An in-depth look at the 2012 US Presidential Elections

What can Mundane Astrology tell us about who might win?

us-electionsEclipses, hurricanes and Presidential Elections – clearly this is a very eventful time for Americans. So what, if anything can mundane astrology tell us about this historic period and in particular, about the outcome of the 2012 American Presidential Elections?

Key Symbols – The Role of the Sun, Moon and Fixed Stars

Looking at the astrological chart for the November 2012 Solar Eclipse, set from the perspective of  Washington, DC, we note that Leo is rising  (AS is 18 degrees Leo). Since ancient times, Leo has been considered to be the sign of rulership, so its planetary Lord, the Sun, along with its condition and aspects, is an important symbol to consider within any astrological reading regarding a leadership contest such as an election. In most cases with mundane or horary predictions, the Sun refers to the current ruler or king,  and the aspects made to or from it, represent the events that could occur to him or the actions he or she might take. This is why the  ancient Babylonians were so paranoid about eclipses, spending a lot of time examining the signs and omens associated with them to see whether they brought any ill omens for the king and the land.

As ruler of the day and a source of light, the Sun governs states, political leaders and conditions associated with light, consciousness and clarity. Thus the Sun is considered to be the luminary of intellect, logic and elitism, whilst the Moon, a reflector of light and Mistress of the Night, is considered to be the luminary concerned with subtler, more nocturnal qualities such as intuition, instinct and feeling and is, therefore considered to be feminine.

Whilst the Sun represents the elite and elevated social positions, such as that of the king or leader; the Moon, by contrast, rules crowds – the ‘folks’ back home as well as the home and hearth, i.e. the welfare of families and the practical, everyday concerns of ordinary working folk. It  can, therefore, indicate the general mood of a country and its people to astrologers looking at a chart concerning national interests.

If we look at the US Sibley Chart, we notice very quickly that there is a stellium of planets in Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon, including the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. This suggests that Americans are, by nature, quite an emotional, family-oriented people and need to feel a strong emotional connection to a public figure in order to endorse him as their leader.

Clues from the Candidates’ Natal Charts

Barack Obama


As a former university professor, and a Sun Leo, Barack Obama epitomises the charismatic but somewhat removed intellectual interested in improving conditions for humanity but perhaps in a fairly generalized, ideological way. In the past, he been accused of being rather aloof and stand-offish, lacking the ‘common touch,’ which does fit  well with his cool, unemotional Aquarius Ascendant and Gemini Moon.

In Obama’s case, he made it clear from the beginning of his original campaign that he was all about Change, and with Uranus as his ruling planet, this is certainly something that he has the power to embody for his electorate, especially given that it is located in his 7th house of relationship and other people. This suggests that his main role in life is to serve others and that he is passionate about helping those less fortunate than himself. Bill Clinton summed up Obama’s Aquarius-Leo polarity quite well at the Democratic Convention when he described Obama as “a man who’s cool on the outside but who burns for America on the inside.”1

However, commentators have pointed out that he was always going be hampered in that endeavour because of a number of factors outside of his control, including the global recession, the ongoing war in Afghanistan started by his predecessor, and the resulting growth of anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world, as well as the constant struggle to pass Bills through a Republican-majority Senate hell bent on blocking any of his initiatives. According to one commentator though, a certain amount of the blame for this very polarised senatorial chamber and lack of bi-partisan co-operation, must be levelled at Obama’s political ‘miscalculations,’ possibly borne out of naivety,  and inter-personal ‘insensitivities’.

Given his very strong, possibly quite severe and solitary natal Saturn in Capricorn (12th), which could make him harsh and uncompromising at times, as well as being prone to self-doubt and isolation, along with his natal Mercury-Jupiter opposition, the latter making him prone to oversights, exaggeration, an overly philosophical and perhaps impractical concern with the bigger picture at the expense of the details, arrogance and possibly the tendency to be misunderstood from time to time.

