John Bolton is a neoconservative who has been serving the causes of the New Right since the early 1980s. Unlike most neocons, who tend to stay in ivory towers and think tanks, Bolton has worked within the political structure since his college days. It is said that his political views have not changed since his teens when he supported Barry Goldwater’s presidential bid. Attending Yale Law School, he befriended Clarence Thomas and others in the new Federalist Society (a group that seeks to abolish the Securities Exchange Commission and curtail the powers of the EPA, among other goals). His actions after the 2000 election, when he effectively stopped the recount in Miami-Dade, resulted in Dick Cheney’s saying that Bolton can have “anything he wants” in the new administration. Visit Tom Barry’s excellent and extensive history of Bolton for more details.
Bolton is known for his extreme intelligence and his stubborn ideology. He is also known for his rude and arrogant behavior, and in his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations committee yesterday his contempt for his questioners was clear and unmitigated. A recess appointment (and therefore uncontested) for the position of UN Ambassador, he has proved to be as undiplomatic a diplomat as his reputation as his previous derision of the UN would suggest. He is well-known for caring little what others think about him, and for being “stunningly impolitic” in a the diplomatic world.
Bolton’s astrological chart shows he is a triple Scorpio, with Sun, Mercury and Chiron all in Scorpio. Scorpio is the sign of emotional intensity and laser-like focus; the Scorpio nature tends to be rather fearless and intense. Scorpio (ruled by Pluto as well as Mars) is also focused on issues of power. Scorpio is highly sensitive to power on a personal level: who has it and how to get it, and they are usually not squeamish about using power to manipulate. A certain level of charisma is usually bestowed by planets in Scorpio that often assists in the manipulation process if the Scorpio personal power is misused.
Bolton’s Sun is nearly exactly conjunct Chiron, the wounded healer archetype, and this should dispel any airy-fairy notion of Chiron indicating the healing profession. Chiron is the wounder as well as the healer, and when conjunct the Sun it can indicate a deep childhood wound in one’s ability to develop a personal identity as represented by the Sun. I was unable to find any information on Bolton’s childhood other than the fact that his father was a firefighter and his mother a homemaker, but you can be sure that there was some issue, probably involving his father, that created a painful situation for him early in life. Bolton’s Moon is in sensitive Cancer, showing that below the rough exterior he has an extremely sensitive interior. It’s not uncommon for Cancer individuals, particularly of the male variety, to conceal their inner vulnerability with a hard and crusty outer shell of disdain and coldness. Bolton also has Venus in Libra, the quintessential diplomat since Libra is ruled by Venus and both are known for their innate fairness and ability to get along with others (although Libra is also known for its manipulation through flattery). All of this suggests that Bolton’s bluster is more style than substance, developed for the purpose of controlling the power balance.
One of the most notable factors in Bolton’s chart is the opposition from Uranus (radical thought) to Mars (aggressive instinct). Bolton’s Mars is in Sagittarius, showing someone who craves freedom so his ultra-conservative nature may be somewhat surprising. However, Bolton’s conservatism is more on the Libertarian end of the spectrum, desiring to abolish regulations and shrink government. However, his desire to expand the power of the United States abroad plants him firmly in the neocon camp, demonstrating the radical nature of his ideology (Mars/Uranus) and the fact that he cannot be easily pigeonholed. The opposition of Mars to Uranus nearly always shows a rebellious nature and a resistance to being controlled in any way.
So where does his conservative nature arise in the chart? Perhaps from the trine of Jupiter (values and ideology) in Capricorn (tradition and hard work) to Saturn (restriction) in earthy Virgo (cautious and critical). Capricorn and Virgo are both earth signs, and earth signs tend to be more conservative in nature. Virgo in particular is conservative because of its extreme caution and dislike of anything new or unexpected, and Capricorn shows a deeply ambitious and practical nature.
Transiting Pluto is passing over Bolton’s Mars right now (beginning late last year), empowering (Pluto) him to assert (Mars) his ideas (Uranus opposition), and it is likely that his position will be made permanent under this transit. During this same period, transiting Jupiter hit Bolton’s Mercury, creating a favorable (Jupiter) environment for communication and expression (Mercury). However, Jupiter is also making a square to Pluto in Bolton’s chart, showing that the confirmation will not be an easy one and he will be blocked from several directions. The month of August will be intense for Bolton as Saturn conjuncts Pluto and the structures in his life (Saturn) confront the inner urge for personal growth and transformation (Pluto). However, there is little doubt that his influence under the current administration will continue to expand, setting the stage for additional challenges in global politics.