Astrological Musings

Dharmaruci has a great post today on what he calls “conviction politicians,” those who “pursue a particular course of action regardless.”

Politicians frequently present themselves as “conviction politicians” in order to convince voters that they are principled, that they will not be swayed by the demands of political expediency and career aspirations. What it comes to mean when they are in a position of leadership is somewhat different and less favourable: it tends to mean that they are the sort of politician who will pursue a particular course of action regardless, that they have a certain ‘gut instinct’ as to what is right that they are determined to pursue.

‘Conviction’ is not an air quality, astrologically speaking. It is a ‘gut instinct’, and it is rigid. It is Scorpionic. I have always thought that to have such convictions about the right course of action – which can be an appealing quality to voters – you need the ability to ignore inconvenient facts. Not consciously ignore, but actually be opaque to them, so that to you it’s as if they don’t exist. So here we also have a Neptunian quality, the ability to delude oneself.

He has a few choice words for American politicians and those who elect him, but those words only hurt because they’re true. ::grin:: Dharma says this about President Bush:

Though he may or may not be able to understand a page of print in front of him (opinion seems to be divided here), he certainly does not base his decisions on reason. His believes in his gut instinct and that it will ultimately be proved right. It is a sort of magical thinking. That is why, for example, there was very little planning as to what to do after the successful invasion of Iraq, and he was able to keep repeating the mantra of ‘staying the course’ over Iraq, in the face of all the facts.

Sometimes politicians are saying something for the sake of expediency, and we know it’s not true and we know that they know it’s not true. It’s not entirely satisfactory, but that seems to be part of how politics works. What is worrying about conviction politicians like George Bush, however, is that they will say things that are patently not true, but you get the sense that they actually believe what they are saying.

Astrologically, GWB has Pluto Rising in Leo and Sun in Cancer, between them giving him his ruthlessness and primitive, unconscious ‘gut instinct’ way of operating. I don’t want to offend anyone here, but America has a capacity for electing stupid leaders like Bush and Reagan almost BECAUSE they are stupid. “Ah, you’re thick like me, I can trust that!” And the genius of these leaders is that they know exactly the sort of stupid thing to say that will win them votes. Like Ronald Reagan saying about his ballet dancer son, “He is not gay. We made sure of that!” Or George Bush saying, “People misunderestimate me.” Oh yes, you’re not one of those tricksy, liberal intellectuals, we can trust you!

To be fair, the UK and the US have a different method of electing leaders. In the UK, our leaders are elected by their fellow MPs (or, in the case of the Tories, were until recently), so being the new kid on the block with mob appeal ain’t going to get you elected leader. What I admire about the American system are the checks and balances built into it which are proving so effective at present.

Back to GWB. He also has Moon conjunct Jupiter in Libra in the 3rd House. This is the chart of someone who potentially has a good mind, who in fact probably DOES have a good mind when he bothers to use it. But the Moon is conjunct Chiron, so there is a problem with it, and it is square to the Sun in Cancer, which seems to win out. Maybe some years down the line, when Pluto hits this square, and his father has died and he has some distance from the failure and humiliation of his last 2 years in office, he will be able to reflect on the shortcomings of gut instinct on its own, and in so doing empower his Libra Moon. Don’t get me wrong, ‘gut instinct’ is a powerful and necessary part of our make-up – and who would not be ruled by it when faced with a survival situation? – but it can also get things terribly wrong if reason and reflection are not also properly honoured.

GWB’s Sun in Cancer is in the 12th House, so here we see the Neptunian element that seems also to be necessary to make a conviction politician, the ability to delude oneself and so maintain self-belief by shutting out inconvenient facts. This Neptunian element (which we also saw in Thatcher) also gives a redeemer quality to the politician, that they are in some sense going to save the country, whether it is from terrorists (in GWB’s case) or from the Trades Unions and bad economic practices (in Thatcher’s case).

Read more about Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher in the original article at Astrotabletalk.

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