His natal Mars in Virgo (8th), although hardworking, might also make him quite pedantic, prone to argue about and get stuck over petty details, which could hamper his ability to get things done. As a result, it is possible that he did not help himself and his cause during his first few years in the White House. Many feel that this may be because he either did not understand the  fairly messy ‘transactional,’ nature of political negotiation  that tends to go on behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, or because the nitty-gritty business of ‘real-politik’ does not come naturally to him. By all accounts, this is not a man who does ‘small talk’ much, suggesting, as Andrew Marr does in his recent biopic on Obama, that he is a statesman who feels more comfortable concerning himself with broader, policy-based decisions and making speeches that sway the masses, rather than ‘glad-handing’ and doing deals to get potential naysayers on his side,2 especially if he feels that his ideas and principles are right. Saturn in the 12th house can also indicate the presence of secret enemies, and no doubt, he made quite a few in Washington because of his unique way of doing things and his tendency to upset the status quo by ignoring convention and displaying a certain irreverence for red tape. Change can be very threatening.

Clearly, though, he is an idealist, shown by natal Neptune in his 9th house of beliefs and cultural values, giving him a Utopian vision of what politics can achieve, a confident orator, evidenced by his natal Mercury in Leo and  someone who is media-savvy, judging by the Moon in Gemini, ruler of his 6th house of work. Some political commentators have called him “one of the most confident but also one of the most intellectually gifted and eloquent men ever to occupy the White House “…but have also stated that it may also be this confidence in his own ability to sway opinion in his favour that has been his Achilles heel.

According to former speechwriter for President Reagan, Peggy Noonan, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

“Because he had so much confidence, he thought whatever he did would work. He thought he had ‘a gift’…a special ability to sway the American people, or so he suggested to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.”

In the opinion piece, rather aptly, for our purposes, entitled, ‘How Far Obama has Fallen,’ she goes on to say:

“He faced big problems—an economic crash, two wars—but those crises gave him broad latitude. All of his stars were perfectly aligned. He could do anything.
And then it all changed. At a certain point he lost the room.” 3

Mitt Romney

mitt-romney-chart-plus-star-paransBy contrast, Mitt Romney’s chart has a lot of water in it – the Sun, Mercury and Mars are in Pisces  – the sign of the spiritual philosopher and the philanthropist  – perfect for a Republican candidate who needs to appeal emotionally to the ‘beating heart’ of middle and working class America.

Interestingly, Romney, has his Sun and Mars in the 11th house, making him a natural collaborator and someone who might do better at negotiating with Congress, but who is perhaps also a little too prone to being swayed by public opinion or peer pressure. His Mercury, although conjunct to Mars, making him a natural at verbal sparring, is retrograde in Pisces. Mercury is traditionally in Fall here, along with being retrograde, and therefore more introspective and introverted, making it quite weak. This does not strike me as a man with strong opinions of his own. However, if the Americans are tired of a solitary act and want someone who is more of a team player, then Romney could well be their man.

On the surface, then it would appear as though this is a race between an intellectual with lofty ideals (Neptune in the 9th house) and a worldly outlook  on one hand, and a pragmatic, collaborative  and philosophical ‘man of the people’ who is in tune with the everyday, emotional preoccupations of his constituents. As we will see, though, appearances can be deceptive…

Given how much the American right tends  to rely on strategies and policies that appeal to people’s most primitive emotions – survival, fear of outsiders or of major change, greed, religious fundamentalism – to get their message across. This may explain the success of former Republican candidates such as two-term President George Bush jnr who, despite being from a wealthy background and the son of a former President, was a born again Christian who spoke in fairly colloquial language and when things got tough for America in terms of terrorism, used emotive, hawkish rhetoric to convince Americans that he was in charge and had their backs, all the while running up enormous bills fighting wars overseas trying to protect the interests of the oil industry and overturning financial regulations at home which some critics say is what provided the conditions for the Banking Crisis of 2008 in the first place.

However, given this rather lunar approach, it is rather ironic that most conservative political parties are actually quite elite organisations catering to the interests of the few, usually big business, rather than to the many. In essence then, they are actually more Capricorn/Saturnian in nature than Cancerian. As a Harvard business graduate and former Governor of the affluent, traditionally Democratic state of Massachusetts,  home to the well-heeled New England families considered by many to be America’s aristocracy,  Romney is, in the words of a former Mississippi governor, “a wealthy plutocrat married to a known equestrian.”4 So, it would seem that, in this respect, Romney is no exception.

