Crowns, Towers & Lightning Bolts: the 2020 US Elections & the October Surprise

The much-touted 2020 Presidential race is on its last lap the US and with just days to go, I thought it time to see how the astrology squared up with the messages that came through in the geomancy forecast I recently did on YouTube.

To avoid this post getting too long or becoming overwhelming, I have decided to divide it up into two separate articles. The first will focus on the Halloween Blue Moon, it’s links to the June Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius and the connection between the planet Uranus and a concept in American politics known as the October Surprise. I will also have a crack at predicting what the 2020 iteration of this phenomenon is likely to be.

The second post is a more straightforward election predictions looking at a horary of the event chart and relevant planetary transits to the natal charts of the two candidates. So take your pick and see which appeals most.

And so, down to business…

Some Background: What is the October Surprise?

So, what exactly is the October Surprise? Rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought this quote from the New Statesman explained it quite nicely:

It is said that every US presidential election gets an October Surprise; a little jolt of chaos into the regimented order of a campaign that strikes in the few weeks before election day, a bit of news that by cynical design or naïve accident might make or break the hopes of a candidate.

The term has its origins in the politics of the Vietnam War, when Lyndon Johnson, in the final months of his second term, tried to help his vice-president Hubert Humphrey’s election campaign by announcing a halt to bombing on 30 October, 1968. It was first referred-to as such during the following election cycle, when Henry Kissinger, then national security adviser to incumbent president Nixon, turned Johnson’s tactic against the Democrats by announcing that “we believe peace is at hand” in Vietnam on 26 October, 1972.

New Statesman, October 2016

This year, many people consider the 2020 October Surprise to be Trump’s COVID diagnosis. However, both the geomancy and the astrology (more below) suggest that the cosmos is not quite finished yet when it comes to plot twists. Enter the volatile and rather scary Halloween Blue Moon occurring just days before this election, with its conjunction to Uranus, planet of shock and awe. As we’ll see, this event has a lot to tell us about the 2020 October Surprise.

But first, let’s backtrack to 2016 for a minute to get some context.

James Comey & the 2016 October Surprise

Now I think most people would probably agree that, as October surprises go, 2016’s was a bit more ‘extra’ than usual. In true Uranian style, Trump’s win back in 2016 seemed to come out of left field – the polls weren’t expecting it – and neither, it would seem, did anyone in the Trump camp, including Donald Trump himself.

In Disloyal, the tell-all memoir written by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal fixer and close adviser turned state’s witness, we’re given a sneak peak into the Trump camp’s perspective on the event that most people now agree was the 2016 iteration of the October Surprise

Many believe it was the former FBI director, James Comey, a Sagittarian, whose actions catalysed the 2016 October Surprise.

‘…The internal polls showed the race tightening at a rapid rate after James Comey announced his renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton, looking for all the world like he was deliberately throwing the election for Trump. That was how it looked inside the [Trump] campaign.”

Disloyalby Michael Cohen
Tarot Trump 16 in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck

Many people, myself included, believe that this was a major turning point – the final straw that swung the election Trump’s way. Up until this point, everyone – including most of the polls and the media – assumed that Hillary would win by a mile. And then, on October 28, came the bolt out of the blue that changed everything – a bit like the lightning that strikes the tower (note the crown at the top) in Tarot Trump no.16. (Right)

For most astrologers, the concept of the October Surprise has a strongly Uranian signature – sudden, unpredictable, bringing about swift change, and often related to either technology, innovation or socio-political movements.

Uranus, America & Popular Democracy

Popular democracy, astrologically-speaking, is also Uranian-ruled. This is largely due to the fact that Uranus was discovered in 1781 – around the time of both the French and American Revolutions. It was also around this time that electricity became – which is one of the reasons why it has come to be associated with rebellion, individualism, freedom, innovation and of course, the type of disruptive change that often comes suddenly and so can be quite a shock.

