While it seems highly unlikely that George W. Bush would personally request an astrological consultation, his chart has been the subject of study for astrologers of all political persuasions for more than five years.

Now, with President Bush's re-election campaign in full swing, astrologers are divided on interpreting what the stars say about the outcome of the November 2004 election. "Astrology is perfect, but the astrologer is not," so the adage goes. And chart interpretation, like medical opinions, can be very subjective. The range of professional opinions include: "W will definitely be re-elected," "Nope, it's President Kerry, the 44th President," "Bush will be re-elected but not complete the term," to "Terrorism will cancel the election all together." From a spiritual perspective, whoever is president at a given time is the right president for that time. On a metaphysical level, the president embodies the majority's level of awareness and mirrors the consciousness or zeitgeist of the moment. And, whether we like it or not, in some way, the world will learn more from his being at the helm than if it were someone else. So what do we have to learn from this president?

George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946 at 7:26 AM EDT in New Haven, Connecticut. He has the Sun in Cancer, Leo rising, and the Moon in Libra. But before we go deeply into the specifics of his chart and what the stars say about Election Day, Nov. 2, 2004, a word about the auspiciousness of his July 6th birth date.

July 6th is very close to the July 4th signing of the Declaration of Independence. Because of the precession of the equinox, July 4, 1776 and July 6, 1946 share the same astrological degree of 13 Cancer, the exact degree of The Royal Fixed Star Sirius, known as "The Chieftain's Star" and "The Dog Star That Leads." A prominent Sirius in any chart is considered fortuitous. This goes back to ancient Egypt, when the first glimpse of Sirius at dawn announced the rising of the Nile, guaranteeing the land's fertility. This some of our forefathers knew: At least 13 signers of The Declaration of Independence were Masons, and some were knowledgeable about the stars (Ben Franklin was said to be an astrological aficionado) and could have used this knowledge to select the July 4th date. George W. Bush's 13 degree Cancerian Sun shares this special Sirius connection with the USA. Mention of our Founding Fathers is important as we study the president's chart for another reason: The sign of Cancer deals with ancestral roots, and in George W. Bush's chart, Saturn, the planet of karma, is in Cancer, too. Both his Sun and Saturn placed in this sign describe a man whose very being centers around the past of his predecessors and his allegiance to it. However, placed in the 12th house, he may not be conscious or aware of how deeply these ancestral ties motivate his actions in the present. In order to be "healthy," most 12th house types require years of self-examination, privacy, and therapy to sort through the unhealthy cobwebs and clear out the residue of their family's influence to become their own person.

Sun-Saturn in Cancer in the 12th House: Serve or Suffer

The sign of Cancer rules the family and one's need for emotional and physical safety, (hence the popularity of the phrase "Family Values" in Cancer-ruled America).

The Sun in George Bush's horoscope is in the 12th house, the last house of the zodiac, symbolic of that which is hidden. The 12th house also represents past karma, confinement, and psychic sensitivity. And because it rules the unconscious, it is called "the house of self-undoing," implying that what is unknown to us and about us has the power to destroy us. "Serve or Suffer" is the mantra of the12th house, and 12th house types have no choice but to do their emotional homework; they need to become aware of who they are inside; if not, life is painful and addiction is often the result. It is well known that President Bush had a drinking problem earlier in his life. But positively, the 12th house can be very creative. Many artists, film directors, musicians, and writers, have planets in the 12th because it describes the time needed to create privately.

President Bush has Saturn, the planet of karma and responsibility, at 26 degrees of Cancer in the 12th house. Both the Sun and Saturn refer to one's father. The most mundane interpretation of this positioning of these 2 important planets suggests that deep inside, George W. Bush is unconsciously motivated and controlled by a deep sense of responsibility to his family's history and place in the world, particularly with reference to his father. This is his driving force. This placement could easily block him from even entertaining any point of view that challenges his family's position, limiting his ability to impartially judge which actions and policies might be best for the nation.

Paradoxically, while Bush is leader of the free world, he himself may be in 'chains'. It is the opinion of many that Bush may have a misplaced sense of sacrifice...sacrificing himself for his family's agenda, the wealth of his family's friends, and ultimately, to be harshly critiqued by history. His other option is to become more his own man, risk losing his family's love and approval, but to grow more as an individual, on a soul level, and spiritually.

But here is where Bush may be a mirror for many of us, who are motivated and unconsciously driven and controlled by pulls to the past, or fears that we cannot even articulate clearly. He may, in fact, embody the need for all of us to be more aware of where our choices in life are coming from. With Saturn in Cancer through mid 2005, emotional awareness is the lesson we all must learn.

The President has the Moon and Jupiter merged in Libra, and while Vedic astrologers refer to this as "Raja Yoga" (Royal or Princely), this placement often results in self-righteousness and a lack of interest in hearing and paying respectful attention to what another has to say.

