On May 1, 2004, at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, Tonight Show host Jay Leno poked fun at the likely Democratic presidential candidate by saying, "If John Kerry is elected, he would be the first president to deliver the State of the Union address and the rebuttal."

Ha, good one!

Astrologically speaking, Leno's barb captured John Kerry's inner life to a T. While critics call him wishy-washy, his fans say he sees all sides of an issue. Both have a point, and Kerry himself might agree. Kerry's star chart resembles a one-man courtroom drama complete with a petitioner, respondent, prosecutor, defendant, judge, and jury. Some say he's always seeking approval, but his chart paints a picture of a man at ideological war with himself, ever in the midst of an internal struggle for truth and right action. It isn't easy. But could Kerry's lifelong habit of seeing multiple sides to every issue be "just the ticket" come November?

John Forbes Kerry was born on a full moon on Dec. 11, 1943 at 8:03 A.M. MWT in Denver, Colorado. He has the Sun in Sagittarius, Sagittarius rising, and the Moon in Gemini. (A "full moon" is when the Sun and Moon oppose one other at 180 degrees, describing a person with an ongoing internalized challenge of coping with and finding the balance between 2 opposing points of view.) Not surprisingly, in school as a budding statesman, Kerry excelled at debate.

The 180° polarity of Gemini/Sagittarius is the axis of thought, communication, and education: it's the mundane `lower' mind versus the higher mind. In short, it's the "Great Debate of Life": What are we here for and who--if anyone--is running the show? This way of perceiving the world may be seen as Kerry's weakness, but it also might represent the zeitgeist of our times and our nation's struggle for ethical maturity.

John Kerry and the U.S.A. Chart

All U.S. presidents have charts that connect to the horoscope of the nation which is derived from the commonly accepted birth time of the Republic (July 4, 1776 at 5:10 P.M., Philadelphia). Kerry's connections to America's chart are quite striking.

The chart that most astrologers use for the U.S.A. has Sagittarius rising (some astrologers use one with Gemini rising). Either way, Kerry's jumping Gemini/Sagittarius polarity is as enthusiastically American as apple pie. And this pattern appears often in politics. Not surprisingly, that very polarity has been present in the charts of many U.S. presidents. Though three previous presidents were Sagittarians (Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, and Franklin Pierce--ancestor of Barbara Bush) and only two were Gemini (John F. Kennedy and George Bush, Sr.), quite a number have had either Gemini or Sagittarius rising or on the midheaven: John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, possibly Ronald Reagan (birth time uncertain), and George Bush, Sr.

Sagittarius is a fire sign. It symbolizes the philosopher's search for truth and the big dreams of the spiritual seeker: it rules morality, religion, inspiration, ethics, foreign affairs, long-distance travel, publishing, politics, the courts, theatre, and the big picture. Because the sign symbolizes the purposeful living out of life's journey, with joyful pursuit of higher knowledge, Sagittarians are often in perpetual motion. This is especially so for those (like Kerry), who were born on a full moon and with a strong Sagittarian-Gemini influence.

The only other U.S. president who was a Sagittarius with Sagittarius rising was Martin Van Buren, the first president to be born a U.S. citizen rather than as a British subject. In an intriguing inversion, double Sagittarian Kerry spent many of his formative years abroad taking in the experiences of other cultures. True to his sun sign, Kerry was the son of a diplomat. His early years were marked by frequent travel, multiple homes, and an interest in politics and theatre.

Kerry has Mars, the planet of action, leadership, and drive in Gemini, opposite his Sun. Only one other U.S. president, FDR, had Mars in Gemini, and none thus far have had a Sun/Mars opposition. This is significant: It implies that if elected, Kerry would be the first U.S. president to embody a particular struggle for us. Namely, what do we really stand for in the world: Peace? Economic growth at all costs? Progress? Or an emphasis on humanitarian efforts at home and abroad?. Given his penchant for self-examination, Kerry's internal conflict could inspire others and make soul-searching a respectable pastime again.

Kerry has the Moon in Gemini conjunct (merged with) serious Saturn, making for an air of melancholy, which dampens the otherwise characteristic Sagittarian cheerfulness and contributes to his Lincolnesque long face and somber tone. Kerry takes things seriously. He's complex and rarely at peace. He appears to be carrying the weight of the world, and he's got to begin to realize that it's not entirely his problem.

Kerry's all-important ruling planet Jupiter is in regal Leo in the battleground 8th house but close to the "search for truth" 9th house, suggesting he has had many dark nights of the soul. Clearly this tendency toward seriousness and complexity is playing a role in his current campaign problems--making it hard for him to give the short answers that sound-byte hungry Americans clamor for.

Will he solve this challenge and prevail in November? He could. Jupiter, bringer of luck, and Venus, with her charm and popularity, will be at the top of his chart at election time, while Bush will be in the throes of his `day of reckoning' second Saturn return.

Three other factors bear watching:

  • Kerry's running mate will mean everything to this campaign and to his presidency. The upcoming rare Venus eclipse on Kerry's moon on June 8th (the last Venus eclipse was in December 1882) could pave the way for a startling choice in a running mate. It could be a Republican and it could be a woman. This celestial event packs such a punch that it is truly pivotal in the entire picture, making the election next to impossible to analyze before we see who Kerry's running mate turns out to be and what his or her chart holds.

  • Secondly, despite the rigors of campaigning, Kerry must insist on a healthy diet and time to recharge. Mutable types (Sagittarius and Gemini are mutable signs) often burn the candle at both ends, leaving themselves short at the most inopportune time. Published reports have him eating junk food all the time, and if he continues, this will cost him.

  • Thirdly and less under his control: The Democratic Convention ends in early August, with Mercury turning retrograde at that time. Mercury retrogrades (moving backward relative to Earth) occur three times a year. They are fine "catch-up" periods, but not good for forward motion and momentum. The reversal of that planet of communication coming at the end of the Democratic convention could easily reverse much of the good spin that traditionally follows each party's convention.
  • The Olympics and the Republican convention follow, and Lord knows if they will be incident-free. The summer will be a wild one, and several astrologers have suggested that terrorism or a crisis at the voting booths could interfere with an election happening at all. So stay tuned. When both candidates have their ticket in place, we'll have one last look at the charts of all four players and make a final call.

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