The United States of America was founded on strongly Uranian/Aquarian principles – the ‘land of the free’, with it’s progressive constitution and emphasis on popular democracy and the rights of the individual. Much of this was inspired by the French Revolution, which completely blew up the notion of the ‘divine right of kings’ that had given philsophical and political legitimacy to feudalism and the predominance of the European ruling classes for centuries. No wonder then that both Uranus, and Aquarius – the sign that it rules (which just happens to be the opposite to Leo, sign of the king) – both feature quite strongly in the US natal chart (see below). Uranus in Gemini is angular, conjunct the Descendant, in the sign of the ordinary folk/working class, and it rules the 3rd house of media and elections (the people get to have their say at the polls).

The 2016 October Surprise – the day news broke of Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary’s use of a private email account to conduct government business

Astrology Markers of the 2016 October Surprise

It’s fair to say that the planet of revolution, shock and awe had certainly kept itself busy during 2016. Not only was it a key component in the anti-establishment result of the Brexit election which took place in June of that year, but at the very time that James Comey moved to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails, transiting Venus and Saturn came together in a fated conjunction in ebullient Sagittarius (smack bang on the Ascendant of the US Sibley Chart I might add!) from where they opposed the US Uranus in Gemini on the Descendant (see the chart above). Transiting Uranus in the Sibley 4th house (= the people) was not only conjunct the Midheaven of the transit chart, but also conjunct the US Chiron and opposite the usually sobering and steadying influence of the US Saturn in Libra in the 10th. In other words, the timing could not have been more perfect for an October Surprise! (I must say, I also find it rather poetic that Comey himself is a Sun sign Sag, but that’s another story…)

The connection to towers and Uranus, seems fairly undeniable. Photo by Carlos Herrero on

The Uranian signature is also prominent in Donald Trump’s natal chart, which unsurprisingly, features a very prominent Sun-Uranus conjunction in mercurial Gemini – the epitome of someone who is both a disruptor and a fast talker. Note too, that the US Uranus sits very close to Trump’s natal Uranus, which helps to explain why his maverick and irreverent manner resonates so strongly with many voters, especially working class folk (the US Uranus is in the 6th house). And it is for this reason that I think he managed to win, despite his lack of political experience and the many blunders, scandals and controversies that characterised his campaign.

Uranus & the Halloween Blue Moon: The 2020 October Surprise

Fast forward to October 2020 and already, we’ve been thrown the curveball of Trump getting COVID-19 at the beginning of the month, followed by a seemingly miraculous, if rather euphoric, recovery.

However, I believe the universe is not quite done yet – cue the Hunter’s Moon on October 31. As I said earlier, not only is it a relatively rare blue moon, but it also happens to make contacts to Uranus. From a mundane astrology point of view, this is significant. The Moon = planet of the people/electorate, forms a conjunction to Uranus, suggesting that the voters are once again ready for a change.

The October 31 Full Moon transposed onto the US Sibley Chart. Note the Grand Cross formed by the Blue Moon, Uranus, the Earth and BML in Taurus, the US nodes in Leo/Aquarius, and the Scorpio Sun.

However, Uranus in Taurus will also be opposing the Sun (symbol of the president/leader) from its position in controlling and power-hungry Scorpio. This suggests that Trump may not be so willing to leave office/concede without a fight. And given how ruthless Scorpio can be when it’s afflicted (this is not a sign unafraid to ‘fight dirty’), it’s fair to say that things could get a bit ugly.

Scorpio, Pluto and the USA Pluto Return

Instinctively, people seem to sense this.

It certainly helps to explain why, Trump’s COVID diagnosis aside, we had the Speaker of the House of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, making press announcements about the need to draw up measures based on the 25th Amendment designed to remove the president from office, should he/she become incapacitated (whether physically or mentally). (A distinct possibility, if we consider the geomancy forecast).

It also explains a media interview with MIT sociologist and peace activist, Noam Chomsky, who warned in September that Trump may have to be removed by force if he loses:

“He’s already announced repeatedly that if he doesn’t like the outcome of the election he won’t leave. And this is taken very seriously by two high-level military officers, ex-military leaders, who’ve just sent a letter to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, reviewing for him his constitutional duties if the president refuses to leave office and gathers around him the paramilitary forces that he’s been using to terrorise people in Portland.