So does he really have the potential to be a man of the people? His Gemini Ascendant, which could make him quite chameleon-like and quite cerebral, along with his detached natal Venus in Aquarius and technology-loving Mercury-ruled Uranus in the 1st house, suggest that he may be more liberal, intellectual and forward-thinking than some of his conservative supporters may realise… He may also be a bit of a maverick who won’t hesitate to make policy or personal U-turns if he feels a particular strategy or life path is not working. This may be why a recent poll revealed that although nearly 40 per cent of voters considered Obama to be “very liberal”, only 26 per cent of those polled thought of Mitt Romney as “very conservative.”5 It may also explain one of his campaign mantra’s, that he is the candidate that stands for “Real Change.” One thing is for sure, with all that Pisces energy, he is unlikely to be as hawkish as his Republican predecessors…

Mitt also has a natal Moon-Jupiter conjunction in his sixth house of work, making him generous and expansive by nature. Along with the air-ruled horoscopic placements mentioned above, this fits with his fairly moderate views on polarizing issues such as abortion on which stalwart Republicans usually prefer to take a much  harder line. Judging by his Sagittarian descendent, this is a man who is generally an optimist and who is happy to take a risk or two when it comes to trying different things. However, let us not forget that he has a Scorpio Moon. Exalted in practical Taurus and symbolic of the fertility and abundance of late Spring, the Moon was considered by the ancients to be in Fall here, and in effect, it literally is, since the constellation of Scorpio is usually rising heliacally in late October  –  the season of Autumn when all the leaves have fallen from the trees. This Moon should not be underestimated. It loves to be in control and can be devious, calculating, vindictive and  even ruthless at times when it feels threatened. We sometimes see hints of that when he makes remarks such as ‘I like being able to fire people who provide services to me’6, all the while sporting a smile that resembles the snarl of a predator.

The Solar Eclipse Chart  –  Signature of a Leader’s Fall from Grace?

In the Washington Solar Eclipse chart, we have Leo, the sign of leadership rising. The eclipse is located in the Fourth House, generally considered to be the house of the people (naturally Moon-ruled) as well as the opposition party in parliament.7 Already then, just through this combination, we get a sense that  this eclipse chart could very well be read as concerning the  election of a new leader – a time when the people exercise their will through the medium of voting. The timing of the eclipse, just one week after the Presidential Election date of November the 6th, also adds to the feeling that this occultation may well be able to give us a symbolic hint at what the outcome of the American Presidential elections might be.

Obviously the first thing to say about this horoscope is that it depicts a SOLAR ECLIPSE, which means that the light of the Sun is about to be blocked out by the Moon. The Sun and Moon are both located below the horizon in the fourth house of home and family. Given that the Sun is considered to be diurnal in terms of planetary sect, the fact that it is below the horizon, and about to be eclipsed by the Moon, which is in its natural domain of the night and in its natural house, albeit in the sign of its Fall (Scorpio), makes it very weak in terms of condition.

Adding to the doom and gloom, is the fact that the eclipse takes place close to Obama’s Midheaven (29 degrees Scorpio) in his natal ninth house, which you might expect to mean that his career or public position is under a cloud or about to be overshadowed by something or someone. My own interpretation is that perhaps Obama runs the risk of being eclipsed by the powerful women around him (Sun = male, Moon = female), including his wife, and former presidential hopeful, Foreign Secretary, Hilary Clinton, so if he continues to take a back seat on matters of religion, foreign affairs and cultural integration, he may well appear weak, both to voters and to the rest of the world. In other words, if he wishes to be successful in winning another term in power, he needs to start taking a much more active and public role in these matters, especially foreign affairs.

Looking at other star positions in the chart, we may also note that Regulus, known as the ‘Heart of the Lion’  – one of the key stars in the constellation of Leo and associated with heroism, ‘great honour’ and ‘victory over enemies and scandal’ 8, is located just below the eastern horizon in the 1st house, whilst Fomalhaut, known to the Persians as the Watcher of the South, is setting on the western horizon in the 7th house.  According to Star & Planet Combinations, the latter star ‘represents a path which contains a nemesis, a way that the individual can fall from grace. This nemesis can sometimes take the form of a strong opponent, but often it is self-created in the form of hubris. Thus the individual must steer clear of the seduction of charisma, both in themselves and on others.’9  The vice of Leo is pride and as we have already seen, Obama may well have fallen prey to this vice.

