Though the polls have persistently shown Bush and Kerry to be either neck and neck, or with one or the other having a slight lead, two words keep reverberating in my head: October Surprise(s). To astrologically predict the winner of a presidential race, prevailing wisdom traditionally favors the candidate with the most negative chart activity at the time of the election. The logic: The heavy burdens associated with the job of President of the United States are reflected in the victor's chart. If that were truly the only criterion, it would be a slam dunk in favor of George W. Bush on November 2. After all, what could be tougher than a long malingering second "Saturn Return"?

But the star story doesn't end here, and there's much more to consider before advising the GOP to call the caterers for January 20, 2005. Astrologically, October 2004 is chock-full of dramatic celestial activity, including a solar eclipse, which through the millennia has coincided with the transitions (births, deaths) in the reigns of monarchs and world leaders.Leading the planetary parade, lucky and expansive Jupiter has just recently (September 24-25 2004) entered Libra, the sign of fairness, statesmanship, diplomacy, and balance, for the first time in 12 years. In the last three Jupiter cycles, when Jupiter entered Libra (1968, 1980, and 1992) the U.S. elected a new president. A change in our nation's policies followed those changes in administration. Libra signifies the artistic mind, and it's the sign that rules debating--the ability to see both sides of an issue. The remaining debates this month will be all-important. They will in many ways define and determine the outcome of the race. Notice I didn't say "election." The possibility exists that the process will be interrupted, especially in last few days of October when Mars planet of war and aggression takes center stage. October has two eclipses: a solar eclipse (October 13/14) and then a lunar eclipse (October 27-28). Both will set off the candidates' charts in one form or another, many astrologers feel to the benefit of the Kerry-Edwards ticket. This month also features two rare grand quintile alignments that will influence all of us on October 1 and October 28. Quintiles are aspects of 72 and 144 degrees having to do with creativity, alchemy, and manifestation. There has not been a grand quintile alignment (five connecting quintiles in a chart) since 1941. In simple terms, the presence of quintiles in a chart points to high creativity (think Einstein and Mozart). Often they relate to the use or abuse of power, as in the case of Adolf Hitler. But most of all, quintiles are known for a hard-to-define "special magic" that can be tapped into for any purpose. They seem to generate inventive links between components that are disparate by nature, and blend them in ways that inspire chaos into order. Because this rare alignment happens twice during October 2004, many astrologers see this as an "all bets are off" kind of occurrence, meaning anything's possible, including an electoral tie! Astrologer and marketing director Madalyn Hillis Dineen echoed the "too close to call" sentiment of many astrologers, and reminded us of this daunting possibility: "One scenario is that the electoral vote turns out to be 269 for each of them. Then in January, the House chooses the president with one vote for each state. With all those red states, it's pretty certain they would choose Bush. The interesting thing is that the Senate gets to choose vice president. If the Senate goes Democratic, they could very well choose Edwards and we would have a president and V.P. from different parties." Edwards' chart is indeed very strong right now. His star is on the rise and will continue to be for quite some time.And finally, on October 28, in addition to the lunar eclipse that day, Mars, planet of war and aggression, passes over the October 14 eclipse degree (21 Libra). Something dramatic could erupt at that time which changes the picture entirely and interferes with the process all together. Speculation for "Trick or Treat" weekend has included: a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, the capture of Osama bin Laden (in real time or staged as real time for the benefit of the GOP), power outages, or one of the candidates in serious danger.No matter what happens that weekend, one thing is certain: this race will be down to the wire.Kerry: The Closer?Last December, when Howard Dean was way ahead in the polls and on the covers of Time and Newsweek, I went on record (WOR Radio in NY) saying that Kerry would re-emerge as the front-runner. His pattern, pundits say, is that of a "closer," someone who is weak at first but who wins in the end. The transition of Jupiter into Libra in Kerry's house of career with Venus on his midheaven in early November has him shining brightly at that time. I can hardly imagine those two benefic planets spelling defeat. If so, it would be the sweetest defeat in history, experienced (by Kerry) with jubilation!
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