“The military has a duty in that case, the 82nd Airborne Division, to remove him by force. There’s a transition integrity project, high-level people from the Republicans and the Democrats; they’ve been running war games asking what would happen if Trump refuses to leave office – every one of them leads to civil war, every scenario that they can think of except a Trump victory leads to civil war. This is not a joke – nothing like this has happened in the history of parliamentary democracy. 

New Statesman, 17 Sep 2020

Although dramatic, this assertion tallies with a prognostication made by UK astrologer, Christeen Skinner, in her book The Financial Universe (first published 2004) in which she predicted the 2008 global financial crisis. The 2009 revised edition contained another more dramatic and sobering forecast about the USA, which initially, I thought rather improbable. However, in the light of what Pelosi and Chomsky have said, I feel it’s worth repeating.

In a chapter entitled ‘Collapse of the USA’, she talks about the ingress of Pluto into Capricorn in 2008, culminating in the US Pluto Return in 2022 (exact 22 Feb, 11 Jul and 28 Dec.) During this period, Skinner feels that ‘serious cracks in the fabric of American society are likely to show,’ possibly leading to a break-up of the union (i.e. civil war):

…it could be that the United States of America as we know it…will lose supremacy and return – if only temporarily – to a fractured land of individual states.

Further on, she adds of Pluto’s transit through Capricorn:

The USA will go through a period of extraordinary transformation…and do so against the background of global stress of the type we have not seen for many thousands of years. By the end of this period, the citizens of some states may be considering withdrawing from the Union entirely. It is quite possible that both a north-south and an east-west divide will occur. At the end of this transit, she predicted that ‘the term “super power” could be applied to specific states, rather than to the Union as a whole.

The Financial Universe (2009), pp. 48, 57

If all this sounds a little crazy and far fetched (as it did to me when I first read it a few years ago, pre-COVID), then consider the following witness statement, provided by Michael Cohen at his testimony to Congress at the height of the Mueller investigation:

Given my experience working for Mr Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power…That is why I agreed to appear before you today.

Reproduced in the Foreword to ‘Disloyal’

Uranus: the Link to the June 2020 Eclipses

As potentially alarmist and OTT as this may sound, the astrology does appear to bear this out on several fronts. Firstly, in the rather divisive energy of the June 5 Strawberry Moon lunar eclipse, which featured a subversive and agitating Mars T-square – energy we will return to at the end of November 2020 when we have a follow-up eclipse in the same set of signs.

The June 2020 Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse transposed onto the US Sibley Chart. Notice that Uranus is at 8 degrees Taurus – the SAME degree it will occupy at the Halloween Blue Moon on Oct 31, 2020.

However, what really concerns me is what emerges when we factor in the role of Uranus into both the June 5 Lunar Eclipse and that potentially disruptive Halloween Uranus-Moon conjunction. The latter occurs at 8 degrees of Taurus – the SAME zodiacal position that Uranus occupied back in June at the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse (this is because it is currently retrograde) when it made a fixed T-square to the US nodes of in Leo/Aquarius – AND the VERY SAME that sit on the AS-DS axis in the Election geomancy chart.

Something we need to consider when we make predictions about the nature of the 2020 October Surprise…which brings me back to Uranus and its connection to both lightning bolts, popular movements and the tarot image of the Falling Tower.

Lightning, Tarot & Trump Tower

Many people have interpreted the lightning strikes to both the Washington Monument and the Empire State Building on the night of the June 5 lunar eclipse – which coincided with a spike in anti-lockdown protests – as omens heralding either the toppling of either Donald Trump (the connection between the crown in the tarot image and the notion of leadership is not lost on many folks) or the current power structures that underpin the Washington political establishment – depending, of course, on who people support politically.

An Instagram post from June 6, 2020. Clearly the symbolism of Uranus, the lightning bolt and the Tower in the Tarot trumps was not lost on this user!