By itself, then, the solar eclipse  indicates that Obama is in a weak and vulnerable position  and may soon lose his power because he has been too proud and overconfident, relying too much on his intellect and oratorical abilities (Sun), all the while ignoring the needs of the American people and failing to show that he cares about them. As if to reinforce this, in Obama’s natal chart, Fomalhaut is almost conjunct his natal Chiron in the first house. Chiron is usually indicative of a personal vulnerability, possibly stemming from a childhood wound rooted in grief,  or some sort of spiritual crisis, leading to a tendency to get swept up by the pain and suffering of others. Perhaps it is this, rather than arrogance or aloofness, that lies at the heart of his tendency to appear detached and stand-offish?

However, if we go back to the candidates’ natal charts, we are reminded that Obama’s Sun is in Leo whilst Mitt Romney’s is in Pisces, which seems to suggest a further connection between Obama and Regulus on one hand, and Romney and Fomalhaut, on the other. What’s more, in the Solar Eclipse chart, the Moon (electorate) is square to Neptune in Pisces. And, as if to reinforce the star connections made earlier between Romney and the Star of the Nemesis, Neptune is conjunct Fomalhaut!

Astrologically-speaking, then, we have the main star of Leo, the King who vanquishes his enemies, rising, whilst the Star of the Political or Military Nemesis and of personal hubris, Fomalhaut, located in the constellation of Pisces, is setting…So, does this mean that, despite his mistakes, and strong political opposition from Piscean, Mitt Romney, Obama may still come out on top?

In contrast to the Moon, the eclipsed Sun  is conjunct Zuben Eschamali, one of the stars that make up the Scales of Libra (or the Northern Claw of the Scorpion, depending on whether you are looking at the sky from a Mesopotamian or Greek perspective). According to Vivian Robson, this star, known to Arabic astrologers as the ‘Full Price,’ brings ‘great good fortune’ and ‘high position’, although there may well be transitory difficulties in getting there10.

In Obama’s favour is the fact that his natal Uranus, along with his North Node, are both located very close to a conjunction with Regulus, which suggests that part of Obama’s destiny is to stand up for the rights of others, fight for social reform and truly bring about change on a collective level, and that he can do this through leadership positions, and by inspiring or motivating others. Just the qualities we see reflected in the conjunction between the Sun and Zuben Elschemali.

Election Day Chart

I should say first off that the reason I chose this time for my election chart is because this is the time that the polls open in Washington, DC – the seat of American legislative power and the location of the White House.

Now, we’ve already established the close link between Obama as the incumbent president and the stars of the Scales, Zuben Elschemali and Zuben Elgenubi, via his association with the Sun in the eclipse chart. We have also demonstrated the clear natal associations between Obama and Regulus, on one hand; and Romney and Fomalhaut, on the other.

If we look at the chart for Election Day itself, the first thing that we notice is that Regulus, the star of the king, is conjunct the Midheaven – the position of a leader in office – whilst Fomalhaut, the star of the political opponent, is opposite the Midheaven in the 4th house of the political opposition. This on its own seems to suggest that it will be Obama, and not Romney, that take the Whitehouse and not Romney, whose personal planets sit very clearly in the 4th house of opposition. A quick glance at a combined chart wheel shows this very clearly.

We also note that the stars of the Scales, Zuben Elschemali and Zuben Elgenubi, are straddling the Ascendant, which, just like the Sun and the Moon in the Eclipse Chart, is in Scorpio. This by itself seems to suggests a thematic connection to power, secrecy, reform and even reinvention throughout all the charts.

