While the pundits slice and dice the progress of the Democratic candidates on the nightly news, members of the world's astrological community, existing in a parallel universe as it were, are busy doing the same. We love elections and enjoy studying the charts of the candidates. Confident in the `edge' our craft provides to see beyond the visible and hear beyond the rhetoric, we compare current charts to those of past winners and attempt (gulp) to predict the election's outcome.

Astrologically, what DOES it take to be President of the United States? Is there a sun sign more popular than another, favorable alignments to the July 4th 1776 horoscope of the U.S., or other planetary placements that consistently lead one special candidate to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? The answer is: Yes, all of the above. By now, most of us are familiar with, not only our `sun signs', but with the broader concept of an astrological chart--a map of the planets' positions in specific signs and houses at the exact time and place of birth. Astrologers use this chart to delineate and interpret the qualities and character of an individual, as well as the conditions that he or she is born into; it all points to the kind of life they will lead. Some charts are distinctly more `Presidential' than others, and some charts have `signatures' of leadership written all over them.In America, you're most likely to become President if you were born with the Sun in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces) or with the sun in Aquarius. This makes astro-logical sense as our nation was born with the sun in Cancer and the moon in Aquarius. Least likely to be President is Aries (2), Virgo, (2) or Gemini (John F. Kennedy and George Bush Senior were the only two).In addition to the Sun sign, look to the planet Mars for drive, energy, and the leadership ability needed to go the distance. Here again, we have a distinct pattern with those born with Mars in the forceful signs of Leo or Scorpio having a three to one edge. Most surprising to me was the high incidence of Capricorn moons (a very difficult but highly ambitious placement for the moon). Of the 43 U.S. Presidents so far, seven have had the Moon in Capricorn, and 10 have had their Mercury (ruling the mind) in Scorpio, the placement that goes way down deep to search for answers to life's most difficult problems. From an astrological perspective, spring and summer 2004 will be a time of great instability filled with many exciting highs and lows. All kinds of unexpected events and even late entry players are distinct possibilities. The chart for the Democratic Convention on July 26 evokes memories of 1968 and 1972. Don't expect a low key `feel' to the proceedings. Hillary Clinton (Scorpio Sun with Mercury in Scorpio and the very Presidential Mars in Leo) may jump in at some point, and former mayor Rudy Giuliani (Gemini with Moon and Mars in Leo) will likely be a major presence for the GOP (more about Bush and the GOP later on).

But for now, here's a look at the charts of the Democratic frontrunners thus far. But be forewarned: in this election year, wild things could happen between the Republican Convention and election day. Don't count anybody entirely out.

John F. Kerry: Dec 11 1943 (confirmed birth time is 8:03 AM MST) in Denver, Co.
Senator Kerry is a Sagittarius with the Moon, Mars, Saturn and Uranus in Gemini. Sagittarius is the sign ruling politics, religion, beliefs and foreign affairs. Even when he was behind last December, I went on record in the NY Post saying that he'd re-emerge as the likely candidate. Although the last Sagittarian President was Franklin Pierce, the USA's 14th President and ancestor of Barbara Bush, Kerry's heavy Sagittarian/Gemini emphasis links up in a big way to the chart of the USA The 'axis' of Gemini/Sagittarius is one of restlessness, adaptability and thought. It talks about chatter vs. ideology and philosophy. Sagittarius is filled with wanderlust. Questing for truth and meaning, the Sagittarian typically finds himself in romantic pursuit of adventure and new vistas. The most popular chart of the US that astrologers use has Sagittarius rising, and welcome or not, Americans are forever 'going where no man has gone before.' This is often true in the love lives of these natives, and a high concentration of Gemini/Sagittarius in a chart is not the most solid recipe for monogamy. His Libra midheaven merged with idealistic Neptune gives him some 'glam' and a touch of magic: optimistic on the one hand, a die-hard realist (Moon-Saturn) on the other. Through it all, Senator Kerry questions everything. With Jupiter in noble Leo in his 8th house of shared resources conjoining his 9th house of higher education, he weighs the meaning of things before speaking or acting, visiting both sides to learn the 'truth' of each.

Case in point: The photos placing Senator Kerry at the same 1970 anti war rally attended by Jane Fonda (another Sagittarian) are all over the media. And despite the fact that Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple hearts for his naval service in Vietnam 1966-69, he's taking mucho heat from the GOP. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, a prisoner of war himself in Vietnam, commenting on Kerry's attendance at the rally with Fonda was quoted by The Washington Times: "this symbolizes how two-faced he is, talking about his war reputation, which is questionable on the one hand, and then coming out against our veterans who were fighting over there on the other." That's just it: Shouldn't a mature thinking adult be able to entertain and hold two opposing thoughts at once? Someone with a strong Gemini/Sagittarian axis WOULD be able to fulfill his duty as an officer while questioning the validity of the very war he fought.