Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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Day of the Dead Election, Part I

by Alex Miller-Mignone

November 2, 2004 will undoubtedly be one of the most significant dates in 21st century American history. An important, possibly make-or-break decision faces the American people, and the choice they make will determine the country’s course for the next quarter century, if not further.

November 2 is also the Day of the Dead, Mexico’s El Dia de los Muertos, correlating with Catholic All Souls Day, a day to honor those Christian souls who have died within the past year but are not quite up to saintly standard. This in turn is based in part on the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, another commemorative day when spirits of the dead were said to walk the land on their last journey to the afterlife, and the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. One thing is certain; someone’s political fortunes will die that day.

As if to add emphasis to this season of change, the US progressed sun shifts signs on November 1, the day before the election, a phenomenon which occurs only once in 30 years. The last sign change was 20 March 1975, from Capricorn to Aquarius. It occurred shortly after Nixon’s resignation and was followed closely by the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. Moving now from Aquarius to Pisces, the combination of Sign ingress and the election could propel Americans toward making a major change.

Although we think most often of its Uranian urge to freedom, equality and individuation, Aquarius has its darker, reactionary side, a remnant of Saturn’s former rulership of the sign before Uranus’ discovery. Saturnian connections to Big Business can be seen as well, and have become increasingly apparent in American Administrations over the past 30 years, leading us to this point where Ralph Nader can fairly accurately describe Bush as "a corporation masquerading as a person."

The temptation is to see the US Sun’s progression into Pisces as heralding the era of the common man, a period of spirituality and unity, empathy and understanding for others. Pisces, however, can also be extremely self-deceptive and easily led astray by hopes and dreams into unprofitable avenues. It can also signify the zealot, the martyr who will go to extremes and offer even his own life in support of his ideology.

A further indication of change in the wind is Saturn’s position on Election Day. Saturn is representative of both the office of the Presidency and its current holder, as well as the Administration in general. Since Kennedy, no sitting US President, with the exception of Nixon and Clinton, has been re-elected with Saturn in aspect to a Black Hole on Election Day. Nixon was forced to resign in 1974, less than two years later to escape impeachment. Clinton was actually impeached by the House of Representatives two years after his own re-election in 1996, though the Senate blocked the proceedings and he finished his term.

But in 1976 Gerald Ford was defeated with Saturn at 16 Leo in exact square to Black Hole Eurydice at 16 Taurus; in 1980 it was Jimmy Carter’s turn with Saturn at 5 Libra in a T-square with Black Holes Parvati and Durga at 4 Cancer and Capricorn; in 1984 Reagan easily won re-election with Saturn at 18 Scorpio galactically unaspected; George Bush senior was thrown out in 1992 with Saturn exactly conjunct Black Hole Kybele at 12 Aquarius.

Now in 2004 George W. Bush faces Saturn at 27 Cancer, within a degree of conjunction to Black Hole Kali at 28 Cancer, and exactly square Black Holes Kore/Persephone at 27 Aries. Even if re-elected, the possibility of history repeating itself for a third time via impeachment proceedings seems likely, given the questionable statements, possibly half-truths, possibly outright lies, made by Dubya to Congress regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the reasons for taking the nation to war.

These points both argue for a change of Administration in 2004, but there is one nagging indicator that change may not be able to occur: Tecumseh’s curse. This intriguing bit of American legend has been in operation since 1840, and has become the Grande Dame of the superstitions surrounding the presidency.

The curse stems from the death of the shaman brother of famous Shawnee chief Tecumseh, who was killed in a skirmish led by then Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison in 1811. This shaman, known as ‘The Prophet,’ was avenged by his successor with a curse on the American Presidency, causing every US president elected in a year ending with ‘0' to die before completing his term, or terms, in office. These elections just happen to coincide with the 20-year cycle of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, which since 1840 have been in Earth Signs, about to mutate into the Air element.

Whenever this ‘Grand Mutation’ occurs, there is a break in the cycle, when the new element is tested with one conjunction before the cycle of the old element is completed. Why Jupiter and Saturn in conjunction should have this alarming effect is fairly easily determined—Saturn is, of course, the Chief Executive or Head of Sate, and Jupiter is well known to occur prominently in charts for demise. Why this effect seems limited to US Presidents and is not a global phenomenon is another matter, and perhaps one attributable to the curse.

The first victim of the curse was none other than the man responsible for the original shaman’s death, William Henry Harrison, who was elected to the presidency in 1840, succeeded to the office on March 24, 1841, caught a cold which turned into pneumonia while delivering his inaugural speech, and died less than a month later.

Since then, the curse has operated like clockwork: Lincoln elected in 1860 and assassinated in 1865, before completing his second term; Garfield was elected in 1880 and assassinated in 1881; McKinley was re-elected in 1900 and assassinated in 1901; Harding was elected in 1920 and died in 1921; Roosevelt was re-elected for the third term in 1940, and died in 1945 shortly after winning his fourth; Kennedy was elected in 1960 and assassinated in 1963. In 1980, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction fell in the Air Sign of Libra, beginning the Grand Mutation; Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency in November, and the following March was shot by John Hinkley Jr. It was a close call, but Reagan survived, possibly because of the element change; it may be worth noting that he was shot in the lung (Air).

Therefore, if former precedent is to be met, Dubya shouldn’t leave the White House alive. Elected in 2000, a year ending in not one, but three zeroes, and with a return to the conjunction in Earth Sign Taurus, his number would seem to be up. If he’s still standing by Election Day, it would seem his re-election is inevitable, if only to give the curse a chance to fulfill itself. But there is always the possibility that Dubya could be defeated and still expire before his term does in the interim between Election and Inauguration Days. He’s already had one brush with the Grim Reaper when on January 13, 2002, he choked on a pretzel and passed out while watching a football game, alone except for his dogs. Is there another pretzel out there with Dubya’s name on it?

The significance of that event should perhaps not be downplayed; it was a scant few weeks later that "Messianic Bush" emerged in the 2002 State of the Union speech, now famous for the utterance of those infamous lines about the "Axis of Evil" which were precursors to the PR build-up for the invasion of Iraq. Dubya may have felt himself spared from the pretzel by God, who had a special mission for him to fulfill. His rhetoric has certainly been messianic and apocalyptic since that time, and he evinces a certitude and fanaticism worthy of Bin Laden himself in his desire to impose democracy on the Middle East. Which begs the question, with thousands of Iraqi civilians dead, with damaged infrastructure, internal strife and no end in sight, and with a $150 billion bill (and climbing) for the American taxpayer, just who is terrorizing whom?

Perhaps we’ll have it figured out by Election Day, and the Day of the Dead will be our national Day of Rebirth.

Alex Miller-Mignone, photo
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