As I’ve written elsewhere, there are plenty of overlaps between the energy of Uranus and eclipses. Both can result in what is known in common parlance amongst tarot card readers as ‘tower moments.’ ie major wake-up calls. I was both amused and gratified when doing research for this blog post to discover the many news reports that either talk about ‘lightening striking twice’ with regards to Trump winning a second term, or else run images, videos or reports of lightning striking Trump Tower Chicago (most recently on October 22 2020, but some go as far back as 2016’s Super Tuesday vote). The metaphor around Trump and towers does seem to have stuck with him over the past four years. Clearly, on some archetypal level, many people besides myself also see a strong correlation.

Now in the tarot, the tower is associated with the planet Mars (no prizes for guessing why) and I do have to say that back in June, I got a horrible sense of foreboding about the US elections, especially when I saw the Mars T-square in the eclipse chart. My suspicions appeared to be confirmed when I came across an article, published on the factchecking and hoax-busting website, Snopes in May 2020, which had begun to investigate the connection between anti-lockdown protests and a series of social media groups and fake news stories being generated by ‘a small circle of fervent activists’ whose primary aim seemed to be to stoke the perception of widespread discontent over lockdown measures. According to Snopes, however, their true agenda was linked to something far more sinister:

In reality, however, they formed ‘part of a campaign playbook self-evidently resulting in an increasingly radicalized base of Trump supporters as the 2020 general election approaches.’


At first I thought perhaps it was simply my fears talking – until I saw the images of the lightning strikes on social media, which not only mirrored images and messages that had been constellating in my mind since April 2020, but also served to confirm a prophetic dream I had in the spring of 2019 which involved the very same image and a strong message about the need to let go of outdated structures and ways of living.

My suspicions were further confirmed when the Mozilla Firefox Foundation recently ran a petition asking Facebook to address its policy and algorhithms with regards to Facebook groups, which it says, have become ‘breeding grounds for disinformation campaigns and organizing platforms for extremists’ – something that Firefox claims Facebook knew about as far back as 2016, and which pose a ‘major threat’ to democracy ‘in the 2020 election season.

With conspiracy theories, disinformation, and foreign influence running rampant in Facebook Groups, the company must turn off group recommendations until the U.S. election results are certified.

Mozilla Firefox Foundation

As we have seen from the astrology above, this election is pretty significant – not just because Pluto is threatening to tear the country apart, but if Uranus is anything to go by, then the very underpinnings of popular democracy are in peril.

If that sounds like hyperbole, then consider the below quote, taken from the lead story in the October 2020 edition of New Statesman magazine:

The contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden for the US presidency is more than a clash of competing visions – it is a vote on whether American democracy itself deserves to survive.

New Statesman, October 2020

Uranus, Democracy & Voter Engagement

On a more positive note, I do think that part of the October Surprise will be how it re-engages many Americans, some of whom had become very politically apathetic, with the democratic process. Conjunctions, after all, are neutral – they can go either way with regards to malefic/benefic influences.

So, going back to that Halloween Full Moon:

Photo by Artem Podrez on

Uranus will be sitting on the same side of the earth as the planet of the people (= Moon) on 31 October, so, it could also be that part of the October Surprise may well be about high voter turnout – the American people waking up to the importance of exercising their constitutional right to vote – a privilege that their forebears had to fight to get from the British and French crowns back in 1763-1783 during the American War of Independence. Which, of course, brings us straight back to the time when Uranus was discovered!

Already, we have seen record numbers of Americans turning out to vote, or sending in their postal votes early, despite the threat of potential COVID-19 contagion. Many states are reporting record turnout for early voting, both at polling stations and via mail ballots, with some suggesting turnout figures are likely to be the highest recorded since 1908.

Whatever does happen, I do think that 2020 will be remembered as the year Americans chose to take back their power as citizens and make a stand, rather than sit idly by and let others make the choice for them.

As for who is likely to win, that’ll have to wait until my next post.


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