In Uranian astrology, Bush's "midheaven" is conjunct "Hades'," a combination interpreted as "Holder of Secrets." The policy of secrecy in his administration could implode and undo his presidency, and his lucky Jupiter, which will return in 2005, will be hard-pressed to save him.

November 2004 and GW's 'Saturn Return'

Saturn is the planet of karma, and its cycle is roughly 29½ years. When we reach ages 28½-30 and 57-60, we experience the return of Saturn to where it was at our time of birth. This is a time of reckoning. Like it or not, Saturn is the planet that forces us to learn what it is that we came here to learn. Each soul has a different curriculum. But, at age 58, George W. Bush is facing his second Saturn Return. If he is here on Earth to become his own man, he will no longer be able to avoid it. He could lose the parental shielding that he has relied on since birth.Astrologically Saturn is the judge and the equalizer. Last October 2003, Saturn was on Bush's Sun, and his popularity began slipping. It will remain in the sign of Cancer (and on his Sun and the United States' Sun in June) through all of 2004, until August 2005. In October and November of 2004 (including Election Day), the president will be in the midst of his second Saturn Return. All chickens, good, bad, and indifferent, will come home to roost. Saturn rewards us for learning lessons well and makes life very, very tough when we have not.

One other variable worth mentioning is that Bush was elected in 2000, a year in the 20-year cycle of Tecumseh's curse, which declared that U.S. presidents elected then would not complete their terms. In 1811, the Indian chief Tecumseh was defeated in the Battle of Tippecanoe by William Henry Harrison. Legend has it he sent Harrison word that he - and "every Great Chief chosen every 20 years thereafter [would] die" - as a reminder of the death of Tecumseh's people..United States President Harrison did die of pneumonia in 1841. And with only one exception, all American presidents elected in a year divisible by 20 since that time have also died in office. This "curse" coincides with the astrological Jupiter/Saturn cycle, also a cycle of 20 years. The presidents who fell prey to the curse all were elected in years when Jupiter and Saturn conjoined in an earth sign. The lone president to survive the curse since 1840 has been President Reagan, whose 1980 election was preceded by Jupiter/Saturn conjoined in an air sign. When George W. Bush was elected in 2000, the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction was in an earth sign as it was with all of the presidents who did not complete their terms. There are prayer groups in the U.S. specifically focused on protecting President Bush from the fate that befell the following presidents:

1840, William Henry Harrison-Died April 6, 1841 of pneumonia
1860, Abraham Lincoln-Assassinated April 14, 1865
1880, James Garfield-Assassinated July 2, 1881
1900, William McKinley-Assassinated September 6, 1901
1920, Warren G. Harding-Died August 2, 1923 from food poisoning
1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt-Died April 12, 1945, stroke
1960, John F. Kennedy-Assassinated November 22, 1963
1980, Ronald Reagan-Assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. Survived to serve two full terms as president.
If there was a time that this pattern is likely to recur, Saturn on Bush's Sun could bring it about in November. But a more dangerous time, from my perspective, is September/October of 2005, or Jan/Feb 2006, when Mars stations at 22°/23° Taurus, the exact degree of the 2000 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. George W. Bush's chart speaks of an unquestioning allegiance to inner and outer authorities of the past, with a fear of what might happen if he challenged his predecessors. His approaching second Saturn return may provide an opportunity to become more his own man, and less dependent on ancestral ghosts. (With Saturn in Cancer through mid-2005, many of us are battling the same demons.) Saturn rewards well for lessons learned and sternly shows us where we have work to do by limiting our success if we stubbornly stick to our outgrown MOs. So far, there doesn't appear to be any evidence that Bush has separated from that which has formed him. His progressed Sun on his Mars will provide drive for sure, but it can also enhance opportunities for enemies and opposition. His progressed Venus will square Saturn this year, indicating possible familial loss. W's chart is filled with stress in November 2004. But that stress can mean many things: Losing or winning an election, coping with terrorism or with other kinds of limits and necessary losses. The Outcome?

The 2004 election is as tough to call as the one in 2000. While lively and promising Jupiterian activity in Kerry's active chart in Autumn may generate a surge in the polls, the timing of the 2 conventions could give the GOP an edge. One very likely scenario is that Bush will remain in office but will not complete his second term. But the roller coaster ride is just in its earliest stages. If George W. Bush embraces the challenge encoded in his chart, risks his family's love and approval, and evolves into becoming more his own man, the potential inherent in his Saturn return could take him in lots of surprising directions. If not, well, the world's classroom will wait and watch in wonder as the rest of the 43rd president's story unfolds... Hold on to your hats, it will be one hell of a spring and summer.
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