The Sun in Scorpio, is also rising, conjunct Zuben Elegnubi, the South Scale. This star seems to be  a lot more difficult to interpret than its northern twin. According to Vivian Robson, it is a malevolent star associated with disgrace, professional ruin, and lack of support from superiors.11 However, Bernadette Brady sees this star as symbolising ‘higher ideals than its northern partner, for in its meaning the prime motive is not  personal gain but rather to benefit the group.’12 It is possible that the reason some astrologers interpreted this star in such a negative light is because it is located at the end of the via combusta – a highly tricky area of the zodiac associated with the entrance and exit to the underworld. For more information on this, see my post on Whitney Houston’s death.

So will the issue of social justice be the determining factor in the outcome of the elections? For Democrats and the Occupy Movement, in particular, this is an enormously important factor. Many believe that capitalism in its current form has failed spectacularly and that the only way to address the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, is wide-ranging social and political reforms to reintroduce more fairness, competition and equality back into the equation.

If we transpose Obama’s chart onto the Election Chart in a second bi-wheel, we soon see that his natal Uranus, the planet of change and his natal chart ruler,  is on the Midheaven. What’s more, so is his North Node, the head of the dragon that for many astrologers, is a symbol of karma and fate. As if to reinforce this theme, we have a similar signature in reverse – Obama’s natal Midheaven is also conjunct the Election Chart North Node. So is destiny about to  play a hand in the outcome of this election?

Enter Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy – The Wild Card

In Obama’s natal chart, we have an interesting wildcard in the form of  the star, Regulus which is positioned close to Obama’s natal North Node, which is conjunct his natal Uranus, the ruler of his Ascendant, and therefore his chart as a whole, in his 7th house. This seems to me to indicate that destiny has a role to play in what happens to Obama both as a person, and in terms of his relationships and business associations and/or alliances. Obama has always touted himself as an agent of change, an idealist and a reformer, and here we have an astrological signature which seems to confirm that this is his role in life. The question is whether his destiny is to express this through his role as American President.

So, lets’ consider the role that fate or destiny, may play in this particular election. When compared to the public relations disaster that was Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, Obama’s reaction to the natural disaster on America’s East Coast, seems to have changed the public’s perception of him from a cold, uncaring leader out of touch with his people to someone who is able to take charge and make the decisions necessary to save lives. The Governor of New Jersey, a Republican, publicly praised Obama’s efforts at disaster relief as ‘outstanding’, leading some pundits to begin talking about how this Act of God had brought together people from both sides in a renewed spirit of bi-partisanship whilst the media was awash with images of Obama hugging hurricane victims and looking every bit the compassionate commander-in-chief.13 Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was forced to stop campaigning and stand by, largely unable to help besides host a few fundraisers.

Many commentators see this as potentially a game-changer for the Presidential Race, citing the fact that New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, a canny Republican politician with a lot of influence, openly endorsing him, mainly because of climate change14. The hurricane appeared to have worked in his favour., As one media pundit put it, “Although the president is not campaigning, being seen to be doing his job, and doing it well, is worth a thousand rallies.”

So, was Hurricane Sandy a sort of miracle intervention – an act of fate that will help Obama get a second chance at winning the Whitehouse? It is almost as though circumstances may be forcing him to own his power much more strongly and overtly than he has up until now. Perhaps, he is a bit of a ‘late bloomer’ and now fate will take a hand in enabling him to really use his charisma and the lessons he has learnt from his first term to fulfil the potential that everyone saw in him when he was first elected to power?

Counting in Obama’s favour is the fact that his natal Sun, at around 12 degrees Leo, will be conjunct the Election Chart’s Moon. Does this mean that, as a result of his actions during Hurricane Katrina, that  the American people have seen a new side to him, and now consider him to embody what they look for in a political leader? I find it interesting that Obama’s Chiron, his wound, is the only point to be found in the 4th house of the Election Chart, and that it is extremely close to an exact conjunction with the Election Chiron. As an astrologer, this appears to indicate that Obama might be about to have his Chiron return   – an experience or set of experiences that provide him with the chance to heal an old wound and own his vulnerability in some way. Perhaps this whole experience of almost being rejected by the American people, together with Hurricane Sandy has somehow broken him open and forced him to face his fears, allowing him to come to terms with a few things from his past?

