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.

Kerry has Mars retrograde (backwards) in Gemini, as did FDR, one of America's best-loved leaders. Mars in Gemini is not known for his excellent track record in fidelity to mates. Here, he will experience many verbal attacks from open enemies.

Kerry has been through a great deal in 2003, with Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth having first gone over his ascendant and then his Sagittarian sun. We can safely say that he has been through hell and back this year, and is probably a changed and stronger man.

The challenging astrological problem though, is that he declared his candidacy on less than stellar aspects. On the morning of Sept 2, 2003, the moon was void (disconnected) in Scorpio and Mercury was retrograde. This is hard to compensate for. And according to Uranian techniques employed by astrologer Liane Thomas Wade, Kerry "must be careful of deception and the possibility of being brought down by a series of orchestrated lies." But don't write him off just yet, his progressed planets look promising and lucky Jupiter transiting the top of his chart in November makes up for a lot of static as it often places presidents in office.

John Edwards: born June 10, 1953 at 7:02 AM in Seneca, SC.
John Edwards, the first serious contender born in the 1950's has five planets in Gemini including the Moon, Mars (like Kerry) and Jupiter. He has Cancer rising within one degree of the USA Sun (and GW's Sun for that matter). His ties to the US chart are very strong. The connection between the Moon and Jupiter (in Gemini) gives a lot of confidence, the gift of gab, and a royal signature (Bush has it too) to his chart, and the heavy emphasis of planets placed in the 11th and 12th houses of his horoscope speak heavily and convincingly about him being a man whose life is dedicated to serving the needs of the collective. And while it is rare for a President to have as many planets in the hidden 12th house as Edwards does, some of our past leaders most certainly have: Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, and possibly U.S. Grant, to name a few. He has Venus in Taurus -- and unbelievably, so far not one U.S. President has had that placement! But Edwards is a driven fighter, and as the spring turns into summer, he'll be picking up steam. Even if he doesn't secure the big one now, he will be a very strong force at the convention. He's not about to give up easily. With Jupiter progressing to his natal sun over the next few years, look to him in 2008 very seriously as the one who can win.

Howard Dean: born November 17, 1948 at 7:21 PM in New York, NY.

Never underestimate a Scorpio. Governor Howard Dean has the Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Gemini, and Cancer Rising. All three signs have strong ties to the U.S. chart, hence Dean's impressive early showing.

Though Howard Dean is now out of the running, his early importance to the Democratic contest justifies a closer look. We`ve had five Scorpio Presidents, but not since Theodore Roosevelt and Warren G. Harding early in the last century. Dean's powerful splash set him up as the man to beat in early January. He has a strongly placed Sun merged with the asteroid Chiron (having to do with the concept of the wounded healer). His solar 5th house placement gives passion, showmanship, and creativity. His Mercury in Scorpio in the 5th house gives him a keen and incisive mind and the ability to speak in an easy self-confident, creative flow. He doesn't sound guarded or rehearsed. That placement is among the most popular for U.S. presidents (10 have had it). The problem is that the repressed climate right now is suspicious of his type of exuberant life-force and spirit, and transiting Saturn on his ascendant crystallized (in the form of harsh criticism), is clipping his wings- for the moment. Later on, this will loosen up. What's kind of amazing here is the close connection between Dean's progressed chart and that of John Edwards. If Kerry were not the frontrunner as of this writing, I'd have bet on either a Dean/Edwards or an Edwards/Dean ticket. Even though there's little evidence of great chemistry between the two, their charts hook up big time, and energetically, the two are very related. Dean's Mars in Sagittarius in the 6th house reveals him to be a tireless worker for truth with little concern for what sounds right, and for that he has been attacked mercilessly. He is a man who can get things done, and one would always know where one stood with him. And while diplomacy is not his highest priority, his Venus in Libra gives him enough boyish charm to make for popularity on the international stage. Dean, like Kerry, announced his candidacy on a void moon, which is unfortunate. Though his days as a presidential contender are over for now, we will be hearing from Gov. Dean for a long time to come.

The tapestry of ideas presented in the Democratic debates these past several months has been extraordinary and important. Kucinich and his innovative proposal for a Department of Peace; Clark, Lieberman, Sharpton, Gephardt, and Moseley Braun have each contributed to the national dialogue and have made a big difference in our awareness of the issues. All will have a presence in late July at the convention. Though it appears that Kerry will be the nominee, the Venus Retrograde from May 17- June 29 suggests that there are plenty of surprises in store. And though it may be a moot point, for what it's worth, Al Gore's chart reveals that in 2004, he WOULD be the man to beat Bush. So many planetary presidential `pictures' are present NOW through 2004 in his chart. And while there are some deep personal reasons for his unwillingness to jump into the fray, it will be interesting to watch him at the DNC in late July: Expect the unexpected. And then watch the GOP pull out the stops to undo it all five weeks later in New York.
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