’s presidency we’re talking about. This becomes a Kite with America’s opposition to Neptune, which then acts as the “string”, guiding its manifestation. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer something a little more stable and predictable than Neptune calling the shots, if I were running for president.
And speaking of that Saturn, it’s part and parcel of the Angular issue we discussed up front, assuming El Paso is the correct venue for the chart. This yields a 19 Capricorn Ascendant, smack dab between Saturn and Pluto at 22 Cap, a very powerful combination, projecting both power (Pluto) and gravitas (Saturn) into the public image (Ascendant). Transit asteroid Troemper is there as well, at 14 Cap, putting The Donald into focus for the moment. Natally, O’Rourke has Troemper at 28 Capricorn, conjoined that Salacia/Hebe and also stationary, indicating that Trump is a major influence on his life. You can also bet that if there are any sexual skeletons in Beto’s closet, Trump will take full advantage of the situation.
As to O’Rourke’s PNAs, we’ve spoken of asteroid Betti above. Transit asteroid O’Rourke at 11 Gemini is sandwiched between Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 4 Gemini, and Nemesis, that point of self-undoing and ruin, at 14 Gemini. It’s an ambiguous grouping at best. It’s interesting that natally, Beto also has O’Rourke and Nemesis conjunct, at 19 and 22 Aries, so perhaps this transit combination isn’t as afflictive as it might appear, if Beto has managed to integrate these energies over the years, directing their focus out toward others rather than internalizing what is directed at him from the outside.
Transit O’Rourke/Nemesis squares America, suggesting that, whatever happens, it’s not going to be a useful or productive relationship for either party. A T-Square is formed by Neptune at 16 Pisces, exactly opposing America. This suggests fanaticism, an inability to judge reality properly, hope trumping practicality, choices based on fantasy and wishful thinking, followed by disillusion and a disappointing outcome.
We also briefly mentioned asteroid Roberts (surname form of “Robert”), which at 26 Pisces conjoins both the Sun and retrograde Mercury, at 24 Pisces. This highlights Beto for the day, pulling focus (Sun) and making news (Mercury). Certainly the media attention was acute, with reporters dogging every step Beto took on his maiden voyage of Iowa later that same day. Like the Sun, Roberts squares Jupiter, granting a bonhomous, larger-than-life aura, and perhaps encouraging over-extension.
There’s no doubt O’Rourke has “it”, whatever “it” is. He’s a superb retail politician, very comfortable in his skin. His high-powered style is fueled by a natal solar conjunction of Mars at 27 Virgo, Pluto at 1 Libra, and Mercury at 9 Libra, all with the 3 Libra Sun. He gestures frequently, something we can attribute to Mercury conjunct the Sun, which seeks to self-express through movement. But that animal magnetism, that’s Pluto on the Sun; and the powerful delivery, masculine aura, that’s Mars there, too.
But a square from asteroid Arachne at 0 Cancer indicates he’s more complicated than he appears; there are inner workings, one might even say machinations; Beto lives very much in a world of his own devising, and has the ability to ensnare others, almost effortlessly. “Come into my parlor, and fill out these voter registrations,” says Arachne to the electorate fly; before they know it, they’re trapped in Beto’s web.
Also squaring the Sun is Victoria at 9 Cancer; Beto is generally lucky and successful, usually lands on his feet. It’s not many people who can parlay six years in Congress and a failed Senate campaign into a major presidential candidacy; Beto may be one of them. The problem with this placement is that it fails to prepare the native for when a loss does arise; Beto was reportedly rather depressed and deflated after his November 2018 loss to Ted Cruz, and retreated from the public eye to “find himself.” Sun/Victoria’s record of success doesn’t allow for much practice with defeat, which can be taken gracelessly or without a proper perspective of its place in the overall context of the life.
Asteroid Roberta (feminine form of Robert) at 19 Leo is tightly inconjunct Saturn, the Ascendant and Pluto, establishing O’Rourke as a serious candidate (Saturn), potentially transformational (Pluto) and very much in the public eye at the moment (Ascendant). But there’s an adjustment required, the keynote energy of the inconjunct; something somewhere needs tweaking. It also squares Whitehouse, the ultimate goal, suggesting a rocky road in getting there, though having a PNA connected to the goal is not a bad thing at all, indicating a strong personal connection. Roberto/Whitehouse forms a T-Square by opposing that troublesome Aquarian supercluster, again firmly tying Beto to its energies.
There’s an interesting grouping in the natal chart of Washingtonia at 22 Sagittarius with Nike at 26 and Jupiter at 0 Capricorn, which prefigures a political victory propelling him to DC. That sounds promising, but it’s already happened, with his election to Congress in 2012. I’m reminded of Hillary Clinton’s startling connections to Whitehouse natally, seeming to give her an edge in 2016, but that energy had already been utilized in her years there as First Lady. Like a spent bullet, the aspect just didn’t have the force it could have otherwise, and Beto may already have gleaned what harvest there was in this pattern for him.
Regardless, Jupiter is playing with this zone in 2019, revving up and magnifying its potential, and returns to its natal place at the end of the year, to begin a new cycle of growth and prosperity, but well before any voting actually begins, perhaps indicating Beto peaks too early.
This is the worst rollout chart I have assessed so far, though to be fair, the others were based on the first kickoff rally, and not the simple statement of intent. We’ll have to look at Beto’s March 30 rally and see what may have changed in the meantime.
I like Beto O’Rourke a lot, but like many of his competitors for the Democratic nomination there may be a serious gap between charisma and competence, energy and experience. Can he bridge the gap in the top spot, or is Beto better as a crowd-working Number Two? It’s a lot to bet the White House on, especially with the mess Trump will be leaving. And do we really want to take that chance?