AUGUST 2008 Black hole case studyY
by Alex Miller-Mignone
“There’s no question about it. In the next forty years, a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy
Washington Post interview
27 May 1961
RFK wasn’t off by much in that bit of prognostication from the spring of 1961, when brother Jack’s Camelot was just hitting its stride and all things seemed possible. Forty-seven years later, after the agony and violence of the sixties, the cultural and sexual revolution of the seventies, the conservative backlash of the eighties, the political pragmatism of the boom nineties, and the debacle of the Bush years, the promise inherent in that statement has almost come to fruition in the person of Barack Obama.
Almost. The final hurdle is yet to be leapt, and even if in its protracted battle the Democratic primary sometimes seemed to come down to the simple equation, “Are you racist or sexist?”, the instance of a black man at the threshold of supreme American power is in a very real sense the culmination of the Kennedys’ vision of a Great Society, and an impressive marker of just how far we as a nation have come.
Many times in the course of this campaign, Obama has been compared to the Kennedys, particularly younger brother Bobby, and with Ted Kennedy’s full-throated endorsement of his candidacy just months before the Massachusetts Senator’s likely terminal diagnosis of malignant glioma, it does indeed seem that a generational torch has been passed.
Obama’s personal myth includes a Kennedy connection, albeit an inaccurate one. Although the actual African student scholarship program funded by the Kennedys did not begin until the year after his father’s emigration, Obama was raised with the understanding that it was virtually via the personal intervention of the 35th president that his white Kansan mother met his black Kenyan father. It is not history, but sometimes myth can be a far stronger influence than reality.
Astrologically, there are many Deep Space parallels between Obama and the two elder Kennedy brothers, and between the brothers themselves. The astrological charts of all three men show potent connections from the Sun to Black Holes, Quasars and Masers, a winning combination nevertheless not without its pitfalls.
JFK’s 7 Gemini Sun conjoined the Maser at 6 Gemini, and was squared the Quasar at 5 Pisces and the Black Hole at 6 Virgo. Maser energy is volatile, sometimes even violent or dangerous, but can indicate the ability to excite and enthuse others, and provides an electric, exhilarating charisma which others gravitate to naturally. The Black Hole is also compelling, drawing others into the orbit effortlessly, garnering their support, allowing the native to recreate or adapt the world to his vision. It also enables the native to impart this special vision or sense of reality to others, in just the way John Kennedy laid out his view of American citizenship, and challenged us to create his Great Society, and literally reach for the moon. The Quasar provides a grounding which ensures visibility and success, reward and recognition for achievements. But the potential for violence inherent in the Maser caught up with JFK, and in that Black Hole twinkling of an eye, all of our realities were forever changed.
Robert Kennedy’s chart is very similar, with the Sun at 27 Scorpio exactly conjunct a Quasar, exactly opposed the 27 Taurus Maser, and exactly squared the 27 Aquarius Black Hole. Bobby repeated the pattern of attractive charisma, outstanding achievement, and tragic demise pioneered by his elder brother. Even more than Jack, Bobby evinced the sort of “Rock Star” impact on crowds formerly reserved for Elvis or the Beatles, and the national outpouring of grief at his loss was all the more remarkable in that he had not yet attained the highest office in the land. With the Quasar conjunct the Sun, RFK’s potential for making an impact on the American psyche or way of life as president was even greater than John’s, and it can be argued that in his work as Attorney General and in the War on Poverty, and for Civil Rights, his contributions went deeper and were longer lasting than anything John achieved.
Obama shares these same patterns, with his 12 Leo Sun conjoined a Maser, like JFK, and exactly opposed a Black Hole at 12 Aquarius, trine the Quasar at 10 Aries. As with both Kennedys, his charm is best exerted on the masses, and may be less effective one-on-one. The Black Hole pulls in huge crowds for Obama to work his Maser magic upon, more than 80,000 showing up for an open air venue in Oregon, 35,000 for a center city rally in Philadelphia. The Quasar’s effectiveness has brought him from a mixed race, fatherless childhood through a Harvard education and state and national government office, to the brink of his aspirations at the gate of the White House.