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has a natal Moon-Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio in the Election Chart’s first house, also conjunct the EC North Node. What could this mean? Perhaps his optimistic vision of the economic future of America, and overall enthusiasm about what is possible needs to be carried forward into politics by others, because it is ultimately what America embodies? If we go back to the US Sibley chart, we are reminded that Jupiter is the ruling planet of the chart which has Sagittarius rising. In this chart, Jupiter is conjunct Venus, one of the lesser benefics and exalted in the sign of Cancer in the 7th house. So positive, inspiring and motivating leaders and role models are always going to be important in keeping the American pioneering and adventurous spirit alive – the American dream is firmly embedded into its culture and the outlook of its people.

However, I do have to issue a cautionary note here. Because Romney’s Moon is in Scorpio, where it is in fall,  we also have to consider the possibility of scandal, abuse of power or even illness in Romney’s political demise. Will someone within the Romney camp betray him? Is will he somehow sabotage himself ? Will an old skeleton in his closet suddenyl coem back to haunt him? It is interesting that, in the Election bi-wheel, his natal Saturn is conjunct the Election Chart Moon now. This is a distinctly gloomy combination and can be associated with self-pity, depression, illness, tiredness as well as a certain aloofness or coldness. Problems with women or authority figures are also common. Is it possible that this is an indication that the female vote may be a factor in his loss? Or will it be because the majority of working class Americans do not actually feel that as a rich New England businessman, he really is ‘one of them’? I suspect that the way he handles himself in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and in the these last few days of the campaign trail, when everyone is tired, may well have a bearing on how the electorate ultimately perceive him. For instance, the fact that Hurricane Sandy happened in his own back yard – America’s north east coast – and yet he chose to spend his time in Ohio, well away from the effects of the storm, instead of rolling up his sleeves and lending a helping hand to his constituents…

One thing that does look positive for Mitt is his natal Pluto, which will contact the Election Moon, as well as the Election Chart’s Part of Fortune. The former suggests that in some way, he is still seen by the Americans as powerful and charismatic, and someone who can bring about the reforms they want. In a way, he has had a big impact on the whole political landscape of America, inadvertently forcing Obama to up his game, so I wonder if this contact might suggest that he would prove the perfect counter-balance to Obama as an opposition leader, keeping him on his toes?

Given that the Part of Fortune, which is a point derived from the relationship between the Sun and Moon, often points to the path of light, or way to turn a negative situation into a positive. Contacting Pluto in Leo, I wonder whether he may be offered a major position within the energy business post-election? This is because  during campaigning, he has been pretty big on  the idea of exploiting America’s natural energy resources, especially those below the ground such as coal, oil and natural gas15, all of which are ruled by the planet Pluto. Naturally, this would bring employment to many and, of course, mean less involvement in fighting wars overseas because the Americans would be replacing their dependence on foreign oil with more domestic sources. However, the down side to all this is, of course, the question of the environment. And what a reminder of the effects of carbon emissions from oil and gas on the biosphere than global climate changes and weather-related natural disasters!

Let’s see what happens. Mundane prediction is by no means an exact science and judging by common sense, I think this will be a very close race…


1. ‘Bill Clinton gives Thumping Endorsement to Barak Obama’, Guardian UK,

2. Andrew Marr, Obama: What Happened to Hope?,

3. Peggy Noonan, ‘How Far Obama Has Fallen’, Wall Street Journal,

4. Denis Staunton, ‘Obama poised for four more years of limited room for manoeuvre,’ Irish Times,

5.GOP poll: Americans don’t believe country is moving ‘forward’, Campaigns and Elections,

6 ‘Romney: ‘I like being able to fire people who provide services to me’,Washington Post,

7. Charles Carter, 1980, An Introduction to Political Astrology, London: Fowler & Co,. pp. 88-100

8 Vivian E. Robson (1931), The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology. London: Cecil Chalmer, p. 196-6

Bernadette Brady (2008), Star and Planet Combinations, pp. 169-70

Robson, 1931, pp.203-4

11 Robson, 1931, pp 205-6

12 Brady, 2008, pp.253-4

13 ‘US election: Storm blows presidential race off course’, BBC News,

14 Michael Bloomberg. ‘A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change’, Bloomberg News,

‘US Presidential Election – The Miners betting on Romney’, BBC News,



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