But Obama is different, too. Both Kennedys, with their Suns in square to Black Holes, manifested change and spurred social movements, but they also created strife, and as much ill opinion as support. With Obama’s Sun opposed a Black Hole, he is a blank slate which others write upon, projecting their own desires or fears onto the void of his Black Hole Sun. Thus, he is the post-partisan, post-racial Great Hope of Progressivism for some, and the proto-Jihadist, Black Liberation theologist radical for others. The extent to which he can catch hold of his image, and fashion it into what he wants to project, will greatly determine the outcome of this race. The Quasar in trine is not nearly as active and engaged as RFK’s solar conjunction, or JFK’s solar square, so his eventual contributions may be limited, but he has the same potential for violent disaster in the Sun/Maser that brought down both Kennedy brothers. In short, he has fewer natural advantages and just as many risks.
There are other similarities. Both Robert Kennedy and Obama share Neptune square the Sun, which may account for the level of idealistic fervor and almost spiritual veneration with which others receive them, although ironically, it was Jack Kennedy, with only a fairly broad sextile between his Sun and Neptune, whose White House is credited with the sort of style and glamour we often associate with Neptune. Sun/Neptune also implies a difficulty in seeing oneself clearly, and in a public figure it tempts the possibility of a martyr complex which may find fulfillment in giving one’s life for one’s country.
RFK and Obama are both the owners of a Black Hole Mercury, Kennedy with the planet of communication and public speaking at 19 Sagittarius conjunct the Black Hole at 18 Sagittarius, and Obama with his 2 Leo Mercury in an exact conjunction. This affords each a sweeping rhetorical reach, but it is undoubtedly JFK who will be remembered as a quotable phrasemaker, perhaps because his Mercury at 20 Taurus is stationary direct and within the orb of not one but two Black Holes, at 16 and 24 Taurus. The words spoken by Bobby Kennedy and Barack Obama are inspiring and uplifting in their moment in time, but ephemeral and fleeting, as is typical of quixotic Black Hole activity. But the power of Jack Kennedy’s Mercury at station overrides this handicap, and continues to challenge us down the decades to ask not what our country can do for us.
All three have Black Hole Venus, JFK’s at 16 Gemini opposing a Black Hole at 17 Sagittarius, RFK’s at 15 Capricorn squared another at 13 Libra, and Obama’s at 1 Cancer in exact square to the supermassive Black Hole center of Galaxy M-87 at 1 Libra. This combination has definite issues with fidelity in relationships. Jack and Bobby were both noted for extramarital affairs, Jack more so, and the brothers were rumored to have “shared” Marilyn Monroe. Obama has shown no signs of this proclivity thus far, but his ability to raise cash, also Venus-ruled, has been astounding. More than $265 million was raised by the Obama campaign in the primary season, with another $300 million their goal for the general election. With a $52 million take for June, Obama is well on his way to that figure.
Both Kennedys have Mars within two degrees of a Black Hole, Jack at 18 Taurus and Bobby at 4 Scorpio. Obama’s Mars is a bit further removed; at 22 Virgo it squares the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius by a wide four degrees. This may spare him the violent end shared by both brothers. Black Hole Mars may at times veil its anger, but it is there, just below the surface, a potent force to be dealt with; at other times its presence is never in any doubt, and the native is noted for tempestuous outbursts. The combination also provides a high energy reservoir which helps the native meet the intolerable demands of running for the world’s most powerful office, but is in itself an invitation to dramatic change via violent action.
All three share Black Hole Saturn as well, JFK’s at 22 Taurus conjunct the anomaly at 24 Taurus, RFK’s at 18 Scorpio opposed another Black Hole at 16 Taurus, and Obama’s at 25 Capricorn squared a third at 24 Aries. Black Hole Saturn channels immense amounts of energy into career, but it can also be their undoing, a constant drain on resources that takes far more than it returns. Both Kennedys were impressively successful in career matters, but surely for Jack and Bobby it was also career that led directly to their early deaths. Black Hole Saturn could also indicate an important transformational leader, someone who propels us from one reality or state of being into another. In John F. Kennedy’s case, he certainly set us on a different path, and is still a benchmark for presidential popularity 45 years after his death. RFK had that same potential to transform the office of the presidency and the nation at large, and make a lasting impact, and so does Obama. But as Bush’s Black Hole Saturn has shown us, such intense transformation per se is not always positive.
Is it mere nostalgia for a lost innocence that rekindles the Kennedy flame at intervals since those tragic shootings four decades ago? Or is it the pathos of those lives cut short that tempts us to believe they could have made a difference, that we as individuals and as a nation could have been better, brighter, and more of the shining exemplar of freedom and democracy that they told us we could be? Can Obama recreate the magic and potential of those lost years, or will we finally accept that their power is and always has been in the yearning for them, in the mythic landscapes they evoke, and never in reality?
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 Alixilamirorim@aol.com.